Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger is two-for-two when it comes to bagging NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Championships, becoming the first driver in series history to do so. Other drivers that have earned a Regular Season Championship are Elliott Sadler (2017), Justin Allgaier (2018), Tyler Reddick (2019) and Austin Cindric (2020).
Of the five Regular Season Champions only two have gone on to win the overall season title – Tyler Reddick in 2019 and Austin Cindric in 2020 – but Allmendinger intends to add his name to that list this year.
By clinching the NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Championship, Allmendinger snagged an additional 15 bonus Playoff points that he will be able to carry with him through the postseason.
As he heads into his second Playoff stint in the Xfinity Series, he will look to better his record and perhaps add another win to his resume. In the 2021 Playoffs, he posted one win, two top fives and five top 10s and earned a spot in the Championship 4 Round ultimately finishing the season a career-best fourth in the final championship standings. Living up to his name as a the ‘master of road courses,’ his one post-season win last year was on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. In fact, Allmendinger has won on the 2.280-mile Charlotte course every single time he has competed in the Xfinity Series (2019, 2020, 2021) at the uniquely styled track.
But first, Allmendinger must get through this weekend’s challenges at Texas Motor Speedway, a track he has run well at. In three Xfinity Series starts at the 1.5-mile facility, he has put up three top-10 finishes and has a stellar average finish of 7.0.
- NASCAR Xfinity Series
- Next Race: Andy’s Frozen Custard 300
- The Place: Texas Motor Speedway
- The Date: Saturday, September 24
- The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
- The Purse: $1,434,537
- TV: USA, 3 p.m. ET
- Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)
- Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
- Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)
Gragson looks to tie Sam Ard’s consecutive wins record at Texas
JR Motorsports’ rising star Noah Gragson not only claimed his NASCAR Xfinity Series series-leading sixth victory of the season, but also his third in a row, becoming just the 10th different driver in NASCAR Xfinity Series history to take the checkered flag in three or more consecutive races. Now, the Las Vegas native, Gragson, will roll the dice once again and see if he can tie Sam Ard’s NASCAR Xfinity Series record of the most consecutive Xfinity Series races won in a row at four this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.
Sam Ard currently sits as the only Xfinity Series driver to win four consecutive races, a feat he accomplished in 1983 – a record that has stood for 40 years.
The following season in 1984, Ard went on to once again manage three consecutive wins and since then nine other drivers have joined him – Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Ryan Newman Dale Earnhardt Jr, Mark Martin, Harry Grant and Larry Pearson.
|NASCAR Xfinity Series Consecutive Wins – Three or More (1982-2022)|
|1||Sam Ard||4||September 17, 1983||October 8, 1983|
|2||Sam Ard||3||May 5, 1984||May 19, 1984|
|Larry Pearson||3||August 15, 1987||August 30, 1987|
|Harry Gant||3||September 6, 1991||October 5, 1991|
|Mark Martin||3||February 22, 1997||March 8, 1997|
|Dale Earnhardt Jr||3||June 5, 1999||June 27, 1999|
|Ryan Newman||3||August 13, 2005||August 26, 2005|
|Kyle Busch||3||April 5, 2008||April 20, 2008|
|Kyle Busch||3||March 16, 2013||April 12, 2013|
|Kyle Busch||3||February 27, 2016||March 12, 2016|
|Kyle Busch||3||July 8, 2016||July 23, 2016|
|Christopher Bell||3||July 13, 2018||July 28, 2018|
|Austin Cindric||3||July 9, 2020||July 18, 2020|
|Noah Gragson||3||September 3, 2022||September 16, 2022|
Gragson, who will be moving up to the NASCAR Cup Series next season, will be looking to finish his final full-time season in the Xfinity Series with a title, but first the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet will have to tackle Texas Motor Speedway. In his seven starts at the Fort Worth, Texas track, he has posted two top fives and three top 10s. When the Xfinity Series was there earlier this season, Gragson proved he had speed as he won the pole, but he fell victim to a crash on Lap 95 and finished 36th.
Xfinity Playoffs kick off in the Lone Star State
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be kicking off its postseason with the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 24 at 3:30 p.m. ET on the USA Network, the NBC Sports App, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.
The Fort Worth, Texas, 1.5-mile track has hosted 43 Xfinity Series races, producing 23 different race winners and 25 different pole winners. Chase Elliott became the track’s youngest winner in 2014 at 18 years, four months and seven days old; while Jeff Purvis became the oldest winner in 2002 at 43 years, one month and 18 days old.
Kyle Busch holds the record at Texas Motor Speedway for most poles (four), wins (10), top fives (17), top 10s (18), lead lap finishes (20) and laps led (1,795).
The track is a place of “firsts” as some drivers posted their first wins in the Lone Star State – Dale Earnhardt Jr (1998), Kurt Busch (2006), Trevor Bayne (2011), Chase Elliott (2014) and Erik Jones (2015) all grabbed their first Xfinity Series win at the 1.5-mile track.
NASCAR Cup Series regular Tyler Reddick snagged the Xfinity win at Texas earlier this season, but he is not entered in this weekend’s race, so we won’t see a back-to-back winner. We could, however, see a repeat winner in Victory Lane. NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular John Hunter Nemechek won last season’s fall Texas race and he is entered in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 this weekend, making him the only previous winner entered in the race.
The Xfinity Series will jump start the doubleheader weekend on Saturday, Sept. 24 with practice at 10:35 a.m. ET followed by qualifying at 11:05 a.m. ET on USA Network and streamed on the NBC Sports App.
Time’s up: The 2022 Xfinity Series Playoffs grid is locked in
The 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season is over, and we now have our 12 drivers locked into the postseason: Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Josh Berry, Austin Hill, Brandon Jones, Jeremy Clements, Sam Mayer, Daniel Hemric, Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg.
The drivers will have to give it all they have in these next three races (Texas, Talladega and Charlotte ROVAL) to earn a spot in the Round of 8. Let us take a look at our Playoff lineup, and see how each driver has performed at Texas Motor Speedway:
Noah Gragson: He enters the Playoffs as the No. 1 seed with 2,051 points, marking his fourth time competing in the postseason. In his seven starts at Texas, he has posted two top fives, three top 10s and one pole. He has an average start of 11.4, an average finish of 17.3 and has led a total of 88 laps.
Ty Gibbs: He will be making his first Playoff appearance this season, coming in as the No. 2 seed with 2,038 points. His first and only start at the 1.5-mile Texas track was earlier this season. He started in the seventh position and finished in 12th.
Justin Allgaier: Making his seventh Playoff appearance, Allgaier is coming in as the No. 3 seed with 2,033 points. In his 24 starts at Texas, he has posted five top fives and 13 top 10s. He has a best finish of second (2021) and has led 226 laps. His most recent finish at the 1.5-mile track was fourth earlier this season.
AJ Allmendinger: The 2022 Regular Season Champion enters the Xfinity Playoffs as the No. 4 seed with 2,032 points in his second postseason appearance. In his three career starts at Texas Motor Speedway, he has posted three top 10s and has led a total of 21 laps.
Josh Berry: In his first ever Xfinity Series Playoffs, Berry comes in as the No. 5 seed with 2,022 points. He only has two starts at the 1.5-mile Texas track and one top-10 finish. He has led a total of 46 laps, all of which were racked up in the May race.
Austin Hill: The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender enters the 2022 Playoffs as the No. 6 seed with 2,016 points. He has three starts at Texas putting up one top-five and one top-10 finish. His most recent finish at the track was fifth earlier this season.
Brandon Jones: He enters his sixth career Xfinity Series Playoffs appearance, coming in as the No. 7 seed with 2,010 points. He has 13 starts at the Fort Worth, Texas track with two top fives, six top 10s and 49 laps led.
Jeremy Clements: For his third Playoff appearance, he comes in as the No. 8 seed with 2,005 points. He has 27 starts at Texas Motor Speedway with a best finish of 11th. He finished 16th at the 1.5-mile track earlier this season.
Sam Mayer: He comes into his first-ever postseason as the No. 9 seed with 2,005 points. He has two starts at Texas with one top-five and one top-10 finish. He finished third at Texas earlier this season.
Daniel Hemric: Last season’s Xfinity Series champion comes into his fourth Playoff appearance as the No. 10 seed with 2,003 points. He has seven starts at Texas Motor Speedway posting three top fives, four top 10s and 149 laps led. He finished 11th at Texas earlier this season.
Riley Herbst: He enters his third Playoff appearance as the No. 11 seed with 2,002 points. In his five series starts at Texas, he has posted one top 10 – eighth earlier this season.
Ryan Sieg: This season marks the fourth time he has qualified for the Playoffs, and he takes the final spot with 2,001 points. He has made 17 starts at Texas Motor Speedway posting three top-10 finishes.
For their full NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff driver bios, visit NASCARMedia.com – here.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Where you start the Playoffs matters in Xfinity – When it comes to winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship, where a Playoff driver is originally seeded entering the postseason matters, because the lowest seeded driver to win a title in the series was last season’s champion Daniel Hemric, who started the Playoffs as the sixth seed. Four of the six Playoff season championships were won by driver who started the Playoffs seeded inside the top three.
Below is a list of the NASCAR Xfinity Series champions in the Playoff Era and seedings they started their championship runs with:
2016 – Daniel Suárez (No. 3 seed)
2017 – William Byron (No. 1 seed)
2018 – Tyler Reddick (No. 5 seed)
2019 – Tyler Reddick (No. 3 seed)
2020 – Austin Cindric (No. 2 seed)
2021 – Daniel Hemric (No. 6 seed)
Jeffrey Earnhardt to run at Texas this weekend – Jeffrey Earnhardt will be returning to Texas Motor Speedway for the second time this season behind the wheel of the No. 26 Sam Hunt Racing Toyota.
This will be Earnhardt’s ninth start this season with Sam Hunt Racing and 11th overall in 2022.
In total, Earnhardt has nine Xfinity Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway with one top-10 finish.
Brennan Poole joins JD Motorsports for three races – Brennan Poole has run in seven NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season and will compete in three more (Texas, Homestead-Miami and Phoenix) with JD Motorsports to close out the 2022 season.
A Texas native, Poole has made five Xfinity Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway posting two top-10 finishes.