AVONDALE, AZ – Justin Allgaier knew that he didn’t have anything for Christopher Bell on Saturday. Bell, started on the pole and led 93 of the first 95 laps in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at the ISM Raceway in Phoenix. But, his pit road speeding penalty on his pit stop following the end of the second stage opening the door up for Allgaier to get to victory lane for the first time since Indianapolis in Sept. of last year.
Allgaier, finished second in both stages to Bell and picked up where Bell left off. Allgaier, led 85 of the final 110 laps en route to his first victory in 39 races. The win stamps his name into the Championship 4 as a result as Allgaier will race for a championship for the first time since 2017.
Now, the JR Motorsports driver has to be among the favorites to win the title next weekend in Homestead. Allgaier, has 16 straight top 10 finishes on the season including seven top five’s in his No. 7 Chevrolet in his last eight starts too. This was also his seventh top four result in his last 10 starts in Phoenix.
Allgaier’s crew chief made a bold with 82 laps remaining when the leaders hit pit road for the final time. They took four tires and fuel while Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric and a few others took fuel only. Allgaier, would restart seventh.
He quickly moved through the field and took the lead on Lap 135. He’d lead the final 66 laps in earning his 11th career series victory, tying him with Chuck Bown, Steve Grissom, Dale Jarrett, Terry Labonte, Tony Stewart and Michael Waltrip for 30th all-time.
Cole Custer would finish second in his No. 00 ford for his ninth top 10 in his last 10 races on the season. He was 11th in the other race. Custer, moves to the Championship 4 as well.
Tyler Reddick takes the fourth and final spot to Homestead via his third place finish in his No. 2 Chevrolet. Reddick, has four top three finishes in his last seven starts on the season and has four consecutive top 10’s at Phoenix including a third place run in March too.
John Hunter Nemechek would finish fourth in his No. 23 Chevrolet for his fifth straight top eight finish while Zane Smith would round out the top five in his No. 8 Chevrolet.
Briscoe, faded to eighth in the end and missed out on the Championship 4 by 44 points.