Final Four Clinch Scenarios for JRM Show Work to Do at Phoenix

Ron Lemasters | JR Motorsports | 11/9/2017

Brandt Cessna Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Liberty University News Phoenix Playoffs William Byron XFINITY Series

A look at the clinch scenarios for JR Motorsports heading into this weekend's elimination race at Phoenix Raceway.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 9, 2017) – JR Motorsports has held the top three spots in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings for the vast majority of the 2017 season. With this week’s race at Phoenix Raceway all that is standing in the way of a three-car entry into the winner-take-all finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, there is still work to do to get there.

According to statistics released by NASCAR, the race winner could be the most important aspect to JRM getting three of its four teams to Homestead with a chance to take the organization’s second NXS title. Of course, if any of the three JRM drivers wins at Phoenix—Justin Allgaier won there in the spring—he would lock himself and his team into the final four.

Here’s the rundown:

Elliott Sadler and No. 1 Team: First in Championship Points

Point leader Elliott Sadler would lock himself into the final four by scoring 32 points if a driver in the playoffs wins the race. If a non-playoff driver wins, he would do so with 27 points.

Sadler has a victory in 2012 among five top-five and nine top-10 finishes in his 17 starts on the desert oval. His average finish there of 11.7 is solid, and he’s finished 99.1 percent of the laps run in those starts. He has had some issues late in the season, however, and those likely cost him shots at three different titles in 2011 and 2012 (lost to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. by miniscule numbers each time) and in 2013 (lost out to Austin Dillon in the run for the championship, despite the latter not having won a race that season).

William Byron and No. 9 Team: Second in Championship Points (-5)

William Byron, currently second in the points, needs 37 points if a playoff driver wins and 32 if a non-playoff driver wins.

Byron, 19, has made just one start at Phoenix in his NXS career, earning the pole and finishing fourth earlier this year. In the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, he has made two starts, including his first career NCWTS effort in 2015. In that race, he started a brilliant fifth but crashed just seven laps into the race and finished 31st. The following year, in the midst of dominating the season, he was eight laps from punching his ticket to the championship race at Homestead when his engine blew. Byron was well ahead of the pack when the failure occurred, and his failure to finish cost him a chance to earn a championship he all but had in the bag. He finished 27th that day.

Justin Allgaier and No. 7 Team: Third in Championship Points (-9)

Allgaier, third in points with a victory at Phoenix in his quiver, has the most work to do among the JRM teams, needing 41 points if a playoff driver wins and 36 if a non-playoff participant takes the checkered flag.

Allgaier is on a tear at Phoenix, winning the spring race there this season. He led 85 laps in that victory, and his last five finishes on the mile are first, fourth, fourth, second and third for an average of 2.8 per finish. He’s averaged 8.1 in 14 starts there and completed all but one of the 2,808 laps run there in those starts. The victory in the spring, under BRANDT Professional Agriculture colors, was his first for JRM, too.

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • February 17 03:00 PM ET
    POWERSHARES QQQ 300Daytona International Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Ford EcoBoost 300

Homestead-Miami Speedway | 11/18/2017
RankDriverPointsBehind
1William Byron # (P)40340
2Elliott Sadler (P)4029-5
3Justin Allgaier (P)4025-9
4Daniel Hemric # (P)4003-31
5Cole Custer #2288-1746
6Brennan Poole2223-1811
7Matt Tifft #2211-1823
8Ryan Reed2161-1873
9Michael Annett2155-1879