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Xfinity Playoff Grid: Brendan Gaughan on bubble; Darrell Wallace Jr.’s presence lingers

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The Xfinity Series season is 17 races old and yet there’s only three series regulars locked into the playoffs.

Thanks to wins from eight different Cup Series regulars, only William Byron, Ryan Reed and Justin Allgaier have qualified for the postseason based on wins.

That leaves nine spots left to be filled on either race wins or points by the time the regular season ends in nine races.

Entering this weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the drivers on the bubble are Blake Koch and Brendan Gaughan.

Koch, 11th on the grid, is 35 points above the cutoff. Gaughan is 12th and just nine points above the cutoff in a season where the Richard Childress Racing veteran has four DNFs and only two top 10s in the last seven races.

Below is the playoff grid through 17 races.


Though he hasn’t competed in the last five Xfinity races, the presence of Darrell Wallace Jr. is still felt in the series’ points standings.

Wallace last made a start for Roush Fenway Racing at Pocono on June 10, finishing the race fourth in points. But since then he has only fallen to 12th in the points standings.

This puts Wallace ahead of Gaughan, Ryan Sieg, JJ Yeley, Ross Chastain, Jeremy Clements, Brandon Jones and Spencer Gallagher, who have started all 17 races this year.

When this was noted on Twitter, Wallace gave his two cents in GIF form.


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Bizarre crash at start of the Xfinity race (VIDEO)

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SPARTA, Ky. – After waiting nearly 15 hours to race at Kentucky Speedway, some Xfinity drivers’ hopes of winning the Alsco 300 were over before the race began Saturday.

A multicar wreck began just before the green flag began to wave on the postponed race. Several drivers appeared to accelerate before pole-sitter Kyle Busch, who radioed his team that the green flag waved late.

Unlike on restarts, the flagstand controls the start of the race. Replays showed the green flag didn’t wave until Busch was outside the restart zone and nearly to the start-finish line.

Brandon Jones, Blake Koch, Brendan Gaughan and Ryan Reed were involved in the crash. Jones was eliminated in the wreck, and Gaughan was knocked out of the race after hitting the wall a few laps later.

Watch the video of the start above.


Grant Enfinger fastest in first of two Truck practice sessions at Kentucky

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Grant Enfinger was fastest in the first of two Camping World Truck Series practice sessions today.

Enfinger was the only driver among the 30 that took practice laps to crack 182 mph, recording a top speed of 182.020 mph.

Kyle Busch was second (181.555 mph), followed by Brandon Jones (181.409), Noah Gragson (180.983) and Ben Rhodes (180.941).

Sixth through 10th were Johnny Sauter (180.421), Austin Cindric (180.114), Matt Crafton (180.102), Christopher Bell (180.024) and Kaz Grala (179.629).

There were originally three practice sessions scheduled for today, but NASCAR cancelled the first session that was slated to start at Noon ET.

There will be one more practice session this afternoon from 5 pm to 6:25 p.m. ET.

Click here for full results from the first Truck practice session.

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Timothy Peters back behind the wheel with new Truck team at Texas

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After missing last Friday’s race at Dover, Timothy Peters will return to the Camping World Truck Series with a new team this weekend.

Peters has signed to drive for MDM Motorsports. He’ll be behind the wheel of the No. 99 Metabo Chevrolet Silverado in Friday’s 400 at Texas Motor Speedway.

A 13-year Truck series veteran, Peters has been sidelined since Red Horse Racing suspended operations due to lack of sponsorship after last month’s race at Charlotte. He had been with the organization since mid-2009.

Now, Peters starts a new chapter in his racing career with a new team. The 10-time winner in the Truck series will make his 19th career start at the 1.5-mile track in Fort Worth.

“It’s just great to be back behind the wheel of a truck,” Peters said in a media release. “I talked with crew chief Shane Huffman last week and this deal came together in a matter of days.

“I can’t thank MDM Motorsports enough for giving me this opportunity, and to have an established company like Metabo put their faith in me as a driver is very humbling, to say the least.

“We have a lot at stake this weekend, but I just want to go to Texas, do my job and reward everyone that helped make this happen.”

Thus far this season, Austin and Ty Dillon and Brandon Jones have driven for MDM.

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Darrell Wallace Jr. crashes the all-Jones party in second Xfinity practice at Texas

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Friday’s final Xfinity practice at Texas Motor Speedway looked like it would be a matter of keeping up with the Joneses – that is, until Bubba Wallace came calling.

With just two minutes left in the 55-minute session, it appeared Brandon Jones would be the fastest (188.587 mph), while Erik Jones – no relation – was right behind (187.65).

But Darrell Wallace Jr. seemed like he was shot out of a cannon on a final mock run, topping the speed charts at 188.692 mph to post the fastest lap of the session.

Cole Custer was fourth (187.507), followed by Matt Tifft (186.974), Ryan Blaney (186.845), Kevin Harvick (186.754), Joey Logano (186.657), Spencer Gallagher (186.516) and Austin Dillon (185.861).

Points leader Elliott Sadler continued to struggle, able to be only rank 21st at 183.780 mph.

There were no major incidents during the 55-minute session.

Click here for the full practice session report.

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