Following the truck series playoff race Saturday will be the NASCAR Xfinity Series as they begin the Round of 8. With conditions on the cooler side, due to the race taking place at night, and high wind speeds, grip will be abundant but drivers cannot be too comfortable as the winds will have them fighting their cars all evening long.
Brandon Jones was the winner of the July race after a hectic overtime restart that saw Chase Briscoe hit the wall with two laps to go. Jones advanced to the Round of 8 after a clean, mistake-free Round of 12 where he scored a top-five finish (Talladega) and a top 10 (Charlotte Roval). However, he sits five points below the playoff cutline and will have to take advantage of his fifth-place starting spot to earn stage points.
After nearly winning at Kansas in July, Briscoe will look to avenge a rare race that got away from him. He currently sits in the points lead and holds a 37-point gap ahead of the cutline. With a sixth-place starting spot, Briscoe can do enough Saturday evening to set himself up to advance to the Championship 4.
Many eyes will be on pole-sitter Noah Gragson as he sits fourth in points, just two points ahead of Justin Haley on the cutline. Gragson’s aggression has played to both his favor and dismay as he has two wins in 2020 (Daytona, Bristol(Spring)) but has also been involved in the second-most incidents this season, according to Tobychristie.com. In the July race, Gragson finished 15th.
Austin Cindric starts on the front row with Gragson Saturday evening. Cindric had a scorching hot summer that saw him go on a stretch of five wins in six races. It carried over to him advancing to the Round of 8 but he hasn’t found victory lane since the Daytona road course. However, Kansas should be favorable for the Team Penske product as he finished runner-up in July and led 131 laps.
Justin Allgaier has had a roller-coaster season but currently sits third in the playoffs, 10 points ahead of the playoff cutline. He will start seventh.
Haley will start ninth, while Ross Chastain (-15) and Ryan Sieg (-23) start fourth and eighth respectively.
Stages for the race end on lap 45, lap 90 and the finish on lap 200. TV coverage for the race begins at 7:00 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network. The Motor Racing Network will provide radio coverage.
Pit stall assignments:
Goodyear tire notes: https://www.jayski.com/2020/10/14/goodyear-fast-facts-kansas-4/