NASCAR National Series News & Notes – ISM Raceway

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series
Next Race: Bluegreen Vacations 500
The Place: ISM Raceway
The Date: Sunday, November 10
The Time: 2:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBC, 2 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 312 miles (312 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 75),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 150), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 312)
2018 Race Winner: Kyle Busch

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200
The Place: ISM Raceway
The Date: Saturday, November 9
The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBC, 3 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)
2018 Race Winner: Christopher Bell

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Next Race: Lucas Oil 150
The Place: ISM Raceway
The Date: Friday, November 8
The Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 8 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 150 miles (150 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 150)
2018 Winner: Brett Moffitt

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series

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Valley of the Sun could shine on Kyle Busch’s Playoff hopes

Kyle Busch must feel buoyed by his record at the ISM Raceway in Phoenix, where he is the only driver to win in the two races since the facility completed a major renovation and re-configuration last year.

A victory in Sunday’s Bluegreen Vacations 500 (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) would be a huge boost to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular season champion – securing his position in the Championship 4 to compete for a season title and giving him all kinds of momentum to do so.

Busch has three career victories at Phoenix and is the only one of the current eight championship-eligible drivers with multiple wins at all three of the tracks – Martinsville, Va., Texas and Phoenix – that comprised this championship set-up Playoff round.

Only nine-time Phoenix winner Kevin Harvick has more top-10 finishes (22) at ISM Raceway than Busch (20) among the eight drivers still contending for a championship berth. And with both wins on the new-look facility, there’s plenty of reason for Busch to feel optimistic about his chances Sunday. He has hoisted four trophies this season but doing so Sunday would be the first time since a June 2 victory at Pocono.

Martin Truex Jr. and Harvick have secured two of the four positions for next weekend’s title chase. The 2015 series champion Busch is ranked third in the standings with a two-point advantage on defending series champion Joey Logano. He holds a 22-point edge on Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin in fifth place and a 25-point edge over Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson. Chase Elliott is 80 points behind Busch and 78 points out of fourth – mathematically, he can only get into the Championship 4 with a win at ISM Raceway.

Should a non-Playoff driver win on Sunday then both the third and fourth place positions in the points standings would earn a position in the Championship 4.

“We all know one guy is going to move through on points and we have to do whatever we have to do in order to be that guy,’’ said Busch, who drives the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

“If we can obviously go to Phoenix and have a strong run and be able to go out there and win that will put us through, as well. We’re two points up on the 22 (Logano), so it’s going to be a race between the 18 and 22. Imagine that. We’ll look forward to the challenge and hope we have a strong run in order to make it through to Homestead.’’

Go time for Logano

Joey Logano nearly won the regular season championship, racing hard and keeping Kyle Busch honest for the first 26 races of the year. Busch ended up with the regular season title but Logano is still vying to become the first back-to-back champion since Jimmie Johnson won five consecutive Monster Energy Series titles from 2006-2010.

Logano is in fourth place in the standings heading to Phoenix’s ISM Raceway – two points behind third-place Busch and with a 20-point edge on fifth-place Denny Hamlin.

The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford will need an improved outing this fall at the newly reconfigured Phoenix one-miler. Last year Logano finished 37th at Phoenix – but held a position in the Championship 4 because of a win at Martinsville earlier in the round.

Logano bounced back with a 10th-place run at Phoenix this March but it’s his only top 10 in the last five races at the track. His previous top 10 was his only victory there in 2016. Since then he’s had a pair of DNFs. In 21 starts, Logano has four top-five and 10 top-10 finishes at Phoenix.

“It’s going to be a good battle for sure,’’ Logano said. “We are racing for that last spot just in case someone behind us outside of the Top-4 wins. It will be a good time.

“Obviously, the No. 18 team is good and Kyle (Busch) is a good driver, but I think we are a great team and they are beatable just like everybody else.’’

“Happy Harvick” not content

Kevin Harvick secured his position in the Championship 4 for the fifth time in the six-year history of the format with a win at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday – his third consecutive Playoff victory on the Texas circuit.

And with the pressure off to qualify for championship eligibility, Harvick heads to his best track – ISM Raceway in Phoenix. The 2014 Monster Energy Series champ has a series-best nine victories there. His 16 top-five finishes are most all time as are his 1,595 laps led.

Between November 2012, and March 2016, Harvick won six races, including a record four consecutively from November 2013-March 2015. He is on a streak of 12 consecutive top-10 finishes – 10 of them top fives. In just six races between 2013-2016 he led 1,064 laps – 66.7 percent of his career total. Three times he’s led more than 200 laps en route to route a victory (2014 sweep, 2015 spring race).

A win this weekend at ISM Raceway would be Harvick’s 50th career Monster Energy Series win – breaking a tie he holds with his team owner, three-time Cup champion Tony Stewart, who will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2020.

“I’m surprised [by the Texas win] but I’m not because of the character of the team,’’ Harvick said. “I love the way it’s evolved and the battle we’ve had to get there and really tried to achieve something that wasn’t really achievable when we first started the season this year. We’ve grounded out all year.’’

Harvick, who now has four wins this season, acknowledged the gap before his first win of the year, which didn’t come until the 20th race of the season (at New Hampshire). He’s won three more times in the 14 races since. Last year he won three of the first four races and had five wins by the season’s midpoint. This year’s first win took the longest for him since 2012 when he didn’t win until the next to last race of the year – at Phoenix.

“It’s been a strange year, and here you are lingering around and end up in Victory Lane with two races to go and now you go race for a championship,’’ Harvick said.

Fighting to get in

Denny Hamlin is the only previous Phoenix winner among the four drivers who sit on the outside of the Championship 4 and must and earn a position in the Nov. 17 championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His win came back in the spring of 2012.

Ranked fifth heading into Sunday’s race, Hamlin is averaging a 13.6 finish in the five Cup Playoff races at ISM Raceway since 2014. His best fall finish is runner-up in 2012. He led a race-best 193 laps in the 2017 Playoff race only to fall out of the race – while leading – after contact from Chase Elliott.

Hamlin’s 678 career laps led at Phoenix is more than the combined career totals of Joey Logano (296), Kyle Larson (69), Ryan Blaney (108) and Elliott (156).

Larson’s best Playoff showing is third place in 2016 and 2018. He has an average finish of 16.0 in the last five Playoff events at the track. Ryan Blaney, who is tied with Larson, 23 points behind fourth-place Logano, is averaging a 19.7 finish in the three Playoff races he’s competed in at Phoenix – the lowest average Playoff finish among the four drivers needing to race their way into the Championship 4.

Eighth-place driver Elliott, who is 78 points behind fourth-place Logano, has an average finish of 11.3 in the three Playoff races he’s competed in. His best showing in seven career starts at ISM Raceway is runner-up in the 2017 Playoff race.

Kevin Harvick is the only driver in the “Playoff era” who went into the ISM Raceway race not already ranked among the top four in the standings and earned a position contending for the championship in the finale. He was ranked eighth going into the Phoenix race in 2014, earning a Championship 4 berth with his win and going on to earn his first Cup championship the following week with a victory at Homestead.

Clinch scenarios

Any of the six drivers would advance with a victory (Truex Jr. and Harvick have already clinched). And the highest standing driver in the points standings earns the fourth and final Playoff position. If a driver other than the eight Championship-eligible wins, then the top two positions in points would advance. Should there be a tie in points, the advantage goes to the driver who scored the highest finish in this three-race round (at Martinsville, Texas and Phoenix).

Kyle Busch (4,113 points) – Would clinch with 53 points earned and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner (or a win by Joey Logano) he would clinch a position having earned 34 points.

Joey Logano (4,111 points) – Would clinch with 55 points earned and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner or a Kyle Busch victory, he would need to earn only 36 points.

Denny Hamlin (4,091 points) – Would clinch with a win. Could clinch on points, with help.

Ryan Blaney (4,088 points) – Would clinch with a win. Could clinch on points, with help.

Kyle Larson (4,088 points) – Would clinch with a win. Could clinch on points, with help.

Chase Elliott (4,033 points) – Must win to earn a Championship 4 position.

New territory

Four of the eight championship drivers have never won a Monster Energy Series race at Phoenix. And, technically, only Kyle Busch has won on the newly remodeled ISM Raceway – earning trophies in the first two races on the new configuration.

Current points leader Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott are still looking to celebrate in the desert. Among these four, 2017 series champion Truex is the only one who has previously advanced to the Homestead-Miami Speedway championship finale.

Truex scored his best-ever Phoenix finish just this March – finishing runner-up to Busch. He has three top-five finishes in the last four races at the one-mile track and was 14th in the 2018 Playoff race there.

Blaney won the pole position and finished third this March – just behind Busch and Truex – leading a personal best 94 laps. The driver of the No. 12 Team Penske Ford has two pole positions and three top-10 finishes in seven Phoenix starts. His worst outing (34th) came in last year’s Playoff race.

Larson and Elliott have both scored runner-up finishes. Larson finished second in 2017 spring race. He has three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 11 starts in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, including third place showings in both the 2016 and 2018 Playoff races at Phoenix.

Elliott, who sits eighth – 78 points behind Joey Logano in fourth place – must win at Phoenix to advance to his first career Championship 4. The driver of the No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet has four top-10 finishes in seven Phoenix starts, earning his runner-up showing in the 2017 Playoff race there. He started on the outside pole this March but finished 14th.

Competition highlights

Kevin Harvick’s win from the Busch Pole position last week at Texas Motor Speedway marked several competitive milestones. The pole gave Harvick a series-best six on the year. It was the second time this season (also at Indianapolis) that he’s won from pole. And the driver of the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford is the first driver to win the same Playoff race for three consecutive years.

Hendrick Motorsports still maintains the overall edge in pole positions on the season with 10 – one more than Stewart-Haas Racing.

There have been 13 different race winners with the Joe Gibbs Racing organization owning a series best 17 wins in the opening 34 races. JGR’s Martin Truex Jr. leads all drivers with seven victories, his teammates Denny Hamlin (five) and Kyle Busch (four) are among four drivers with at least four wins. Harvick (four) is the other.

The average margin of victory through the opening 34 races this season is 1.549 seconds. In 18 of the 34 races (52.9 percent), the margin of victory was less than one second.

The average number of race leaders on the season is 9.18 – the most since 2014 (10.00) and the average number of lead changes (17.79) is the most since 2015 (18.03).

There have been 1,086 green flag passes for the lead – up 51 percent from last season. The number has increased in 23 of the 34 races including at all seven of the 1.5-mile tracks. Last week’s Texas race doubled that statistic from 2018 – with 57 green flag passes for the lead. Green flag passes across the board, are up 28 percent over 2018.

The Playoffs have seen a 33.4 percent increase in green flag passing as well.

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media rotations

Six drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series –Front Row Motorsports’ John Hunter Nemechek, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch, Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson, Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney, and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. will be participating in this week’s media rotations at ISM Raceway in advance of Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ Bluegreen Vacations 500 (2:30 p.m., ET on NBC, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

John Hunter Nemechek, 22, of Mooresville, N.C., is coming off his first career Monster Energy Series start – finishing 21st after starting 29th at Texas Motor Speedway in the No. 36 Front Row Motorsports Ford – filling in for Matt Tifft who is on medical leave. Nemechek has had good success in Phoenix, earning a pair of runner-up finishes in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2015 and 2017 and a pair of ninth place finishes in the Xfinity Series in 2018 and 2019. Nemechek and his father, Cup veteran Joe Nemechek are entered in all three national series races at Phoenix’s ISM Raceway this weekend. Last weekend at Texas, the duo became the first father-son pairing in a Cup race since the late Bobby Hamilton raced his son, Bobby Hamilton Jr., at Atlanta in 2005.

Kyle Busch, 34, of Las Vegas, is the defending ISM Raceway Playoff winner and won again there this March. He has three Cup wins all-time at the track and 11 Xfinity Series wins there – an all-time high mark. The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota enters the race ranked third in the points standings – two points up on reigning Monster Energy Series champion Joey Logano. His seventh-place effort at Texas last weekend included 18 laps led. Busch has four wins on the season, but the last came June 2 at Pocono, Pa. This week’s one-miler has been a bright spot on his resume, however, with 20 top-10 finishes in 28 career starts. He’s finished seventh or better in the last eight races – six of those top-five efforts. In the last three races he’s earned a pair of wins and a runner-up finish (Spring, 2018).

Kyle Larson, 27, of Elk Grove, Calif., arrives at ISM Raceway still fighting for a Championship 4 berth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series finale next week. He is ranked seventh – 23 points behind fourth-place Joey Logano. Larson is coming off a 12th-place run at Texas and has four top-10 finishes in the eight Playoff races to date including a victory at Dover last month. The driver of the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet was sixth at Phoenix this March and third in the 2018 Phoenix Playoff race on the facility’s reconfigured track debut. His best finish at the one-mile track is runner-up in the 2017 spring race. He has three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 11 starts there and an average finish of 13.5.

Ryan Blaney, 25, of High Point, N.C., finished eighth last weekend in Texas – his third top-10 result in the last four races, including a Playoff victory at Talladega. Blaney has three top-10 finishes in seven ISM Raceway starts and posted his best effort result this March, starting on the pole position, leading 94 laps and finishing third in the No. 12 Team Penske Ford. He suffered his only DNF at the track in the 2018 Playoff race, finishing 34th with a radiator problem. He is sixth in the standings – 23 points behind Joey Logano in the fourth and final Championship transfer position.

Denny Hamlin, 38, of Chesterfield, Va., looked like a sure-bet to qualify for the Championship 4 during the opening Playoff races, but a tough-luck 28th-place finish at Texas on Sunday dropped him to fifth place in the standings, 20 points behind Joey Logano. Hamlin had four consecutive top-five finishes before Sunday’s Texas race and has five top-five finishes in six of the eight Playoff races, including a win at Kansas Speedway three weeks ago. The driver of the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was fifth at ISM Raceway in March and 13th in his 2018 Playoff run on the newly-reconfigured track. He scored his only Phoenix win in 2012 but has six top-10 finishes in the last eight races. He’s finished eighth or better in three of the last five Playoff races there.

Martin Truex Jr., 39, of Mayetta, N.J., is the year’s winningest driver with seven trophies – including three wins (at Las Vegas, Richmond, and Martinsville) in the first eight Playoff races. He was the first driver to secure a Championship 4 berth with his Martinsville victory two weeks ago. He is still looking for a first career win at ISM Raceway. The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has three top-five finishes in the last four Phoenix races, including a career best result of runner-up this March. He was 14th in the track’s reconfiguration-debut last November and has four top-five and 10 top-10 finishes in 27 career starts at the track.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Locked In: Christopher Bell is the first to secure his Championship 4 spot

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell became the first of the eight NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff drivers to secure his spot in the Championship 4 with his victory at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend. It was his eighth victory on the season and 16th of his Xfinity Series career. This is the second consecutive season Bell has made the Championship 4; he ultimately finished fourth in the final standings last season.

The Playoff standings leader heads to ISM Raceway to pad his stats. The Oklahoma native has made four series starts at the one-mile track posting one pole, one win (Playoff race, 2018), three top fives and an average finish of 9.8. He dominated this race last season, leading 94 of 200 laps and winning his way into the final round at Miami.

Cole Custer is looking for his second chance at title

He just barely missed it in his rookie season in 2017, but Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer made the Championship 4 Round last season by winning at Texas and ultimately finishing runner-up in the final standings. Now the California wheelman heads to ISM Raceway second in the Playoff standings, 52 points up on the cutline and a chance at making the Championship 4 for the second consecutive season.

Out in the desert, Custer has made five series starts at ISM Raceway, posting one top five and four top 10s. His average finish is 9.6 and he finished eighth in this race last season.

Defending champion Tyler Reddick is close to an opportunity to repeat

Tyler Reddick became just the third Sunoco rookie in NASCAR Xfinity Series history to win the title last season, joining Chase Elliott (2014) and William Byron (2017). Now the rising star from California is close to the opportunity to become the seventh driver in series history to win back-to-back championships joining Sam Ard (1983-84), Larry Pearson (1986-87), Randy Lajoie (1996-97), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998-99), Martin Truex Jr. (2004-05) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (2011-12). All he needs to do is secure his spot in the Championship 4 this weekend at ISM Raceway.

Currently third in the Playoff standings, Reddick is 36 points ahead of fifth-place Chase Briscoe – in the first spot outside the Championship 4. The RCR driver has made four series starts at Phoenix posting one top five, three top 10s and an average finish of 8.2.

Justin Allgaier looks to make Championship 4 Round for first time since 2017

After the heartbreak Justin Allgaier suffered last season, from winning a career-best five races and taking the regular season championship to ultimately falling short of making the Championship 4 in the Playoffs, the Illinois native and JR Motorsports driver returns to the “Valley of the Sun” for redemption.

Allgaier is currently fourth in the Playoff standings – the final transfer spot to the Championship 4 – 18 points ahead of fifth place Chase Briscoe.

“There is a lot on the line this weekend at Phoenix,” said Allgaier. “Right now, we’re in a good position sitting fourth in points, but I know there are a lot of guys behind us that are battling for that same spot. Hopefully at the end of it all, we’ll be one of the four heading to Homestead battling for the championship.”

Allgaier has made 18 series starts (most among Playoff drivers) at ISM Raceway, posting one pole, one win (Spring 2017), six top fives, 11 top 10s and an average finish of 9.1. In last season’s Playoff race he led 69 laps and won the first two stages but finished the race 24th one lap down. He finished 14th at ISM Raceway earlier this season.

Briscoe, Gragson on verge of joining elite list of rookies to make the Championship 4

Since the inception of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs in 2016, just five Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders have made it to the Championship 4 Round and this weekend at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi’s Chase Briscoe and JR Motorsport’s Noah Gragson have an opportunity to add their names to the elite list of rookies to accomplish the feat.

Sunoco Rookies that made the Championship 4 and their finish in the final standings:

2016 – Erik Jones (fourth)

2017 – William Byron (champion), Daniel Hemric (fourth)

2018 – Tyler Reddick (champion), Christopher Bell (fourth)

Briscoe is fifth in the Playoff standings heading to ISM Raceway, 18 points behind Justin Allgaier in the final Championship 4 transfer spot. Briscoe made his series track debut at Phoenix earlier this season; he started 12th and raced his way up to a sixth-place finish.

Gragson is currently eighth in the Playoff standings, 47 points back from the Championship 4 cutoff. Much like Briscoe, Gragson made his series track debut at ISM Raceway earlier this season; he started sixth and finished 11th.

Veteran Michael Annett rides career-best season to chance at Championship 4

The whole season to this point comes down to this weekend at ISM Raceway and veteran Michael Annett is riding his best season statistically to a chance at the Championship 4. Annett resides in sixth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, 28 points behind his JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier in the final transfer spot.

“We know what we have to do to make it to Homestead for the Championship 4,” said Michael Annett. “Travis (Mack, crew chief) has done a fantastic job on strategy to get us to this point, and it is up to us to get to Miami with a chance to race for the championship. We’re going to give it everything we have.”

Annett has made 14 series starts at ISM Raceway posting five top 10s. His average finish is 15.2. He finished 16th in this Playoff race last season and eighth in the spring race earlier this year.

Breakout season for Team Penske’s Austin Cindric has him in title hunt

His first full season with Team Penske (after splitting last season’s Playoff campaign between Team Penske and Roush Fenway Racing) has been a breakout one for North Carolina’s Austin Cindric, who is currently seventh in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings, 31 points back from the cutoff and still in the hunt for a title.

Heading to Phoenix this weekend, Cindric is looking forward to the challenge of making the Championship 4. In three starts on the one-mile track he has put up two top fives and an average finish of 8.3. He finished fourth in this Playoff race last season and fifth in the spring race earlier this year.

ISM Raceway: Xfinity’s stage for the penultimate race of 2019

Located just outside Phoenix, Arizona, ISM Raceway is a uniquely-shaped one-mile track that will play host to this weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series penultimate Playoff race, the Desert Diamond West Valley Casino 200 (Saturday, Nov. 9, at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

ISM Raceway has been the sixth race in the seven-race NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff since its inception in 2016. Interestingly, the mile circuit has produced three different winners in the three previous Xfinity Playoff races.

In 2016, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Busch played spoiler, winning the first Xfinity Playoff race at the facility. He controlled the event from start to finish, leading 190 of the scheduled 200 laps. Five of the eight Playoff drivers finished inside the top-10 that evening – Justin Allgaier (fourth), eventual champion Daniel Suarez (fifth), Ryan Reed (sixth), Blake Koch (eighth), Erik Jones (10th).

In 2017, JR Motorsports rookie William Byron took the lead with just 17 laps to go and grabbed the checkered flag at ISM Raceway to secure his spot in the Championship 4. Byron would go on to win the series title that season. Four Xfinity Playoff drivers finished inside the top-10 – Byron (first), Daniel Hemric (fifth), Cole Custer (seventh) and Justin Allgaier (10th).

In 2018, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell won his seventh race of the season at ISM Raceway, securing his spot in Championship 4 as a rookie. He put on an impressive show en route to his victory leading 94 of the scheduled 200 laps. But Bell would go on to finish fourth in the series’ final standings in Miami.

Championship 4 clinch scenarios for ISM Raceway at Phoenix

Below are clinch scenarios at ISM Raceway for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff drivers still vying for a spot in the Championship 4 Round in Miami. As is well known, any driver can clinch with a win.

Cole Custer can clinch on points with 22 points and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner (or a win by Tyler Reddick or Justin Allgaier), he could clinch on points with four points.

Tyler Reddick can clinch on points with 38 points and a new winner. If there is a repeat winner (or a win by Cole Custer or Justin Allgaier), he could clinch on points with 20 points.

Justin Allgaier can clinch on points if there is a repeat winner (or a win by Cole Custer or Tyler Reddick) with 38 points. He could also clinch on points with a new winner and help.

Chase Briscoe, Michael Annett and Austin Cindric can all clinch a spot in the Championship 4 on points with help.

Noah Gragson could also clinch on points with a repeat winner and help.

Previous Playoff Round of 8 eliminations

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs are tough, and this weekend’s event will help to thin the herd of contenders for this season’s title. Each round of the Playoffs eliminates four drivers, below is a look at the past three seasons and the drivers that advanced to the Championship 4 Round in Homestead-Miami and the drivers listed in Red were eliminated:

2016 Championship 4

2017 Championship 4

2018 Championship 4

Homestead-Miami

Homestead-Miami

Homestead-Miami

Erik Jones

William Byron*

Christopher Bell

Elliott Sadler

Justin Allgaier

Tyler Reddick*

Daniel Suarez*

Daniel Hemric

Cole Custer

Justin Allgaier

Elliott Sadler

Daniel Hemric

Ryan Reed

Cole Custer

Elliott Sadler

Blake Koch

Matt Tifft

Matt Tifft

Bubba Wallace

Brennan Poole

Justin Allgaier

Brendan Gaughan

Ryan Reed

Austin Cindric

Note: * – Identifies the eventual champion of that season

Parade Laps: Insight to the drivers participating in this week’s media breakouts

Six Xfinity drivers – JR Motorsport’s Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell and Riley Herbst and Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi’s Chase Briscoe – will be participating in this weekend’s media breakout session at ISM Raceway this Friday, Nov. 8 at 11:45 a.m. (local time) in the Driver’s Meeting Room.

Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: June 6, 1986

Driver’s Age: 33

Hometown: Riverton, Illinois

Hobbies: R/C cars, wakeboarding, graphic design, dirt racing

Team: JR Motorsports

Crew Chief: Jason Burdett

Xfinity Career Highlights:

In 2018, he won the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season championship and made the Playoffs for the third consecutive season after posting a career-high five wins on the year.
In 2016 and 2017, made the Championship 4 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.
In 2011, 2016 and 2017, scored career-best third-place finish in NASCAR Xfinity Series standings.
Won first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race in 2010, at Bristol in March. Currently has 10 career Xfinity wins.
Won 2009 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.
2019 Season Highlights:

Currently fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity Playoff points standings in the final Championship 4 transfer spot 18 points ahead of fifth place Chase Briscoe.
In 31 starts this season he has posted 15 top fives, 23 top 10s and an average finish of 9.1.
ISM Raceway Performance:

Has the most experience at ISM Raceway among the Playoff drivers having made 18 series starts collecting one pole, one win (Spring 2017), six top fives and 11 top 10s.
His average finish 9.056.

Michael Annett (No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)

Birthdate: June 23, 1986

Driver’s Age: 32

Hometown: Des Moines, Iowa

Hobbies: Cycling, working out, boating

Team: JR Motorsports

Crew Chief: Travis Mack

Xfinity Career Highlights:

Won first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race in the 2019 season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, qualifying him for the Playoffs.
In 2017, he made the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs and finished the season ninth in the championship standings.
In 2012, finished a career-best fifth in the series championship driver standings.
2019 Season Highlights:

Currently sixth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings, 28 points behind his JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier in the fourth and final transfer spot.
Posted first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in the 2019 season-opener at Daytona.
In 31 starts this season he has posted one pole, one win, six top fives, 18 top 10s and an average finish of 10.0.
ISM Raceway Performance:

He has made 14 series starts at ISM Raceway posting five top 10s.
His average finish is 15.2.

Christopher Bell (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra)

Birthdate: December 16, 1994

Driver’s Age: 24

Hometown: Norman, Oklahoma

Hobbies: Dirt track racing, iRacing, golf

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

Crew Chief: Jason Ratcliff

Xfinity Career Highlights:

In 2018, he set the rookie single season Xfinity Series wins record with seven victories; the previous record of five wins was held by three drivers – Greg Biffle (2001), Kyle Busch (2004) and Carl Edwards (2005).
Made the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs in rookie season (2018), and advanced to the Championship 4; ultimately finishing fourth in the championship standings.
Has recorded 16 career NASCAR Xfinity Series wins in just 72 starts; including seven this season (Atlanta, Bristol, Dover, Iowa, New Hampshire, Road America, Richmond and Texas). The 16th win ties him with Jack Ingram and Sam Ard for the most wins by driver in the NXS in their first 72 starts.
2019 Season Highlights:

Currently the NASCAR Xfinity Playoff standings leader with a guaranteed spot in the Championship 4 following his victory last weekend at Texas.
In 31 starts this season he has posted five poles (ISM Raceway, Texas, Charlotte, Iowa-2, Kansas), eight wins (Atlanta, Bristol, Dover, Iowa, New Hampshire, Road America, Richmond and Texas), 19 top fives, 20 top 10s and an average finish of 9.0.
ISM Raceway Performance:

Has made four series starts at ISM Raceway posting one win (2018 Playoff race) and three top fives.
His average finish is 9.750.

Riley Herbst (No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra)

Birthdate: February 24, 1999

Driver’s Age: 20

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nevada

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

Crew Chief: Ben Beshore

Xfinity Career Highlights:

Has run a part-time NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule the past two seasons (2018-19) making nine total starts for Joe Gibbs Racing posting four top-10 finishes.
Made his series debut for Joe Gibbs Racing at Iowa Speedway in 2018; he started ninth and finished sixth – his career-best finish in the Xfinity Series.
2019 Season Highlights:

Has made eight series starts this season for Joe Gibbs Racing posting three top 10s.
His best finishes this season were ninth (twice) – Richmond-1 and Las Vegas-2.
ISM Raceway Performance:

He will be making his series track debut this weekend at ISM Raceway.

Chase Briscoe (No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi Ford Mustang)

Birthdate: December 15, 1994

Driver’s Age: 24

Hometown: Mitchell, Indiana

Hobbies: Spending time with family, online racing, watching sports

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi

Crew Chief: Richard Boswell II

Xfinity Career Highlights:

Made NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in 2018 at Atlanta.
Ran 17 Xfinity races last season for Roush Fenway Racing (12) and Stewart-Haas Racing with Fred Biagi (five) and won the inaugural race at the Charlotte ROVAL.
Has made the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs in his rookie season.
2019 Season Highlights:

Currently ranked fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings, 18 points behind Justin Allgaier in the final Championship 4 transfer position.
In 31 starts this season he has posted two poles (Charlotte ROVAL and Dover-2), one win (Iowa-2), 12 top fives, 22 top 10s and an average finish of 8.4.
ISM Raceway Performance:

Made his series track debut at ISM Raceway earlier this season; he started 12th and raced his way up to a sixth-place finish.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series

ISM Raceway to set the Championship 4

After opening with the high-speed, high-banked, 2.66-mile Talladega Superspeedway, then taking on much shorter and flatter 0.52-mile Martinsville Speedway last weekend, the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series wraps up the Round of 6 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix, Arizona, this Friday night.

The Lucas Oil 150 (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) will take place on the one-mile track that was recently reconfigured (prior to the 2018 fall race) to move the start/finish line to the former backstretch, just before the dog leg.

The banking in Turns 1 and 2 is 11 degrees while it’s nine degrees in Turns 3 and 4. The frontstretch is 1,179 feet long and banked at three degrees and the backstretch is 1,551 feet long and has nine degrees of banking.

Brett Moffitt won this race last year and is the only remaining Playoff contender with a victory at the track.

How they got to this point in the Round of 6…and performance at ISM Raceway

With all four slots in the Miami championship showdown still up for grabs after Playoff outsiders captured the wins at Talladega and Martinsville, the heat will be on at ISM Raceway for the Lucas Oil 150 this Friday night (8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Here’s a breakdown of how the six Playoff drivers have fared in this round and the past ISM Raceway performances for each, in order of points standing:

Brett Moffitt – No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet: The defending series champion started this round off strong, finishing fourth at the always-unpredictable Talladega Superspeedway. But, like a good chunk of the field at Martinsville, was involved in a wreck last weekend and, as a result, was relegated to a 29th-place finish. Fortunately, he has a large stockpile of Playoff points from throughout the year that are letting him keep hold of the top spot in the points – by 10 points over second-place Stewart Friesen and by 45 points over fifth-place Matt Crafton just outside the Championship 4 cutoff.

Moffitt enters the penultimate race of the season as the lone Playoff contender who has won at ISM Raceway – and he did so in his only series start to date at the track during which he started fifth.

Stewart Friesen – No. 52 Halmar Friesen Racing Chevrolet: Friesen has been impressive in this round – finishing fifth at Talladega and sixth last week at Martinsville, keeping him in second place in the points standings. He’s only 10 points behind the leader, Moffitt, and holds a 35-point advantage over Crafton in fifth.

Friesen has gotten progressively better over each of his three starts at ISM Raceway – finishing 18th in his track debut in 2016, then sixth in 2017 and fifth last year for an average finish of 9.7. His starting position has also improved each time – 20th in 2016, 12th in 2017 and then fourth last fall.

Ross Chastain – No. 45 Niece Motorsports Chevrolet: Chastain’s Round of 6 started off rough, as he wrecked from the lead late in the race and wound up with a 22nd-place finish at Talladega. But he nearly flipped that around last weekend in Martinsville, leading 68 laps before finishing second after being edged out by Todd Gilliland following an overtime restart. That Martinsville finish, coupled with a great deal of misfortune by the rest of the Playoff field (after Friesen’s fifth-place finish, the next highest finishing postseason contender was Crafton in 23rd) vaulted Chastain from sixth in the points entering the race to third coming out of it. He’s now 20 points ahead of Crafton in fifth.

It’s been six years since Chastain has raced in the Gander Trucks at ISM Raceway. He was 33rd in his track debut in 2012 after mechanical issues eliminated him early in the race. However, he started from the pole and finished second in 2013.

Austin Hill – No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota: Hill has a precarious nine-point advantage over Crafton for the fourth and final Championship 4 slot. He opened the round with a sixth-place finish at Talladega but then was one of the unfortunate drivers caught up in myriad of incidents at Martinsville that ended his day early and he left with a 26th-place result.

Hill’s going to have to improve upon his past efforts at ISM Raceway if he’s going to have a shot to contend for the title in Miami. In two starts at the track, he has a best finish of 23rd and an average finish of 26.5.

Matt Crafton – No. 88 ThorSport Racing Ford: Crafton’s Round of 6 results closely mirrors those of Moffitt and Hill – a solid eighth-place result at Talladega before finishing several laps down in 23rd at Martinsville. He currently sits in fifth in the standings – one spot outside the Championship 4 – trailing fourth-place Hill by nine points.

Crafton has the largest body of work at ISM Raceway of the remaining Playoff drivers. However, in 18 starts at the one-mile circuit, he has yet to win a race – although he was the runner-up in 2014, the year of his second championship. He’s recorded six top-five and 11 top-10 finishes, putting together an average finish of 10.0. However, in the most recent four trips to ISM, he’s tallied two finishes outside the top 20. He was 11th last fall.

Tyler Ankrum – No. 17 DGR-Crosley Toyota: Have you heard this before regarding the Round of 6 for this Playoff group? Ankrum had a solid race at Talladega, finishing seventh. But was eliminated from contention at Martinsville by a crash – placing 25th. He now sits sixth, 15 points back from Hill, who holds that fourth and final Championship 4 slot.

Ankrum has made one visit to ISM Raceway, placing an impressive sixth in the second of two starts he made last season.

ISM Raceway’s history in setting the Championship 4

This season marks the fourth year the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Trucks Series has used the elimination-style postseason format to crown a champion. And in each season, ISM Raceway has served as the penultimate race – setting the Championship 4 field that will race for the title in Miami.

Here’s a look at how the Valley of the Sun played a role in the Playoff madness the past three seasons:

2016 – Entering the final race in the Round of 6, only Johnny Sauter had clinched a spot in the Championship 4 after winning both Martinsville and Texas to open the round. At the start of the race, William Byron, Christopher Bell and Matt Crafton held the other three Championship 4 slots based on points – and all were separated by only four points. And they held those spots by the narrowest of margins, as Timothy Peters sat just one point behind Crafton in fifth. It proved to be a heartbreaking day for current Monster Energy Series driver Byron – as a late-race engine failure relegated him to a 27th-place result and knocked him out of championship contention. Sauter would go on to win his first series title the following week.

2017 – Once again, Johnny Sauter won a pair of races in the Round of 6 to lock himself into the Championship 4 – but this year is was Texas and Phoenix where he prevailed. He was the lone driver locked into the Miami title bout entering the race at ISM Raceway, and Christopher Bell, Matt Crafton and Austin Cindric held the other three spots on points entering the desert showdown. And when the dust settled, Sauter, Bell, Crafton and Cindric were the foursome who moved on to contend for the championship. Bell would come out on top in South Florida a week later.

2018 – Last year, the Gander Trucks drove into Phoenix needing to fill two spots in the Championship 4 – as Johnny Sauter had won at Martinsville while Justin Haley was victorious in Texas. Brett Moffitt and Noah Gragson had just under a 20-point hold over fifth place for the other two slots based on points entering Friday night’s race. And at the end of the evening, a win by Moffitt secured his Miami title berth and Gragson held on to fourth in points. Moffitt then went on to win his first championship, racing for Hattori Racing Enterprises at the time (he’s now with GMS Racing).

Spoilers prevailing in the Round of 6

Todd Gilliland became the second winner in as many Round of 6 races to capture his first NASCAR national series win and play the spoiler – preventing a Playoff driver from locking themselves into the Championship 4 by visiting Victory Lane.

A week earlier, it was Spencer Boyd who upset the field and took the checkered flag at Talladega Superspeedway.

Since the elimination-style postseason format was introduced in the Gander Trucks in 2016, there hasn’t been a round of three races completed without at least one Playoff driver earning a win. That would all change if one of the six remaining Playoff contenders doesn’t win at ISM Raceway next weekend.

And it’s entirely possible that a spoiler will prevail again in the desert. Brett Moffitt is the lone Playoff contender who has won at the one-mile circuit. And Johnny Sauter is the only other 2019 regular racer who has won there.

If a third straight driver captures their first career Gander Trucks win at ISM Raceway, they would be the sixth driver to do so at that track:

Mike Skinner – 1995

Jack Sprague – 1996

Kevin Harvick – 2002

Erik Jones – 2013

Daniel Suarez – 2016

Champs’ history at ISM Raceway

Last year Brett Moffitt won at ISM Raceway and then went on to win at Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship.

And that marked the first time since Ron Hornaday Jr. won the spring 1998 race, when the Gander Trucks last competed twice per season at the track, that the series champion won at ISM en route to the championship. In fact, it also happened in 1995 (Mike Skinner swept the races) and 1997 (Jack Sprague won the April race).

The records show – if you’re good enough to win in Phoenix at some point in your career, then you’re good enough to win the series title. Of the 17 individual drivers who have won a Gander Trucks championship, more than half (nine) have recorded at least one win at ISM Raceway in their career.

That includes three of the past four series titleholders – Moffitt (2018), Johnny Sauter (2016 champion) and Erik Jones (2015 champion).

Part-timers looking to play spoiler with Toyota teams in Phoenix

Kyle Busch Motorsports and DGR-Crosley will yield six drivers between them who are running the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series on a part-time basis this season – and the drivers combine for three total previous starts at ISM Raceway. The drivers are listed below in numerical order by truck number.

Dylan Lupton – No. 5 DGR-Crosley Toyota: The 25-year-old driver will be making his sixth start of the season – and is scheduled to finish out the season in this truck at Miami, as well. He’s recorded a top five (Kentucky) and three top 10s in his five starts this year. Lupton has one start at ISM Raceway – recording a 19th-place finish in 2016.

Tanner Gray – No. 7 DGR-Crosley Toyota: The 2018 NHRA Pro Stock champion made his NASCAR national series debut two races ago at Martinsville – spending a chunk of the race in the top 10 before being collected in a last-lap incident that left him with a 20th-place finish. Of note – the No. 7 will be making its debut on a DGR-Crosley truck as the team fields five entries this weekend. Gray will, however, be working with the same crew chief (Seth Smith) and team he had behind him at Martinsville while driving the No. 15.

Anthony Alfredo – No. 15 DGR-Crosley Toyota: Alfredo has made 11 starts this year, posting a pair of top-10 finishes at Charlotte (eighth) and Chicago (ninth). His last race was Talladega, where he finished 15th. The 20-year-old has one NASCAR K&N Pro Series East win to his credit – last year at South Boston. This weekend will be his first trip to ISM Raceway.

Chandler Smith – No. 46 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota: If you’ve been following the ARCA Menards Series the past two seasons, you know the name Chandler Smith. The 17-year-old has been limited in race opportunities due to age restrictions, but he has been a shining star when he makes it onto the track. In 20 total ARCA starts he has seven wins – including five in 11 starts this season. He also has 14 top fives and 19 top 10s in those 20 appearances. This season he’s made three Gander Trucks starts – finishing eighth (Iowa), fourth (World Wide Technology Raceway) and second (Bristol).

Brandon Jones – No. 51 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota: Jones, a NASCAR Xfinity Series regular with Joe Gibbs Racing who made the Playoffs this season but was knocked out of the opening round, will be making his fifth Gander Trucks start of the season. In four races this season he has a pair of top fives, including a runner-up at Chicago. He has a pair of previous starts at ISM Raceway, with a best finish of 12th in 2014.

Natalie Decker – No. 54 DGR-Crosley Toyota: Decker will be making her track debut at ISM Raceway this Friday. She has the most races under her belt this season of the above group, with 17 starts, but has had a rough go of it – exiting nine races early due to a crash or mechanical issue. In the other eight races, she has an average finish of 17.4 and has a best finish of 13th at Las Vegas in the spring.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series, Etc.

Ty Majeski to make Gander Trucks debut: NASCAR Next alum Ty Majeski will make his Gander Trucks debut this weekend for Niece Motorsports in the No. 44 Chevrolet. Majeski has 15 NASCAR Xfinity starts to his credit, all with Roush Fenway Racing, posting three top 10s. He also has 15 starts in the ARCA Menards Series across three seasons…and recorded wins in three of six races entered this season (Charlotte, Pocono, Chicago).

Jesse Little back in the truck: Jesse Little and JJL Motorsports return to the track for their first start since Bristol in August – and they plan to finish out the season by racing at ISM Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Little has posted seven top 10s in 30 series starts. This season, he recorded a best finish of 13th at the spring Texas race.

Parade Laps: Insights ahead of this week’s driver media breakouts

Five drivers from the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series – ThorSport Racing driver Matt Crafton, Hattori Racing Enterprises driver Austin Hill, GMS Racing driver Brett Moffitt, Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Todd Gilliland and DGR-Crosley driver Tyler Ankrum will participate in the media breakouts this weekend at ISM Raceway. These five drivers are preparing for the Lucas Oil 150 this Friday, November 8, at 8:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Matt Crafton (No. 88 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150)

Birthdate: July 11, 1976

Driver’s Age: 42

Hometown: Tulare, California

Hobbies: Riding Glamis dunes in sand rails, karting

Crew Chief: Carl Joiner Jr.

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

In 2018, he finished sixth in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series points standings, his 12th consecutive season inside the top 10 in points. He also clinched his third-straight Playoff berth based on points performance but was eliminated in the Round of 6.
In 2017, he finished fourth in the Gander Trucks championship point standings making the Championship 4 for the second straight season.
In 2016, he scored a berth in the inaugural NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs and made it into the Championship 4 but ultimately finished runner-up in the final standings.
In 2015, he led series with career-best six wins, finishing third in the championship point standings.
In 2013 and 2014, he became the first driver in NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series history to win back-to-back championships.
In 2008, he earned his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win at Charlotte.
2019 Season Highlights:

Currently fifth in Playoff competition, 45 points behind the series standings leader Brett Moffitt and 11 points behind Austin Hill in fourth
This is Crafton’s fourth consecutive career Gander Trucks Playoff appearance.
Through 21 races this season, Crafton has posted six top fives, 16 top 10s and three poles (Kansas, Charlotte, Talladega).
Has led 35 of 3,007 laps completed
2019 average starting position, 7.1 and average finishing position, 9.3.
ISM Raceway Performance:

Crafton has made 18 series starts at ISM Raceway posting six top-five finishes.
Has led 16 laps at the famed short track
Average starting position of 8.1 and average finish of 10.0.

Todd Gilliland (No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra)

Birthdate: May 15, 2000

Driver’s Age: 19

Hometown: Sherrills Ford, NC

Hobbies: Video games, Spending time with family & friends

Team: Kyle Busch Motorsports

Crew Chief: Wes Ward

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

Scored first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win in 2019 (Martinsville).
In 2018, he competed in 19 races finishing 10th in the championship points after posting four top fives and nine top 10s.
In 2017, he made his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut at Dover International Speedway for Kyle Busch Motorsports. In total, made six starts, posting two top fives and three top 10s.
2019 Season Highlights:

Currently 11th in NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver championship point standings
In 21 starts this season he has posted one win (Martinsville), six top fives and 13 top 10s.
2019 average starting position, 7.9 and average finishing position, 10.6.
He has led 71 laps this season.
ISM Raceway Performance:

He has two Gander Trucks start at ISM Raceway, he finished seventh in 2017 and 17th in 2018.
Won K&N Pro Series West race at ISM Raceway in 2015

Austin Hill (No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota Tundra)

Birthdate: April 21, 1994

Driver’s Age: 25

Hometown: Winston, GA

Hobbies: Hunting, spending time with family and boating

Crew Chief: Scott Zipadelli

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

Scored first three career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series wins in 2019 (Daytona, Michigan, Las Vegas).
Finished 11th in 2018 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Championship points, his first full season.
In 2017, he joined Young’s Motorsports and made 12 starts finishing a then career-best 23rd in the final standings.
In 2016, he posted his first top-10 finish in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (Martinsville).
In 2014, he made his NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway.
2019 Season Highlights:

Heads to ISM Raceway seeded fourth in the Gander Trucks Playoffs standings; nine points ahead of fifth place Matt Crafton.
This is his first career Gander Trucks Playoff appearance.
Through 21 races this season, Hill has put up three wins (Daytona, Michigan, Las Vegas), six top fives, 12 top 10s and two poles (Chicago, Pocono).
Has led 153 laps.
2019 average starting position, 9.2 and average finishing position, 13.1.
IMS Raceway Performance:

Hill has two starts at ISM Raceway – finishing 23rd (2017) and 30th (2018).

Tyler Ankrum (No. 17 DGR-Crosley Toyota Tundra)

Birthdate: March 6, 2001

Driver’s Age: 18

Hometown: San Bernardino, California

Crew Chief: Kevin Manion

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

Clinched the 2019 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors by becoming the only rookie to make the Playoffs.
Due to age restrictions, Ankrum missed the first three races of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series season before turning 18-years old in March.
Made Gander Trucks debut on Oct. 27, 2018 at Martinsville Speedway driving for DGR-Crosley; he started 19th and finished 18th.
2019 Season Highlights:

Heads to Phoenix as the sixth and final seed in the Gander Trucks Playoff standings, 15 points behind Austin Hill in the fourth and final transfer spot.
Ankrum has clinched the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors in the series for 2019 because he is the only rookie this season to make the Playoffs.
Through the first 21 races of the season Ankrum has only competed in 18 of the events due to being too young to compete at the beginning of the season.
In his 18 starts he has posted one win (Kentucky), three top fives and eight top 10s.
Has led 58 of 2,301 laps completed.
2019 average starting position, 10.9 and average finishing position, 14.3
ISM Raceway Performance:

Has one start at ISM Raceway, posting a sixth-place finish in 2018.

Brett Moffitt (No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet Silverado)

Birthdate: August 7, 1992

Driver’s Age: 27

Hometown: Grimes, Iowa

Team: GMS Racing

Crew Chief: Jerry Baxter

NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Career Highlights:

Last season, Moffitt drove Hattori Racing Enterprise’s No. 16 Toyota to six wins, leading the way for the first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championship for both Moffitt and HRE.
Won his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race in 2016, taking home the checkers at Michigan for Red Horse Racing.
Made the most of his six NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts in 2016, with three top-three finishes and four top 10s.
In 2013, entered the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series scene with a pair of starts (Kentucky and Michigan).
2019 Season Highlights:

Won the NASCAR Ganders Outdoors Truck Series races at Iowa, Chicagoland, Bristol, and Canadian Tire.
Currently the top seed in the Round of 6 with 3,107 points – 10 points ahead of second-place Stewart Friesen and 45 points ahead of fifth place Matt Crafton.
In 21 starts this season he has posted four victories, 12 top fives and 15 top 10s with an average starting position of 4.1 and finish of 9.0.
Has led 449 of the 2,960 laps completed this season.
Martinsville Speedway Performance:

Moffitt – in his first NGOTS start at the track – won at ISM Raceway last season (2018).

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