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Justin Allgaier joins Xfinity title fight with Phoenix win

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Justin Allgaier joins Xfinity title fight with Phoenix win
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Nov 9, 2019, 11:13 PM

The timing couldn’t be better for Justin Allgaier, who picked up his elusive first NASCAR Xfinity Series win of the season on Saturday.

Allgaier grabbed the lead from Chase Briscoe on Lap 135 of 200 and held on the final 66 laps to win the Desert Diamond Casino 200 at ISM Raceway near Phoenix.

The win is Allgaier’s first since September last season at Indianapolis and ensures he’s one of the four drivers who will compete for the series championship next weekend at Homestead. It’s also the 11th win of Allgaier’s career.

Joining Allgaier in the Championship 4 will be Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and last year’s champion, Tyler Reddick.

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“It’s incredible, man. This helmet right here, it’s the first time I’ve won with (daughter) Harper’s helmet in the car and it means a lot,” Allgaier said. “To do what we’ve done all year, to have the speed that we’ve had and not be able to pull it off has been disappointing and we’ve kind of rallied behind it.

“We said to win a championship, we needed to come here and get a win to get to Homestead and we did that. We had a hot rod today. I don’t think we could have beat (Bell) but when he made his mistake, we capitalized on it. 

“That’s what it’s all about.”

Asked about the chance to compete for a championship, Allgaier said, “Not only a chance at a championship but also the momentum from a win, that’s special. No question not winning is a weight on your shoulders, man, you can’t even begin to describe it.”

Custer finished second in the race and was able to noticeably close the distance to Allgaier in the final five laps. “I needed about five more,” Custer said after the race.

Reddick was third, John Hunter Nemechek fourth and Zane Smith rounded out the top-five.

Rounding out the top-10 finishers were Austin Cindric, Justin Haley, Briscoe, Michael Annett and Noah Gragson.

While trying to recover from a pit road speeding penalty, Bell spun on the backstretch on Lap 116 to bring out a caution.

 

Most of the lead-lap cars elected to pit but Jeremy Clements stayed out and inherited the lead. On the restart on Lap 122, Clements was followed by Briscoe, Annett, Brandon Jones and Cindric.

Briscoe powered to lead shortly after the restart as Jones moved into second.

On Lap 133, Allgaier got around Jones and moved into the second position and began setting his sights on Briscoe.

Allgaier went to the inside of Briscoe on Lap 135 to move into the lead as Reddick passed Briscoe to take second.

With 50 laps to go, Allgaier maintained a small but steady lead over Reddick with Custer running in third.

After 175 laps, Allgaier had expanded his lead to more than 2.7 seconds over Custer, with Reddick running third and Briscoe fourth.

With 10 laps remaining, Allgaier still had an almost 2-second lead over Custer but there were concerns whether he could make it to the finish on fuel.

Stage 2 

Bell easily held off Allgaier to in Stage 2, his 22nd stage victory of the 2019 season.

Custer finished third, Reddick fourth and Annett completed the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Bell the first off pit road. 

On the restart on Lap 54, Bell was followed by Custer, Reddick and Allgaier.

Allgaier quickly moved into the second position after the restart as Annett moved into third.

With 30 laps remaining in the second stage, Bell remained a small but steady lead over Allgaier while Custer had moved back up into the third spot.

After 70 laps, all eight playoff drivers were running in the top-nine, with John Hunter Nemechek the lone non-playoff driver running in seventh.

With five laps to go, Bell had built a more than 1.3-second lead over Allgaier as Custer remained in third, more than 4 seconds behind the leader.

Stage 1 

Bell cruised to the Stage 1 victory, leading all 45 laps. 

Allgaier finished second, Custer third, Reddick fourth and Briscoe rounded out the top-five.

Bell, who started on the pole, took command early leading the first 13 laps.

On Lap 14, Riley Herbst spun in Turn 3 after contact with Annett to bring out the first caution of the race.

Bell remained in the lead on the restart on Lap 19, followed by Custer and Reddick.

With 20 laps remaining in the first stage, Bell had built up a 1.7-second lead over Allgaier with Custer running in third.

With five laps to go, Bell’s lead had expanded to more than 2.7 seconds over Allgaier. Custer remained third, 3.2 seconds behind the leader.

Before the race, four drivers had to move to the rear of the field – Joe Nemechek (engine change), David Starr (unapproved adjustments), Tommy Joe Martins (tire change) and Mike Harmon (backup car).

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 7 United States Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 200 1:52'13.000 85
2 00 United States Cole Custer Ford 200 0.810 4
3 2 United States Tyler Reddick Chevrolet 200 16.627 3
4 23 United States John Hunter Nemechek Chevrolet 200 19.017  
5 8 Zane Smith Chevrolet 200 20.314  
6 22 United States Austin Cindric Ford 200 22.643  
7 11 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 200 24.621  
8 98 United States Chase Briscoe Ford 200 25.398 14
9 1 United States Michael Annett Chevrolet 200 27.503  
10 9 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet 200 28.791  
11 19 United States Brandon Jones Toyota 199 1 lap  
12 08 United States Gray Gaulding Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
13 39 United States Ryan Sieg Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
14 07 United States Ray Black Jr. Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
15 36 United States Josh Williams Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
16 20 United States Christopher Bell Toyota 199 1 lap 92
17 61 United States Tommy Joe Martins Toyota 199 1 lap  
18 51 United States Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 198 2 laps 2
19 78 United States Matt Mills Toyota 198 2 laps  
20 86 United States Brandon Brown Chevrolet 198 2 laps  
21 01 United States Stephen Leicht Chevrolet 198 2 laps  
22 15 Tyler Matthews Chevrolet 197 3 laps  
23 99 United States Josh Bilicki Toyota 197 3 laps  
24 35 United States Joey Gase Toyota 196 4 laps  
25 52 United States David Starr Chevrolet 196 4 laps  
26 4 United States Ryan Vargas Chevrolet 195 5 laps  
27 0 United States Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 195 5 laps  
28 66 United States Bobby Earnhardt Toyota 193 7 laps  
29 74 United States Mike Harmon Chevrolet 193 7 laps  
30 18 Riley Herbst Toyota 163 37 laps  
31 5 United States Vinnie Miller Toyota 58 142 laps  
32 13 United States Chad Finchum Toyota 58 142 laps  
33 90 United States Ronnie Bassett Jr. Chevrolet 55 145 laps  
34 17 United States Joe Nemechek Chevrolet 55 145 laps  
35 92 Dexter Bean Chevrolet 39 161 laps  
36 93 United States Bayley Currey Chevrolet 34 166 laps  
37 38 United States J.J. Yeley Chevrolet 32 168 laps  
38 89 United States Landon Cassill Chevrolet 27 173 laps  

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Bell's 2019 Xfinity title quest actually began last year

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About this article

Series NASCAR XFINITY
Event Phoenix II
Drivers Justin Allgaier
Teams JR Motorsports
Author Jim Utter