Preview – 2019 Xfinity Series Championship at Homestead

Four drivers are set to compete for the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship title this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. It is a diverse group of drivers from four different teams representing Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota manufacturers.

Drivers listed alphabetically.

Justin Allgaier:

Allgaier drove his No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet to victory lane at ISM Raceway last Saturday to secure his spot in the Championship 4 with his first victory this season. This will be the third time in four years that Allgaier has competed for the title, finishing third in two previous attempts in 2016 and 2017. So far this season he has 16 top-fives and 24 top -10 finishes, leading 607 laps with an average finish of 8.9.

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He is optimistic about his chances and feels as though the team has hit its stride at the perfect moment.

“We’re going to go to Homestead and have some fun. A lot of the storylines this year have been surrounding the other three contenders and they’ve been really strong and they’ve won a lot of races, but I feel like this BRANDT Professional Agriculture team is peaking at the right time and you can’t count us out,” Allgaier said. “We’re going into this weekend with a new mentality and a new energy and we’re going to have a shot at winning a championship. I can’t wait to see what we can go there and do this weekend.”

Christopher Bell:

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has been impressive this season with a career-high eight wins in his No. 20 Toyota. His most recent win at Texas Motor Speedway locked him into the Championship 4. This is the second consecutive year that he has qualified for the Playoffs, finishing fourth in 2018. Bell has 19 top-fives and 20 top-10s this year along with six poles and has led 1,968 laps.

Bell obviously wants to win at Homestead but regardless of the outcome, he is happy with what he has already accomplished this season.

“I feel good so far. Yes, I want to win the championship so bad, but ultimately it comes down to the last run. If you have a bad pit stop, we saw Erik Jones win the race off pit road two years ago and had it in his hands and one guy stayed out and picked his lane on the restart and it was over. It’s just such a toss-up that you never know how things are going to play out. I would love to win it, but if not, the goal is to get there and we’ve accomplished that,” Bell said. “We’ve won races this year and that’s something I’m proud of. We’ve got an opportunity to win a championship and that’s all you can ask for.”

Cole Custer:

Custer has driven his No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to seven victories this year. He earned a spot in the Championship 4 on points with a runner-up finish last weekend at ISM Raceway. He has 16 top-fives and 23 top-10s in 2019 with six poles and 907 laps led. It is his second consecutive time qualifying for the championship round, finishing second in 2018. Custer’s first career win was at Homestead in 2017. In three starts at the 1.5-mile track, he has an average finish of 6.7.

Custer says that it will take a “near-perfect” effort to win at Homestead and is confident that his team is capable of doing just that.

“In 2018, we had a great car and we were able to lead 95 laps during the race, but we struggled a little bit on the long runs. Tyler Reddick was able to get the top going and had great long-run speed and he was able to make it work for him. I tried late in the race to get the top going, but I couldn’t get it going as fast as him and watched him just drive away. Feeling that heartbreak has us set on kill for this weekend so we don’t have to experience that again and instead, we can hopefully be the ones celebrating on the frontstretch, but it’s going to take a near-perfect race from everyone, which I know we are capable of doing,” Custer said.

Tyler Reddick:

Reddick heads to Homestead-Miami Speedway Saturday hoping to win back-to-back Xfinity Series titles. He claimed a spot in the Championship 4 after his third-place finish at Phoenix, earning enough points to advance. He has five wins this season in his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet along with 23 top-fives, 26 top-10s, four poles and 484 laps led.

Reddick is hoping to see a race that is similar to last year’s event.

“I would like it to end kind of the way it did last year with a long run and being able to run up by the fence and just do what I enjoy most, just trying to go as fast as I can on the long run,” he said. “Obviously, it’s just going to come down to who runs the best race all day, who is there at the end. So it’s whoever can do the best and that’ll be our champion.”

The Xfinity Series Ford EcoBoost 300 is set for Saturday afternoon at 3:30 ET on NBCSN with radio coverage on MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Follow @angiecampbell_ for the latest NASCAR news and feature stories.

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