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Xfinity Series enjoyed its most competitive season in three decades

NASCAR XFINITY Series Ticket Galaxy 200

AVONDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 11: William Byron, driver of the #9 Liberty University Chevrolet, celebrates after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on November 11, 2017 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

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The Xfinity Series as we know it has existed for 36 years.

But before 2017, its most competitive season to date was way back in 1988.

William Byron’s championship campaign this year with JR Motorsports capped off the most parity-filled season in the 29 years since.

In the 33-race season, there were 18 different winners. That matches the series-record from 1988.

Those winners were: Kyle Busch (five), Byron (four), Erik Jones (three), Kyle Larson (three), Brad Keselowski (two), Ryan Blaney (two), Denny Hamlin (two), Justin Allagier (two) and 10 drivers with individual victories.

Byron and Allgaier were the only Xfinity regulars with multiple wins.

The season ended with a streak of 13 different winners in 13 straight races. That tied the longest streak ever in the series, which was set in 1988. The final eight races made up the playoffs.

Seven drivers who won in 2016 failed to win in 2017. Those seven drivers, which included Elliott Sadler, Austin Dillon and Daniel Suarez, combined to win 12 times in 2016

There were also seven first-time winners, the second most ever in a season behind 14 in the inaugural season in 1982.

Those winners were: Byron, Jeremy Clements, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, Alex Bowman, Christopher Bell and Ryan Preece.

Byron, Clements and Custer were the only full-time Xfinity regulars among them.

This spreading of the wealth came in a season in which NASCAR had imposed more limits on the number of races Cup veterans could compete in. Full-time Cup drivers with more than five years of experience could only compete in 10 races.

There will be even more limits next year. Cup drivers with more than five years of experience be restricted to seven races. All full-time Cup drivers are prohibited from competing in the Xfinity playoffs, the regular-season finale and the four Dash 4 Cash races.

Here’s more notes of interest from the 2017 Xfinity Season, courtesy of Racing Insights.

  • Twenty drivers made their NXS debut
  • Seventeen different drivers won a pole.
  • 14 races in 2017 were won by Non-Cup competitors up from 11 in 2016
  • Six of the last eight races of 2017 were won by Non-Cup Competitors
  • Thirty of the 33 races were won from a top 10 starting position
  • Five races ended with an overtime finish (Daytona I, Richmond, Daytona II, Iowa II and Darlington)
  • Nine drivers won their first pole, tied for the third most ever in a season