NASCAR XFINITY Series & NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway

Credit: 352886(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images) William Byron, driver of the #9 Liberty University Chevrolet talks to the media during media day for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship at the Loews Hotel on November 16, 2017 in Miami, Florida.

NASCAR XFINITY Series Ford EcoBoost 300
Homestead-Miami Speedway Distance: 300 miles (200 laps)
Saturday, Nov. 18 3:30 p.m. ET TV: NBCSN, 3 p.m. ET Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Stage 1 (Ends on lap 45), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on lap 200)

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200
Homestead-Miami Speedway Distance: 201 miles (134 laps)
Friday, Nov. 17 8 p.m. ET TV: FS1, 7:30 p.m. ET Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Stage 1 (Ends on lap 40), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 80), Final Stage (Ends on lap 134)

NASCAR XFINITY Series

NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs Culminates In Miami
For the second year in a row, the NASCAR XFINITY Series title will be decided at the culmination of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs, a four-round elimination-style postseason that will name the series’ 28th different champion in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The first of the Championship 4 drivers to cross the finish line at Homestead-Miami will become the 2017 series driver champion.

Justin Allgaier, William Byron, Daniel Hemric and Elliott Sadler are the Championship 4 and have competed all season for the chance at the title in the Ford EcoBoost 300 this Saturday, Nov. 18 at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Channel 90).

The Championship 4 features a pair of veterans in Allgaier and Sadler facing off against two Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders. There has only been one Sunoco Rookie who has taken home the championship – Chase Elliott in 2014.

JR Motorsports drivers make up three of the four championship contenders (Allgaier, Byron and Sadler) while all four cars are powered by Chevrolet.

Championship 4 (By car number):

NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship 4 Bios

Elliott Sadler (No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet)

Emporia, Virginia’s Elliott Sadler has the chance this weekend to win his first NASCAR XFINITY Series championship and secure the second driver title in four years for JR Motorsports (Chase Elliott, 2014). Sadler is no stranger to the championship pressure as he has finished in the top four in the series driver standings in five of the last six seasons; including three runner-up finishes (2011, 2012 and 2016).

Sadler closed out the first 26 races of 2017 as the NASCAR XFINITY Series regular season champion, and now has turned his attention to bringing home the title. Since its inception last season, Sadler and JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier are the only two drivers to make the Championship 4 round in the postseason both seasons of its existence.

Sadler’s career in the NASCAR XFINITY Series started back in 1995, nearly 22 years ago. Since then, the talented veteran has made 361 series starts, posting 13 wins, 92 top fives (11th-most all-time), 201 top 10s (fourth-most all-time) and 17 poles.

Leading Sadler and the No. 1 JR Motorsports team from the pit box this season is crew chief Kevin Meendering. In 32 starts this season, Sadler and Meendering have amassed the series-most top fives (12) and top 10s (24) with an average finish of 9.4. Plus, Sadler led the series in accumulating stage points this season with 232 points.

In addition, if he claims the title this weekend, Sadler would join Tommy Ellis (Richmond) as the second series champion from the state of Virginia.

Breakdown by Round of Elliott Sadler’s 2017 Playoffs:
Round of 12: Sadler had a solid Round of 12, posting three top-10 finishes at Kentucky (sixth), Dover (ninth) and Charlotte (10th). He ended the Round of 12 fourth in the series Playoff driver
standings.

Round of 8: Sadler had a stout beginning to the Round of 8, finishing seventh at Kansas, and then posting a fourth-place finish at Texas, but only managed an 18th at Phoenix last weekend. Despite
the poor finish at Phoenix, Sadler accumulated the third-most points in the Round of 8 to earn his spot in the Championship 4.

Elliott Sadler Fast Facts:
In 2017, Sadler has posted 12 top fives and 24 top 10s (both are series-most).
Sadler’s average finish during the 2017 season is a 9.4 (best among Championship 4).
During the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff, he has posted one top five and five top 10s.
Sadler’s average finish during the 2016 Playoffs is 9.0.
During the Playoffs, Sadler posted a driver rating of 96.4 and an average running position of 9.3.
At Homestead, Sadler has made 11 series starts, posting two top fives, five top 10s and an average finish of 15.1.

Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet)

Justin Allgaier returns to the NASCAR XFINITY Series Championship 4 for the second consecutive season, and the Riverton, Illinois, native has a solid shot at the title this time around. Allgaier’s previous best series standings finish was third twice; last season and in 2011. This season, like Sadler, Allgaier has the opportunity to bring home the second series driver title for JR Motorsports in four years (Chase Elliott, 2014).

Allgaier’s NASCAR XFINITY Series career started back in 2008, and since then he has made 239 starts, posting five wins, 52 top fives, 128 top 10s and five poles. In 32 starts this season, he has posted two wins, 10 top fives, 17 top 10s and an average finish of 13.1. Plus, Allgaier accumulated the second-most stage points throughout season with 230.

Competing alongside Allgaier this season is crew chief Jason Burdett. This is Burdett’s third full season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series leading the No. 7 JRM team. Burdett worked with driver Regan Smith in 2015, finishing fourth in the series standings. Then last year, in his first season with Allgaier, the two made the Championship 4 and finished third in the final series Playoff standings – career accomplishments for both.

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

Breakdown by Round of Justin Allgaier’s 2017 Playoff:
Round of 12: Allgaier skated into the Round of 8 on the heels of two top fives and a DNF. The JR Motorsports driver posted a third-place finish at Kentucky, a runner-up finish at Dover, but dropped out early in the Charlotte race due to overheating, resulting in a 33rd-place finish. Allgaier accumulated the fifth-most series driver points during the Round of 12 and, as a result, advanced to
the Round of 8.

Round of 8: Allgaier found his footing in the Round of 8, and in the process posted three solid finishes at Kansas (fifth), Texas (11th) and Phoenix (10th). Allgaier’s stellar performance in the Playoff Round of 8 netted him a spot in the Championship 4.

Justin Allgaier Fast Facts:
In 2017, Allgaier has posted two wins, 10 top fives and 17 top 10s.
Allgaier’s average finish during the 2017 season is a 13.1 (fourth-best among Championship 4).
During the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs, he has posted three top fives and four top 10s.
Allgaier’s average finish during the 2017 Playoffs is 10.7.
During the Playoffs, Allgaier posted a driver rating of 103.1 and an average running position of 10.1.
At Homestead, Allgaier has made seven series starts posting a career-best finish of sixth (last season) and an average finish of 15.4.

William Byron (No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet)

In just his rookie season in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, the JR Motorsports driver from Charlotte, North Carolina, William Byron, has tallied four series wins, qualified for the Playoffs and made the Championship 4. Now the 19-year-old driver has the opportunity to become just the second series Sunoco Rookie to win a title in series history; joining the first rookie to accomplish the feat, former JR Motorsports driver Chase Elliott (2014).

After working with multiple drivers during the last two seasons (2015-2016), David Elenz took the reins of the No. 9 JR Motorsports team to help cultivate Byron’s talent during his rookie season. The pairing has produced. In 32 starts this season, Byron and Elenz have posted four wins (Iowa, Daytona, Indianapolis and Phoenix), 11 top fives and 21 top 10s.

At the age of 19, Byron has the chance to become the second-youngest champion in NASCAR national series history at the age of 19 years, 11 months and 20 days; behind record-holder Chase Elliott, who won the series title at the age of 18 years, 11 months, 18 days.

If Byron wins this season’s title, he will become the sixth series champion from the state of North Carolina, joining Austin Dillon (2013 champion, from Welcome, N.C.), Brian Vickers (2003, Thomasville, N.C.), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998, 1999, Kannapolis, N.C.), Jack Ingram (1985, 1982, Asheville, N.C.) and Sam Ard (1983, 1984, Asheboro, N.C.).

Breakdown by Round of William Byron’s 2017 Playoff:
Round of 12: Byron’s Round of 12 had its ups and downs. The JR Motorsports driver kicked off the postseason with an 18th-place finish at Kentucky, then bounced back with a third-place finish at Dover, but only managed a 16th-place finish at Charlotte. Despite only one good run in the Round of 12, Byron advanced to the Round of 8 as the series leader in the standings; in large part due to
the series-leading 25 playoff points he carried into the postseason.

Round of 8: Byron cemented his name at the top of the list of favorites to win the title this season in the Round of 8. The youngster posted a fourth-place finish at Kansas (fifth), then a ninth at Texas and a career-defining Playoff win at Phoenix to lock himself into the Championship 4. Byron is one of just three rookies to make the Championship 4 since the inception of the elimination-style Playoff format last season; joining Erik Jones (2016) and Daniel Hemric (2017).

William Byron Fast Facts:
In 2017, Byron has posted four wins (most among championship contenders), 11 top fives and 21 top 10s.
Byron’s average finish during the 2017 season is a 10.6 (second-best among Championship 4).
During the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs, he has posted one win, three top fives and four top 10s.
Byron’s average finish during the 2017 Playoffs is an 8.2.
During the Playoffs, Byron posted a driver rating of 106.3 and an average running position of 7.6.
Byron will make his series track debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. Last season, Byron made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Homestead, winning from the pole.

Daniel Hemric (No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet)

The one driver standing between the JR Motorsports camp and the championship this season is Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric. The Sunoco Rookie from Kannapolis, North Carolina, has built his championship run on consistency and, in the process, has pointed his way into not only the Playoffs but the Championship 4, as well. Now the 26-year-old driver has just one race left to become
the second series Sunoco Rookie to win a driver title in series history; joining the first rookie to accomplish the feat, Chase Elliott (2014).

Alongside Hemric this season has been veteran crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. In 32 starts this season, the duo has posted seven top fives, 16 top 10s and an average finish of 12.5.

Hemric is the first NASCAR XFINITY Series driver from Richard Childress Racing to make the Championship 4 since its inception last season. Richard Childress Racing has won four NASCAR XFINITY Series driver championships (second-most) with Austin Dillon (2013), Clint Bowyer (2008) and Kevin Harvick (2001, 2006).

If Hemric wins this season’s title, he will become the sixth series champion from the state of North Carolina, joining Austin Dillon (2013 champion, from Welcome, N.C.), Brian Vickers (2003, Thomasville, N.C.), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (1998, 1999, Kannapolis, N.C.), Jack Ingram (1985, 1982, Asheville, N.C.) and Sam Ard (1983, 1984, Asheboro, N.C.).

Breakdown by Round of Daniel Hemric’s 2017 Playoff:
Round of 12: Hemric started the postseason strong with three top-10 finishes at Kentucky (seventh), Dover (fourth) and Charlotte (seventh). Hemric’s consistency in the Round of 12 moved him all the way up to second in the standings and advanced him to the Round of 8.

Round of 8: Hemric’s Round of 8 started off rough with an 18th-place finish at Kansas, but over the following weeks he was able to rebound, finishing 14th at Texas and then fifth at Phoenix to secure the fourth and final Championship 4 spot. Hemric is one of just three rookies to make the Championship 4 since the inception of the elimination-style Playoff format last season; joining Erik
Jones (2016) and William Byron (2017).

Daniel Hemric Fast Facts:
In 2017, Hemric has posted seven top fives and 16 top 10s.
Hemric’s average finish during the 2017 season is a 12.5 (third-best among Championship 4).
During the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs, he has posted two top fives and four top 10s.
Hemric’s average finish during the 2017 Playoffs is a 9.2.
During the Playoffs, Hemric posted a driver rating of 99.7 and an average running position of 8.4.
Hemric will make his series track debut at Homestead-Miami Speedway this weekend. Hemric has made three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Homestead, posting one top five and two top 10s.

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Credit: 352885(Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images). Christopher Bell, driver of the #4 JBL Toyota talks to the media during media day for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship at the Loews Hotel on November 16, 2017 in Miami, Florida.


Championship 4 Weekend Kicks Off With Camping World Truck Series Showdown
The 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 will crown one of four drivers as the series 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 2017 series driver champion.

Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, Christopher Bell and Austin Cindric are the Championship 4 and will make a run at the title in the Ford EcoBoost 200 (Friday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

The drivers represent four different teams (Kyle Busch Motorsports, Brad Keselowski Racing, GMS Racing and ThorSport Racing) and all three manufacturers (Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota).

Been there, done that. Sauter, Crafton and Bell have, that is. The trio comprised 75 percent of the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 in 2016. Cindric is representing the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders in the Championship 4 this year as he looks to become the second rookie in three years (Erik Jones, 2015) to win the title.

Championship 4 (By truck number):

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship 4 Bios

Christopher Bell (No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota)

Christopher Bell took the series by storm in 2017, leading the field with five wins (Atlanta, Texas-1, Kentucky, Pocono, New Hampshire) and four poles (Atlanta, Kansas, Charlotte, Talladega) in
just his second full-time season. The young Kyle Busch Motorsports driver also led the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in top fives (14) and top 10s (20).

Bell’s 2017 campaign has been exceptional. He led a lap in all but three races (Dover, Bristol, Canadian Tire) and had an average finish of 5.9 through 22 starts.

He is one of three drivers returning to the Championship 4, alongside veterans Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton. In 2016, Bell posted one win en route to a chance to run for the title in Miami, where an eighth-place finish in the race netted him third place in the final series standings.

Thus far in the 2017 Playoffs, Bell has recorded a win in the opening race of the postseason at New Hampshire and has an average finish of 4.0 – two positions better than his next closest Championship 4 foe (Johnny Sauter, 6.0). He also started on the pole in Talladega and Phoenix.

Breakdown by Round of Christopher Bell’s 2017 Playoffs:
Round of 8: Christopher Bell opened the 2017 Playoffs with a win (and a sweep of Stage 1 and Stage 2) at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, guaranteeing him a spot in the Round of 6. He followed that up
with second-place finishes at Las Vegas and Talladega.

Round of 6: Bell opened the round with an eighth-place finish at Martinsville and proceeded to cross the line in third at Texas. Another eight-place finish, this time at Phoenix, was enough to carry him forward into the Championship 4.

Christopher Bell Fast Facts:
In 2017, Christopher Bell has led the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in wins (7), top 5s (14), top 10s (20) and laps led (865).
During the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, Bell has one win, four top fives and finished in the top-10 of every race.
Bell’s average finish during the first six races of the Playoffs is 4.0.
In Bell’s first two starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he finished 25th in 2015 after running out of fuel in the closing laps and eighth in 2016 as a member of the inaugural Championship 4.

Austin Cindric (No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing Ford)

A late-race pass in a thrilling finish at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park propelled Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Austin Cindric to his first career win and a spot in the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. Cindric is one of just five Sunoco Rookies to make the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs. He was joined in the Playoffs this year by Chase Briscoe and Kaz Grala, while William Byron and Christopher Bell made the postseason in 2016.

Cindric has tallied seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes, including his win, in his rookie campaign. He led 106 laps along the way.

An average finish of 6.3, powered by top-10 finishes in every Playoff race, carried Cindric through to the Championship 4. After starting off the Round of 6 with a 10th-place finish at Martinsville, Cindric when on to a runner-up showing at Texas to boost his chances of moving on.

Breakdown by Round of Austin Cindric’s 2017 Playoffs:
Round of 8: Austin Cindric started off his first-ever Playoffs campaign with an eighth-place finish at New Hampshire and followed that up by finishing fourth at Las Vegas and fifth at Talladega.Round of 6: Bell rebounded from a 10th-place finish at Martinsville to open the round to finish second at Texas. He then went on to finish ninth at Phoenix to capture a berth in the Championship 4.

Austin Cindric Fast Facts:
In 2017, Austin Cindric has one win, one pole, seven top fives and 15 top 10s while leading 106 laps in 22 starts.
During the 2017 Playoffs, Cindric has three top fives and finished in the top 10 in all six races so far.
Cindric’s average finish through the first six races of the Playoffs is 6.3.
This weekend marks Cindric’s first race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Johnny Sauter (No. 21 GMS Racing Chevrolet)

The 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion returns to defend his crown. Johnny Sauter finished third in the 2016 season finale to capture his first series title in his inaugural season with GMS Racing. He now looks to become just the second driver in series history to repeat as champion. The other driver to do it? His Championship 4 opponent Matt Crafton.

It appears the new elimination Playoff format motivates Sauter. He reached a career-high win total this season with four victories (Dover, Chicago, Texas-2, Phoenix) after visiting Victory Lane three times in 2016 on his way to his first championship. (He also had three wins in 2013.)

Sauter is on a roll. He’s won back-to-back races heading into Miami, and didn’t have a shabby race before the streak started as he finished third at Martinsville.

Homestead-Miami Speedway has been friendly to the veteran driver. He’s recorded a win (2011) and seven top 10s en route to an average finish of 10.8 through ten races on the 1.5-mile track.

Breakdown by Round of Johnny Sauter’s 2017 Playoffs:
Round of 8: Johnny Sauter started off with a relatively below-average opening round, as he finished ninth at New Hampshire, tenth at Las Vegas and edged into the Round of 6 with a 12th-place finish
at Talladega.

Round of 6: Sauter owned the Round of 6 with a third-place finish at Martinsville and visits to Victory Lane at Texas and Phoenix.

Johnny Sauter Fast Facts:
In 2017, Johnny Sauter had a career-high four wins and tallied 12 top fives and 18 top 10s. He led 455 laps.
During the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, Sauter has two wins and a top-10 finish in all but one race.
Sauter’s average finish during the first six races of the Playoffs is 6.0.
In Sauter’s 10 starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he has one win, three top-fives and seven top-10 finishes. He has recorded an average finish of 10.8 with an average driver rating of 100.9.

Matt Crafton (No. 88 ThorSport Racing Toyota)

Matt Crafton took home the big prize in 2013 and 2014 to become the first back-to-back NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion – and wants to add a third title to his resume in 2017. In doing
so, he would prevent his Championship 4 foe Johnny Sauter from becoming the second driver to win consecutive series titles.

Eldora was the lone, and unlikely, Victory Lane that Crafton visited in 2017. But don’t let that fool you into not picking Crafton to win it all this weekend. In 2013, the year of his first title, he had just one win. He followed that up with just two wins during the season when he won his second championship in 2014. He racked up six wins in 2015, but it was rookie Erik Jones who captured the championship.

The veteran with 406 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races to his credit was sailing in the Playoffs with top-10s until a wreck at Phoenix relegated him to a 21st-place finish. Crafton was able to squeak through on points however, and has an average finish of 9.5 for the season.

Crafton has one win at Homestead-Miami Speedway (2015) with three top fives and eight top 10s. He’s led 141 laps while compiling an average finish of 11.4 in 16 starts.

Breakdown by Round of Matt Crafton’s 2017 Playoffs:
Round of 8: Matt Crafton posted finishes of sixth (New Hampshire), seventh (Las Vegas) and ninth (Talladega) in the opening round.

Round of 6: A second-place finish in the opening race of the round at Martinsville was a major help in getting Crafton to the Championship 4. He followed that up with a ninth-place finish at Texas before coming home in 21st at Phoenix after getting caught up in an incident.

Matt Crafton Fast Facts:
In 2017, Matt Crafton has posted just one win while collecting five top fives and 15 top 10s. He led 321 laps.
During the 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs, Crafton has top-10 finishes in all but one race.
Crafton’s average finish during the first six races of the Playoffs is 9.0.
In Crafton’s 16 starts at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he has one win, three top-fives and eight top-10 finishes. He has recorded an average finish of 11.4 with an average driver rating of 97.2.

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