NASCAR & Auto Racing

Five drivers to watch in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Kansas Lottery 300

The Xfinity Series begins its Round of 8 playoffs on Saturday at Kansas Speedway (2 p.m. on NBC) with a field that includes defending series champion Tyler Reddick and 2017 Kansas winner Christopher Bell. Here are five drivers to watch.

Christopher Bell, No. 20 Toyota

Bell, who will be leaving Joe Gibbs Racing for a ride in a Leavine Family Racing Cup car next season, leads the standings by 12 points. Bell, 24, has won seven races and led 1,706 laps this season, more than twice as many as Cole Custer’s 818. Bell, who finished fourth in the series last season after winning a series-high seven races, won at Kansas in 2017 but failed to finish the 2018 event because of an incident.

Cole Custer, No. 00 Ford

Custer, 21, ranks second in the standings. Custer, who may be on the brink of moving into a Stewart-Haas Racing Monster Energy Cup car, has won seven races, tied with Bell for the most victories this season and has won six poles. Custer, runner-up in the series last year, was 26th at Kansas last year and 19th in 2017.

Tyler Reddick, No. 2 Chevrolet

Reddick, the defending series champion, is third in the standings, 18 points behind Bell. He has five wins and leads the series in both top five finishes (21) and top 10s (24) for Richard Childress Racing. Reddick, 23, has made two starts at Kansas, finishing second from the pole in 2017 and fifth last year.

Austin Cindric, No. 22 Ford

Cindric, 21, made his series track debut at Kansas Speedway last season starting fourth but was caught in an incident and finished 39th. He won back-to-back races at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio in August. In Cindric’s last three races for Team Penske, he was second at Richmond and third at Charlotte and Dover.

Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Chevrolet

Allgaier, 33, has the most experience at Kansas Speedway among the playoff drivers having made eight series starts, collecting two top fives and five top 10s. Allgaier, who is fifth in the standings for JR Motorsports, made the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season. He won a career-high five races in 2018.

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