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Euro Series champ Alon Day to join other winners in NASCAR Night of Champions

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It will be an emotional Day Friday in Charlotte.

Israeli driver Alon Day will be honored for winning the 2017 NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship during NASCAR’s annual Touring and Weekly Night of Champions at the Charlotte (North Carolina) Convention Center.

“I’m actually scared,” Day told NBC Sports with a laugh about giving a speech during the event. “Driving the car is easier than having to make a speech.

“I have to thank so many people for giving me this opportunity because back in 2015, I was out of racing. I got an opportunity to test for a small-time in the Euro Series and that’s how suddenly my career completely changed. I have a lot of people to thank when I go on stage. I hope to be able to speak.

“When I got into NASCAR, I arrived. Suddenly, I was like a flower who just opened to the world. My life’s completely changed since I came to NASCAR, and there’s definitely going to be emotion Friday night.”

Day came to the U.S. in 2016 and made two starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series — including a 13th place finish in his debut at Mid-Ohio — and two other starts in the Camping World Truck Series, and then in 2017 made his first career NASCAR Cup start at Sonoma, where he finished 32nd.

“It’s unbelievable to think I came to NASCAR three years ago,” he said. “In three years, I never thought I’d achieve the European championship, driving a Truck, Xfinity and (be) in a Cup race. It’s just amazing. I think this championship just shows my ability and what I’m capable of doing with a stock car. I think I proved I’m good enough to drive in the Cup level. It’s just another step for coming to American motorsports.”

Day, 26, hopes to build upon his Euro Series title by earning a full-time ride in NASCAR in the U.S. for the 2018 season. He has been talking with BK Racing – which he raced for in June in the Cup race at Sonoma – about a Cup ride.

“The goal is definitely Cup,” Day said. “I know ovals can be a bit tricky for me, coming from Europe and the road course experience, but I think I’m capable of driving on the Cup level.

“If not that, then Xfinity or anything I can do in the States because this here is the real NASCAR. The real deal is definitely here.”

Day won three of the last four races of the season to clinch the 2017 Euro Series title after completing just the opening lap of the season finale at Belgium’s Circuit Zolder. In doing so, he became the first Israeli champion in the Euro Series.

MORE: Israeli driver Alon Day captures first NASCAR Whelen Euro Series championship

It also was the first major championship in 41 years of competition in any racing series for Day’s team, CAAL Racing.

While Cup is his goal, returning to the Euro Series is an option, if need be, and to pursue a second championship.

“I came from Europe and have driven road courses my whole life,” he said. “I know I’m good at that, I’m the champion and I know I’m capable of still winning races in Europe.”

Day’s championship was front-page news in his native land, just like when he was named Israel’s Athlete of the Year in 2016. The season-ending race in Belgium when he clinched the Euro title was streamed online back home by Israel’s Sports 5 network.

“Winning the championship was very big in Israel,” he said. “It was so big that the Israeli sport minister called me about five minutes after victory lane to congratulate me. That was a big thing. That shows how big Israel is taking this achievement. I hope I’m able to bring more respect and represent Israel even better in the future.”

In addition to Day, others to be honored include the 2017 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Division I national champion, U.S. state and Canadian provincial champions, and track champions, plus winners of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and West, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, NASCAR Pinty’s Canada Series and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series.

On Saturday, the NASCAR Trucks and Xfinity Series awards show will be held in Charlotte.

Results, Xfinity point standings after Iowa

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Justin Allgaier had a career day, leading 182 laps and sweeping all three stages in his win at Iowa Speedway.

The JR Motorsports driver claimed his seventh career Xfinity win.

Allgaier was followed by Christopher Bell, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Brandon Jones.

Click here for results.

Points

After his second straight finish of 28th or worse, Elliott Sadler‘s point lead after 14 races is down to a four-point advantage over Custer.

The top five is completed by Hemric (-7 points), Tyler Reddick (-31) and Bell (-3).

After his win Sunday, Allgaier is sixth in the standings, 51 points back from his JR Motorsports teammate.

Click here for the full standings.

Justin Allgaier dominates in Xfinity win at Iowa Speedway

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Justin Allgaier fended off Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell to win Sunday’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Allgaier held Bell and the rest of the field at bay in a 12-lap shootout to capture his second win of the year.

The top five was completed by Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Brandon Jones.

Allgaier led a career-high 182 laps and swept every stage.

“We had a great car today, these guys did a fantastic job,” Allgaier told Fox Sports 1.

The JR Motorsports driver took the lead for the first time with two laps to go in Stage 1 when he passed pole-sitter Austin Cindric.

The win qualifies Allgaier for the playoffs. His first win at Dover was disqualified toward playoff contention after his car failed post-race inspection.

Bell placed second after starting from the rear. His car failed to get through qualifying inspection, resulting in him not making a qualifying attempt.

“Man, I just needed to be in front of (Allgaier)” Bell told FS1. “It was really good on the bottom in both corners. I just didn’t have enough to clear him.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

MORE: Race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Christopher Bell earned his fourth top-two finish of the season … Daniel Hemric claimed his fourth top-three finish in the last five races … Riley Herbst placed sixth in his series debut … Justin Haley placed 12th in his debut … Kaz Grala placed 10th for his second top 10 in four starts for Fury Race Cars … Ty Majeski finished seventh, giving Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 team its first top 10 of the season.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Elliott Sadler cut a tire and got into the wall late in Stage 1. He finished 28th for his second straight finish outside the top 25. He had finished in the top 10 in the first 12 races … Brandon Hightower wrecked with 17 laps to go to set up the final restart. He finished 30th.

WHAT’S NEXT: Overton’s 300 at Chicagoland Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on June 30 on NBCSN

Austin Cindric wins pole for Xfinity race at Iowa Speedway

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Austin Cindric won the pole for tonight’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway, claiming his first career pole.

The Team Penske driver earned the pole with a top speed of 131.409 mph.

The rookie is followed by Daniel Hemric (130.988 mph), Brandon Jones (130.836), Elliott Sadler (130.532) and Cole Custer (130.435).

“It’s huge for me, it’s a huge weight off my shoulders as well …Being so close to so many poles these last few races with these Penske guys,” Cindric told Fox Sports 2.

Kaz Grala will make his best-career start in eighth. Joe Gibbs Racing’s Riley Herbst will start ninth in his series debut.

Seven of the starting top 10 have never won a series race.

Justin Haley will start 13th. He will be followed by Shane Lee, John Hunter Nemechek, Ross Chastain, and Ty Majeski.

Christopher Bell and Ryan Reed will start from the rear after they failed to get through inspection in time to make a qualifying attempt.

The race is scheduled to start at 5:14 p.m. ET.

Click here for qualifying results.

Today’s Xfinity race at Iowa: Start time, lineup and more

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The NASCAR Xfinity Series enjoys the spotlight with the Cup Series off and no Cup drivers competing in today’s race at Iowa Speedway.

There’s a good chance of seeing a new winner for this season. Only three drivers who have won this year (Tyler Reddick at Daytona, Christopher Bell at Richmond and Justin Allgaier at Dover) are entered in today’s race.

Here are the details for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Craig Abel will give the command to start engines at 5:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 5:14 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 250 laps (218.75 miles) around the 0.875-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60. Stage 2 ends on Lap 120.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Garage opens at 11 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 2 p.m. Qualifying is at 2:35 p.m. Driver introductions are at 4:30 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Specialist Michelle Monroe from the Iowa National Guard 34th Army will perform the anthem at 5:01 p.m.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will broadcast the race beginning at 5 p.m. Coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 4:30 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will have MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly sunny skies with a high of 90 degrees and zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: William Byron won this race last June. Ryan Sieg was second. Tyler Reddick placed third. Ryan Preece won the July race. Kyle Benjamin was second. Brian Scott placed third.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the lineup.