NNS: 3’s A Magic Number; Dillon, Scott and Sadler Battle for Third

RaceChaser Staff NASCAR, West 0 Comments

FORT WORTH, Texas — official release — Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America photo — Rolling into Texas with just three races remaining in the season, three drivers in the standings’ top five are battling for third-place, separated by a mere three points.

Richard Childress Racing’s Brian Scott, currently third in the standings, is just two points ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Elliott Sadler in fourth. Scott’s RCR teammate, Ty Dillon, resides in fifth just one point back from Sadler as the season shines up its boots for the O’Reilly Auto Parts Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend (on ESPN2 at 3:30 p.m. ET).

The series is coming off a two-week layoff – but that’s after a stretch of 19 consecutive race weekends. During that span, Brian Scott had the second-best average finish (8.6) behind points leader Chase Elliott (7.0). Scott has posted six top fives and 20 top 10s this season – a series career best. His season-to-date driver rating of 101.4 and average running position of 7.4 are both second-best among series championship contenders. Scott has made nine starts at Texas posting two top 10s.

Elliott Sadler, in fourth, is closing just two points back from third-place Brian Scott. Sadler has posted one win (Talladega), six top fives, 22 top 10s and an average finish of 9.7 this season. He moved to fourth in the standings following his ninth-place finish at Charlotte a few weeks ago.  Sadler has made 13 starts at Texas posting three top fives, seven top 10s and two poles.

Ty Dillon’s streak of seven consecutive top-10 finishes ended at Charlotte when he was caught in a multi-car accident relegating him to a 30th-place finish and his first DNF of the season. The uncharacteristic finish dropped Dillon from third to fifth in the standings, ultimately extinguishing his championship hopes.  Despite the recent misfortune, Dillon’s rookie season has been quite impressive. In 30 starts, he has posted one win (Indianapolis), six top fives, 22 top 10s and an average finish of 9.6. Dillon has made two starts at Texas, recording one top 10 and an average finish of 10.5.

With so few points separating the three drivers, their performances at the final three races will be pivotal to their success. Ty Dillon (11.5) has the best combined average finish at Texas, Phoenix and Homestead; followed by Sadler (14.7) and then Scott (16.3).

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