By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – For four drivers, the first ever NASCAR Xfinity Series Chase for the Championship in the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was the end of their Championship hopes.
Brandon Jones, Brennan Poole, Ryan Sieg, and Ty Dillon were all eliminated from the 2016 NASCAR Xfinity Series Chase.
Jones was in the worst position of the Chasers as they entered Charlotte. He was 18-points behind the Chase cut-off, and needed some help, or to score his first win to move on to the Round of Eight. Unfortunately, neither happened, and Jones wound up 21-points behind the Chase cut-off.
Jones was happy just to be a part of the Chase.
“That was my goal honestly just to make the Chase as a rookie this year,” Jones said. “Take out Kentucky and Dover, maybe we could have done something different there. We tried to do the best we could all day long.”
Entering the final race of the Round of 12, Poole was the last driver on the inside, poised to move on to the Round of Eight. He was running well until an alternator issue popped up just before the midway point of the race. Poole fell two laps down and ultimately finished in 18th, two laps down, and five points behind the Chase cut-off.
Sieg entered the end of the Round of 12 10-points behind the Chase cut-off. Sieg needed a little help or to win his first career race in order to advance to the Round of Eight. He got some help as other Chasers, Poole, and Darrell Wallace, Jr. had issues, but it was not enough. Sieg ended up six points behind the Chase cut-off.
Sieg was disappointed that he failed to move to the next round.
“Mistakes got us the first two,” Sieg said. “If we finished where we were running in those races, we would’ve been in the top eight.”
Dillon rolled into the Drive for the Cure 300 just three points behind the Chase cut-off. For the bulk of the race, he was running just on the inside of the Chase cut-off. On the final green flag run of the race, Sieg passed Dillon for the 11th position, taking a point away from Dillon.
Dillon was never able to run Sieg back down and as a result, he ended up just one point behind Wallace, Jr. and the Chase cut-off.
All four drivers will now look forward to Kansas Speedway where they will look to play the role of spoiler.