Setting the Xfinity Series Playoff Stage in South Beach

The NASCAR Xfinity Series kicked off the Playoffs Round of 8 last weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a race that saw JR Motorsports driver Josh Berry take the checkered flag and secure his spot in the Championship 4 Round for the first-time in his career. The NASCAR Xfinity Series now heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Contender Boats 300 to keep the Playoffs rolling. Drivers will fill the grid on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 4:30 p.m. ET on the USA Network, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

  • Next Race: Contender Boats 300
  • The Place: Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • The Date: Saturday, October 22
  • The Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
  • The Purse: $1,392,256
  • TV: USA, 4 p.m. ET
  • Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
  • Distance: 300 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
  • Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

The 1.5-mile South Florida track has produced 21 different race winners and 20 different pole winners in 28 races. The first race held at Homestead-Miami Speedway was a NASCAR Xfinity Series event on November 5, 1995 – the inaugural Xfinity Series race was won by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett (Ford, 92.229 mph).

Casey Mears set the track’s qualifying record in 2004 with a speed of 177.936 mph while Tyler Reddick set the race record with a speed of 140.515 mph in 2018. Joe Nemechek has posted the most wins at the track (three) along with the most lead lap finishes (11) and laps completed (3,514). Only five races have been won from the pole or first starting position, most recently by Harrison Burton with his win in 2020.

This will be the first time that Homestead-Miami Speedway serves as the fifth race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. During the Playoff Era (2016-2022), the track was home to the championship race from 2016 to 2019. Daniel Suárez (2016), William Byron (2017) and Tyler Reddick (2018, 2019) took the checkered flags in those seasons. In the 2020 and 2021 seasons, the 1.5-mile track was not featured in the postseason but was on the regular season schedule.

The Xfinity Series will kick off its weekend with practice on Friday, Oct. 21 at 6:05 p.m. ET followed by qualifying at 6:35 p.m. ET on the USA Network and streamed on the NBC Sports App.

One clinched. Three spots up for grabs

The championship race at Phoenix Raceway is now only two weeks away and drivers are starting to feel the heat as time in running short. JR Motorsports’ Josh Berry clinched his spot in the Championship 4 with his win last weekend in Las Vegas so now the remaining seven Playoff drivers will have to bring their A-game this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway in hopes of clinching their spot before the Round of 8 concludes at Martinsville Speedway on Oct. 29.

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the four-driver field of the next round: Josh Berry.

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 56 points above the third winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Noah Gragson or Ty Gibbs.

  • Noah Gragson: Could only clinch with help
  • Ty Gibbs: Could only clinch with help

If there is a new winner from Justin Allgaier or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the second winless driver in the standings.

  • Noah Gragson: Could only clinch with help

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Austin Hill, AJ Allmendinger, Brandon Jones, Sam Mayer.

Go big or go home: Shake up in the standings

JR Motorsports’ Josh Berry hit the jackpot at Las Vegas with his win but not everyone left ‘Sin City’ feeling so lucky. One driver in particular took a hit in the standings – AJ Allmendinger.

Prior to last weekend’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Allmendinger entered the first race in the Round of 8 as the No. 2 seed in the Playoffs. Now, after a 22nd-place finish, he heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway as the No. 6 seed.

Currently, the four drivers above the cutline are Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs and Justin Allgaier. Just below the cutoff as the No. 5 seed is Austin Hill (-15) followed by Allmendinger (-16). Taking up the final two spots in the Round of 8 are drivers Brandon Jones (-27) and Sam Mayer (-36).

NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Rank Driver Points Race Wins Stage Wins Playoff Pts Starts +/- Cutoff
1 Josh Berry 3,069 3 6 22 30 In On Wins
2 Noah Gragson 3,109 7 14 56 30 44
3 Ty Gibbs 3,090 5 7 38 30 25
4 Justin Allgaier 3,080 3 8 33 30 15
5 Austin Hill 3,065 2 3 18 30 -15
6 AJ Allmendinger 3,064 5 4 44 30 -16
7 Brandon Jones 3,053 1 2 11 30 -27
8 Sam Mayer 3,044 0 2 5 30 -36

Scoping the Playoff field at Homestead-Miami

With only two opportunities to prove they have what it takes to compete for the title in Phoenix, the competition will be sure to tighten-up this weekend as the field takes the green flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the Contender Boats 300.

Any one of these drivers could make the trip to Victory Lane and clinch their spot in the Championship 4. Let’s take a look at how the Playoff field has done at the 1.5-mile South Florida track.

Josh Berry: The driver of the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet heads into this weekend’s race with two starts on the Miami track posting one top-10 finish (2021).

Noah Gragson: The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has four starts at Homestead-Miami, posting three top fives and three top 10s. He has led 208 laps in his four starts and has an average start of 12.0 and an average finish of 11.3.

Ty Gibbs: The driver of the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will be making his first Homestead-Miami Speedway Xfinity Series start this weekend.

Justin Allgaier: The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has 13 starts at the track, posting two top 10s. He has an average start of 15.0 and an average finish of 17.9. His best finish at the track was sixth in 2016.

Austin Hill: The driver of the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet will be posting his first Homestead-Miami Speedway Xfinity Series start this weekend as well.

AJ Allmendinger: The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet has posted three starts at the 1.5-mile track with one top-five and one top-10 finish. He has led 48 laps and has an average start of 30.3 with an average finish of 13.0.

Brandon Jones: The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has seven starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, posting two top fives and five top 10s. He has posted runner-up finishes in the last two races at the track and has an average start of 8.3 with an average finish of 8.1.

Sam Mayer: The driver of the No.1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will be making his first Homestead-Miami Speedway Xfinity Series start this weekend.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Josh Berry returning to JR Motorsports in 2023 – Last weekend’s Las Vegas winner Josh Berry will return to JR Motorsports as the driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet for the 2023 season.

In his 52 series starts with the team, Berry has posted five victories, 17 top fives and 32 top 10s and claimed a spot in the Xfinity Series Playoffs in his first year of eligibility.

He began with JRM in 2010 with the team’s legacy Late Model team, earning 94 victories. His victories with the Late Model team combined with his Xfinity Series wins have him sitting with 99 victories under JR Motorsports.

“We’ve been lucky to have Josh spend so much of his career with JR Motorsports. He has been successful at every level for us,” said team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. “He is performed well and won races in our cars, and now he’s contending for NASCAR championships. He established our Late Model team as a championship-caliber program and is now contributing to our Xfinity program. And I couldn’t be prouder to have him back at JRM in 2023.”

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