Tha Sports Junkies 101

Xfinity and Truck Series Championship Preview

Photo by Chad Sparkes via Flickr


NASCAR’s 3 national series’ will each crown a champion this weekend. In addition to the Cup Series, both the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series determined their Championship 4 in Phoenix. Let’s take a detailed look at the contenders for both lower-level series going for the title in Homestead.

Xfinity Series Championship 4

William Byron

Of all Xfinity drivers, William Byron has had the most successful season. As a rookie, Byron has 4 wins, including last week at Phoenix. As with all JR Motorsports cars, the 9 car has been the class of the field throughout the season. At Phoenix last season, Byron’s championship hopes in the Truck Series went up in smoke. He heads to Homestead looking for redemption, and to become the second ever rookie Xfinity Series champion. Byron will be a strong favorite against his teammates for the title.

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier’s second season at JRM has been even better than his 2016 effort. The Illinois driver has 2 wins this season, at Phoenix and Chicago. Allgaier has made the Championship 4 in a second-consecutive attempt. However, Allgaier’s championship effort will take place without his crew chief. Jason Burdett was suspended 1 race after Phoenix, as the team failed post-race inspection. With this in mind, Allgaier is still looking to better his 6th-place effort from last season.

Elliott Sadler

The oldest and most experienced driver in the Xfinity final 4, Sadler was 2 laps away from winning it all in 2016. While he may not have won yet in 2017, expect the Virginia native to be a strong contender against his younger teammates. Sadler is a 3-time Xfinity championship runner-up. His average finish this year in the Playoffs is an impressive 9th-place. With his experience at hand, Sadler may be the Xfinity championship favorite.

Daniel Hemric

The North Carolina rookie from Richard Childress Racing secured his spot in Miami by holding off a late-race charge by Cole Custer last week in Phoenix. While he has yet to win an Xfinity Series race, do not count out this driver or team. Richard Childress Racing has won 4 Xfinity Series championships. Hemric can add to this legacy, but it will take a flawless race from both driver and team.

Truck Series Championship 4

Johnny Sauter

Defending champion Johnny Sauter heads into Homestead with tons of momentum and confidence. He has won the past 2 Truck Series races, at both Texas and Phoenix. As he did last year, Sauter has used consistency to advance all the way to Homestead. Alongside Christopher Bell, Sauter has to be considered a title favorite Friday night.

Christopher Bell

Bell has been the class of the Truck Series field all season long. With a series-leading 5 wins, Bell was considered to be the pre-Playoff favorite. The regular season champion has finished top-8 in every Playoff race. It’s Bell’s championship to lose, as he will likely have a race-winning truck on Friday.

Matt Crafton

Crafton has had an uncharacteristically up-and-down season. He did win in July at Eldora, but has also had 3 DNFs in 2017. In the Playoffs, Crafton has scored 5 top-10s, with a best finish of 2nd at Martinsville. For Crafton’s 2 prior championship seasons, he has been all but secured heading into the finale. At last year’s Homestead race, Crafton led 10 laps before finishing 7th. As with Sauter, experience may pay dividends for Crafton in this title hunt.

Austin Cindric

The youngest driver in the Championship 4, Cindric secured his position after Ben Rhodes wrecked while trying to block him late at Phoenix. Cindric has had marked improvement in his rookie year, as he won in Canada, and has not finished worse than 10th in the Playoffs. Can Brad Keselowski Racing leave the Truck Series with their first championship? It will be a tall task for Cindric, but it is still possible.

Weekend Schedule for Xfinity and Trucks

The Camping World Truck Series will crown its 2017 champion Friday night in the Ford Ecoboost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Coverage will be live at 8 PM EST on Fox Sports 1, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.

The Xfinity Series championship will be decided at Homestead on Saturday, in the Ford Ecoboost 300. The Playoffs will conclude at 3:00 PM EST, on NBCSN, MRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.