Race Weekend Central

2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Grid Set After Chicagoland Battle

After 26 races, the grid for the first NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase has been set.

Twelve teams qualified for the series’ first playoff after Saturday’s Drive for Safety 300 at Chicagoland Speedway, with three drivers making their way into the Chase with victories and the other nine positions awarded based on points.

Chevrolet leads all manufacturers with eight of the 12 participants in the Chase, including the top regular season driver in Elliott Sadler. Toyota and Ford will each have two drivers in the playoff.

2016 will mark the first Chase for the XFINITY Series. The playoff format will be similar to the one seen in the Sprint Cup Series over the previous two seasons, with a scaled-back three-round, seven-race schedule. The Chase begins with 12 drivers, with four drivers being eliminated after each of the first two three-race rounds. Drivers can advance through the rounds either by scoring the most points or notching a victory.  The final championship round at Homestead-Miami Speedway will see the final four drivers compete in a race free of Sprint Cup Series regulars. The highest finisher of the four will earn the 2016 XFINITY Series crown.

The XFINITY Series Chase will begin with a standalone race next weekend at Kentucky Speedway, with Dover International Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway completing the first round. The second round will consist of Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway, with the championship finale following at Homestead.

Here’s a quick look at the Chase grid entering next weekend’s opener at Kentucky.

  1. Erik Jones – 2,012 points (4 wins: Bristol I, Dover, Iowa II, Chicagoland)
  2. Elliott Sadler – 2,006 points (2 wins: Talladega, Darlington)
  3. Daniel Suarez – 2,003 points (1 win: Michigan)
  4. Ty Dillon – 2,000 points (Made on points)
  5. Justin Allgaier – 2,000 points (Made on points)
  6. Darrell Wallace, Jr. – 2,000 points (Made on points)
  7. Brendan Gaughan – 2,000 points (Made on points)
  8. Brennan Poole – 2,000 points (Made on points)
  9. Ryan Sieg – 2,000 points (Made on points)
  10. Ryan Reed – 2,000 points (Made on points)
  11. Brandon Jones – 2,000 points (Made on points)
  12. Blake Koch  – 2,000 points (Made on points)

About the author

A graduate of Ball State, Aaron rejoins Frontstretch for his second season in 2016 following a successful year that included covering seven races and starting the popular "Two-Headed Monster" column in 2015. Now in his third year of covering motorsports, Aaron serves as an Assistant Editor for Frontstretch while also contributing to other popular sites including Speed51 and The Apex. He encourages you to come say hi when you see him at the track.

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What a farce! These Championship “Contenders” will only have a chance to win two races, the Kentucky race, because the cup drivers are in New Hampshire, and Homestead, because Cup drivers are not allowed to compete in that race. Big whoop! The rest of the races will have at least four Cup drivers in them, which means the championship contenders will be running for a finish of no better than fifth! Isn’t that exciting?

By the way, if yesterday wasn’t a total farce, I don’t know what is. Kyle Busch had his Cup crew servicing his pit stops. Eric Jones had Hamlin’s crew, and Suarez had Edwards’ crew. Then there is Ryan Sieg, who’s team is family owned, and only has four full time employees. Is there a cup organization who would volunteer to do his pit stops? Not likely!

And that brainless moron France thinks this will generate interest in the series. What an idiot!

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