Kansas race shakes up NASCAR Cup playoff grid
NOTE: With Jeremy Clements winning his appeal Tuesday, his Daytona win counts toward Xfinity playoff eligibility. That puts Landon Cassill on the cutline and Ryan Sieg the first driver out in the Xfinity Series.
Sunday’s Cup race at Kansas Speedway shook up the playoff standings, leaving two former Cup champions below the cutline heading into Saturday night’s cutoff race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Bubba Wallace’s victory marked the second consecutive playoff race won by a driver not in the playoffs. Points leader Christopher Bell is the only driver who has advanced to the second round. The other 11 drivers to advance will be determined at Bristol.
A pit road penalty and a spin led to a rough day for two-time Cup champion Kyle Busch, who is two points behind Austin Cindric for the final transfer spot. Austin Dillon trails Cindric by three points, and Chase Briscoe is nine points behind Cindric.
Former Cup champion Kevin Harvick crashed at Kansas and finished last. He’s 35 points behind Cindric and all but needs a win to advance.
Noah Gragson’s win in Saturday’s rain-shortened race didn’t change who is in and who is out in the playoff standings, but Sam Mayer and Riley Herbst each clinched spots via points. That means nine drivers have clinched a spot in the playoffs heading into Friday night’s regular-season finale at Bristol.
Ryan Sieg continues to hold the final transfer spot, but he saw his advantage on Sheldon Creed cut to 13 points.
CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
The Truck Series enters the second round of the playoffs. John Hunter Nemechek won Friday’s cutoff race at Kansas Speedway. Carson Hocevar and Matt Crafton were eliminated. Four drivers will be eliminated in the second round, which begins Thursday at Bristol.