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NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Here’s a look at what to expect:

Monday: An in-depth look at the top two seeds in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 – Joey Logano and Jimmie Johnson

Tuesday: An in-depth look at the third and fourth seeds in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship 4 – Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch

Today: NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series notes; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship race notes at Homestead-Miami Speedway

 

NASCAR XFINITY Series

Next Race: Ford EcoBoost 300

The Place: Homestead-Miami Speedway

The Date: Saturday, Nov. 19

The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

Tickets: NASCAR.com/tickets

TV: NBCSN, 3 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 301 miles (200 laps)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: Ford EcoBoost 200

The Place: Homestead-Miami Speedway

The Date: Friday, Nov. 11

The Time: 8 p.m. ET

Tickets: NASCAR.com/tickets

TV: FS1, 7:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 201 miles (134 laps)

 

NASCAR XFINITY Series

Inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase Culminates In Miami

For the first time in the NASCAR XFINITY Series’ 34-year existence, the title will be decided at the culmination of the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, a four round elimination-style playoff that will name the series’ 27th different champion in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The first of the Championship 4 drivers to cross the finish line at Homestead will become the 2016 series driver champion. Elliott Sadler, Daniel Suárez, Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier are the Championship 4 and have competed all season for the chance at the title in the Ford EcoBoost 300 (Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).  

Championship 4 (By car number):

NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship 4 Bios

Elliott Sadler (No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)

A veteran driver from Emporia, Virginia, Elliott Sadler has the chance this weekend to win his first NASCAR XFINITY Series championship and bring home the second driver title in three years for JR Motorsports (Chase Elliott, 2014). Sadler is no stranger to the championship pressure as he has finished in the top three in the series driver standings in three of the last five seasons; including two runner-ups (2011, 2012).

Sadler and the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro team will be without their crew chief Kevin Meendering this weekend at Homestead. Last weekend at Phoenix the No. 1 car did not pass post-race lug nut inspection, and as a result, Meendering was suspended from participating in the season finale. Instead serving as crew chief this weekend will be JR Motorsports race operations manager Mike Baumgardner. 

“We let Kevin (Meendering) ultimately make this decision because it’s his team,” said JR Motorsports general manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller. “Kevin chose Mike to sit in the crew chief’s seat and for good reason – he is experienced atop the pit box and very dependable. We have a great deal of confidence in Mike to give Elliott his best opportunity to win on Saturday.”

At the age of 41, Elliott Sadler can become the second oldest driver in series history to win the title behind Sam Ard, who won the title in 1985 at the age of 48 years, 9 months, 29 days. If Sadler wins the title this weekend he will be 41 years, 6 months and 20 days. Sadler would join Tommy Ellis (Richmond) as the second series champion from the state of Virginia.

Breakdown by Round of Elliott Sadler’s 2016 Chase:

Round of 12: Sadler quickly locked himself into the Round of 8 by winning the first race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase at Kentucky. He followed up Kentucky with a seventh-place finish at Dover and a runner-up showing at Charlotte.

Round of 8: Sadler kicked the Round of 8 off with a solid second-place finish at Kansas, and then posted a sixth-place finish at Texas and a 13th at Phoenix last weekend. Sadler accumulated the second most points in the Round of 8 to earn a spot in the Championship 4.

Elliott Sadler Fast Facts:

  • In 2016, Sadler has posted three wins, 13 top fives and 28 top 10s (series-most).
  • Sadler’s average finish during the 2016 season is a 6.9. 
  • During the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, he has posted one win, four top fives and six top 10s.
  • Sadler’s average finish during the 2016 Chase is 5.2.
  • During the Chase, Sadler posted a driver rating of 103.1 and an average running position of 7.8.
  • At Homestead, Sadler has made 10 starts posting one top five, four top 10s and an average finish of 16.3.

Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro)

After a two-season stint in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, Justin Allgaier returned to the NASCAR XFINITY Series this season, and instantly jumped into title contention form. The Riverton, Illinois, native has a solid shot at the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship for the first time in his career as the series heads into Homestead-Miami. Allgaier’s previous best series  standings finish was third in 2011. This season Allgaier, like Sadler, has the opportunity to bring home the second series driver title for JR Motorsports in three years (Chase Elliott, 2014).  

“When the news broke in the middle of the off-season that we (NASCAR XFINITY Series) were going to have a Chase format, you know, for me it was something I was super pumped about,” said Allgaier. “Going to a new team, new crew chief, new cars, and coming back to the NASCAR XFINITY Series, I felt like the old format lent itself to making sure you were good all season and carrying it all the way through. For us, the new format gave us time to get acclimated to get to know our new guys and our new program, and I think that helped us out tremendously.”

Competing alongside Allgaier this season is crew chief Jason Burdett. The 2016 season is just Burdett’s second full season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series; he worked with driver Regan Smith and the No. 7 JRM team last season, finishing fourth in the series standings. 

“It doesn’t matter what series you’re in, if you’re in a NASCAR Home Tracks series, or any of the top three national series, it doesn’t matter what you run, to make it and have an opportunity to go for a championship means the world to all of us,” said Allgaier.  

If Allgaier is to win this season’s title, he will become the first series champion from the state of Illinois.

Breakdown by Round of Justin Allgaier’s 2016 Chase:

Round of 12: Allgaier made it to the Round of 8 on the heels of three solid top 10 finishes. The JRM driver posted a ninth-place finish at Kentucky, a third at Dover and a sixth at Charlotte. Allgaier accumulated the third most series driver points during the Round of 12 and as a result Allgaier advanced to the Round of 8. 

Round of 8: Allgaier’s consistency slipped at the beginning of the Round of 8 when he was caught in an accident at Kansas that relegated him to a 14th-place finish. But the No. 7 team’s championship hopes were not deterred as they answered with a 10th-place finish at Texas which put Allgaier in fifth place in the Chase standings just outside the Championship 4 cutoff. Allgaier and team performed well at Phoenix last weekend, posting a fourth-place finish which netted him the fourth and final slot in the Championship 4.

Justin Allgaier Fast Facts:

  • In 2016, Allgaier has posted 13 top fives and 26 top 10s.
  • Allgaier’s average finish during the 2016 season is an 9.2. 
  • During the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, he has posted two top fives and five top 10s.
  • Allgaier’s average finish during the 2016 Chase was 7.7.
  • During the Chase, Allgaier posted a driver rating of 104.3 and an average running position of 6.5.
  • At Homestead, Allgaier has made six starts posting a career-best finish of 11th (twice: 2012 and 2010) and an average finish of 17.0. 

Daniel Suárez (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry)

The 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year, Daniel Suárez has the opportunity to become the first international driver to win a national series title. The Monterrey, Mexico, native became the first Mexican-born driver to win a NASCAR XFINITY Series race this season when he took the checkered flag at Michigan, and then again during the Chase at Dover. Now the Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next program graduate can not only become the first driver from Mexico to win a series title, but he can also bring home the second series driver title for Joe Gibbs Racing and the first since Kyle Busch, who won it in 2009.

“I’m super excited for my team, and I’m super excited for myself,” said Suárez. “Homestead is going to be a race I am going to enjoy a lot. My family is going to be there and a lot of my friends are going to be there. It is going to be a huge party for me. Hopefully we can win the thing and have a good vacation as champions.”

One thing working in Suárez’s favor this weekend at Homestead in the championship finale is crew chief Scott Graves. While Suárez doesn’t have any championship race experience, yet, in this series, Graves led his former team and driver Chris Buescher to the series championship last season. Graves now has the opportunity to become the first crew chief since Mike Kelley (2011-2012) to win back-to-back titles. Graves could also become the first crew chief since Steve Bird (1995, Johnny Benson and 1996, Randy LaJoie) to win consecutive titles with two different drivers.

Suárez can also help bring the series Bill France Performance Cup, which is the award given to the manufacturer champion in the NASCAR XFINITY Series. If the top finishing Toyota finishes 17th or better, Toyota will lock up the title for the first time since 2010.

Breakdown by Round of Daniel Suárez’s 2016 Chase:

Round of 12: Suárez quickly ushered himself into contention to make to the Round of 8 by finishing second at the Chase opener in Kentucky. He then sealed the deal on his advancement to the next round by winning the second race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase at Dover. He followed his win up at Dover with a third-place finish at Charlotte.

Round of 8: Suárez’s championship quest continued in the Round of 8 by posting a solid third-place finish at Kansas, and then back-to-back fifth-place finishes at Texas and Phoenix last weekend.

Daniel Suárez Fast Facts:

  • In 2016, Suárez has posted two wins, 18 top fives, 26 top 10s and two poles.
  • Suárez’s average finish during the 2016 season is an 8.2. 
  • During the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, he has posted one win and six top fives.
  • Suárez’s average finish during the 2016 Chase was 3.2.
  • During the Chase, Suárez posted a driver rating of 121.0 and an average running position of 4.3.
  • At Homestead, Suárez made his series track-debut last season starting second and finishing sixth.  

Erik Jones (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry)

Erik Jones’ rookie season has been one of the most impressive in series history. The Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate has set a rookie record for poles with nine this season. The 20-year-old driver has also posted four wins this season – the most for a rookie since Greg Biffle’s five wins in 2001.  Now Jones heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway with the opportunity to become the second Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series championship (Chase Elliott, 2014). Like Suárez, Jones also can bring home Joe Gibbs Racing’s second series driver title and first since Kyle Busch won it in 2009.

Jones also has the opportunity to become the third youngest driver in series history to win the title at the age of 20 years, 5 months and 20 days (on Saturday, Nov. 19); behind Chase Elliott (18 years, 11 months and 18 days) and Brian Vickers (20 years, 0 months and 22 days).

“It’s pretty special for me, having a shot to go to Homestead again this year to win a championship in the NASCAR XFINITY Series,” said Jones. “It would be awesome to win back-to-back championships in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR XFINITY Series.” 

If Jones wins the title this weekend he will become the fourth driver in NASCAR national series history to win a title in both the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (2015) and the NASCAR XFINITY Series; joining Greg Biffle (NCWTS, 2000; NXS, 2002), Johnny Benson (NCWTS, 2008; NXS 1995) and Austin Dillon (NCWTS, 2011; and NXS, 2013). If Jones accomplishes the feat, he will be the only driver of the four to do it in consecutive seasons.

Breakdown by Round of Justin Allgaier’s 2016 Chase:

Round of 12: Jones’ entire 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase has been an uphill climb. Jones started the Chase with an accident at Kentucky that saw him finish 28th. He then followed that up with a 16th at Dover. The two finishes outside the top-10 had Jones facing elimination heading into Charlotte, but the young rookie standout prevailed, posting a fifth-place finish and enough points to move inside the top eight in the Chase standings and on to the next round.  

Round of 8: Jones’s bad luck continued in the first race of the Round of 8 when he finished a lap down at Kansas in 15th. Jones and the No. 20 JGR team mustered up a fourth-place finish at Texas and then for the second time in this season’s Chase, Jones was faced with elimination and he overcame the odds to finish 10th at Phoenix.

Erik Jones Fast Facts:

  • In 2016, Jones has posted four wins (most among Chasers), 15 top fives, 19 top 10s and a rookie record nine poles.
  • Jones’ average finish during the 2016 season is an 11.7. 
  • During the 2016 NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase, he has posted two top fives, three top 10s and two poles.
  • Jones’ average finish during the 2016 Chase was 13.0.
  • During the Chase, Jones posted a driver rating of 115.5 and an average running position of 5.1.
  • At Homestead, Jones made his series track-debut last season starting seventh and finishing third.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Championship 4 Weekend Kicks Off With Camping World Truck Series Showdown

The inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 race kicks off what promises to be a thrilling weekend in Miami, NASCAR’s title town. Friday night’s race wraps up a four round elimination-style playoff that will crown one of four drivers as the champion in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The first of the Championship 4 drivers to cross the finish line at Homestead will become the 2016 series driver champion. Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, Christopher Bell and Timothy Peters are the Championship 4 and have competed all season for the chance at the title in the Ford EcoBoost 200 (Friday, Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).  

Championship 4 (By truck number):

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 Bios

 

Christopher Bell (No. 4 JBL Toyota)

 

The young upstart in the Championship 4, 21-year-old Christopher Bell, will attempt to keep the NASCAR Camping World Series driver’s title at Kyle Busch Motorsports for another year by achieving the same feat Erik Jones did last season – winning the series crown as a rookie.

 

In his lone start at Homestead last season, Bell finished 25th after running out of fuel on the 131st of 134 laps.

 

“Racing against three veterans that have made a bunch of laps at Homestead is going to be a tough battle – nothing can replace that experience,” said Bell, who is competing against Matt Crafton, Timothy Peters and Johnny Sauter for the series championship. “I feel like where I have the advantage is that I’m driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports. They are so competitive and have their stuff together and week in and week out when I show up to the track I know that I’ll have a Tundra that is capable of winning. I’ve only won once this year, so I need to keep piecing that puzzle together – but there’s no better place to start than this weekend at Homestead.”

 

Bell boasts a 7.4 average finish in six starts during the Chase. He has finished no worse than 11th.

 

In 22 starts this season, Bell owns one win, nine top fives and 16 top 10s.

 

Breakdown by round of Christopher Bell’s 2016 Chase:

Round of 8: Bell registered a 4.7 average finish in the Round of eight, placing second (New Hampshire), sixth (Las Vegas) and sixth (Talladega) to easily advance to the Round of 6.
Round of 6: Bell put himself in good position to move on in the Chase by placing fourth at Martinsville, but hit a road block with an 11th-place showing at Texas. His Kyle Busch teammate William Byron suffered mechanical issues at Phoenix, a situation Bell took advantage of to sneak into the Championship 4 with a seventh-place showing.

 

Christopher Bell Fast Facts:

  • In 2016, Bell has posted one win, nine top fives and 16 top 10s.
  • During the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, he has posted two top fives and five top 10s.
  • Bell’s average finish during the first six races of the 2016 Chase was 6.0.
  • During the Chase, Bell posted a driver rating of 103.7 and an average running position of 7.4.
  • At Homestead, Bell made his series track-debut last season starting ninth and finishing 25th; four laps down due to running out of fuel.

 

Timothy Peters (No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota)

 

A model of consistency, Timothy Peters is the one driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 without a victory this season.

 

The No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota driver has advanced by registering eight top-five and 15 top-10 showings for an average finish of 9.1. In the Chase, he has posted four top fives, five top 10s and an average finish of 6.8.

 

“I love that place, worn out race track, you can go run up by the fence,” Peters said about Homestead-Miami Speedway where he will race Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter and Christopher Bell for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. “If that isn’t working, you can go down to the bottom. There’s a lot of characteristics to that race track that can help your balance. I’m ready.”

 

Peters has logged a top-10 championship finish in each of his eight NASCAR Camping World Truck Series seasons. His best championship showing was a runner-up result in 2012.

 

The Providence, North Carolina, native has never won at Homestead, but has three top fives and six top 10s in nine starts there.

 

For his career, Peters claims 10 wins, 56 top fives and 117 top 10s.

 

Breakdown by Round of Timothy Peters’ 2016 Chase:

Round of 8: Peters breezed through the Round of 8 with a fifth-place showing at New Hampshire, ninth-place effort at Las Vegas and third-place result at Talladega.

 

Round of 6: Peters started the Round of 6 off well with a fifth-place performance at Martinsville, but almost doomed his title aspirations with a 14th-place showing at Texas. He bounced back with a fifth-place showing at Phoenix to earn his bid to the Championship 4.

 

Timothy Peters Fast Facts:

  • In 2016, Peters has posted eight top fives, 15 top 10s and a pole.
  • During the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, he has posted four top fives and five top 10s.
  • Peters’ average finish during the first six races of the 2016 Chase was 6.8.
  • During the Chase, Peters posted a driver rating of 97.6 and an average running position of 7.8.
  • At Homestead, Peters has made nine starts posting three top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 9.3.

 

Johnny Sauter (No. 21 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet)

No driver in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is on as big of a tear as Johnny Sauter lately. The No. 21 GMS Racing driver boasts two wins and a runner-up in his last three races entering Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200 championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

 

Asked after the Phoenix race if he thought he was the favorite to take home the series title, Sauter said:

 

“Absolutely (joking). I mean I’d like to think so. Anything can happen. Someone just asked me down on pit road, ‘What’s your strategy to win the championship?’ I said, ‘Try to win the race, that’s the best way to do it. You’re going to have to go down there and be aggressive and also be a little bit smart. I’m not sure. It’s new for everybody. I don’t think anybody really knows what the official strategy is, but I think you’re going to have to be fast. With the way people are running and the guys who are in the Chase, I wouldn’t be surprised if the champion won the race.”

 

In nine career Homestead starts, Sauter claims one win (2011), two top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 11.7.

Sauter, whose only victory in the regular season was the opener at Daytona, has upped his performance in the Chase. In seven Chase races, he’s posted two wins, three top fives, six top 10s and a 4.7 average finish. He leads the Championship 4 in each of the aforementioned statistical categories.

 

Sauter’s best NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship finish was a runner-up showing in 2011.
On the season, the Wisconsin native boasts three wins, 11 top five, 18 top 10s and a pole.

 

Breakdown by Round of Johnny Sauter’s 2016 Chase:

Round of 8: Sauter started the Chase off solid with a 10th-place finish at New Hampshire. He followed up the performance with seventh-place efforts at Las Vegas and Talladega to advance to the Round of 6.

 

Round of 6: Sauter clinched his berth in the Championship 4 by leading 50 laps on his way to Victory Lane at Martinsville. He won the next race at Texas for good measure and registered a runner-up showing at Phoenix.

 

Johnny Sauter Fast Facts:

  • In 2016, Sauter has posted three wins, 11 top fives, 18 top 10s and a pole.
  • During the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, he has posted two wins, three top fives and six top 10s.
  • Sauter’s average finish during the first six races of the 2016 Chase was 4.7.
  • During the Chase, Sauter posted a driver rating of 107.5 and an average running position of 7.3.
  • At Homestead, Sauter has made nine starts posting one win, two top fives, six top 10s and an average finish of 11.7.

 

Matt Crafton (No. 88 Black Label Bacon/Menards Toyota)

 

Advantage Matt Crafton in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway?

 

Sure looks like it.

 

In the last three years he has dominated the intermediate tracks on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series circuit. In the series’ last 25 starts at tracks ranging from 1.5-1.54 miles, Crafton boasts seven wins, 17 top fives, 22 top 10s and a 5.76 average finish.

 

Crafton’s been decent in his career at Homestead with one win (last season from the pole), three top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 11.7.

 

“I have no friends,” Crafton said about the intensity of Friday’s race. “All my friends are going to come in yellow firesuits with Menards on them. We’re going to take the gloves off. I promise you that. We’re going to have no friends going into that race and we’re going to do whatever it takes to win.”

 

The No. 88 Menards Toyota driver will be racing for his third career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. With another title he can join Jack Sprague for second-place all-time with three Truck Series championships. Ron Hornaday holds the series record with four titles.

 

When asked if the pressure was off him Friday because he knows what it’s like to race for a championship, Crafton spoke with supreme confidence.

 

“Yeah, without a doubt,” he said. “I have nothing to lose to be honest. I have nothing to lose.”

 

On the season, Crafton has two wins, eight top fives, 15 top 10s and one pole.

 

Breakdown by Round of Matt Crafton’s 2016 Chase:

Round of 8: Crafton started the Chase off hot, finishing third at New Hampshire and eighth at Las Vegas. He stayed out of trouble at Talladega, earning a 22nd-place finish to transfer to the Round of 6.

 

Round of 6: Crafton rebounded from a rough 17th-place result at Martinsville with results of second at Texas and third at Phoenix to clinch his spot in the Championship 4.

 

Matt Crafton Fast Facts:

  • In 2016, Crafton has posted two wins, eight top fives, 15 top 10s and a pole.
  • During the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase, he has posted three top fives and four top 10s.
  • Crafton’s average finish during the first six races of the 2016 Chase was 9.2.
  • During the Chase, Crafton posted a driver rating of 91.4 and an average running position of 9.4.
  • At Homestead, Crafton has made 15 starts posting one win (last season from the pole), three top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 11.7.

 

 

 

11/17/2016 - Posted by | ARCHIVES

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