Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 Race Preview

With the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ first three Playoff races in the books, eight drivers move on to the Round of 8 to challenge for a chance at the title in the Championship 4 finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. But first, the eight Playoff contenders must face each other at Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway in Phoenix to decide which four get to move on.

Up next is Kansas Speedway nestled west of Kansas City, a true gem of the area, the 1.5-mile paved oval track has variable banking in the turns ranging from 17 to 20 degrees, and will host this season’s fourth Xfinity Playoff race, the Kansas Lottery 300, on Saturday, October 19 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

The 200 lap (300-mile) Playoff event will be broken up into three stages – the first two stages will be 45 laps each and the final stage will be 110 laps (45/90/200) and will mark the 19th time the NASCAR Xfinity Series has competed at the facility. The first series event at Kansas was on Sept. 29, 2001 and won by 2000 series champion Jeff Green. The first 18 Xfinity races at Kansas have produced 14 different pole winners and 14 different race winners. Kyle Busch leads the series in wins at Kansas with four victories.

Since the inception of the Playoffs in 2016, Kansas has maintained the fourth race in the postseason. Interestingly, Kansas Speedway and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course are the only two active tracks in the Playoffs that have not had a Playoff driver win their Playoff races – ever. In 2016, Monster Energy Series driver Kyle Busch won the inaugural Kansas Xfinity Playoff race. In 2017, then-NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Christopher Bell grabbed his first Xfinity Series career win in the Kansas Playoff race. And again in 2018, John Hunter Nemechek, on a part-time Xfinity schedule, grabbed the checkered flag to play the postseason spoiler. 

The Kansas Speedway Playoff race this weekend will be the eighth different Xfinity race on a 1.5-mile track this season. Of the Playoff drivers, Tyler Reddick has put up the best average finish on 1.5-mile tracks in 2019 with a 5.0; followed by Noah Gragson (6.7), Michael Annett (7.0), Cole Custer (10.7), Chase Briscoe (11.0), Austin Cindric (11.9), Christopher Bell (12.9) and Justin Allgaier (13.1). 

Doesn’t get any easier in the next round of Xfinity Playoffs  

With just eight of the original 12 Playoff drivers still vying for the 2019 title, the pressure to perform has heightened and this Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway is the perfect stage for the challengers to battle it out.

The Round of 8 contenders are (in order of seeding) Christopher Bell (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), Cole Custer (No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford), Tyler Reddick (No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet), Austin Cindric (No. 22 Team Penske Ford), Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet), Chase Briscoe (No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi Ford), Michael Annett (No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet) and Noah Gragson (No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet).

Round of 12 Recap: The NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff’s Round of 12 saw three different winners – Christopher Bell captured the first win at Richmond, then non-Playoff driver AJ Allmendinger took the checkered at the highly competitive Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL the following week, and then last weekend Cole Custer rounded out the three-race segment with a victory at Dover. Four drivers were eliminated from the Playoffs following Dover – John Hunter Nemechek, Justin Haley, Ryan Sieg and Brandon Jones.

2019 Current Playoff Driver – 2019 Postseason Stats

Drivers

Starts

Wins

Top Fives

Top 10s

Poles

Laps Led

Completed

Avg. Start

Avg. Finish

Rank

Christopher Bell

3

1

1

1

0

257

483

7.0

12.7

1

Cole Custer

3

1

2

3

0

36

517

6.3

4.0

2

Tyler Reddick

3

0

1

2

0

1

515

3.0

8.0

3

Austin Cindric

3

0

3

3

1

38

517

2.0

2.7

4

Justin Allgaier

3

0

3

3

0

67

517

5.7

3.3

5

Chase Briscoe

3

0

2

3

2

92

517

2.3

6.3

6

Michael Annett

3

0

0

2

0

1

517

16.3

10.0

7

Noah Gragson

3

0

1

3

0

0

517

9.0

6.3

8


Below is a statistical look at the eight Playoff drivers and their average finishing positions at the Round of 8 tracks (Kansas, Texas and Phoenix) and the Championship finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway:

KANSAS SPEEDWAY

TEXAS MOTOR SPEEDWAY

Rank

Playoff Drivers

Average Finish

Starts

Rank

Playoff Drivers

Average Finish

Starts

1

Tyler Reddick

3.5

2

1

Chase Briscoe

7.5

2

2

Justin Allgaier

11.6

8

2

Austin Cindric

7.7

3

3

Christopher Bell

19.0

2

3

Cole Custer

9.8

5

4

Michael Annett

19.4

7

4

Christopher Bell

10.8

4

5

Cole Custer

26.7

3

5

Noah Gragson

13.0

1

6

Chase Briscoe

30.0

1

6

Justin Allgaier

13.1

18

7

Austin Cindric

39.0

1

7

Tyler Reddick

15.0

4

8

Noah Gragson

0.0

0

8

Michael Annett

15.3

14

ISM RACEWAY

HOMESTEAD-MIAMI SPEEDWAY

Rank

Playoff Drivers

Average Finish

Starts

Rank

Playoff Drivers

Average Finish

Starts

1

Chase Briscoe

6.0

1

1

Tyler Reddick

2.5

2

2

Tyler Reddick

8.3

4

2

Austin Cindric

5.0

1

3

Austin Cindric

8.3

3

3

Cole Custer

6.7

3

4

Justin Allgaier

9.1

18

4

Chase Briscoe

13.0

1

5

Cole Custer

9.6

5

5

Justin Allgaier

14.1

9

6

Christopher Bell

9.8

4

6

Michael Annett

18.4

8

7

Noah Gragson

11.0

1

7

Christopher Bell

23.5

2

8

Michael Annett

15.2

14

8

Noah Gragson

0.0

0


Round of 8 Playoff drivers at Kansas

Seven of the eight Xfinity Playoff drivers have competed at Kansas Speedway in the past; among the Playoff drivers only Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Noah Gragson will be making his series track debut at Kansas this weekend. Here is a quick look at the other seven driver’s performances at Kansas.

Christopher Bell has made two series starts at Kansas Speedway posting a win (2017) and one top five. His average finish at Kansas is 19th due to a DNF in this race last season.

Cole Custer has made three series starts at Kansas Speedway putting up a best finish of 19th in 2017. His average finish is 26.7. He finished 26th in this race last season.

Tyler Reddick has made two series starts at Kansas Speedway posting a pole and two top-five finishes. His average finish is a Playoff driver leading 3.5.

Austin Cindric made his series track debut at Kansas Speedway last season; he started fourth but was caught in an incident and relegated to a 39th-place finish.

Justin Allgaier has the most experience at Kansas Speedway among the Playoff drivers having made eight series starts collecting two top fives and five top 10s. His average finish at the track is 11.6.

Chase Briscoe also made his series track debut at Kansas Speedway last season; he started 12th but finished 30th.

Michael Annett has made seven series starts at Kansas Speedway posting one top-10 finish. His average finish at the track is 19.4.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Just Two Sunoco Rookies Left – With the elimination of John Hunter Nemechek and Justin Haley from the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, just two Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders are left to challenge for the end-of-year rookie honors – Chase Briscoe and Noah Gragson. Currently, Briscoe holds the rookie standings lead by eight points over Gragson following Dover. Looking ahead, Gragson will be making his series track debut this weekend at Kansas Speedway, but Briscoe will be returning looking to rebound from his series track debut last season where he finished 30th due to suspension issues.   

#KansasLottery300 #KansasSpeedway #NASCAR #NASCARXFINITYSeries

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