Since the inception of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs in 2016, just five Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders have made it to the Championship 4 Round and this weekend at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi’s Chase Briscoe and JR Motorsport’s Noah Gragson have an opportunity to add their names to the elite list of rookies to accomplish the feat.
Sunoco Rookies that made the Championship 4 and their finish in the final standings:
2016 – Erik Jones (fourth)
2017 – William Byron (champion), Daniel Hemric (fourth)
2018 – Tyler Reddick (champion), Christopher Bell (fourth)
Briscoe is fifth in the Playoff standings heading to ISM Raceway, 18 points behind Justin Allgaier in the final Championship 4 transfer spot. Briscoe made his series track debut at Phoenix earlier this season; he started 12th and raced his way up to a sixth-place finish. He also has three top five finishes and four top 10’s in the five playoff races thus far in his No. 98 Ford.
Gragson is currently eighth in the Playoff standings, 47 points back from the Championship 4 cutoff. Much like Briscoe, Gragson made his series track debut at ISM Raceway earlier this season; he started sixth and finished 11th. He has seven top eight finishes in his last nine starts on the season in his No. 9 Chevrolet.