Problems For XFINITY Series Playoff Favorites On Opening Lap Of Saturday’s Race

Heading into the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs, it appeared that Justin Allgaier and Christopher Bell would be the ones to beat for this year’s championship. Allgaier, had seven top three finishes in the eight races preceding the playoffs and 14 straight top 10’s. Why bet against him? Bell, he had gotten hot again too and has since set a rookie record for most wins in a single season by a first year XFINITY Series driver. 

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5 Favorites For Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Ford has won seven of the last nine Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races of the season and two of the last three overall. The last three races on the year have been won by drivers earning their second career trips to victory lane in NASCAR’s premiere series. Will we see a Ford driver or even a driver earn his second career win in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)? Here are the five favorites. 

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SHR Cars Fast On Long Runs In Practice

Stewart-Haas Racing has a very good chance of having all four of their drivers advance to the Round of 8 of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Aric Almirola is automatically in as he won last weekend at the Talladega Superspeedway. Kevin Harvick has all but clinched and will likely be on too. Kurt Busch and Clint Bowyer has some good advantages and just need to maintain in Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). But, after three practice sessions around the 1.5-mile Kansas Speedway this weekend,…

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Erik Jones Could Play Spoiler In Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

If trends hold true, Erik Jones has a valid case to win Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The last three Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races have been won by drivers that earned their second trips to victory lane in NASCAR’s premiere series. Ryan Blaney (Charlotte ROVAL), Chase Elliott (Dover) and Aric Almirola (Talladega) each earned their second career Cup Series victories the last three weeks. Jones, has one career Cup win. That came back on July 7 at the Daytona International Speedway. 

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Blaney With Fast Car This Weekend, Hoping To Win 2nd Straight Elimination Race

Ryan Blaney earned his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race in the Round of 16 cutoff race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. Can he win his third career race on the Round of 12 cutoff race at the Kansas Speedway on Sunday? Kansas is a good spot to do so at. Blaney, has two top four finishes in his last three starts on the 1.5-mile track and four top seven results in his last six starts there overall. 

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Bowman Quietly Having Solid Weekend In Kansas

Alex Bowman’s goals are simple this weekend, he has to win. Heading into Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Bowman is 68 points out of the final cutoff spot. That’s too many points to make up in one race. So, if Bowman is going to join his Hendrick Motorsports teammate of Chase Elliott into the Round of 8, he has to win his first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday at the Kansas Speedway. 

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Larson Having a Rough Weekend Thus Far In Kansas

Kyle Larson knew that he likely needed to win Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) in order to continue on in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs. Leaving last weekend’s penultimate race of the Round of 12 at the Talladega Superspeedway, Larson was 26 points behind the cutoff line. But, during the week, his No. 42 Chevrolet was found to be in violation of the NASCAR damaged parts policy and was issued a L-1 penalty. That cost him 10 more championship points. 

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Ford’s Strong This Weekend In Kansas, Full Starting Lineup For Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Ford has won three of the five Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoff races. At the end of the regular season, they won four in-a-row. Combined, a Ford driver has reached victory lane in seven of the last nine Cup Series events. After all the preliminary action so far this weekend at the Kansas Speedway, it appears that those numbers will expand by one more for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 (2 p.m. ET/NBC/MRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). 

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“Big 3” Looking To Rebound Sunday In Kansas, Why This Weeks Race Will See If They Will Be Factors For Championship

One of the most puzzling aspects of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series playoffs has been the absence of the “Big 3” in victory lane. Through the first five races of the postseason, just one of the races have seen them win. Kyle Busch won the second race of the playoffs at Richmond. Other than that, they’re 0-for-4. But, if you go back to the final three races of the regular season too, they’re just 1-for-8. Prior to that, the trio of Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.…

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Chevy May Be Down To Just Elliott After Sunday’s Race At Kansas, Bowman and Larson Have to Win

For much of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Kyle Larson was the top dog in the Chevrolet camp. See, the manufacturer debuted a new body style for this season replacing the SS with the Camaro. Unfortunately, they struggled to get a grasp with the new car. Through the first 21 races, they had just one win. That came on a restrictor plate race in the Daytona 500. Going into the playoffs, they found victory lane just twice in the first 26 races of the regular season. 

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