Championship 4 set for top three NASCAR national series
MARTINSVILLE, VA. – After a wild weekend at Martinsville Speedway for the NASCAR Camping World Truck, Xfinity and Cup Series, the Championship 4 is set for each series.
Noah Gragson and Zane Smith won in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, respectively, to each earn a Championship 4 berth.
For Gragson, it is his first Championship 4 berth, while Smith earned his second berth. Each of them bumped out a teammate to get in, as Gragson bumped out Justin Allgaier while Smith bumped out Sheldon Creed.
As Gragson was to Allgaier and Smith was to Creed, Martin Truex Jr. was to teammate Kyle Busch in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Truex erased a 3-point deficit to teammate Kyle Busch, who he bumped out to get into the NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4.
NASCAR Cup Series
- Kyle Larson (9 wins, 19 Top 5s, 25 Top 10s, 2474 Laps Led in 2021; 1st Championship 4 appearance, 2 Round of 8 wins)
- Chase Elliott (2 wins, 14 Top 5s, 20 Top 10s, 858 Laps Led in 2021; 2020 Champion)
- Denny Hamlin (2 wins, 18 Top 5s, 24 Top 10s, 1502 Laps Led in 2021; 4th in 2020)
- Martin Truex Jr. (4 wins, 12 Top 5s, 19 Top 10s, 793 Laps Led in 2021; 7th in 2020)
Among the Championship 4 drivers, at Phoenix, Hamlin has the best all-time average finish, 10.8, with 2 wins in 32 starts.
Elliott has 1 win and the best average start of all drivers (4.7), in 11 starts.
Larson holds the 2nd-best average start of all drivers (7.3) while Truex Jr. has the worst average start and finish but won in the spring.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
- Noah Gragson (3 wins, 13 Top 5s, 20 Top 10s, 360 Laps Led in 2021; 5th in 2020, Martinsville win)
- Austin Cindric (5 wins, 21 Top 5s, 25 Top 10s, 1037 Laps Led in 2021; 2020 Champion)
- Daniel Hemric (0 wins, 14 Top 5s, 20 Top 10s, 615 Laps Led in 2021; Championship 4 appearances in 2017 and ’18)
- A.J. Allmendinger (5 wins, 18 Top 5s, 22 Top 10s, 422 Laps Led in 2021; Part-time, 2 wins in 2020)
Cindric led 119 laps and won the spring Phoenix race. He is the only Phoenix winner in the Championship 4 and holds the best average finish and average start of any of the four drivers.
Allmendinger finished 5th in the spring.
Hemric finished 23rd after winning the pole and leading 44 laps.
Gragson finished 39th after a blown engine took him out on Lap 67.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
- Zane Smith (1 win, 2 Top 5s, 13 Top 10s, 131 Laps Led in 2021; 2nd in 2020, Martinsville win)
- Ben Rhodes (2 wins, 7 Top 5s, 15 Top 10s, 99 Laps Led in 2021; 7th in 2020)
- Matt Crafton (0 wins, 5 Top 5s, 12 Top 10s, 19 Laps Led in 2021; 5th in 2020)
- John Hunter Nemechek (5 wins, 12 Top 5s, 15 Top 10s, 572 Laps Led in 2021; 1st Championship 4 appearance)
Smith led 48 laps and finished 2nd last year at Phoenix, while Crafton holds the best average finish of all Championship 4 drivers (10.0) and Rhodes holds the best average start (5.3) but Nemechek has the worst average start (11.3).
None of the four drivers have ever won at Phoenix in Trucks.
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