CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 19: (L-R) Ryan Reed, Brennan Poole, Cole Custer, William Bryon, Daniel Hemric, Matt Tifft, Elliott Sadler, Blake Koch, Justin Allgaier, Brendan Gaughan, Jeremy Clements and Michael Annett pose for the media as the final 12 drivers eligible to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs Championship for the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs Media Day at Embassy Suites Charlotte Uptown on September 19, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images for NASCAR)

The two oldest Xfinity Series drivers are enjoying competing against younger competition


Elliott Sadler and Brandon Gaughan stand out a bit when they're with their opponents for the Xfinity Series championship.

Sadler and Gaughan are both 42, and the closest driver to their age is 32-year-old Jeremy Clements. The rest of the field is even younger, including some teenagers in William Byron and Cole Custer.

Sadler, who won the regular season championship, said he enjoys racing against younger competition.

"Hey look, I've been doing this a long time," Sadler said via NBC Sports. "I think a lot of guys would like to be in this sport as long I've been doing it, especially growing up as a fan in southern Virginia. Actually, I'm cherishing this moment."

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Gaughan said the new playoff format has been beneficial to him, and he believes it has been for the fans and the sport overall.

"I think this playoff format has really done a lot, not just to invigorate the fans, not just you guys in the media, but even the drivers," Gaughan said. "Hell, any other year we've just be sitting here saying, 'Oh well, OK what are we doing for next year and what are we going to try and get better at?' Now, we're saying, 'Hey, the playoffs are here. We got a chance to win this thing."

Sadler has 13 Xfinity Series wins, but none of them came this season. Gaughan has two wins in his career, but his last came in 2014.

Byron, 19, has three wins this season, and he is the favorite to win the championship. But a veteran like Sadler, searching for his first championship, is a legitimate contender to win the title.

"I think a little part of me will always be empty if I have to walk away from the sport without a championship," Sadler said. "I think I would like to have that to fulfill my dreams and my wishes of the hard work I've put into this sport. Yes, you can pretty much say I need to win a championship before I retire to feel like I've accomplished everything I want to accomplish as a person, as a dad, as a father and as a race car driver."

While the odds are in the younger drivers' favor, veterans like Sadler and Gaughan are still threats to win the title.

(h/t NBC Sports)