Byron and Allgaier Bring Home Top-10 Finishes at Darlington

JR Motorsports | 9/2/2017

Advance Auto Parts Armour Darlington Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Liberty University Michael Annett News Race Report TMC William Byron XFINITY Series

William Byron and Justin Allgaier led the way for JR Motorsports at Darlington Raceway bringing home top-10 finishes.

Race 24 of 33: Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway
Track Specs: 1.366-mile oval / 147 laps
Weather: Partly Cloudy; 84 degrees
Race Winner: Denny Hamlin

Byron’s Finish: 5th
Allgaier’s finish: 8th
Annett’s Finish: 17th         
Sadler’s Finish: 33rd

William Byron

William Byron captured his eighth top-five finish on Saturday afternoon at Darlington Raceway after bringing the Liberty University Chevrolet home in fifth. Byron was the highest finishing NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie in the race and remains second in the championship standings, 91 markers behind first.

Byron qualified sixth for the 147-lap event on Saturday. The team knew they had a good Liberty University Camaro and a good starting position. When the first caution was shown on lap 1, Byron was in the fifth position and told the team that his car was pretty good. On lap 9, the Charlotte-native radioed to the team and said he was a little tight. When the third caution was shown on lap 33, Byron relayed that his balance was free while running fifth. At the end of Stage One the Liberty University machine was scored in the ninth position and the team elected to pit for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.

The 19-year-old began Stage Two from the eighth position. Fifteen laps into the stage, Byron radioed to the team that his Chevy was loose the entire run. When the caution flag was waived on lap 72, Byron told the team that his car turned a lot better and that the track was getting looser. The call from the box was to stay out on track and Byron restarted eighth. With five laps to go in the stage, the Liberty University machine was scored in eighth and was loose on entry. Byron ended Stage Two in the ninth position and came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. Following the stop, the team decided that the left rear wheel was loose and the team called Byron back to pit road for four additional tires.

Byron restarted from the 28th position on lap 97 and when the caution came out just three laps later, the JR Motorsports driver had advanced seven positions. With 41 laps remaining in the 147-lap event, Byron was running in the 14th position and told the team that they made a really good adjustment. The rookie driver continued to pick off competitors and when the caution came out with 10 laps to go, the Liberty University team elected to pit from the 11th position for four tires and fuel. Byron restarted from the 10th position.

The final caution of the day was shown with five laps remaining and Byron was able to avoid the wreck in front of him and come out fourth for the restart. In his first start at the 1.366-mile raceway, Byron scored a fifth-place finish.

Denny Hamlin brought home the win and was followed by Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones and Byron rounding out the top five.

William Byron, driver No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet team

“I thought we had a pretty good run in our Liberty University Chevrolet today. We started out pretty solid in qualifying and got ourselves in a good position during the first couple of runs. We had that deal on pit road with the left rear tire, so we had to start at the back and work our way back up. The adjustments these guys made helped the car and we were able to get back up to 10th under green, then to fourth for the last restart and finish fifth. This was a good effort for us. I am really honored to run the throwback paint scheme honoring Ricky (Hendrick) and get a good finish in this car. Now our focus turns to next week in Richmond.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the Advance Auto Parts team finished eighth in Saturday’s caution-filled Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 in Darlington Raceway, making key adjustments to improve the handling of the No. 7 Chevrolet along the way. The 31-year-old driver’s 11th top 10 of the season allows him to remain third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, 119 markers behind the leader and just 28 points behind second place.

Allgaier started the race in 13th and worked his way up to 11th by lap 6. When the second caution of the day came out on lap 10, the JR Motorsports driver radioed to his team that everyone was loose in traffic and tight by themselves. Opting to stay out, Allgaier restarted in 11th place on lap 13. On lap 20, he was running in 12th when he relayed to crew chief Jason Burdett that the Advance Auto Parts Chevy was losing overall grip. Allgaier ended Stage One in the 13th position on lap 45. Under the stage-ending caution, the team made a pit stop for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment.

The Illinois native took the green for Stage Two in the 13th position on lap 52. He worked his way up to 11th by lap 54, but lost a position on lap 62. When a caution came out on lap 72, Allgaier reported that his No. 7 Camaro was lacking grip and that the last adjustment didn’t help. The team opted to stay out and restart in 12th on lap 76. Allgaier was surpassed in the closing laps to end Stage Two in the 13th position. Under the yellow, Allgaier brought the Advance Auto Parts Camaro to pit road four tires fuel and adjustments.

The final stage got underway on lap 97, with Allgaier taking the green flag in 11th. When another caution came out on lap 138, he was running in 12th. He reported that No. 7 Chevy fired off better that run. Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires and another set of adjustments. A fast stop by the pit crew allowed Allgaier to restart in eighth with six laps to go. He survived yet another late-race caution that sent the race into overtime to ultimately bring the Advance Auto Parts Chevy home in eighth place.

Denny Hamlin won the NXS race and was followed by Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick and Erik Jones, with William Byron rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Advance Auto Parts team

“This team is awesome. They never give up. Our Advance Auto Parts Chevy didn’t fire off the way we wanted it to, but these guys were able to make some great adjustments and fast pit stops throughout the race and that put us in position for a solid top-10 finish today.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett put in a solid day’s work in the VFW Sport Clips Haircuts 200 on Saturday at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, earning a 17th-place finish and further cementing his NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff future. Annett’s blue-and-red TMC Transportation throwback paint scheme featured open-wheel legend Brad Doty in the Labor Day classic on NASCAR’s first superspeedway.

Annett started the race 21st, and was working through some handling issues during Stage One when he made significant contact with another car in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 39, six laps before the end of the stage. The damage to the left front was manageable, but it altered the handling characteristics even further and caused crew chief Jason Stockert and the No. 5 team to pull out the crash cart for the pit stop at stage end.

The long pit stop, which saw a lot of tape added to the damaged area, also featured four new tires, fuel and air-pressure adjustments. He returned to the track in 30th position for the Stage Two restart on lap 50, and clicked off seven spots in the next 11 laps. He was running 22nd when the caution flag waved again on lap 70, and Annett reported that he was still a touch free in the center of Turns 1 and 2 and the car wanted to lunge when he got back on the gas in Turns 3 and 4. Stockert called him down pit road for more work on the damage and sent him back out in 28th. Annett made up four spots in the remaining laps and ended Stage Two in 24th position.

Annett told Stockert that he needed more lateral grip everywhere and something to cure the snapping-loose condition off Turn 2 and the over-rotation off Turn 4. Stockert responded with four new tires, fuel and some adjustments to help his driver. The quick stop gained three spots for the Iowa native, and he got two more when cars ahead of him went back to pit road. That set him up in 19th for the final-stage restart, and more importantly, put him ahead of his closest playoff rivals.

He was 17th on lap 96, and the caution waved two laps later for a spin in Turn 2. Annett advanced a spot as cars pitted ahead of him, taking the green in 15th, his best running position of the day, on lap 103. He made his way to 14th soon after the restart, but fell back to 17th over the next several laps as the handling issues returned, and he was 18th with 11 laps to go when playoff rival Dakoda Armstrong spun by himself off Turn 4. Stockert called Annett down pit road for four more tires, fuel and adjustments, and the pit crew got him two more spots to 16th for the final run to the checkered flag.

Over the final five laps, which included another restart, Annett lost one spot to finally end 17th.  He remained ninth in the point standings, and in the playoff standings, Annett is 11th, with 23 points in hand over Armstrong in 13th and three points over 12th-place Brendan Gaughan, who finished 13th. Just two races remain before the playoff field is set following the race at Chicagoland Speedway.

Denny Hamlin won the race over Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones and JRM teammate William Byron. Brennan Poole was sixth, followed by Ty Dillon, JRM’s Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer and Austin Dillon.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 TMC Transportation team

“We had a good thing going early in the race with our No. 5 TMC Transportation/Brad Doty throwback car today, but we got some nose damage early in the race and spent the rest of the time trying to come back from that. It sure didn’t help us any. The handling of the car totally changed after that. Everything right now is about putting solid weekends together and staying in position to make the playoffs. We lost a few points to the 62 (Brendan Gaughan) today but we gained a bunch on the 28 (Dakoda Armstrong). We’ll go to Richmond and do it again next week.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the Armour Vienna Sausage 150 Years team drove a strong race throughout Saturday’s 147-lap event until the No. 1 Chevrolet got caught in an unfortunate incident racing for third with five laps to go, ultimately finishing in 33rd  at Darlington Raceway. Sadler remains the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings leader by 91 markers after claiming the highest finish by an NXS regular in both Stage One and Stage Two.

After taking the green flag in seventh, Sadler had raced his way into the top five by lap 6. For the next 25 laps, the Armour Vienna Sausage 150 Years Chevrolet was able to run steady battling among the top four. As the field became closer to the stage end, Sadler began to report his Camaro as tight in Turns 3 and 4. Driving through the tough-handling condition, the Emporia, Va., native was able to complete two passes before the stage end. Sadler’s second-place running position at the end of Stage One earned him and the Armour Vienna Sausage 150 Years team nine stage points.

Under the stage-ending caution, the No. 1 Chevrolet came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. When the race resumed for Stage Two, Sadler was in fourth place. Remaining focused, Sadler drove his Chevrolet Camaro just like he did throughout Stage One—racing among the top four. The Armour Vienna Sausage 150 Years driver relayed to his team that the adjustment made concluding Stage One improved the handling of his Chevrolet. When the stage ended on lap 90, Sadler was in fourth place, earning another seven points for his stage finish.

Pitting for four tires, fuel and another adjustment, the No. 1 team began the final stage of the race in fifth. On lap 125, Sadler provided additional feedback to his crew chief telling him the Armour Vienna Sausage 150 Years Chevrolet had become loose. Continuing his drive forward, the Virginia native was battling for a top-three position when contact was made with a competitor on lap 143, ending the team’s race. When the checkered flag waved, Sadler was scored in the 33rd position.

Denny Hamlin won the NASCAR throwback themed event followed by Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Erik Jones and William Byron to round out the top five.                                                                                                                                                     

Elliott Sadler, driver Armour Vienna Sausage 150 Years team

“We had a good run today and a fast Chevrolet, but an unfortunate ending. My guys have done an awesome job week in and week out to get us racing up front. I can’t thank Armour enough for letting us do this throwback paint scheme honoring my favorite driver. I hate this for my team, but we’ll be ready for Richmond next week.”

 

No. 9 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro

William Byron

Start

6th

Finish

5th

Laps Completed (Led)

148 of 148 (0)

Points (Bonus)

36 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

2nd (-91)

Status

Running

 

No. 7 Advance Auto Parts Camaro

Justin Allgaier

Start

13th  

Finish

8th

Laps Completed (Led)

148 of 148  (0)

Points (Bonus)

29 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

3rd (-119)

Status

Running

 

No. 5 TMC Transportation Chevrolet Camaro

Start

21st          

Finish

17th      

Laps Completed (Led)

148 of 148 (0)

Points (Bonus)

20 (0)

Standings (from leader)

9th (-368)

Status

Running

 

No. 1 Armour Vienna Sausage 150 Years Chevrolet Camaro
Elliott Sadler

Start

7th

Finish

33rd

Laps Completed (Led)

142 of 148 (1)

Points (Bonus)

20 (0)

Points Standings (from leader)

1st (+91)

Status

Accident

Articles

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • September 30 03:00 PM ET
    Drive Sober 200 presented by the DE Office of Highway of SafetyDover International Speedway
  • October 7 03:00 PM ET
    BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD OF NORTH CAROLINA DRIVE FOR THE CURE 300Charlotte Motor Speedway
  • October 21 03:00 PM ET
    Kansas Lottery 300Kansas Speedway
  • November 4 08:30 PM ET
    O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 Texas Motor Speedway
  • November 11 03:30 PM ET
    Ticket Galaxy 200Phoenix International Raceway

XFINITY Series Standings

After VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300

Kentucky Speedway | 9/23/2017
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Justin Allgaier (P)20570
2Cole Custer # (P)20570
3Elliott Sadler (P)2055-2
4Daniel Hemric # (P)2052-5
5William Byron # (P)2051-6
6Brennan Poole (P)2047-10
7Matt Tifft # (P)2036-21
8Ryan Reed (P)2034-23
11Michael Annett (P)2022-35