Xfinity Series drivers face intense battle for final two Championship 4 spots

Xfinity Series drivers face intense battle for final two Championship 4 spots

Two down and two to go — that‘s the status of NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 berths entering Saturday‘s Dead On Tools 250 at Martinsville Speedway (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

JR Motorsports drivers Josh Berry and Noah Gragson will race for the series title Nov. 5 at Phoenix Raceway, thanks to respective Round of 8 victories at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Saturday‘s race at the .526-mile Virginia short track will determine the final two positions in the Championship 4, at least one of which will be decided on points. That‘s good news for five-time winner Ty Gibbs, who holds a 30-point edge over fifth-place Justin Allgaier.

MORE: Full Martinsville schedule | Xfinity Series standings

Gibbs will clinch a Championship 4 spot by scoring 31 points at Martinsville, no matter what else happens during the race.

“Martinsville is a challenging track, but one I do have experience at,” said Gibbs, who won the pole, led a race-high 197 laps and finished eighth on April 8. “We know what we need to do to advance to the final four, but winning makes it that much easier.

“(Crew chief) Chris Gayle and the 54 Monster Energy Toyota GR Supra guys have brought me good cars all year, and hopefully this week at Martinsville we‘ll have another good one. It‘s a tough track, but we‘re ready.”

AJ Allmendinger, another five-time winner in the series this year, holds a much more tenuous position than Gibbs. The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet is five points clear of Allgaier.

The good news is that Martinsville is one of Allmendinger‘s best tracks. He finished third there in the 2022 spring race.

Austin Hill, like Allgaier, is well within striking distance of a Championship 4 spot, standing just seven points behind Allmendinger.

On the other hand, Sam Mayer and Brandon Jones (28 and 38 points below the cut line, respectively) realistically will have to win on Saturday to advance. That‘s not a far-fetched proposition, at least where Jones is concerned — he won the spring race in overtime.

Who will be 2022 Xfinity Series champion? - Powered By PickUp