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Justin Allgaier set for 200th Xfinity Series start at Chicagoland

NASCAR XFINITY Series Virginia529 College Savings 250

RICHMOND, VA - SEPTEMBER 09: Justin Allgaier, driver of the #7 BRANDT Chevrolet, stands on the grid prior to the NASCAR XFINITY Series Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway on September 9, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)

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Justin Allgaier will break into the 200 club Saturday afternoon.

The Drive for Safety 300 will be Allgaier’s 200th career start in the Xfinity Series, which he returned to this year. Allgaier took the wheel of the No. 7 at JR Motorsports this season after spending the last two years in the Sprint Cup Series.

Saturday’s 300-mile race will be Allgaier’s ninth at Chicagoland Speedway, his home track, where he scored his second of three career wins in June of 2011. He is third in the Xfinity points and locked into the inaugural Chase on the strength of 20 top-10 finishes and five top-five finishes.

“Chicagoland Speedway is such a special place for me with it being my home track,” Allgaier said this week in a team release. “It’s also close to (sponsor) BRANDT’s headquarters, so we’re going to have a lot of people out there this weekend. My Xfinity Series win there in 2011 was a memorable one, and I’d really like to grab another one.”

Allgaier’s Xfinity Series career began with four races for Roger Penske in 2008. He then ran full-time for Penske between 2008 and 2010, earning his first career win at Bristol Motor Speedway in March of 2010.

Between 2011 and 2013, Allgaier drove for Steve Turner. He added two more wins at Chicagoland (June 2011) and Montreal (August 2012) before departing for the Cup Series. In his 199 career starts, Allgaier has 39 top-five finishes, 104 top-10 finishes, four poles, and 636 laps led.

He will try to snap a 69-race winless streak Saturday afternoon to become just the third driver to win in their 200th start. The others were Larry Pearson at Myrtle Beach on June 10, 1995, and Matt Kenseth at Auto Club Speedway on February 24, 2007.

“Jason (Burdett, crew chief) and the guys have been bringing fast cars each week and we’ve really made some progress on our mile-and-a-half program,” Allgaier said. “I’m looking forward to unloading our Chevy on Friday and hitting the track.”

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