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NASCAR Xfinity: Championship Four set for Homestead

William Byron celebrates his win of the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 11, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

William Byron celebrates his win of the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Nov. 11, 2017 (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR).

By AMANDA VINCENT

When the NASCAR Xfinity Series takes the green flag at Homestead-Miami Speedway for its 2017 season-finale on Nov. 18, JR Motorsports teammates William Byron, Elliott Sadler and Justin Allgaier, along with Daniel Hemric will battle for the 2017 Xfinity Series title.

Byron cemented his Championship Four spot by claiming his fourth win of the season Saturday in the Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway after taking his one and only lead of the race during caution with 17 laps remaining, courtesy of a two-tire pit stop.

“It was a great job by the team and a great pit call by Dave (Elenz, crew chief),” Byron said. “We’re so ready to go to Homestead.”

Teammate Allgaier also finished in the top-10 finishing 10th.

Hemric, meanwhile, heading into the race at PIR seventh among the then-eight remaining playoff drivers, but finishing highest among the eight in each of the two 60-lap stages and a fifth-place race finish at Phoenix catapulted him to fourth to advance to the final four.

“I’m just so proud of everybody at Richard Childress Racing – not just today, but all year,” Hemric said. “We’ve overcome so much as a group.”

Hemric replaced Brennan Poole as the lone non-JRM driver to advance to the Championship Four. Poole headed into Phoenix as the driver fourth in the points standings, but he retired from the race in the first 25 laps after a wreck with a slowed Caesar Bacarella. As a result, Poole dropped in the standings.

“I saw (Bacarella) go in, and we were going to kind of go to the top to go around him, and he slid up, so I tried to go to the bottom,” Poole said. “Bad luck, bad circumstances. I guess I could have been a little more cautious there, but just trying to get up there to get some stage points and keep moving forward.”

Other drivers eliminated from championship contention at Phoenix’s checkered flag included Matt Tifft, Cole Custer and Ryan Reed. Custer finished the race seventh, but that wasn’t enough to overcome his points deficit.

Allgaier will probably be without crew chief Jason Burdett for the championship race, as his car failed post-race inspection at PIR because of an unattached brake-cooler hose.

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Posted by on November 12, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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