Allgaier wins NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Chicagoland

Annette Crawford
September 17, 2017

Six drivers were already assured spots in the Playoffs by virtue of having won one or more races this season, including Friday night's victor Johnny Sauter.

The eight drivers who did make it in are led by Christopher Bell, the Truck Series regular season champion. Winning still supersedes all else - win a race and you're automatically in the next round, no advanced math needed.

As a result, Truex lost the lead, and the race, in a bitter regular season finale. Larson proved he was worth the hype that followed him into the sport as one of the top young drivers of a generation and won four times this season. His average finish (11.0) is best. His Chip Ganassi Racing team's success should carry into the playoffs. Brad Keselowski was fourth fastest (and second in 10 consecutive lap times) at 179.659 miles per hour with Ryan Newman completing the top five at 179.414 miles per hour.

Allgaier, an IL native, cruised to his second victory at his hometown track and his second win of 2017.

Allgaier, from nearby Riverton, won for the second time this season in NASCAR's second-tier series. Bell came to pit road for four tires and fuel and returned to the track in the third position. Along with those wins, he has five other top-5 finishes.

That's right, one spot in one race cost Truex a playoff spot. He was sixth fastest in the first round with a lap of 29.232 at 184.729 miles per hour.

How far can that consistency take him in the playoffs?

Truex will line up his No. 78 Furniture Row/Denver Mattress Toyota on the inside of Row 2 after a pole-round lap of 29.049 seconds at 185.893 miles per hour on the 1.5-mile tri-oval. The Wood Brothers team is running the best it has in years and there is no reason for that not to continue.

Chase Elliott (2,006): He's still looking for his first career victory, but the Hendrick Motorsports driver is a contender almost every week and has 14 top-10 finishes in 2017; only five drivers have more. His breakthrough is just around the corner, perhaps even this weekend. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has an active streak of five straight top-10 finishes at the track, leading laps in four straight races there.

UP NEXT: Final practice at 2 p.m. ET. Will he advance: No.

Kasey Kahne (2,005): His average finish of 20.0 is the worst among the 16 playoff drivers. His four top-10 finishes are the fewest, along with Austin Dillon. His final year at Hendrick Motorsports isn't going to end in glory.

"We just got beat fair and square and flat out were not good enough", Enfinger said.

The driver of the Blue Deuce should be a good pivot pick from the more expensive drivers after qualifying fifth. Elliott took over the #24 in his debut season past year, and took it to the Playoffs.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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