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2016 NASCAR XFINITY and Truck Series Chase Preview

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In addition to the NASCAR Chase For The Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s two lower national series will introduce it’s own “playoff” oriented Chases for their championships. The fields for both series is wide, from rookies to stunning underdogs, the storylines and fields run deep. Here’s a preview of this years XFINITY Series and Camping World Truck Series Chases.


This year’s field is wide in depth with 12 competing in 3 rounds for the championship. While the wins haven’t come easy for the top drivers in the regular season, the intensity to make it and stay in the title hunt will only get harder. Here’s a list of drivers who’ve made it to this year’s Chase:

Erik Jones (4 wins): Perhaps the perennial favorite to win it all, Erik has shown his stuff this year with four wins in the 20 Joe Gibbs Racing car. The future CUP Series rookie has excelled in each level prior to this season, and this year’s XFINITY Series Season is no different. Look for him to most likely be at Homestead in the final four.

Elliott Sadler (2 Wins): Some may say Sadler’s 2016 season has rejuvenated a once dwindling career. The JR Motorsports driver won at Talladega, and then backed it up at Darlington earlier this month. The consistency for the team has been top notch all year, and Sadler now finds himself as a contender for a XFINITY Series championship.

Daniel Suarez (1 win): NASCAR’s first Mexican-born driver to win a national series race broke through at Michigan earlier this season. Under the same umbrella as Erik Jones and CUP regular Kyle Busch, Suarez has seen his drive to win finally pay off and now can see a potentially historic championship in his sights.

Justin Allgaier: After spending the last few seasons in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Allgaier came back to the XFINITY Series with the 7 JR Motorsports teams in 2016. Although he hasn’t found victory lane, it seems like he has found his grove in his career again with 11 top 5 finishes.

Ty Dillon: It may have come without wins, but Ty is still doing excellent as a potential CUP future looms. The young series veteran has 14 top tens and a pole. He may be a darkhorse waiting to strike during the next several weeks.

Darrell Wallace, Jr.: An up and down past few seasons for Wallace didn’t let him stop him from have perhaps a career season in the XFINITY Series with 8 top 10’s and 3 top 5’s. He has been steady all year with only 1 DNF, but he needs to show his best stuff in order to survive into Homestead.

Brendan Gaughan: The 41 year old veteran may be possibly on the end of his career, but it didn’t stop him from showing good results in the 62 RCR Chevy all year. 13 top 10’s and 0 DNF’s have propel him as the Series more consistent drivers you can find on a fact sheet all season.

Brennan Poole: The highest placing rookie has shown his true form this year in a full time ride at last. The 48 Chip Ganassi team has striped off 14 top 10’s but still has found struggles for consistency that is needed to potentially advance.

Ryan Sieg: Perhaps the biggest feel good story from both series is 29 year old Tucker, Georgia native Ryan Sieg. His underfunded 39 RSS Racing Chevy has won over the NASCAR community this season with consistency and 2 top 10 finishes.

Ryan Reed: After going over a season without a top 10, it seemed like Reed was fizzling out from his shock 2014 Daytona win. But, once he broke it, he put a charge needed to contend for a championship. With 4 top 10’s, he could easy be a dark horse to spoil someones chances of advancing if they can cut down on DNF’s and perhaps contend in races.

Brandon Jones: The freshman RCR driver hasn’t had the wow factor of what a title contender usually has, but his 11 top 10’s hasn’t gone underlooked. The rookie has also stayed out of trouble with 0 DNF’s as well, but needs to find it’s spark now before it’s too late.

Blake Koch: For years, Blake has grinded away with underfunded teams and even at time Start and Parking for other teams. But, when he teamed up with the upstart Kaulig Racing tapped him to drive for them in 2016, it was an opportunity well earned and proven. With help from RCR, he has earned the 11 team the last Chase spot with 3 top 10’s. But, the 3 DNF’s is also the team’s biggest weakness.




Truck Series:

Even though the field 8 instead of 12 like it is in the XFINTY/Cup Series, the field doesn’t lack the punch or star power. From rising rookies, to past series champions this field has it all. Here are the guys who headline this year’s Camping World Truck Series Chase:

William Byron ( 5 Wins): With 5 wins in his hat, the upstart rookie from Kyle Busch Motorsports has set the racing scene on fire in 2016. It also helps when a driver is able to find consistency, and with 10 top 10’s the 9 team has it. With his plans already in the XFINITY Series for 2017 with JR Motorsports, can he finish the deal in the Truck Series?

Matt Crafton (2 wins) The 2014 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion keeps building on his remarkable career, despite being somewhat of a late bloomer. His 11 top 10’s is tied for the 3rd most among the 8 participants. But, his 4 DNF’s is the most among the contenders.

John Hunter Nemechek (2 wins): Despite some controversy involving his racing style, 2016 has proven to be his breakout year for the second generation driver. Adding onto 2 wins is a background of a consistent title contender with 8 top 10’s and 4 top 5’s.

Christopher Bell (1 win): The other Kyle Busch Motorsports rookie to qualify may have had a bad start to the season. But, when Bell turned it on, Oh boy he did. 11 top 10’s is the most of any rookie in the Truck Series this year, and it helps when second half regular seasons go to plan. Watch out for this potential spoiler come Homestead.

Johnny Sauter: Despite the change in teams, Sauter still had the magic touch this season. Sure, it’s not been like the past few season for him, but he’s still a contender week in and week out. The GMS Racing driver found victory lane once and piled high 12 top 10’s this season.

Ben Kennedy (1 win): Despite loosing a ride earlier in the season, Kennedy not only didn’t miss a race, but collected his first win en route to the Chase at Bristol. With his season being split between Red Horse and GMS, he has collected 10 top 10’s and 2 top 5’s.

Daniel Hemric: It may not have included a win, but Hemric’s 2016 season was indeed a breakout year. The lone Ford and Brad Keselowski Racing driver in the Chase has a series high 13 top 10’s, his mark for consistency made even RCR’s head turn for a 2017 XFINITY Series ride. But, will that distraction halt Daniel’s chance to play spoiler for the next 8 races?

Timothy Peters: The last man in for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase hasn’t has the season he was looking for, but nonetheless he’s contending for a Championship. The 2012 championship runner-up has 10 top 10’s, but has been caught in several incidents that while haven’t collected a single DNF, it has set them back from the shotgun position.