Christopher Bell will be racing for the 2019 NASCAR XFINITY Series championship for the second consecutive year. That’s not surprising. He’s won a series high eight times in 2019. This time though, he’s backing his way in compared to last year. Last season, Bell won the NXS race at the ISM Raceway in November on his way to Homestead. This year, he dominated in Phoenix, but a costly pit road speeding penalty kept him out of pit lane.
Bell, led the first 95 laps. He won both stages for the 22nd stage victories of the season. But, the pit road speeding penalty coupled with a spin on Lap 115 dropped him to a 16th place finish.
He is the favorite, but his recent stats show that maybe he shouldn’t be.
In the playoffs, Bell has scored only two top 10 finishes in six tries, both being wins. While he has won eight times this season, he’s backed his way into the Final Four in comparison to his opposition.
Justin Allgaier joins Bell into the final round via his win last Saturday in Phoenix. Allgaier, has 16 straight top 10 finishes and seven top five finishes in his last eight starts on the year. His 39 race winless streak also comes to an end as well. His confidence level is riding sky high at the moment.
Cole Custer clinched his spot into the final round at the end of the second stage. Custer, has nine top 10 finishes in his last 10 starts on the year.
Tyler Reddick grabs the final spot and has four top three finishes in his last seven races on the season, five of which being in the top 10. Reddick, won the championship last year and has won five times in 2019. Custer, has won seven times himself. Combined, Bell, Custer and Reddick have won 20 of the 32 races run in 2019. Allgaier, has won just once.
But, Allgaier arguably has the most momentum while Custer has the second best followed by Reddick and Bell.
Bell, finished 36th in Homestead two years ago and 11th last year. If he wants to win a title, he absolutely has to be better than that on Saturday.
It’s JRM, Stewart-Haas, Joe Gibbs Racing and RCR going for the title. This will be a heavyweight fight in Homestead.
Bell is having another outstanding NASCAR Xfinity Series season though, putting up a career-best eight wins and clinching his spot in the Championship 4 for the second consecutive year. If Bell were to win the Xfinity title this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, he would become just the fourth driver in NASCAR national series history to win both the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship in his career; joining Austin Dillon, Johnny Benson Jr. and Greg Biffle.
Bell has made 32 series starts in 2019 producing a career-best eight wins (Atlanta, Bristol-1, Dover-1, Iowa-1, New Hampshire, Road America, Richmond-2, Texas-2), 19 top fives, 20 top 10s and six poles (ISM Raceway-1, Texas-1, Charlotte, Iowa-2, Kansas, ISM Raceway-2). He has led 1,968 laps (series-most) this season and has managed an average start of 4.2 and an average finish of 9.2. In addition, Bell has posted solid season-to-date loop data stats, including a driver rating of 120.6 (series-best), an average running position of 6.139 (series-best), a total of 1,173 fastest laps run (series-most), and completed 85.3% of his laps (4,779) in the top 15 (eighth-best).
Joe Gibbs Racing started its NASCAR Xfinity Series program in 1997 and since then has amassed 165 series victories, two unified driver and owner championships (2009 Kyle Busch and 2016 Daniel Suarez) and three owner championships (2008, 2010, 2012). The 2019 season marks the third time the Joe Gibbs Racing organization has fielded drivers in the Championship 4 – in 2016 (Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez), in 2018 and 2019 (Christopher Bell). If Joe Gibbs Racing wins the owner championship this season the organization will extend their series lead in owner titles to six.