Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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Making The Field: 2022 NXS United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway

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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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.


LOCKED IN:

#DriverTeamReason
9Noah GragsonJR Motorsports1st in 2022 NXS OP
*PWP #1
54Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs Racing2nd in 2022 NXS OP
*PWP #2
16AJ AllmendingerKaulig Racing3rd in 2022 NXS OP
*PWP #3
7Justin AllgaierJR Motorsports4th in 2022 NXS OP
*PWP #4
11Daniel HemricKaulig Racing6th in 2022 NXS OP
*PWP #6

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.


FEELING SAFE:

#DriverTeamReason
8Josh BerryJR Motorsports5th in 2022 NXS OP
*PWP #5
19Brandon JonesJoe Gibbs Racing7th in 2022 NXS OP
18Trevor BayneJoe Gibbs Racing8th in 2022 NXS OP
26Jeffrey EarnhardtSam Hunt Racing9th in 2022 NXS OP
39Ryan SiegRSS Racing10th in 2022 NXS OP
1Sam MayerJR Motorsports11th in 2022 NXS OP
98Riley HerbstStewart-Haas Racing12th in 2022 NXS OP
21Austin HillRichard Childress Racing13th in 2022 NXS OP
*PWP #7
68Brandon BrownBrandonbilt Motorsports14th in 2022 NXS OP
*PWP #8
2Sheldon CreedRichard Childress Racing15th in 2022 NXS OP
10Landon CassillKaulig Racing16th in 2022 NXS OP
27Jeb BurtonOur Motorsports17th in 2022 NXS OP
*PWP #9
23Anthony AlfredoOur Motorsports18th in 2022 NXS OP
36Alex LabbeDGM Racing19th in 2022 NXS OP
07Joe Graf Jr.SS Green Light Racing20st in 2022 NXS OP
02Brett MofittOur Motorsports21st in 2022 NXS OP
66JJ YeleyMBM Motorsports22nd in 2022 NXS OP
51Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements Racing23rd 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:

#DriverTeamReason
44Sage KaramAlpha Prime Racing24th in 2022 NXS OP
4Bayley CurreyJD Motorsports25th in 2022 NXS OP
31Myatt SniderJordan Anderson Racing26th in 2022 NXS OP
*PWP #10
28Kyle SiegRSS Racing27th in 2022 NXS OP
38Loris HezemansRSS Racing28th in 2022 NXS OP
92Kyle WeathermanDGM Racing29th in 2022 NXS OP
35Shane LeeEmerling-Gase Motorsports30th in 2022 NXS OP
5Matt MillsBJ McLeod Motorsports31st in 2022 NXS OP
6Ryan Vargas JD Motorsports32nd in 2022 NXS OP
91Mason MasseyDGM Racing33rd in 2022 NXS OP
48Jade BufordBig Machine Racing34th in 2022 NXS OP
45Tommy Joe MartinsAlpha Prime Racing35th in 2022 NXS OP
99Stefan ParsonsBJ McLeod Motorsports36th in 2022 NXS OP
78Josh WilliamsBJ McLeod Motorsports37th in 2022 NXS OP
34Jesse IwujiJesse Iwuji Motorsports39th in 2022 NXS OP
08David StarrSS Green Light Racing41st in 2022 NXS OP
47Brennan PooleMike Harmon Racing42nd in 2022 NXS OP
13Chad FinchumMBM Motorsports45th in 2022 NXS OP
77Dillon BassettBassett Racing46th in 2022 NXS OP
52Harrison RhodesJimmy Means Racing47th 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.


RAINOUT PROCEDURE:

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.

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Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigleyhttp://tobychristie.com
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at TobyChristie.com

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