Phoenix

  1. Ryan Sieg (No change) – Three top-10’s in four races for Ryan Sieg Racing, averaging a finish of 7.8 and an average running position of 11.3. At this point last year, was averaging a 24.3 finish. Sieg seems poised for a run toward playoff contention and potentially his first Xfinity win. Also poised to jump right out of the underdog category.
  2. Ross Chastain (No change) – Excluding season-opening 13th place finish with Kaulig Racing, Chastain has averaged a 13th place finish in Xfinity with JD Motorsports. His 27th place finish at Phoenix with Premium Motorsports in Cup nets him his first top-30 since Daytona.
  3. Brandon Brown (+2) – Averaging a 15.8 finish to open 2019, Brandonbilt Motorsports coming out of the gate fast in their first full-time effort. He grabbed his second top-15 of season at Phoenix. The question is whether this early success can translate to filling the quarter panels on the #86 going forward.
  4. Timothy Peters (No change) – Despite being off this week, Peters still holds the 4th best driver rating among the small team drivers. His three-race stint with Niece Motorsports is over but I’m just going to let him enjoy the view from the top for another week.
  5. Chris Buescher (-2) – Another solid top-20 for Buescher at Phoenix, despite a DNF at Daytona he is still averaging a 20.0 finish. His third straight top-20 has him sitting 23rd in Cup points.
  6. Matt DiBenedetto (+2) – Of all the other small team drivers in Cup, only David Ragan has completed more green flag passes, but DiBenedetto has over double the number of quality passes. His average finish of 25.8 is deceiving as he has averaged a running position of 18.5 through 4 races. A battery issue at Phoenix cost him at least a top-15 finish.
  7. Gray Gaulding (-1) – Gaulding holds tight in the top-10 after a 16th place finish at Phoenix. Has averaged 19.5 finish in first four races of season, good enough for 15th in Xfinity points.
  8. Jeremy Clements (-1) – Clements is averaging just over a top-20 finish after Phoenix, where he finished 13th. If not for the DNF at Daytona, would be hovering right below the Xfinity playoffs cut-off line.
  9. Ray Black Jr (+4) – Fresh off his second top-20 finish, Black is up to 18th in points after starting the season in 29th. In 2016, his only full Xfinity season, he finished 19th in the final Xfinity standings.
  10. Garrett Smithley (+1) – Another strong start to the season for Smithley who finds himself 17th in points. In the first four races of season he’s finished 24th, 17th, 18th and 22nd this past week in Phoenix.
  11. Ryan Preece (-2) – It was a rough Phoenix outing for Preece who managed 34th after getting turned during a restart. Has run in top-15 for over 10% of total laps run to date.
  12. David Ragan (-2) – Consistently churning out the top-25’s like last year, averaging a 24.8 finish. Has completed more green flag passes (551) than any of the other small team Cup drivers.
  13. Josh Williams (-1) – Williams had an ignition issue cost him another top-20 late in the going at Phoenix. Despite his 29th place finish, Williams is still averaging a 22.0 finish.
  14. Chad Finchum (Not ranked last week) – Has been a consistent presence in the top-25 for the three races he’s been behind the wheel of the #42. Up to 23rd points after not racing in Daytona.
  15. Brennan Poole (+1) – Stays in rankings this week on strength of his average finish (19.0) and having run 34.9% of all total laps inside of the top-15.
  16. Ty Dillon (+2) – Bounces back from a rough outing at Las Vegas with a 15th place effort in Phoenix, holding steady at 22nd in Cup points.
  17. Tyler Dippel (-2) – Stays in the rankings with an average finish in three Trucks starts of 19.0.
  18. Corey LaJoie (-1) – LaJoie nets his best finish since Daytona with a 26th place finish at Phoenix.
  19. Michael McDowell (-5) – Hard knocks all the way around for McDowell at Phoenix send him tumbling in the rankings. Since his top-5 at Daytona, he’s had no finish better than 30th despite showing speed in several of those races.
  20. David Starr (No change) – Starr stays put as the last driver in the rankings. With two top-20’s already under his belt this season, he has helped give Jimmy Means Racing one of their best starts ever to a season.

Ranks for the memories! This driver fell out of the top-20 this week: Timmy Hill (ranked 19th last week)

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