Every week, NASCAR writer Joseph Passero presents This Week In NASCAR, which briefs the biggest stories from the last week.
Championship Weekend Will Crown Three NASCAR National Series Champions
This weekend, the seasons for NASCAR’s Camping World Trucks, Xfinity, and Monster Energy Cup Series will come to an end. Each series will crown a champion at the end of their respective races. Each race will field the same amount of cars as they have all year long, but only four in each series are eligible for the championship. Whichever of the four teams finish best in their series’ race will be crowned champion.
On Friday, the Camping World Truck Series will race, and the four teams eligible to win the championship are the no. 4 of Christopher Bell, the no. 19 of Austin Cindric, the no. 21 of Johnny Sauter, and the no. 88 of Matt Crafton.
Saturday will hold the NASCAR Xfinity Series finale, in which the no. 1 of Elliott Sadler, the no. 7 of Justin Allgaier, the no. 9 of William Byron, and the no. 21 of Daniel Hemric are eligible to win the series title.
NASCAR’s top series, the Monster Energy Cup Series, will race on Sunday. The championship-eligible teams are the no. 2 of Brad Keselowski, the no. 4 of Kevin Harvick,, the no. 18 of Kyle Busch, and the no. 78 of Martin Truex, Jr.
Justin Allgaier Penalized, Will Race For a Championship Without Crew Chief
Last Saturday at Phoenix, Justin Allgaier clinched the chance to race for a championship this upcoming Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series. However, his no. 7 team wasn’t all smiles on Monday. The team was penalized $10,000 for a rear brake cooling assembly issue. The penalty also will see Jason Burdett, crew chief of the no. 7, suspended for the championship-deciding race this weekend. Jr Motorsports team co-owner Kelley Earnhardt-Miller said that the penalty will not be appealed, meaning that Justin Allgaier will have to race for a championship with a different crew chief than he has had all year. Billy Wilburn will crew chief Justin Allgaier’s team at Homestead.
STP Renews Sponsorship with Richard Petty Motorsports, Darrell Wallace, Jr.
Last week, STP motor oil announced that they had renewed sponsorship with tho no. 43 car for 2018, which will be piloted by Darrell “Bubba” Wallace, Jr. STP has been a longtime partner and supporter of the no. 43 team, going back to the championship days of Richard Petty, who owns the no. 43 team. STP will sponsor Bubba’s team for two races in 2018 as a primary sponsor, while serving as an associate for others.
Last Rides for Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Matt Kenseth
This weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, many fans will focus on the championship battle between the nos. 2, 4, 18, and 78 teams. However, this weekend will also mark the final full-time start in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series for 14-time Most Popular Driver Award winner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. It also marks what will likely be 2003 Monster Energy Cup Series champion Matt Kenseth’s final start in the series.
Both drivers entered in the Xfinity Series together in 1998 and 1999, when Dale Jr. won both championships. They then moved up to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series together in 2000, where Matt Kenseth won Rookie of the Year and the 2003 series championship.
Both Earnhardt and Kenseth will run throwback paint schemes to their 2000 cars. Dale Jr. will run his 2000 Budweiser paint scheme, while Kenseth will run his 2000 DeWalt Tools paint scheme.