Dominating First Win in Xfinity Series, JR a Champ

The Xfinity Series ends November 18 on a warm Saturday afternoon in Florida at the Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Ford EcoBoost 300.

Homestead_Miami_SpeedwayBy Jared Smith – originally posted to Flickr as Homestead Miami Speedway, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4065596

By the end of the race either Elliott Sadler, William Byron, Justin Allgaier, or Daniel Hemric will be crowned the champion of the 2017 Xfinity Series racing season. Three of the four playoff drivers are from JR Motorsports; with Daniel Hemric driving for Richard Childress Racing.

After three rounds of qualifying rookie driver Tyler Reddick will sit on the pole and bring the field to green.

The starting lineup for the Ford EcoBoost 300:
Tyler Reddick
Cole Custer
Christopher Bell
Daniel Hemric
Ryan Preece
William Byron
Brennan Poole
Sam Hornish Jr
Ty Majeski
Matt Tifft
Blake Koch
Casey Mears
Scott Lagasse Jr
Elliott Sadler
Ryan Reed
Justin Allgaier
Corey LaJoie
Michael Annett
Ross Chastain
Brandon Jones
J.J. Yeley
Joe Nemechek
Brendan Gaughan
Ryan Sieg
Ben Kennedy
Garrett Smithley
Ray Black Jr
Spencer Gallagher
Jeremy Clements
Caesar Bacarella
Harrison Rhodes
Joey Gase
Josh Williams
Timmy Hill
BJ McLeod
Chad Finchum
Stephen Leicht
David Starr
John Hraham
Jeff Green

Quin Houff, Matt Mills, and Morgan Shepherd did not achieve speeds to qualify for the race.

Stages one and two of the race are 45 laps each with stage three lasting 110 laps for a total of 200 laps around the mile and a half track.

Pole sitter Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag start of the race. Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick are nose to nose with Tyler Reddick eventually taking over the lead.

NASCAR has black flagged Ryan Reed for jumping the start of the race. Drivers are not allowed to advance their position before the waving of the green flag.

On lap four Cole Custer passes Tyler Reddick for the lead of the race.Lap five Cole Custer has already pulled out to a lead of over a second on Tyler Reddick.

Lap 10 Cole Custer has a lead of over two seconds on Tyler Reddick with playoff driver Daniel Hemric in third. The other playoff drivers are in eighth – William Byron, eleventh – Elliott Sadler, and twelfth – Justin Allgaier.

J.J. Yeley brings out the first caution flag of the race on lap 18 when he gets loose and spins out.

Only a few of the drivers bring their cars down pit road for fresh tires.

Cole Custer brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 24 but it is Tyler Reddick who retakes the lead of the race.

Cole Custer passes Tyler Reddick to take the lead on lap 25. And a swap fest ensues as the two drivers exchange the lead for a few laps until Cole Custer gets out in front of Reddick and slowly pulls away.

Lap 29 the top three are Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick and Ryan Preece. The Playoff drivers are Daniel Hemric in seventh, Elliott Sadler in eighth, William Byron in twelfth, and Justin Allgaier in 16th.

Lap 31 Cole Custer has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Tyler Reddick. There are 36 cars on the lead lap. Harrison Rhodes and Jeff Green are out of the race.

Lap 39 Cole Custer has a lead of nearly two seconds on Tyler Reddick with Spencer Gallagher in third.

Cole Custer wins stage one.

1200px-00_Cole_Custer_2017_Johnsonville_180By Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62435222

No stage points are awarded for this race.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Cole Custer
Tyler Reddick
Spencer Gallagher
Scott Lagassee Jr
Ryan Preece
Ty Majeski
Daniel Hemric
Elliott Sadler
J.J. Yeley
Joe Nemechek

Tyler Reddick wins the race off of pit road.

Tyler Reddick brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 52 with Cole Custer edging out Tyler Reddick for the lead and once again swapping the lead back and forth.

Tyler Reddick eventually gets out in front for the lead.

Lap 58 Tyler Reddick is in the lead with Cole Custer less than a half a second behind.

Lap 57 the top four are Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer, Ryan Preece, and William Byron.

Lap 59 Tyler Reddick has pulled out to a half second lead over Cole Custer.

Lap 61 Cole Custer challenges Tyler Reddick for the lead.

Daniel Hemric is bringing his car down pit road reporting power issues.

Lap 62 Cole Custer leads the race by over a half a second on Tyler Reddick. There are 31 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 67 playoff driver Daniel Hemric still sits on pit road with mechanical issues.

Lap 72 Cole Custer continues to lead the race with a lead of nearly two seconds on Sam Hornish Jr and Tyler Reddick in third. There are 29 cars on the lead lap. Daniel Hemric has returned to the track 12 laps down.

Lap 76 Cole Custer has a lead of over two seconds on Sam Hornish Jr. Tyler Reddick is in third.

Lap 79 Christopher Bell’s car blows an engine and is out of the race. Bell was crowned the Camping World Truck Series on Friday night but will be driving full time in the Xfinity Series for the 2018 racing season.

Lap 81 Cole Custer continues to pull away and now has a lead of over three seconds on Sam Hornish Jr.

Lap 83 there are only 22 cars on the lead lap. Cole Custer continues to lead the race, widening the gap over Sam Hornish Jr to over four seconds.

Lap 86 Cole Custer is “driving it like he stole it” with a lead of over six seconds on Sam Hornish Jr.

Cole Custer continues to dominate the race and wins stage two by over seven seconds on Sam Hornish Jr.

2015_Lucas_Oil_200_Dover_from_frontstretchBy Dough4872 – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40667364

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Cole Custer
Sam Hornish Jr
Tyler Reddick
Rya nPreece
William Byron
Elliott Sadler
Brennan Poole
Ty Majeski
Justin Allgaier
Corey LaJoie

Cole Custer wins the race off of pit road with Sam Hornish in second.

Cole Custer brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 97 as the sun begins to set on Homestead-Miami Speedway. Cole Custer holds on to his lead as stage three begins.

Lap 98 Cole Custer has already pulled out to a lead of half a second on Sam Hornish Jr wit William Byron in third.

Lap 101 Cole Custer leads by nearly a second. Playoff driver William Byron is in third with Elliott Sadler in fourth, Justin Allgaier in sixth, and Daniel Hemric in 35th 12 laps down after having an apparent battery issue.

Lap 103 Byron, Sadler, and Allgaier are third, fourth, and fifth.

Lap 113 Cole Custer continues to lead the race with a lead of over two and a half seconds on Sam Hornish Jr with William Byron over five seconds behind.

Lap 116 Cole Custer continues to dominate the race with 21 cars on the lead lap.Lap 118 Cole Custer’s lead is now nearly four seconds on Sam Hornish Jr; William Byron is still in third.

Lap 122 Cole Custer is in the lead with Sam Hornish Jr in second, William Byron in third, and Elliott Sadler in fourth.

With 77 laps remaining in the race, Cole Custer continues to dominate the race with Sam Hornish Jr in second. In the playoffs it’s Elliott Sadler and William Byron battling for third, Justin Allgaier in seventh and Daniel Hemric in 34th eleven laps behind.

Lap 129 Cole Custer has pulled out to a lead of over six seconds on Sam Hornish Jr. William Byron leads the race for the championship.

Lap 132 Cole Custer is driving away with it, with a lead of over eight seconds.

The drivers cannot run all of stage three without making a pit stop. Teams will be coming down pit road soon for their pit stops.

Lap 140 Cole Custer has driven away from the field with a lead of over 10 seconds – around half a lap. Custer has never won an Xfintity race. There are only 18 cars on the lead lap.

With Daniel Hemric eleven laps down, Dale Earnhardt Jr’s team – JR Motorsports – is almost assured of winning the championship title.

Lap 144 Cole Custer continues to pull away from the field with a lead of over eleven seconds on Sam Hornish Jr.

Lap 144 Justin Allgaier begins the cycle of green flag pit stops.

Elliott Sadler and William Byron come down pit road together for their service, it is Elliott Sadler who edges out William Byron onto the race track.

Making it three wide William Byron passes Eliott Sadler on lap 149. William Byron leads the drivers for the championship.

Fifty to go, Cole Custer leads by nearly 12 seconds even after making his pit stop.

With 44 remaining in the race, Cole Custer has led 138 of the laps run so far. There are 13 cars on the lead lap.

Forty to go and Cole Custer’s lead is over eleven seconds on Sam Hornish Jr with 13 cars on the lead lap.

Championship contenders William Byron and Elliott Sadler – the youngest and the oldest of the four playoff drivers – are separated by only a car length or two as they battle for the championship spot. The two drivers have made contact but the track stays green as they continue to battle in a respectful manner.

Thirty six to go, Cole Custer continues to dominate the race with a lead of over 12 seconds on Sam Hornish Jr.

William Byron is reporting a very loose condition.

Thirty two laps to go, Cole Custer has a lead of 13 seconds on Sam Hornish Jr.

William Byron is closing the gap on Elliott Sadler as Byron runs at the very top of the track against the wall.

Twenty five to go William Byron is closing the gap on Elliott Sadler. Leader Cole Custer has a lead of over 14 seconds on Sam Hornish Jr and nine cars on the lead lap.

Twenty three to go and Elliott Sadler and William Byron have encountered heavy traffic as they battle for the championship spot.

William Byron brushed the wall but his car is not smoking and appears to be all right as the track stays green.

Cole Custer’s lead is now 15 seconds over Sam Hornish Jr.

Seventeen to go,Cole Custer has a 15 second lead on Sam Hornish Jr. William Byron is still chasing Elliott Sadler for the championship title.

Sixteen to go and the top five are Cole Custer, Sam Hornish Jr, Ryan Preece, Elliott Sadler, and William Byron.

Thirteen to go and there are only nine cars on the lead lap as Cole Custer holds on to his lead of over 14 seconds. William Byron challenges Elliott Sadler for the fourth spot but Sadler holds on to the spot.

Ten to go Cole Custer in the lead. William Byron gains on Elliott Sadler and finally gets around him for fourth place. Elliott Sadler brushes the wall.

Eight to go, William Byron is rim riding as he goes after the third place driver Ryan Preece.

Five to go William Byron and Elliott Sadler continue to battle for the lead championship spot as they also battle Ryan Preece.

Elliott Sadler gets into Ryan Preece…and the wall but the track stays green.

Elliott Sadler reports that he has a flat tire and brings his car down pit road.

Three to go, Cole Custer has a lead of over 15 seconds over Sam Hornish Jr with William Byron in thirdand the number one spot for the championship.

Cole Custer takes the white flag.

Cole Custer wins the Ford EcoBoost 300 in dominating fashion to get his first career Xfinity Series win.

Ben_Rhodes_Road_America_2015By Royalbroil – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62057162

After narrowly missing the truck series championship last season, 19 year old college freshman William Byron is the 2017 Xfintiy Series champion. Dale Earnhardt Jr will end his driving career as a champion…a championship car owner as the owner of William Byron’s car.

Carneros_200_-_William_Byron_-_1_-_StierchBy Sarah Stierch – Own work, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=41293844

Roger Penske won the car owner’s championship.

The unofficial results of the Ford EcoBoost 300:
Cole Custer
Sam Hornish Jr
William Byron
Tyler Reddick
Ryan Preece
Brennan Poole
Matt Tifft
Elliott Sadler
Michael Annett
Ty Majeski
Casey Mears
Justin Allgaier
Brendan Gaughan
Brandon Jones
Corey LaJoie
Blake Koch
Ross Chastain
Ben Kennedy
Spencer Gallagher
Ryan Reed
Scott Lagasse Jr
J.J. Yeley
Jeremy Clements
Garrett Smithley
Ray Black Jr
Ryan Sieg
Joe Nemechek
Josh Williams
Joey Game
Chad Finchum
Caesar Bacarella
David Starr
BJ McLeod
Daniel Hemric
Stephen Leicht
Christopher Bell
Timmy Hill
John Graham
Harrison Rhodes
Jeff Green


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