Following a pair of eventful NASCAR Xfinity Series races at Dover International Speedway, another name has been added to this year’s Playoff grid with five regular-season races remaining until the 12-car Playoff field is established.
In a season that has had its share of the ups and the downs, veteran Justin Allgaier turned his season into good fortunes and at the right timing after he won the first Xfinity Dover event of a doubleheader weekend on Saturday, August 22, and for his first win since November 2019 at Phoenix Raceway. With the victory, Allgaier remains as the only Xfinity Series competitor to make every Xfinity Playoffs since its inception in 2016.
While Allgaier won on Saturday, Chase Briscoe rallied from a wreck a day earlier to win for the sixth time this season following a late battle with Ross Chastain and Austin Cindric. The victory reignited Briscoe’s season-long momentum as he continues his pursuit for his first Xfinity Series championship and while his plans for next season remain undetermined.
Through the first 21 races of this year’s Xfinity Series season, Allgaier and Briscoe are among seven competitors to be guaranteed spots in the Playoffs based on wining throughout the regular season. The list also includes regular-season points leader Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, rookie Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones and Justin Haley.
The first competitor who continues to emerge as the highest Xfinity competitor in points with no victories thus far is Ross Chastain. Though he came close on both occasions this weekend at Dover, finishing third on Saturday and second on Sunday, the Floridian has nine top-five results and 18 top-10 results under his belt, the most among the field despite having no victories yet this season. With five regular-season races remaining, Chastain and his No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet team are 388 points above the top-12 cutline and in prime position of making the Playoffs.
Trailing behind him in points is veteran Michael Annett and his No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet team. Following strong results in both Dover races, where he finished ninth on Saturday and eighth on Sunday, the Iowa native has 12 top-10 results under his belt this season and is 204 points above the cutline while he attempts to make his third Xfinity Playoffs as a title contender.
The next two competitors in points are rookie Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg. Like Annett, Herbst recorded a pair of top-10 results at the Monster Mile to tally his top-10 results this season to 12. He is currently 116 points above the cutline and looking to join teammate Burton in the battle for the series title and the Rookie-of-the-Year title. Sieg, on the other hand, left Dover with a pair of top-15 results and despite starting towards the front on Sunday. With a total of 12 top-15 results through the Dover doubleheader, Sieg is 88 points above the cutline and is five races away in making his third career appearance in the Xfinity Playoffs as a title contender.
Finally, Brandon Brown continues to hold sole possession of the 12th and final spot to the Playoffs following a 14th-place run on Saturday and a 16th-place run on Sunday. While he started on the front row on Sunday, he struggled in keeping pace with the leaders and gaining more valuable stage points. Nonetheless, the Woodbridge, Virginia, native is ahead of the cutline by 31 points.
The first two competitors who continue to trail the cutline are journeyman Jeremy Clements and rookie Myatt Snider. After finishing in the top 15 on Saturday and the top 20 on Sunday, Clements is 31 points behind the cutline. Snider, on the other hand, recorded a pair of top-20 results at the Monster Mile as he trails by 58 points.
Among other competitors who continue to trail the cutline by 96 or more points include Josh Williams, rookie Jesse Little, B.J. McLeod, rookie Joe Graf Jr. and Tommy Joe Martins.
The battle for the final spots to the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs continues next weekend on August 28 at Daytona International Speedway, which will air at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN.