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Justin Allgaier advances to Xfinity Championship 4

Desert Diamond West Valley 200
Saturday, November 9, 2019

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Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier's timing was impeccable.

After a pit road speeding penalty and a subsequent spin KO'd the winning chances of polesitter Christopher Bell, Allgaier took full advantage, leading the final 66 laps of Saturday's Desert Diamond West Valley 200 to win for the first time this season and advance to next week's NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Allgaier joins the so-called Big Three of Bell, Saturday's runner-up Cole Custer and third-place finisher Tyler Reddick in the title race. Custer clinched his spot after running third in the second 45-lap stage. Reddick, the defending series champion, earned his spot on points after saving fuel over the final 79-lap green-flag run.

Allgaier won the race wearing a helmet designed by his six-year-old daughter, Harper.

"This is the first time I've won with Harper's helmet in the car, and it means a lot," Allgaier said. "To have the speed that we've had (this year) and not be able to pull it off has been disappointing. These guys have rallied behind it. We said when we came here that we need to come here and get a win so we could go to Homestead, and we did that…

"We had a hotrod today. I don't think we could have beaten the 20 (Bell), but when he made his mistake, we capitalized on it. That's what it's all about… No question (not winning) is a weight on your shoulders, man. You can't even begin to describe it."

Custer was closing fast at the finish and cut Allgaier's lead of more than three seconds to .810 seconds at the checkered flag on Lap 200.

"I was giving it all I had," Custer said. "I was really struggling with the brake pedal. I kind of lost it at the start of the run. I had to save the whole run until like 15 laps to go, and then I just let it happen. I just came up a little bit short, but I think that was the best run we've had at Phoenix in a long time.

"I'm looking forward to Homestead, and hopefully we can do one spot better."

The top four drivers in the Playoff standings entering Saturday's race were the four who will compete for the championship at Homestead. Missing out on points were sixth-place finisher Austin Cindric, eighth-place Chase Briscoe, ninth-place Michael Annett and 10th-place Noah Gragson.

John Hunter Nemechek ran fourth behind Reddick followed by an impressive Zane Smith, who tied his career-best result in his 10th Xfinity Series start.

Allgaier leads
Allgaier leads
Bell won the first two stages, bringing his total of stage victories for the season to 22, but was flagged for speeding .03 mph over tolerance under caution at the end of Stage 2. After restarting from the rear, Bell climbed to eighth before spinning out while trying to cut the apron off Turn 2.

"I feel like I gave up a winner," said Bell, whose focus nevertheless has been on next weekend's race at Homestead, where he turned in a disappointing performance in the title event last year.

"This is what it's all about," Bell said. "It all comes down to this one next week. I'm ready for it. I feel really good about where we're at, and our car is going to be extremely strong next week.

"We've prepared a ton for this. Ever since we left Homestead last year, we knew that this race was where we needed to improve. Pretty much all year long, we've been focused on Homestead."

RACE RESULTS

Fin St # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 5 7 Justin Allgaier (P) BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet 200 85 58 Running
2 2 0 Cole Custer (P) Haas Automation Ford 200 4 51 Running
3 4 2 Tyler Reddick (P) myblu Chevrolet 200 3 48 Running
4 13 23 John Hunter Nemechek # Fire Alarm Services Inc. Chevrolet 200 0 38 Running
5 6 8 Zane Smith LaPaz Margarita Mix Chevrolet 200 0 36 Running
6 7 22 Austin Cindric (P) Discount Tire Ford 200 0 36 Running
7 14 11 Justin Haley # LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 200 0 30 Running
8 3 98 Chase Briscoe # (P) Ford Performance Ford 200 14 40 Running
9 9 1 Michael Annett (P) Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet 200 0 39 Running
10 12 9 Noah Gragson # (P) Lockheed Martin Chevrolet 200 0 29 Running
11 8 19 Brandon Jones Menards/SoleusAir Toyota 199 0 30 Running
12 15 8 Gray Gaulding JT Marine Inc Chevrolet 199 0 25 Running
13 16 39 Ryan Sieg Lombard Bros Gaming Chevrolet 199 0 24 Running
14 19 7 Ray Black II ISOKERN Fireplaces & Chimneys Chevrolet 199 0 23 Running
15 23 36 Josh Williams Starbrite Star Tron/Simcraft Chevrolet 199 0 22 Running
16 1 20 Christopher Bell (P) Rheem Toyota 199 92 41 Running
17 27 61 Tommy Joe Martins Diamond Gusset Jean Co Toyota 199 0 20 Running
18 10 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 198 2 19 Running
19 21 78 Matt Mills JF Electric Chevrolet 198 0 18 Running
20 17 86 Brandon Brown # Mid Atlantic Wrecker Service Chevrolet 198 0 17 Running
21 25 1 Stephen Leicht Flex Glue Chevrolet 198 0 16 Running
22 33 15 Tyler Matthews Line Tec Services Chevrolet 197 0 15 Running
23 32 99 Josh Bilicki Mecum Auctions Toyota 197 0 14 Running
24 22 35 Joey Gase Donate Life Arizona Toyota 196 0 13 Running
25 31 52 David Starr Whatabutger Chevrolet 196 0 12 Running
26 29 4 Ryan Vargas Flex Seal Chevrolet 195 0 11 Running
27 35 0 Garrett Smithley Flex Tape Chevrolet 195 0 10 Running
28 38 66 Bobby Earnhardt CIA/Hyatt Life Sciences Toyota 193 0 9 Running
29 37 74 Mike Harmon Valley Fire & Water Restoration Chevrolet 193 0 8 Running
30 11 18 Riley Herbst(i) iK9 Toyota 163 0 0 Running
31 36 5 Vinnie Miller Pit Viper Sunglasses Chevrolet 58 0 6 Oil Cooler
32 34 13 Chad Finchum Amana/Smithbilt Homes Toyota 58 0 5 Vibration
33 24 90 Ronnie Bassett Jr Down Syndrome Awareness Chevrolet 55 0 4 Engine
34 30 17 Joe Nemechek(i) RWR Chevrolet 55 0 0 Brakes
35 28 92 Dexter Bean RacingHeroCards.com Chevrolet 39 0 2 Brakes
36 26 93 Bayley Currey(i) Sci Aps Chevrolet 34 0 0 Brakes
37 20 38 JJ Yeley RSS Racing Chevrolet 32 0 1 Brakes
38 18 89 Landon Cassill Visone RV Chevrolet 27 0 1 Suspen

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