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NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship: New Life for Justin Allgaier

Written by: Reid Spencer
Updated November 2, 2023
10 min read
  • In the title race, John Hunter Nemechek is once again the heavy favorite.

  • Sam Mayer is a worthy long shot in his first Championship 4 appearance.

  • Veteran Justin Allgaier stole a final fourth berth with his Martinsville win.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook. Click the bets below to place your bets at DraftKings.

John Hunter Nemechek+165
Justin Allgaier+320
Cole Custer+400
Sammy Smith+800
Sam Mayer+800
Riley Herbst+1600
Austin Hill+1600
Josh Berry+1800
Chandler Smith+1800
Sheldon Creed+2200
Daniel Hemric+2500

Our picks for NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race

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NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Predictions

NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race Predictions

John Hunter Nemechek Would Love to Leave JGR with a Title

For three straight races, we have steered you away from John Hunter Nemechek as the heavy favorite—not because Nemechek doesn’t have the talent or will to win, but primarily because the risk inherent in a 38-car field doesn’t justify a minimal reward.

Fortunately, from our point of view, we have been right in every case. And guess what? We’re making the same call for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race at Phoenix Raceway.

Nemechek is offered at a miserly +165 via DraftKings Sportsbook in the race that will decide the Xfinity champion for 2023. Yes, he leads the series this season with seven victories, and, yes, he has not finished outside the top 10 in six starts at the one-mile track.

But Nemechek, who will leave Joe Gibbs Racing for a NASCAR Cup Series ride with Legacy Motor Club in 2024, has never won at Phoenix, and his best finishes in a JGR Toyota are a pair of sixths—in the title race of 2021 and the spring race of this year.

Once again, the potential payoff for a Nemechek victory is just too small, and we’re looking elsewhere for the winner.

Sam Mayer Is an Attractive Long-Shot Bet in Breakout Season

In sharp contrast to John Hunter Nemechek, Sam Mayer is substantially undervalued at +800 via DraftKings Sportsbook.

Consider that Mayer has won four of the last 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series races. Admittedly, three of those victories were accomplished on road courses, but his last win came on the oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway two weeks ago.

The driver of the No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet comes to the season finale with two victories and a fifth-place finish in his last four races. Though we don’t think he’ll win Saturday’s race, he’s worthy of consideration at an excellent price.

We do think Mayer will beat Sammy Smith in a head-to-head matchup at -115 via DraftKings.

Justin Allgaier Could Finish Cinderella Season with Win at Phoenix

Until the final lap last Saturday at Martinsville Speedway, Justin Allgaier was in dire peril of elimination from the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.

That’s when Richard Childress racing teammates Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed kept each other out of Victory Lane with a bumping, banging overtime battle that allowed Allgaier to sneak through the melee in the final corner and win the race.

As a result, Allgaier will race for a championship on Saturday, and Hill and Creed will reflect on what could have been.

Allgaier has the most experience among the Championship 4 driver, a group that includes John Hunter Nemechek, Sam Mayer, and Cole Custer. The 37-year-old driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevy has 17 top 10s, nine top fives, and two victories in 26 starts at one-mile Phoenix, the most recent win coming in 2019.

The popular veteran was our pick to win last week, and he came through on the final lap to earn a chance to win his first Xfinity title. We believe he will accomplish that feat by winning the race this weekend at +320 via DraftKings.

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How to Watch the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship

  • Race: NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race

  • Location: Phoenix Raceway

  • Time: Saturday, Nov. 4, 7 p.m. ET

  • How to Watch: USA

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Reid Spencer

218 Articles

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]

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