194_Anthem Annual 2017 February Edition.p1

2017 Anthem Annual February

Photos by NASCAR via Getty Images In 2016, NASCAR rolled out its plan for an eliminationbased competition for the NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The format was similar to the one used in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, but with some slight differences. Looking back on the 2016 season, it is undeniable that introducing the playoff-style competition to both series was the right call at the right time, for all the right reasons.   The inaugural XFINITY Series playoff featured 12 drivers in a three-round, seven-race playoff that began at Kentucky Speedway in September. Only three drivers — Daniel Suarez, Elliott Sadler and Erik Jones — qualified for the playoff by winning during the 26-race regular season. Other drivers — Brandon Jones, Ryan Sieg, Brennan Poole, Ty Dillon, Blake Koch, Darrell Wallace Jr., Ryan Reed, Brendan Gaughan and Justin Allgaier — qualified based on regular-season points. Only full-time XFINITY Series drivers were eligible for the new format. Suarez, Sadler, Jones, Allgaier, Gaughan, Reed, Wallace Jr. and Koch advanced through the Round of 12 at Kentucky Speedway, Dover International Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. After the Round of 8 at Kansas Speedway, Texas Motor Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway, Sadler, Suarez, Jones and Allgaier emerged as the Championship 4. By winning the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Suarez, a second-year series driver, won the XFINITY Series title over Sadler, who finished third in the season finale. Allgaier finished sixth and Jones finished ninth. It was Suarez’s first XFINITY Series title and the second for team owner Joe Gibbs. Suarez, who hails from Mexico, also made history by becoming the first Latin American driver to win a NASCAR national-series title. No Playing AROUND NASCAR Playoffs Format a Huge Success for Two National Series Daniel Suarez (center) celebrated after winning the season-finale event and NASCAR XFINITY Series title at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. 194 ANTHEM MOTORSPORTS ANNUAL


2017 Anthem Annual February
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