XFINITY Series Power Rankings: Texas Six-Step

NASCAR XFINITY Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

NASCAR XFINITY Series My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

After the first off week of 2017, XFINITY Series was back at Texas Motor Speedway. Erik Jones made it six different winners in six races in 2017 as the 2016 XFINITY Series rookie of the year took his first trip to Victory Lane. There was a lot of drama for XFINITY Series regulars as the leaderboard was scattered with great, and rough finishes for the day.

Let’s see how they stack up as we head into the Easter off weekend.

12. Dakoda Armstrong, JGL Racing (Last week: 12th)

You know the deal. As long as he stays in the playoffs, he stays in the power rankings. He’s holding steady in playoff position after a 17th-place result at Texas.

11. Michael Annett, JR Motorsports (Last week: 8th)

Something just seemed off with the No. 5 team all weekend as Annett qualified a disappointing 34th. He worked his way up to 20th at the checkered flag, but that’s not a result that team is looking for.

10. Blake Koch, Kaulig Racing (Last week: 9th)

Koch is tied in the points standings with Annett, but I’m giving the driver of the No. 11 the edge based on his topping Annett in each of the last two races, and he’s an early Atlanta accident from really making noise.

Matt Tifft leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series My Bariatric Solutions 300. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Matt Tifft leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR XFINITY Series My Bariatric Solutions 300. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

9. Matt Tifft, Joe Gibbs Racing (Last week: 10th)

Tifft was finally able to stay out of trouble, and was rewarded with his first top 10 of the early season. A few more of those, and he’ll continue to climb back up the power rankings.

8. Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing (Last week: 12th)

Like Tifft, Custer has had way more trouble this season than he would like. Yet also like Tifft, he stayed out of trouble at Texas and scored a top 10. The difference? Custer snagged his first top five of the year, catapulting back into the playoff picture and way up the power rankings after being the highest-finishing XFINITY Series regular on Saturday.

7. Brennan Poole, Chip Ganassi Racing (Last week: 7th)

6. Daniel Hemric, Richard Childress Racing (Last week: 6th)

I’m going to do these two together. They’re separated by just two points in the standings, and both fell into hard times at Texas finishing 37th (Poole) and 32nd (Hemric). I’m giving the edge to Hemric for his team being able to get the No. 21 back out there, and gaining five points after an early crash while in the runner-up position.

5. Ryan Reed, Roush Fenway (Last week: 5th)

I thought Reed would grab a top 10 after running toward front during the first two stages. Strategy resulted in 11th, but Reed was able to gain some valuable stage points to sit third in the points standings.

4. Bubba Wallace, Roush Fenway (Last week: 4th)

Yep, it happened again.

Will he make it six races in sixth for the No. 6 at Bristol? Stay tuned.

3. Justin Allgaier, JR Motorsports (Last week: 2nd)

Lil’ Gator is the toughest guy to rank each week. How much do you value the win vs. being fifth in the points standings? You can make a case for him anywhere from fifth to first, so let’s put him in the middle of that. These next two races are big with Dash 4 Cash bonuses as Allgaier is the only driver in pursuit of $1,000,000 total.

William Byron races during the NASCAR XFINITY Series My Bariatric Solutions 300. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

William Byron races during the NASCAR XFINITY Series My Bariatric Solutions 300. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

2. William Byron, JR Motorsports (Last week: 3rd)

I’m bumping Byron up a spot as he earned his first valuable playoff point with a stage two victory. Coupled with a great stage one finish that netted seven regular-season points over teammate Elliott Sadler, the points standings are tight with the rookie only six points back.

1. Elliott Sadler, JR Motorsports (Last week: 1st)

Byron staying six points back is good news for the veteran Sadler who stays on top of the mountain. He’s one of only two regular XFINITY Series drivers with five top 10s, and multiple top fives.

Honorable mention:

Spencer Gallagher was hilarious on his XFINITY Racing Twitter takeover, and got the bump to finish 14th. That was the best non-plate track finish of his series career. Ryan Sieg keeps chugging along with an 18th-place finish, but scored stage points for the first time this season after completing stage two in seventh. David Starr finished 24th in his home state, but more importantly had the most delicious paint scheme of 2017 so far from Whataburger.

Want more from XFINITY Series this season? Follow @XFINITYRacing on Twitter.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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