Thursday, Oct 21

What to watch for: Doubleheader weekend at Richmond Raceway

Race two of the Cup Playoffs: After a win in Darlington Raceway last weekend by Denny Hamlin that had gone 0 and 26 in the regular season, Hamlin has locked himself into the second round of the playoffs. Coming now to his hometown track Hamlin looks to continue that success and pile on much needed points. Hamlin has won three times at Richmond with the latest coming back in 2019.

However Kyle Busch that wrecked early in the Southern 500 needs to make up ground on with Richmond being a good place for him to start. Busch has won six times with the latest coming back in 2018 when he won both races that season.

Kevin Harvick who came into the playoffs dead last in the point put on a showing last week that moved him up into seventh in points with Alex Bowman, Ky. Busch William Byron and Michael McDowell all under the cut line coming into Richmond. All four also exited the Southern 500 early last week putting them well behind.

Clinch Scenarios (Provided by NASCAR Stats)

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 11th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott or Aric Almirola.

Kyle Larson: Would clinch with 18 points if Denny Hamlin or Martin Truex Jr. wins, 19 points if Kurt Busch wins, 20 points if Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano or Kevin Harvick wins, 21 points if Brad Keselowski wins, 22 points if Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott or Aric Almirola wins

Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola: Could only clinch with help.

If there is a new winner from Tyler Reddick 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 10th winless driver in the standings.

Kyle Larson: Would clinch with 22 points.

Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola: Could only clinch with help.  

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Kyle Larson, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch, Ryan Blaney, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Christopher Bell, Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola, Tyler Reddick, Alex Bowman, Kyle Busch, William Byron, Michael McDowell

 Kyle Larson: With his regular season championship behind him and playing demolition derby in the finals laps of Darlington last week trying to pass Hamlin for the win Larson comes to Richmond still leading the points by 34 points and needing just 22 points to move onto the second round of the playoffs.

All eyes will be on Larson as his redemption tour this year has him square in the eyes of the favorite to win the championship. Larson has won at Richmond back in 2017 while racking up two top fives and five top 10s in 13 starts at Richmond.

 

 

 

Xfinity Series:

 

Playoffs loom: With just two races left until the Xfinity Series moves into their playoffs the team and drivers must first roll through two short tracks back-to-back with Richmond this weekend and Bristol next weekend.

Gragson: Coming of a resigning at JR Motorsports last week Gragson rolled into Darlington with momentum to win in the VFW 200 to lock himself into the playoffs. Prior to the race in Darlington Gragson was ninth in the standings and just above the cut line.

Brandon Jones: Last weekend and this season has been a struggle for Jones and the No. 19 team who exited last weekend event early to finish 33rd. This not the only issue Jones has experienced in the last several weeks.

Back at Daytona Jones bought his No. 19 machine with an overheating issue only to be sent back out and the engine expiring after it had picked up debris on the grille back on lap one causing the eventual terminal issue that put him out of the race.

Dale Jr. Returns: It’s a once-a-year affair for Dale Jr. who has returned to tracks like Darlington and Homestead in the past to run a Xfinity event. Jr. comes into the event with 24 wins in the series and the most recent coming back in 2016 at Richmond one of four he’s won over his career at the track giving him an average finish of 6.4

Jr. like other drivers will wheel the No. 8 machine with a special scheme to all those lost 20 years ago on 9/11/2001. The scheme will represent the twin towers, Pentagon and the Flight 93 memorial.

Clinch Scenarios Per NASCAR Stats:

With just two races remaining in the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season, three Playoff positions are still up for grabs, as nine drivers have secured their spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series postseason heading into this weekend’s race at Richmond Raceway.

Already Clinched

The following nine drivers have clinched a spot in the 12-driver postseason field: AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Noah Gragson, Jeb Burton, Myatt Snider.

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the Playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the fifth winless driver in the standings.  The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Daniel Hemric, Harrison Burton, Jeremy Clements or Brandon Jones.

  • Jeremy Clements: Could only clinch with help
  • Brandon Jones: Could only clinch with help

If there is a new winner from Riley Herbst or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the playoffs, the following drivers could clinch by being 56 points above the 4th winless driver in the standings. Jeremy Clements: Could only clinch with help.

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Jeremy Clements, Brandon Jones, Riley Herbst, Ryan Sieg, Brandon Brown.

The following drivers could clinch with a win and with help: Tommy Joe Martins, Josh Williams, Landon Cassill and Alex Labbe.  

Can Clinch Regular Season Championship

Additionally, the Regular Season Championship could be clinched by the following drivers:

AJ Allmendinger: Could only clinch with help

 

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