The NASCAR Xfinity Series came to play at Phoenix International Raceway this past weekend for race No. 4 of the 2020 season. All-time win-list leader Kyle Busch was back in the field and while everyone expected him to run away and dominate the field, he didn’t as his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Brandon Jones passed Busch for the lead with 20 laps to go. Jones built a sizable lead and played his cards right for the second Xfinity Series victory of his career. While Jones was the story of the day, there were some other drivers who had some great runs as well.
Here are this week’s Power Rankings following the LS Tractor 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
- Brandon Jones – Jones is making a leap from fifth to first this week in the rankings after scoring the victory. The Georgia native qualified eighth, finished 10th in Stage 1 and seventh in Stage 2. He didn’t lead a lot of laps but was up there at the end when it counted. By scoring the victory, Jones can now worry about focusing on the Playoffs and trying some different things as the season goes on. It won’t be surprising if the Joe Gibbs Racing driver is able to score more wins before the Playoffs begin.
Previous Week Ranking – Fifth
- Harrison Burton – Burton continues his solid 2020 season by having another top-five finish. The North Carolina driver finished second to teammate Jones after passing Kyle Busch for the second position late in the going. Burton wasn’t much of a factor all day, but had a car capable of winning the race should a late-race caution had come out. He placed ninth in Stage 1 and eighth in Stage 2 before earning his fourth consecutive top-five finish. So far, Burton has not finished outside the top five throughout the first four races giving him an average finish of 2.5.
Previous Week Ranking – First
- Chase Briscoe – Chase Briscoe and the No. 98 team of Stewart-Haas Racing team quietly earned a top-10 finish after a battle with Kyle Busch earlier in the day. In fact, Briscoe’s mid-race run was averaging a second-place position and he spent 92% of the day in the top-15. The Indiana native finished third in both stages, respectively, before ultimately finishing sixth. Despite the results not showing the good run, Phoenix was more than likely a disappointment for Briscoe and the No. 98 crew who ran in the top five for most of the day.
Previous Week Ranking – Third
- Noah Gragson – Coming back into the Power Rankings this week is the No. 9 JR Motorsports driver of Noah Gragson. After being called into the NASCAR hauler for his recent incidents over the last couple of weeks (see Myatt Snider, Las Vegas), Gragson was able to put that behind him by earning a seventh-place finish after leading 27 laps and winning the second stage. Gragson started the day in the seventh position and consistently remained in the top-10, as he only ran as low as 11th. The JR Motorsports driver made some noise by leading laps 90-116. At the end of the day, however, it’s what could have been as Gragson earned his third top-10 finish of the 2020 season.
Previous Week Ranking – Not Ranked
- Austin Cindric – A disappointing Phoenix outing for Austin Cindric and the No. 22 Team Penske crew, who finished eighth after qualifying second. Cindric led nine laps early on after a short-lived battle with Kyle Busch. Unfortunately, those laps would be the only laps that Cindric led of the day as he would wind up with an eighth-place finish with what could have been a race-winning car. Cindric placed fifth in Stage 1 and ninth in Stage 2.
Previous Week Ranking – Second
- Ryan Sieg – Sieg, the Atlanta, Georgia native had somewhat a disappointing 11th place run this past weekend at Phoenix after having a string of top-five and top-10 finishes early this season. He was able to place sixth in the second stage, but that was about it. Sieg and the RSS Racing team will hope to turn it around next week at their hometown race track Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Previous Week Ranking – Fourth