There are more than one hundred drivers entered across NASCAR’s three national series for this coming weekend’s tripleheader at Phoenix International Raceway. At this point of the post-season, just three are certain they’ll be racing for a championship the following weekend in Miami. In the Sprint Cup Series, Carl Edwards and Jimmie Johnson have advanced by virtue of victories in the semifinal round of the Chase. Six drivers remain in contention for the final two spots, with Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch – both former champions – likely facing a must-win situation to move on. In the inaugural Truck Series Chase, Johnny Sauter has swept the first two races in the Round of Six and will seek his first championship next week in Miami. Five drivers are left to battle for the three other spots. And in the X-FINITY Series, six drivers are currently in the mix for a berth in The Championship Four that will head to South Florida for the November 19th season finale.
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Fans headed to southern Virginia for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series races at Martinsville Speedway will see a post-season twin bill as the 2016 schedule enters its final month. Six title contenders remain in the inaugural Truck Series Chase heading into Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 led by top-seeded rookie William Byron. Also still on The Chase Grid are Christopher Bell, Timothy Peters, Ben Kennedy, Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton … In the Sprint Cup Series, the title field is down to eight for the final short-track race of the 2016 season, Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500. Kyle Busch, the Number-1 seed in this year’s Chase, is looking for a season sweep on the Virginia half-mile after winning the year’s first stop there in early April. Denny Hamlin’s the last driver to win both races in a single season, doing so in 2010.
The 2016 season marks the first time the “Chase” format that’s been used by the Sprint Cup Series the past two seasons will also be implemented in the Camping World Truck Series and there are just three races remaining before the eight-driver field is set, including Saturday’s Careers for Veterans 200 at Michigan International Speedway. If the post-season began today, The Chase Grid would include rookies Christopher Bell and William Byron, who are teammates at Kyle Busch Motorsports … two-time champion Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Ben Kennedy, Daniel Hemric and Timothy Peters, who leads rookie Cole Custer by twenty-nine points for what would be the final “playoff” spot. After Saturday’s stop at M-I-S, remaining races in the regular season will be run at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Chicagoland Speedway. The Chase will open September 24th in Loudon, New Hampshire.
The 2016 season marks the first time the “Chase” format that’s been used by the Sprint Cup Series the past two seasons will also be implemented in the Camping World Truck Series, with the final month of the regular season set to open next week in Bristol, Tennessee. Eight drivers will qualify and if the post-season began today, the field would include rookies Christopher Bell and William Byron, who are teammates at Kyle Busch Motorsports … two-time champion Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters and Daniel Hemric. The battle for the eighth and final “playoff” spot is fierce with four drivers within five points of each other: Cameron Hayley, Ben Kennedy, Tyler Reddick and rookie Cole Custer. After Bristol on August 17th, remaining races in the regular season will be run at Michigan International Speedway, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Chicagoland Speedway. The Chase will open September 24th in Loudon, New Hampshire.
The Camping World Truck Series will stage its first “stand-alone” race of the year, Saturday night’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois. The race kicks off the second half of the regular season. It’s the first year for the elimination-style Chase format to be used in the Truck Series.
There are presently thirteen drivers in the mix for eight berths in the seven-race title series that opens September 24th in Loudon, New Hampshire. Rookie William Byron, two-time series champion Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek and Johnny Sauter have won races this season. Ben Kennedy leads Spencer Gallagher by a mere three points in the battle for the final “playoff” spot with eight races left in the regular season. Prospects are good for those two to take that battle to the track come Saturday night since last year – with Gallagher finishing second and Kennedy seventh.
Next stop Iowa Speedway for an X-FINITY/Camping World Truck Series doubleheader. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is idle this weekend and will return to action June 26 th in Sonoma, California … so the spotlight will shine brightly this weekend on the seven-eighths- mile Newton oval. First up is Saturday night’s Speediatrics 200 Benefitting the NASCAR Foundation as the Truck Series hits the halfway mark of its regular season. This year marks the first time the elimination-style “Chase” format that’s been used by the Sprint Cup Series the past two seasons will also be implemented in the Truck Series. Eight drivers will qualify and if the post-season began today, the field would consist of rookie William Byron, two-time champion Matt Crafton, JohnHunter Nemechek, Johnny Sauter, Timothy Peters, Daniel Hemric, Tyler Reddick and Spencer Gallagher –who leads Ben Kennedy by just three points in the battle for the final “playoff” spot. The Chase will openSeptember 24th in New Hampshire.
The X-FINITY Series will also stage its first post-season “playoffs” in 2016. Sunday afternoon’s American Ethanol E-15 250 Presented by Enogen opens the second half of the regular season. There are currently sixteen drivers in the mix for twelve spots on the Chase Grid – led by points leader Daniel Suarez, who’s coming off his first career win last weekend at Michigan International Speedway. Ryan Sieg leads Ross Chastain by sixteen points in the battle for the final provisional post-season spot … The X-FINITY Series Chase will open September 24th at Kentucky Speedway.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, idle since April 2nd night’s Toyota Tundra 250 at Kansas Speedway. There are thirty-one drivers on the preliminary entry list led by defending race winner Matt Crafton … Just three races have been run to date in 2016 – won by Kyle Busch, John Hunter Nemechek and Johnny Sauter.
Nemechek leads the standings by three points over Parker Kligerman with Timothy Peters, Tyler Young and Cameron Hayley completing the top five. Ben Rhodes, who drives the Number-41 Toyota for ThorSport Racing, leads the rookie standings by four points over William Byron with Rico Abreu (A-brew) third, thirteen points off the pace, swings back into action this week with Friday
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