Jamie McMurray and other title challengers not named Truex or Busch still feeling good

Jamie McMurray has no race wins and no stage wins this year.

And at the moment, he’s inside the cutoff to advance to the semifinal round of eight with two races remaining in the quarterfinal round.

That’s a little bit of an accomplishment. The NASCAR elimination playoff format and its new playoff points system this year has put an emphasis on being the leader — either at the end of a stage or the end of a race.

Because he had done neither of those this season, McMurray started the quarterfinal round of 12 last among them, but just five points out of eighth.

Among the Xfinity Series regulars vying for the championship, the big winner was Ryan Reed, whose 12th-place finish put him one point ahead of Brendan Gaughan to advance to the semifinal round of eight. After an off week, the semifinals start at Kansas on Oct. 21.

Reed has won two Daytona races but this might have been one of his biggest accomplishments as he had to hold off Brandon Jones late in the race to preserve his playoff spot.

The other drivers advancing had pretty much comfortable cushions going in — William Byron, Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer, Brennan Poole and Matt Tifft.

“With this high-pressure points system, … I just knew it was going to come Texans Cheap Jerseys down to it,” Reed said. “It was the hardest seven laps I’ve ever driven. Every time Wholesale NFL Jerseys Nike I turned that steering wheel, I had to be perfect.

“Man, I’m just worn out after that. It was a lot of work. It was a lot of drama and a lot of intensity.”

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