Preview: Desert Diamond West Valley Casino 200

JR Motorsports | 11/6/2019

Brandt Justin Allgaier La Paz Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Phoenix Pilot Flying J Playoffs XFINITY Series Zane Smith

It's the penultimate race of the 2019 season and the last chance to qualify for the Championship 4 this Saturday at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Arizona.

TRACK: ISM Raceway
RACE: Desert Diamond West Valley Casino 200 (200 laps / 200 miles)
DATE: Saturday, November 9, 2019
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC
RADIO: 3:00 p.m. ET on MRN and SiriusXM Ch. 90

 

Quotes:

Michael Annett: “We know what we have to do to make it to Homestead for the Championship 4. We have to go Phoenix and win the race to make sure, but running in the top three, top five all day can get us there too depending on what happens with the five drivers in front of us. Our Pilot Flying J “Thank You Veterans” team has done such a great job giving me fast race cars and Travis (Mack, crew chief) has done a fantastic job on strategy to get us to this point, and it is up to us to get to Miami with a chance to race for the championship. We’re going to give it everything we have.”

Justin Allgaier: “There is a lot on the line this weekend at Phoenix. Right now we’re in a good position sitting fourth in points, but I know there are a lot of guys behind us that are battling for that same spot. Phoenix is a good track for us though and everyone on this BRANDT Professional Agriculture team is prepared and focused on what we need to do. Hopefully at the end of it all, we’ll be one of the four heading to Homestead battling for the championship.”

Zane Smith: “I can’t wait to get to Phoenix this weekend with our La Paz Chevrolet. Taylor (Moyer, crew chief) and I have worked really well together all season long and I’m pumped to be able to get back behind the wheel of this No. 8 this weekend. Hopefully we can have a smooth day and bring home another solid result for everyone on this team.” 

Noah Gragson: “I’m really looking forward to this weekend in Phoenix. It means a ton to me to have a group like Lockheed Martin come on board our No. 9 Chevrolet, especially with it being Veteran’s Day weekend and hopefully we can give them all a great show. We all know what is at stake this weekend and know what we need to do. This group never gives up and we will keep fighting until the end. We just need to go out there and give it everything we’ve got.”

 

Notes:

• Michael Annett is currently sixth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff standings, 28 points out of the Championship 4 prior to this weekend’s race.

• Annett’s best finish at ISM Raceway is seventh, in this race back in 2012. He was eighth in the first race on the 1-mile oval earlier this season.

• On 1-mile tracks so far this season, Annett’s average finish is 8.8, with three top-10 finishes in four starts. His best finish on such tracks this year is sixth at Dover in the fall.

• The Pilot Flying J paint scheme Annett will campaign this weekend pays tribute to veterans. Pilot Flying J was founded by veterans of the Korean War.

• Heading into Phoenix this weekend, Justin Allgaier sits in the fourth position for the NXS Playoffs, 18 points above to cutoff line for the Championship 4.

• Allgaier set a new career high of 15 consecutive top-10 finishes (dating back to Kentucky in July) following his sixth-place finish at Texas last weekend.

• In 18 NXS starts at ISM Raceway, the 33-year-old driver has one win (March 2017), six top fives and 11 top 10s. He also earned the pole for the 2018 spring race.

• Allgaier has led 249 laps at the 1-mile track, including 69 laps in the penultimate event last year.

• Zane Smith returns to the No. 8 for the 10th time this season this weekend in Phoenix.

• Smith has earned one top five and six top 10s in nine starts in 2019, with a best finish of fifth coming at Iowa Speedway in June.

• La Paz Cocktail Mix, out of Brea, Calif., is on board the No. 8 Chevrolet this weekend with Smith. This is La Paz’s second race as a primary with the No. 8 team.

• Through the first 31 races of 2019, the No. 8 Chevrolet has recorded six top fives and 21 top 10s among nine drivers with a best finish of second coming at Phoenix in March. 

• Noah Gragson enters the final race in the Round of 8 eighth in the NXS Playoff standings.

• The Las Vegas native will also be making his second NXS start at Phoenix this Saturday.

• In 15 NXS starts on tracks between one and two-miles in length, Gragson has scored two top fives, 10 top 10s and an average finish of 10.1.

• In three previous starts in the Truck Series at Phoenix, Gragson has recorded a best finish of second in 2018. Among those starts, the rookie-of-the-year contender has led 98 total laps.

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XFINITY Series Schedule

XFINITY Series Standings

After Ford EcoBoost 300

Homestead-Miami Speedway | 11/16/2019
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick (P)40400
2Cole Custer (P)4035-5
3Christopher Bell (P)4032-8
4Justin Allgaier (P)4023-17
5Chase Briscoe #2302-1738
6Austin Cindric2294-1746
7John Hunter Nemechek #2253-1787
8Noah Gragson #2246-1794
9Michael Annett2239-1801