The first round of eliminations for the Xfinity Series playoffs takes place Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Twelve drivers will come into the race still hoping for a win; eight will move on to the second round afterward.
What’s interesting is that a current Xfinity playoff driver has not won either of the first two races: playoff non-qualifier Tyler Reddick won at New Hampshire and NASCAR Cup regular Ryan Blaney won last Saturday at Dover.
A lot of eyes will be watching the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet driven by Daniel Hemric, but not for the usual reasons. Hemric is currently fifth in the 12-driver playoff standings.
However, on Tuesday, the team was hit with a major penalty that could severely impact Hemric’s chances of advancing: crew chief Danny Stockman Jr., car chief Clint Almquist and engineer Luke Mason will miss the next four races.
The suspension is for a piece of tungsten ballast that fell off Hemric’s car on pit road at Dover. The team is fortunate in a way that the incident occurred on pit road, which was empty at the time. Had it came out of the car and bounced around on the racetrack, the damage could have been devastating to a car, and more so to drivers or fans.
They will regain eligibility just four days before for the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Check out the video above as our NASCAR America analysts give their thoughts and impressions on who advances past Charlotte and who may make up the final four at Miami.