The Xfinity Series Playoffs Fire Up This Weekend

William Byron
The NASCAR XFINITY Series heads to the rolling hills of Kentucky to kick off the second annual NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs Saturday night, September 23 at Kentucky Speedway in the 300.

Twelve drivers will slug it out for the title through three rounds in the Playoffs.  The first round of the Playoffs, the Round of 12, is made up of three races – Kentucky, Dover and Charlotte. Four drivers will be eliminated at the conclusion of the Round of 12. A driver can advance to the next round by either winning one of the races in the round or accumulating enough points to be in the top eight of the Playoff standings.

The next round is the Round of 8, and it will consist of the eight Playoff title contenders that have advanced from the Round of 12. The Round of 8 is also made up of three races – Kansas, Texas and Phoenix. Another four drivers will be eliminated from the Playoffs at the conclusion of the Round of 8. A driver can advance to the Championship 4 by either winning one of the Round of 8 races or accumulating enough points to be in the top four after Phoenix.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs will then be decided in the Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway as the four remaining drivers battle it out for the title, with the highest finishing championship contender taking home the trophy.

Since its inception in 1982 (35 years ago), the NASCAR XFINITY Series has produced 27 different champions. Only eight drivers have won multiple series titles – Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2011, ’12), Kevin Harvick (2001, ‘06), Martin Truex Jr. (2004, ’05), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998, ’99), Randy LaJoie (1996, ’97), Larry Pearson (1986, ’87), Jack Ingram (1982, ’85) and Sam Ard (1983, ’84).

Last season, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Daniel Suarez won the title after starting on the pole and winning the race in Miami. This season we are certain to see another new NASCAR XFINITY Series champion since none of this season’s Playoff contenders are former series champs.

The 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff is made up of 12 drivers from eight different organizations – JR Motorsports, Richard Childress Racing, Chip Ganassi Racing, Roush Fenway Racing, Kaulig Racing, Jeremy Clements Racing, Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing. Stewart-Haas Racing and Jeremy Clements Racing are making their Playoff debuts this season.

A total of seven Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders have made the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs since its inception in 2016. This season, four rookies made the Playoffs: William Byron, Cole Custer, Matt Tifft and Daniel Hemric. Last season three rookies made it: Erik Jones, Brandon Jones and Brennan Poole.

Three different manufacturers have made the 2017 Playoffs – Chevrolet (nine cars), Ford (two cars) and Toyota (one car).

The winner of last season’s Playoff-opening race at Kentucky, Elliott Sadler, went on to finish runner-up in the final championship points.


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