10 drivers to watch in the 2018 Xfinity Series

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10 drivers to watch in the 2018 Xfinity Series
Tim Southers
By: Tim Southers
Feb 17, 2018, 1:50 PM

The 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season will kick-off on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Rheem Toyota Camry, Jason Ratcliff
Kyle Larson, Chip Ganassi Racing, DC Solar Chevrolet Camaro, Justin Allgaier, JR Motorsports, BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet Camaro
Daniel Hemric, Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet
Ryan Reed, Roush Fenway Racing, Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang and Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-Denbeste Racing, Haas Automation Ford Mustang
Brandon Jones, Joe Gibbs Racing, Juniper Toyota Camry
Elliott Sadler, JR Motorsports, OneMain Financial Chevrolet Camaro, Justin Allgaier, JR Motorsports, BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet Camaro
Tyler Reddick, Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet
Austin Cindric, Team Penske Ford
Ryan Truex, Kaulig Racing, Bar Harbor / Sea Watch International Chevrolet Camaro and Parker Kligerman

Once again, the series will see a combination of rising stars  and veterans compete for the series championship.

Here’s a look at 10 drivers to watch as the 2018 season gets underway (in no particular order):

Elliott Sadler

After finishing a very frustrating second-place in the standings following a heartbreaking finish at Homestead, the 42-year old veteran is determined to contend for the championship again this season and has the team to do it at JR Motorsports. He’s finished in the top-six in the final standings over the past seven seasons.

Christopher Bell

The defending NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion has already made his presence known last season scoring one win and five top-10 finishes in eight part-time starts. Bell, 23, moves over to Joe Gibbs Racing and should immediately become a contender for the 2018 championship.

Daniel Hemric

Another young gun that has yet to win in the series but has shown promise and ability to make 2018 a breakthrough season. Hemric, 27, made it to the Championship 4 last year in his first full season driving for Richard Childress Racing.

Cole Custer

Custer, 20, broke through the win column capturing the season finale at Homestead last November and ended up fifth in the final standings. He should be able to use his experience from last season – 19 top-10 finishes in 33 races – to challenge Sadler and others for wins and his first series championship.

Justin Allgaier

Allgaier, 31, has found a successful home at JR Motorsports. Since he started racing full-time for the team he’s scored two wins and 44 top-10 finishes in 66 starts. He was one of three JRM drivers to make the final four at Homestead last year and there’s no reason to think he can’t do it again.

Brandon Jones

After competing with RCR for his first 71 starts in the series Jones will have a new home this season. Jones, who turns 21 on Sunday, moves over to drive the No. 19 for Joe Gibbs Racing this year. He has yet to win in the series but did start from the pole in the season opener at Daytona last year and should be a contender to score his first series win in 2018.

Austin Cindric

Cindric made the playoffs last season in Trucks and will compete full-time in the series, competing for both Roush Fenway Racing and Team Penske. He picked up a win at Canadian Tire Motorsports in the Ttruck series last season and made the playoffs.

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick is a former winner and championship contender in the Truck series. Reddick, 22, returns to full-time competition this season with a new team – JR Motorsports. He’ll have solid equipment and should contend for his second series win. Reddick won at Kentucky last year driving part-time for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ryan Reed

Ryan Reed, 24, enters this list as the longest-tenured driver with one team as he prepares to start his fifth consecutive season with Roush Fenway Racing. He has a pair of wins with the team winning the 2015 and 2017 season openers at Daytona. The driver, who is a Type I diabetic, has finished in the top-10 for four consecutive seasons.

Ryan Truex

Coming off of his first full-time season in the Truck Series, Truex moves up to the Xfinity Series and into the No. 11 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing. Truex, 25, has made over 100 national series starts and this will be just his second time in a full-time ride.

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