NASCAR’s Cup Chase will begin this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway, and for the first time, the format has been instituted in the other national series – Xfinity and Trucks. Their postseason doesn’t start quite yet, but here’s a look at both series as the regular season winds down. Like the Cup Chase, it all ends for the Xfinity and Truck series at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. The top finisher among the four finalists will be the champion.
Chase format: Twelve drivers, seven races, three segments (two elimination rounds). Cut down to eight drivers after first segment (Kentucky, Dover, Charlotte) and to four after second segment (Kansas, Texas, Phoenix).
Need to know: Elliott Sadler leads the points standings, but Erik Jones would be the top seed based on his three victories so far this season. … Only three full-time Xfinity drivers have won races (Jones, Sadler and Daniel Suarez), with Cup regulars such as Kyle Busch (eight victories) accounting for the rest. … Saturday’s race at Chicagoland is the final regular-season race, with the Chase beginning next week at Kentucky Speedway. ... Ryan Seig has a 20-point lead over Dakoda Armstrong for the 12th and final spot. ... Blake Koch is just three points up on Seig in the 11th spot.
Chase format: Eight drivers, seven races, three segments (two elimination rounds). Cut down to six drivers after first segment (New Hampshire, Las Vegas, Talladega) and to four after second segment (Martinsville, Texas, Phoenix).
Need to know: Charlotte’s William Byron has had a sensational rookie season and leads the series with five victories. ... Mooresville’s John Hunter Nemechek has two victories and will also participate in the Chase. … 2015 champion Matt Crafton will also be a factor (he has two victories). … Cole Custer trails Timothy Peters by 32 points for the final spot, so Custer’s best shot at making the field is to win. … Friday’s race at Chicagoland Speedway will end the regular season, with the Chase beginning Sept. 24 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.