Allgaier second, captures regular season crown

Ross Chastain in Victory Lane

Chastain, whose career appeared almost over in 2014 when he did only 10 races after spending two seasons driving a truck for Brad Keselowski, won the NASCAR Xfinity Series DC Solar 300 on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Chastain won the first two stages of the race easily, and after taking back the lead from Justin Allgaier with 50 laps to go, led all but one lap the rest of the way when he and Allgaier were battling for the lead on a late restart.

"I expected to win, but I expected to win in the 4 auto a long time ago", said Chastain, who drove the No. 42 for Chip Ganassi Racing with DC Solar on the vehicle.

"I'm just a watermelon farmer from Florida!" said Chastain, who indeed worked on his family's watermelon farm until his teens. "Man, that's a testament that anything in life is possible".

Allgaier, of Riverton, grabbed the lead three times for a total of 16 laps in the race after starting at the No. 8 position. On Saturday, Chastain brought a watermelon with him into Victory Lane and the post-race press conference, before smashing it on the start-finish line a few hours after the race.

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Violent wrecks dominated much of the action. Many front runners such as Daniel Hemric, Tyler Reddick, Shane Lee, Ryan Reed, Matt Tifft, and many others were taken out in various wrecks throughout the day. "I knew we were good yesterday and I slept really well because I knew how good the auto was". Nothing broken or anything.

"Two to go, I had a big ol" tear coming down my right eye, and I was like "oh no, don't cry dangit, '" Chastain said of the final laps.

Chastain has driven the past four years for JD Motorsports in the series and started gaining attention this year by vying for a playoff spot as well as driving with respectable finishes in the NASCAR Cup Series for Premium Motorsports. Allgaier won three of the previous five races before pushing Chastain in the regular-season finale, and he'll head into the playoffs as a clear contender. Custer finished second in the overall standings, earning 10 bonus points.

The playoffs begin next week at Richmond.

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