With the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series entering its second half of the regular season, the battle for the seven vacant spots towards the Playoffs continues to intensify.
Following the inaugural Pennzoil 150 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Grand Prix Circuit, Chase Briscoe holds the most victories of this season with five. He also continues to lead the regular-season series standings by 21 points over Noah Gragson. Through 13 races, Briscoe and Gragson along with Justin Haley, rookie Harrison Burton and Brandon Jones are guaranteed spots in the Playoffs with a victory.
A sixth-place result at Indianapolis leaves Ross Chastain in third in the regular-season standings, 55 points behind Briscoe, with Austin Cindric in fourth in the standings, 61 points out of the points lead, following a strong performance at Indy, where he led 21 laps, won the first stage and settled in fifth after rallying from a Lap 29 penalty for jumping the restart and following a late battle between Briscoe and A.J. Allmendinger for the win. Like Chastain and Cindric, Justin Allgaier had a strong performance at Indianapolis, where he led two laps at the beginning of the race and rallied from a late pit road penalty to finish in seventh. Allgaier’s sixth top-10 result moved him from seventh to sixth in the standings as he trails Briscoe by 122 points.
Chastain, Cindric and Allgaier occupy three of the seven vacant spots to the Playoffs. Behind, Michael Annett, Ryan Sieg, rookie Riley Herbst and Brandon Brown occupy the final four vacant spots. After finishing 33rd at Indianapolis, Herbst sits 19 points inside the top-12 cutline to the Playoffs. By finishing 11th at Indianapolis and gaining valuable stage points with a sixth-place finish in the second stage, Brown moved from 13th to 12th in the regular-season standings and holds sole possession of the final spot to the Playoffs by six points over rookie Myatt Snider, who finished fifth in the second stage before finishing 16th when the checkered flag flew.
With his eighth-place finish at Indianapolis and his third top-10 finish of this season, Quebec’s Alex Labbe trails the top-12 cutline by 32 points. Jeremy Clements trails the cutline by 49 points after finishing 13th at Indianapolis while gaining two valuable stage points in the first stage, and Josh Williams and rookie Jesse Little trail by 57 points after finishing 22nd and 18th at Indy.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will return for a doubleheader feature at Kentucky Speedway on July 9-10, where each race will air at 8 p.m. on FS1.