Entering Saturday’s United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway, the NASCAR Xfinity Series has officially reached one of the most critical points of the season, with the switch from 2021 to 2022 owner points when determining owner point provisionals.
Through the first three races of the season, we’ve seen Austin Hill win at Daytona in his first race for Richard Childress Racing, Cole Custer capture SS Green Light Racing’s first win at Auto Club, and Ty Gibbs start his championship run at Las Vegas.
As we enter the fourth event of the season, we see the first facility under 1.5-miles in length, meaning multiple ‘newer’ drivers are on the entry list for Saturday’s event. Among them, Nick Sanchez (BJ McLeod Motorsports), and Parker Retzlaff (RSS Racing) will be attempting to make their series debuts.
For a number of drivers and teams, a poor start to the season has put them in a compromising position, which will require them to qualify in the top-33 on speed.
|9||Noah Gragson||JR Motorsports||1st in 2022 NXS OP
|54||Ty Gibbs||Joe Gibbs Racing||2nd in 2022 NXS OP
|16||AJ Allmendinger||Kaulig Racing||3rd in 2022 NXS OP
|7||Justin Allgaier||JR Motorsports||4th in 2022 NXS OP
|11||Daniel Hemric||Kaulig Racing||6th in 2022 NXS OP
Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, AJ Allmendinger, and Justin Allgaier – the top-four in 2022 NXS OP — are all mathematically locked into the field for Sunday’s United Rentals 200 at Phoenix, based on their points position. Daniel Hemric – the series’ defending champion — is also guaranteed a spot in the field.
|8||Josh Berry||JR Motorsports||5th in 2022 NXS OP
|19||Brandon Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||7th in 2022 NXS OP|
|18||Trevor Bayne||Joe Gibbs Racing||8th in 2022 NXS OP|
|26||Jeffrey Earnhardt||Sam Hunt Racing||9th in 2022 NXS OP|
|39||Ryan Sieg||RSS Racing||10th in 2022 NXS OP|
|1||Sam Mayer||JR Motorsports||11th in 2022 NXS OP|
|98||Riley Herbst||Stewart-Haas Racing||12th in 2022 NXS OP|
|21||Austin Hill||Richard Childress Racing||13th in 2022 NXS OP
|68||Brandon Brown||Brandonbilt Motorsports||14th in 2022 NXS OP
|2||Sheldon Creed||Richard Childress Racing||15th in 2022 NXS OP|
|10||Landon Cassill||Kaulig Racing||16th in 2022 NXS OP|
|27||Jeb Burton||Our Motorsports||17th in 2022 NXS OP
|23||Anthony Alfredo||Our Motorsports||18th in 2022 NXS OP|
|36||Alex Labbe||DGM Racing||19th in 2022 NXS OP|
|07||Joe Graf Jr.||SS Green Light Racing||20st in 2022 NXS OP|
|02||Brett Mofitt||Our Motorsports||21st in 2022 NXS OP|
|66||JJ Yeley||MBM Motorsports||22nd in 2022 NXS OP|
|51||Jeremy Clements||Jeremy Clements Racing||23rd in 2022 NXS OP|
Based on recent qualifying trends, as well as the quality of the cars listed in the group above, we can say that the team sitting from 5th to 25th in 2022 NXS OP are feeling good about their chances of qualifying for Saturday’s race at Phoenix Raceway.
If needed, Josh Berry, Austin Hill, Brandon Brown, John Hunter Nemechek, and Jeb Burton can fall back on a Past Winners Provisional, in the event that they are unable to post a speed inside the top-33 and their owner points position isn’t good enough to grab a provisional.
THE DANGER ZONE:
|44||Sage Karam||Alpha Prime Racing||24th in 2022 NXS OP|
|4||Bayley Currey||JD Motorsports||25th in 2022 NXS OP|
|31||Myatt Snider||Jordan Anderson Racing||26th in 2022 NXS OP
|28||Kyle Sieg||RSS Racing||27th in 2022 NXS OP|
|38||Loris Hezemans||RSS Racing||28th in 2022 NXS OP|
|92||Kyle Weatherman||DGM Racing||29th in 2022 NXS OP|
|35||Shane Lee||Emerling-Gase Motorsports||30th in 2022 NXS OP|
|5||Matt Mills||BJ McLeod Motorsports||31st in 2022 NXS OP|
|6||Ryan Vargas||JD Motorsports||32nd in 2022 NXS OP|
|91||Mason Massey||DGM Racing||33rd in 2022 NXS OP|
|48||Jade Buford||Big Machine Racing||34th in 2022 NXS OP|
|45||Tommy Joe Martins||Alpha Prime Racing||35th in 2022 NXS OP|
|99||Stefan Parsons||BJ McLeod Motorsports||36th in 2022 NXS OP|
|78||Josh Williams||BJ McLeod Motorsports||37th in 2022 NXS OP|
|34||Jesse Iwuji||Jesse Iwuji Motorsports||39th in 2022 NXS OP|
|08||David Starr||SS Green Light Racing||41st in 2022 NXS OP|
|47||Brennan Poole||Mike Harmon Racing||42nd in 2022 NXS OP|
|13||Chad Finchum||MBM Motorsports||45th in 2022 NXS OP|
|77||Dillon Bassett||Bassett Racing||46th in 2022 NXS OP|
|52||Harrison Rhodes||Jimmy Means Racing||47th in 2022 NXS OP|
Entering Phoenix, drivers and teams that are currently sitting below the top-25 in 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series owner points, are probably somewhat worried about their chances of qualifying into the event.
While some drivers and teams are confident they’ll be able to post a time inside the top-33, there is always a chance of a mechanical issue, or an accident, like what happened to Jeb Burton at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (which required him to use the Past Winners Provisional).
Myatt Snider – driving the No. 31 for Jordan Anderson Racing — has a Past Winners Provisional available to him, should he need it, as a result of his victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway last season.
Brennan Poole, David Starr, Loris Hezemans, and Stan Mullis will all be required to qualify for the race through their qualifying speed, as they will not have enough owner points to fall back on.
In the event that Saturday’s qualifying session at Phoenix Raceway is canceled due to inclement weather – which after getting snow last week in Las Vegas, I wouldn’t even say it’s out of the question — the following procedure will be used to determine the field of 38:
- Positions 1 to 30 will be assigned to the top-30 vehicles in the current year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series owner points, that are entered in the event:
9 – Gragson
54 – Gibbs
16 – Allmendinger
7 – Allgaier
8 – Berry
11 – Hemric
98 – Herbst
23 – Alfredo
1 – Mayer
21 – Hill
39 – R. Sieg
19 – Jones
07 – Graf
68 – Brown
2 – Creed
36 – Labbe
26 – Nemechek
18 – Bayne
27 – Burton
66 – Yeley
10 – Cassill
02 – Moffitt
28 – K. Sieg
51 – Clements
38 – Retzlaff
44 – Ellis
31 – Snider
4 – Currey
92 – Weatherman
35 – Earnhardt
- The next available positions will be assigned to any team owners/drivers that have won a points-paying event in the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ current or previous season (Owners before Drivers, in the event more than eligible spots in the field): NONE
- The next available positions, if any, will be assigned to any drivers who are eligible past champions of the NASCAR Xfinity Series. (Must have won the title in the last 10 seasons, competed in the series’ previous season, and be running for series points): NONE
- The next available starting positions, if any, will be assigned to the teams that are highest in NASCAR Xfinity Series standings, that have yet to secure a spot in the field:
5 – Sanchez
45 – Grala
6 – Vargas
48 – Buford
78 – Williams
91 – Massey
34 – Iwuji
99 – Parsons
Therefore, in the event of Saturday’s qualifying session being rained out, Brennan Poole (Mike Harmon Racing), David Starr (SS Green Light Racing), Loris Hezemans (Reaume Brothers Racing), and Stan Mullis (MBM Motorsports) would fail to qualify for the event.