DARLINGTON, SC - SEPTEMBER 01: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M's Caramel Toyota, speaks with Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 BassProShops/TrackerBoats40thAnv Toyota, in the garage area during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 1, 2017 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)

Former champions give younger drivers 'helpful' advice for the playoffs


The Xfinity Series playoffs begin on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway, and several young drivers are competing for the championship.

NASCAR veterans who previously won Xfinity championships--including Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski and Austin Dillon--offered advice to the young drivers in the field:

"I think the advice for the younger guys, the Xfinity guys, is obviously to win races," Busch, who won the Xfinity Series title in 2009 and Cup title in 2015, said. "You want to be able to win those races and take advantage of the races that those Cup guys can't be in like myself and to be able to go out there and execute and get the job done."

Chase Elliott, winner of the 2014 Xfinity championship, said the JR Motorsports team needs to continue what it did in the regular season.

"I think the guys at JRM certainly have to be the favorites as well as they've run throughout the year," Elliott said. "I think for them, just kind of keep doing the same things they've done all season. There's nothing I'm going to tell them that they don't already know."

Two-time Xfinity champion Kevin Harvick (2001, 2006) also won the Cup title in 2014, and he said drivers need to stay in rhythm.

"The best advice you can give people at this time of year is to race one week at a time," Harvick said. "This is a challenging time of the year. You're going to have people trying things, doing things that you're not accustomed to seeing and trying to put yourself in a position to do something totally different than you've done all year. It's going to put you out of rhythm with what got you here."

Related: Cup Drivers once again dominate XFinity

Martin Truex Jr. said drivers need to play to their strengths. Truex won back-to-back Xfinity titles in 2004 and 2005 and is currently competing for the Cup series title.

"Any time you're in high pressure situations, I think you just have to try to block all of that out and do what you do and play to your strengths and race the way you know how to race," Truex said. "If you get out of your rhythm or try to do something different than what you've done all year, then you put yourself in a vulnerable position."

Austin Dillon, who won the Xfinity championship in 2013, said you have to stay focused on what's ahead of you and know what you need to do.

Brad Keselowski, winner of the 2010 Xfinity title and 2012 Cup title, had the simplest advice: "Don't screw it up."