Charlotte Road Course Elimination Race to Challenge NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff Contenders

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be crossing its last road course of the season off the 2022 schedule this weekend as they head to the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course for the Drive for the Cure 250 Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina on Saturday, October 8 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio.

This weekend’s elimination-race will be the fifth time the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course has hosted a NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff race (2018-2022). The Charlotte Road Course has occupied two positions on the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs schedule – from 2018-2019 the Charlotte ROVAL hosted the second race in the Playoffs’ Round of 12, and then from 2020-2022 the 2.32-mile track has hosted the Round of 12 elimination race (the third race of the Playoffs).

The inaugural Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs race was on September 29, 2018 and was won by Chase Briscoe. In the years since then, AJ Allmendinger has been the only victor, taking the checkered flag the last three consecutive years (2019, 2020, 2021).

Although Allmendinger has three wins under his belt, Briscoe still holds the race record from his win in 2018 at 81.267 mph. With Briscoe competing full time in the Cup Series and in his own Playoff hunt, Allmendinger is the only previous winner entered in this weekend’s Drive for the Cure 250 Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina.

A few drivers entered in this weekend’s race could be considered Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course veterans as they have raced in every Xfinity Series road course race at the track since the inaugural race in 2018 – Justin Allgaier, Jeremy Clements, Ryan Sieg, Brandon Jones, Josh Bilicki and Alex Labbe.

There has yet to be a driver to win from the pole or first starting position at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Couse so expect the field to hit the gas a bit harder as they head into practice on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET followed by qualifying at 10:30 a.m. ET on the NBC Sports App.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

  • Next Race: Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
  • The Place: Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course
  • The Date: Saturday, October 8
  • The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
  • The Purse: $1,319,119
  • TV: NBC, 3 p.m. ET
  • Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)
  • Distance: 155.44 miles (67 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 20),
  • Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 40), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 67)

Clinch Scenarios: One to go in the Playoffs Round of 12

Heading into this weekend, only two drivers – Noah Gragson and AJ Allmendinger – have punched their ticket to the Round of 8, leaving 10 drivers vying for the residual six spots. Time is of the essence for the remaining Xfinity Series Playoff drivers hoping to clinch their spot in the next round of the postseason that kicks off at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Oct. 15.

Already Clinched

The following two drivers have clinched a spot in the eight-driver field of the next round: AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson.

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 7th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Ty Gibbs, Austin Hill, Josh Berry, Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer or Ryan Sieg.

  • Ty Gibbs: Would clinch with 7 points
  • Austin Hill: Would clinch with 13 points
  • Josh Berry: Would clinch with 29 points
  • Justin Allgaier: Would clinch with 31 points
  • Sam Mayer: Would clinch with 43 points
  • Ryan Sieg: Would clinch with 50 points
  • Daniel Hemric: Could only clinch with help
  • Riley Herbst: Could only clinch with help
  • Brandon Jones: Could only clinch with help
  • Jeremy Clements: Could only clinch with help

If there is a new winner from Daniel Hemric or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 6th winless driver in the standings.

  • Ty Gibbs: Would clinch with 13 points
  • Austin Hill: Would clinch with 19 points
  • Josh Berry: Would clinch with 35 points
  • Justin Allgaier: Would clinch with 37 points
  • Sam Mayer: Would clinch with 50 points
  • Ryan Sieg: Could only clinch with help
  • Daniel Hemric: Could only clinch with help
  • Riley Herbst: Could only clinch with help
  • Brandon Jones: Could only clinch with help
  • Jeremy Clements: Could only clinch with help

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Ty Gibbs, Austin Hill, Josh Berry, Justin Allgaier, Sam Mayer, Ryan Sieg, Daniel Hemric, Riley Herbst, Brandon Jones, Jeremy Clements.

Scouting the Playoff field at the Charlotte Road Course

We are one race away from the start of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Round of 8. This weekend, the 10 drivers still fighting for their spot in the eight-driver field will compete on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. Below is a look at the Playoff drivers’ past performances at the Charlotte ROVAL.

Noah Gragson: The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will be making his fourth Xfinity Series start on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. He has posted two top fives and three top 10s in his three previous starts. His average finish at 2.32-mile track is a solid 4.3.

AJ Allmendinger: The anointed ‘King of Xfinity Road Courses’ and driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet has three consecutive starts under his belt on the Charlotte Road Course and has yet to experience defeat. He has taken the checkered flag all three times, even when starting deep in the field (started 22nd in 2020).

Ty Gibbs: The driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will be posting his second start at the Charlotte Road Course this weekend. In his only other start, he started 12th and finished 21st.

Austin Hill: The driver of the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet will be making his third Xfinity Series start this weekend on the Charlotte Road Course. He has a best finish of 18th in his two previous starts.

Josh Berry: The driver of the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will be posting his first Xfinity Series start at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course this weekend.

Justin Allgaier: The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has made all four Xfinity Series starts at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. In his four starts, he has posted one top five and two top 10s.

Sam Mayer: The driver of the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet made his first and only start at the Charlotte ROVAL last season where he posted a 10th-place finish.

Ryan Sieg: The driver of the No. 39 RSS Racing Ford will be making his fifth Xfinity Series start at the Charlotte Road Course this weekend. He has a best finish of 21st in 2020.

Riley Herbst: The driver of the No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford has two starts on the Charlotte Road Course with a best finish of 12th in 2020.

Daniel Hemric: The driver of the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet has three starts on the Charlotte Road Course with two top-five and three top-10 finishes.

Brandon Jones: The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will be making his fifth start on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. He has one top five (2021) and two top 10s under his belt.

Jeremy Clements: The driver of the No. 51 Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet. He has four starts at the Charlotte Road Course with a best finish of 11th (2019).

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Chandler Smith to compete fulltime in Xfinity Series in 2023 – Kaulig Racing has announced this week that Chandler Smith will join its 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series roster. The 20-year-old, Georgia native has signed a multi-year deal with Kaulig Racing and plans to compete for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors during the 2023 season, as he drives the No. 16 Chevrolet.

“I’m really excited to have an opportunity like this for my rookie year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” said Smith. “Kaulig Racing has grown from a small team to a multi-series, powerhouse team in just a few short years. I’m honored to take over the No. 16 car that has had so much success these last couple of years.

Currently in his second, full season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Smith has recorded five wins, 22 top fives and 32 top-10 finishes. Smith currently is second in the Camping World Truck Series Playoff standings.

“Chandler Smith is a kid who we see a ton of potential in at Kaulig Racing,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing. “We take pride in giving kids like Chandler an opportunity to compete for wins and be a steppingstone in their career. It’s been exciting to see what Chandler has done in the truck series over two seasons, and we think competing for Kaulig Racing is the perfect next step for both Chandler and our team.”

Marco Andretti to make NASCAR debut at Charlotte ROVAL – Former NTT IndyCar driver Marco Andretti will be behind the wheel of the No. 48 Big Machine Racing Chevrolet this weekend for the Drive for the Cure 250 Presented by BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina.

After retiring from full-time NTT IndyCar Series competition at the end of 2020, Andretti made his stock car debut in the SRX Series, scoring the 2022 championship.

He will be the first member of the Andretti family to start in a NASCAR national series race since the late John Andretti competed in the 2010 Daytona 500.

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