Due to the opening lap crash between half of the eight remaining playoff drivers, Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at the Kansas Speedway was a great day for the other remaining NASCAR XFINITY Series playoff drivers.
Heading into the opening race of the Round of 8, Elliott Sadler (-0), Tyler Reddick (-1) and Matt Tifft (-8) sat below the cutoff line. Leaving Saturday’s race, all three are now above the cutoff line or within a point of it.
Only eight cars finished on the lead lap of Saturday’s race, almost half of those were among these three. While Daniel Hemric almost clinched his spot into the Championship 4 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway with his second place finish (+23), Sadler, Reddick and Tifft head to Texas in a good standing.
Sadler, earned just his second top five finish since June. While he’s been consistent between fifth and 10th, the JR Motorsports driver brought his No. 1 Chevrolet home third in Saturday’s race. On 1.5-mile tracks, Sadler earned his seventh top eight finish in eight tries this season. He’s now +14 with two races remaining in the second round.
Sadler, took just two tires on the pit sequence with 35 to go restarted second. That allowed him to get another top five finish.
His teammate Reddick earned just his third top five finish over the last 20 races with a fifth place finish in his No. 9 Chevrolet. After earning a win in the season opening race at Daytona, he too is in a good position being +11.
Tifft, earned his eighth top 10 finish over his last 10 starts on the season in his No. 2 Chevrolet earning a sixth place finish. He’s quietly becoming one of the championship favorites now and took over the lead on Lap 166 when he stayed out while the other five cars on the lead lap pitted under caution with 35 laps-to-go. His older tires didn’t allow him win but he still stayed in contention. He’s one point behind Christopher Bell for the final cutoff spot.