Allgaier and Byron Lead the Way with Top 10s at Watkins Glen

JR Motorsports | 8/5/2017

Axalta Brandt Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News OneMain Pilot Flying J Race Report Watkins Glen William Byron

Justin Allgaier and William Byron secured the best efforts of the JR Motorsports stable by bringing home a pair of top-10 finishes in Saturday's race at Watkins Glen International.

Race 20 of 33: Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International
Track Specs: 2.45-mile road course / 82 laps
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 67 degrees
Race Winner: Kyle Busch

Allgaier's Finish: 4th 
Byron's Finish: 10th 
Annett's Finish: 16th 
Sadler's Finish: 18th 

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier was the highest finishing NASCAR Xfinity Series regular in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at The Glen, taking the checkered flag in fourth place in the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy. Following the team’s fifth top-five finish of the season, Allgaier sits third in the NXS point standings, 124 points behind the leader.

Starting seventh in the first NXS road-course race of the season, Allgaier was up to sixth by lap 10. Running in fifth when a caution came out on lap 19, the Illinois native came over the radio to report that the BRANDT Chevy was tight in and loose off through the carousel and the esses. The first stage ended under the caution and the team opted to come to pit road for four tires and fuel.

Allgaier restarted 14th on lap 24 and was all the way back up to ninth by the end of the lap. Setting his sights on the competitors ahead of him, the JR Motorsports driver found himself in the sixth position on lap 31. Another caution came out on lap 35. Under the yellow, Allgiaer reported that his Camaro was handling the same as before. The team made the call to stay out and restart in sixth on lap 39, where he remained until the green and white checkered flag waved for the end of Stage Two on lap 40.

Taking the green for the final stage on lap 44, Allgaier was up to fifth quickly. On lap 49, green-flag pit stops got underway and Allgaier hit pit road from the third position on lap 52. The team made a stop for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. When stops cycled through Allgaier was in eighth, and was back up to sixth on lap 65. A caution came out with six laps to go and crew chief Jason Burdett made the call for Allgaier to bring the BRANDT Chevy to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. Restarting in the eighth position with three laps to go, the 31-year-old driver made quick work of the cars ahead of him, getting up to fifth with two laps remaining. Allgaier was able to make a last-lap pass on the No. 2 of Paul Menard to finish fourth.

Kyle Busch won the NXS race and was followed by Joey Logano, Brad Keselowksi and Allgaier, with Menard rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team

“Jason Burdett (crew chief) and the boys on this BRANDT Professional Agriculture team did a great job all day. I felt like we had a top-five Chevy all day long. The call at the end, as soon as he (Burdett) started talking about it, I was on board with it. Hats off to the pit crew, they did an awesome job all day. This whole team was just absolutely flawless. We’ll keep plugging along. We’ve had a bad month and we needed some points and needed some good finishes, so hopefully this is the momentum we need.”

William Byron

William Byron came into his first NASCAR Xfinity Series road-course weekend at Watkins Glen International hoping to learn, get better and build a foundation for the remaining road-course races this season. The 19-year-old Charlotte, N.C. native did that, checking all the boxes and posting a top-10 finish in the Axalta/Progressive Powder Coatings INC Chevrolet.

Byron started the Zippo 200 at The Glen in the 15th spot and managed to snag a spot to 14th on the opening lap. An early caution for a spin off Turn 7 on the fourth lap allowed him to collect his breath and try it again. He held his spot for several laps until JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler dived underneath in Turn 1 for position on lap 11 and Brendan Gaughan got past a couple of laps later to set him back to 15th.

On lap 17, just three laps from the end of Stage One, crew chief Dave Elenz called Byron to pit road for four tires and fuel, short-stopping the stage break and gambling on getting track position back when the rest of the field came down for their own service. Despite dropping to 34th after pitting, Byron was soon back to 14th, and the game began again. Byron advanced to eighth by lap 35, five laps from the end of Stage Two, when Elenz called him back down pit road for four more Goodyear tires and fuel. Elenz, who had been calling for Byron to save fuel every lap he could, played the same strategy as in Stage One, and sent Byron back out in 22nd spot. At the end of Stage Two on lap 40, Byron had picked up three spots and did not need to pit on the break.

Unfortunately, many other cars did not come to pit road at the end of the stage, and Byron was left battling for 15th as the laps progressed. As cars that had not pitted peeled off, Byron rose all the way to the second spot on lap 53, when he pitted again for four tires and fuel to the end. By lap 58, he had reclaimed 13th spot and had his sights set on a top-10 finish.

He was running 11th with six laps remaining when the caution flag waved yet again for the slowing car of Casey Mears off Turn 5. Elenz called an audible and called Byron back down pit road for fresher tires, and a quick stop got him out without losing any spots. On the final restart, with three laps to go, he seized the 10th spot on the rush to the 90-degree Turn 1 and did not relinquish it to the checkered. It was his 14th top-10 finish of the season, first on a road course, and allowed him to pull within 52 points of Sadler in the race for the regular-season point title in the series.

Kyle Busch won the race, followed by Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski. JRM’s Justin Allgaier was the top-finishing NASCAR Xfinity Series regular in fourth, and Paul Menard wound up fifth. Kevin Harvick, Ty Dillon, Erik Jones and Gaughan came next, with Byron rounding out the top 10.

William Byron, driver No. 9 Axalta/Progressive Powder Coatings INC team

“It was good during the race to just put together some consistent runs. Some were better than others, but I was able to build on what I was feeling. I feel like we have something to build on going to Mid-Ohio next weekend, really happy with that, and we’re just going to continue to get better. The braking zones were one of the things that I was working hard on, being precise and making passes that way, so hopefully we can take that with us to Mid-Ohio next week and start from there.”

Michael Annett 

Michael Annett and the No. 5 Pilot Flying J team pieced together a solid and consistent effort that netted the group a 16th-place finish in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at The Glen.  The finish marked Annett’s second-best at the facility in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition and leaves him only two points outside of the top 10 in the championship standings. 

Beginning with a 27th-place starting spot, Annett made quick work of competitors and jumped five positions to 22nd by the race’s first caution on lap six. Reporting a tight condition on board the No. 5, Annett settled in just outside the top 20 through Stage One.  When the second caution of the day waved prior to the end of Stage One, several lead cars opted to pit and the Pilot Flying J team cycled to 15th for its conclusion.

After pitting during the stage break for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to help with grip levels, Annett lined up for Stage Two’s green flag in 21st. Positionally, things remained relatively unchanged during the second stage, that is until varying pit strategies came into play under caution on lap 35.  While a handful of leaders hit pit road, crew chief Jason Stockert kept Annett on the track, a call which gained the No. 5 team seven positions on the racetrack. Annett would restart in 13th and do battle for a top-10 finish in Stage Two, narrowly miss out on the spot to take the stage break in 11th.

Now, it was Annett’s turn to hit pit road for full service while the leaders stayed out. After things cycled through, the Pilot Flying J entry was shown in the mid-20’s for the final-stage restart. He improved a handful of positions to 19th, and then as the field pitted under green-flag condition, he raced as high as fifth before coming to pit road for a scheduled stop.  Once back on the track, Annett transitioned to 18th and narrowly avoided a pair of spinning competitors in the carousel portion of the track several laps later.  He emerged unscathed and secured two more positions before the checkered flag fell to finish 16th.

Kyle Busch won the race and was followed to the line by Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Justin Allgaier and Paul Menard.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet

“We managed a decent day with our Pilot Flying J team.  Watkins Glen is the type of place that sometimes trouble just finds you.  Fortunately for us, we kept ourselves clean all day, and Jason (Stockert, crew chief) made some good calls from atop the pit box to keep the car driving well for most of the race. We’ll take it and hopefully build on it with an even better result next weekend.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team finished 18th in the Zippo 200 Saturday afternoon at Watkins Glen International. After earning a fifth-place finish at the conclusion of Stage Two, the highest of any NASCAR Xfinity Series regular, Sadler remains the NXS point standings leader.

The No. 1 OneMain Financial team began the 82-lap event in 20th place. Within just eight laps, the Virginia native had driven his way into 15th and was racing teammate William Byron. On lap 17, OneMain Financial crew chief Kevin Meendering called Sadler down pit road under green for fresh tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. The second caution of the day was shown on lap 19 and the first stage concluded under the yellow just one lap later. The No. 1 team was in the 29th position when Stage One ended.

Electing to pit before the stage end, the OneMain Financial Chevrolet stayed out under the stage-ending caution. When Stage Two began, Sadler restarted seventh and claimed second place after avoiding a small incident with the help of his spotter. The JR Motorsports driver battled for the lead before he began to slip back after mentioning loose handling. When the yellow flag waved on lap 35, the OneMain Financial team opted to stay out and hold their track position. Sadler made a strong restart, earning two positions before the stage finished. When the second stage ended on lap 40, Sadler was in fifth place.

Continuing with their strategy, the OneMain Financial team stayed out and began the final stage of the race in fifth. Sadler continued to drive steadily through the left and right turns before making a green-flag pit stop from fourth place for fuel, tires and another adjustment. Following the stop, the veteran driver reported a vibration in his right-front tire. Sadler returned to pit road taking only two tires on the second stop under green. When the pit stops cycled through, the No. 1 Chevrolet was in the 24th running position. From there, Sadler remained focused, claiming six positions by lap 76. When the checkered flag waved concluding the race, the OneMain Financial driver remained in the 18th position.

Kyle Busch won the NXS event followed by Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, JRM teammate Justin Allgaier and Paul Menard to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver OneMain Financial team

“We dug ourselves a little hole, but rebound quickly with a top-five in Stage Two. We had a vibration after the green-flag pit stop and didn’t overcome that setback. I feel good about where we are for Mid-Ohio next week. We had speed in our OneMain Financial Chevrolet all day.”

 

 

No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro

Justin Allgaier

Start

7th

Finish

4th

Laps Completed (Led)

82 of 82 (0)

Points (Bonus)

44 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

3rd (-124)

Status

Running

 

No. 9 Axalta/ Progressive Powder Coatings INC Chevrolet William Byron

Start

15th         

Finish

10th    

Laps Completed (Led)

82 of 82 (0)

Points (Bonus)

27 (0)

Standings (from leader)

2nd (-52)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 5 Pilot Flying J

Chevrolet Camaro

Michael Annett

Start

27th

Finish

16th

Laps Completed (Led)

82 of 82 (0)

Points (Bonus)

21 (0)

Standings

11th (-340)

Status

Running

 

No. 1 OneMain Financial Camaro

Elliott Sadler

Start

20th

Finish

18th

Laps Completed (Led)

81 of 82 (0)

Points (Bonus)

25 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

1st (+52)

Status

Running

Articles

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • February 17 03:00 PM ET
    POWERSHARES QQQ 300Daytona International Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Ford EcoBoost 300

Homestead-Miami Speedway | 11/18/2017
RankDriverPointsBehind
1William Byron # (P)40340
2Elliott Sadler (P)4029-5
3Justin Allgaier (P)4025-9
4Daniel Hemric # (P)4003-31
5Cole Custer #2288-1746
6Brennan Poole2223-1811
7Matt Tifft #2211-1823
8Ryan Reed2161-1873
9Michael Annett2155-1879