Justin Allgaier is looking to build on last season's fourth-place finish in the Xfinity Series standings
With two-time defending champion Tyler Reddick now running full-time in the Cup Series, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will crown a new champion in 2020. There is no lack of contenders when it comes to picking the driver that will sit atop the standings at the conclusion of the 33-race schedule. Among the names to know in 2020 is the "old" guy of series, a former ACRA champ, a surprise winner in the Cup Series last year, and the son of a former successful Cup driver.
NASCAR Xfinity Series' Top 10 Drivers for 2020
1. Justin Allgaier
After nine full seasons in the series, Allgaier is now the seasoned veteran on the Xfinity circuit. He won five times in 2018 but only once last season. That win came at the best of times, though, locking him into the Championship 4 at Homestead. He can fight for titles on speed and on points.
2. Chase Briscoe
Being SHR’s only full-time NXS driver should bode well for the 2016 ARCA champ. Briscoe should benefit from the team’s resources, which propelled Cole Custer to seven wins and second in the standings in 2019.
3. Austin Cindric
Transitioning from road racing wasn’t a smooth process for Cindric, but now that he’s had a couple of years of experience, he’s much more polished and a proven championship contender.
4. Justin Haley
A surprise win in the Cup Series was the high point of Haley’s first full season in the NXS. His Kaulig Racing team showed it could compete with anyone with a win by Ross Chastain at Daytona, where Haley finished a career-best second. With a solid technical alliance with RCR, the Kaulig-Haley combination should continue to be strong in 2020.
5. Harrison Burton
The son of Jeff Burton has been on a track to the big time since he was 12. After a season in the Trucks with KBM, Burton will make the leap into the NXS with Joe Gibbs Racing hoping to follow the path that Christopher Bell blazed.
6. Noah Gragson
Off a second-place finish in the Truck standings in 2018, Gragson transitioned from the TRD program to Chevrolet, going from KBM to JRM. Under Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s tutelage, Gragson finished eighth in the standings with 22 top-10 finishes, including thirds at Las Vegas and Indianapolis and a second-place finish at Michigan. With a full year in the JRM system under his belt, Gragson could make a deep run into the playoffs.
7. Brandon Jones
Jones is poised to fully take advantage of the departure of Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Christopher Bell from the series. Jones has been fast from the start and is finally getting the finishes to go along with his speed.
8. Riley Herbst
Despite not running a full season in any racing series in 2019, Herbst had a solid campaign. He nearly won at Talladega in both ARCA and Trucks and had several solid runs in the NXS for JGR as well. With the full support of JGR and TRD, Herbst could be a sleeper for a long playoff run.
9. Michael Annett
Last season was the year Michael Annett went from being just another guy in the field to being a contender to race for the NXS championship. A win at Daytona was a career first, and he positioned himself to stay in contention for the title the rest of the season. Having bounced from team to team over the course of his career, he could benefit from some consistency with JRM.
10. Ryan Sieg
Driving for a family-owned team is not easy in today’s NASCAR environment, but Sieg has shown it can be done. His father Rod invested in RCR equipment for 2019, and it paid off handsomely with a dozen top-10 finishes. An upset win at Daytona or Talladega could lock him into the playoffs rather than having to race his way in on points.
(Top photo courtesy of ASP, Inc.)