Allgaier and Sadler Lead JRM in Playoffs Opener at Kentucky

JR Motorsports | 9/24/2017

Brandt Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Kentucky Liberty University Michael Annett News OneMain Pilot Flying J Playoffs Race Report William Byron XFINITY Series

Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler led the way for JR Motorsports Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway, bringing home top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs opener.

Race 27 of 33: VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 at Kentucky Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile tri-oval / 200 laps
Weather: Clear; 70 degrees
Race Winner: Tyler Reddick

Allgaier’s Finish: 3rd   
Sadler’s finish: 6th
Annett’s Finish: 16th         
Byron’s Finish: 18th

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the BRANDT Professional Agriculture team had an eventful Saturday evening at Kentucky Speedway, coming back from two laps down to post a third-place finish in the kick-off race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. The Illinois native leaves Kentucky as the NXS points leader by zero markers over second-place Cole Custer.

Allgaier started the 200-lap race in fourth and was in third by the end of lap 1. He radioed on lap 3 that the BRANDT Chevy was tight through the center of both ends of the track. He was running in fourth on lap 14 when he started losing more positions. He came over the radio to relay that he thought he had a tire going down and came to pit road on lap 18 as his right-front tire went flat. The crew gave him four fresh tires and sent him back out two laps down. He finished Stage One in the 30th position and the team opted to stay out and take the wave-around to get a lap back.

The 31-year-old took the green flag for Stage Two in the 28th position on lap 52. By lap 54 he was scored in 21st, the first car one lap down. The team caught a break when the caution came out on lap 75 and the BRANDT Chevy was given the free pass to get back on the lead lap. Under the caution, Allgaier came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. He restarted in 21st on lap 79 and was able to work all the way back up to 11th before the conclusion of Stage Two on lap 90.

Under the stage-ending caution, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for a fuel-only stop, setting him up for a third-place starting position for the final stage on lap 97. Allgaier was running in third on lap 108 when he came over the radio to report that the BRANDT Chevy was tight center and a little tail happy. On lap 138, Allgaier was in the fifth position when fourth-place Elliott Sadler came to pit road, starting the cycle of scheduled green-flag pit stops. Burdett called Allgaier in 10 laps later for a pit stop for four tires and fuel. The No. 7 Chevy was in the sixth spot when stops cycled through. Allgaier’s Camaro was good on longer runs and he was able to work his way past the No. 00 of Custer and the No. 1 of Sadler, settling into the fourth position with 20 laps to go. He began to reel in the No. 20 of Ryan Preece and made the pass with less than 10 laps remaining to finish third in the 300-mile race.

Tyler Reddick won the NXS race and was followed by Brennan Poole, Allgaier and Preece, with Custer rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team

“Jason Burdett and the guys did a great job with this BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy. When we were down, I’ll be honest I got frustrated and a little hot under the collar just because we were running so good early and then got two laps down. These guys never gave up and we kept having good pit stops and drove our way up through the field there. I thought we maybe had a car that could win the race tonight, but we came out of here with the best finish we thought that we could get and moved ourselves up in points, so overall it was a good night.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team finished sixth in the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway. Following the 300-mile event, Sadler remains in the third seed in the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff standings— only two races remain before the playoff field drops to eight contenders from 12.

After starting sixth at the 1.5-mile speedway, Sadler was quick to report tight handling through the center on his OneMain Financial Chevrolet. After getting caught on the outside and slipping to ninth, the veteran driver drove to regain his position. At the conclusion of Stage One, which went caution-free, Sadler was in eighth place.

Under the stage-ending caution prior to the start of Stage Two, the No. 1 Chevrolet came to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments. With the longer stop for changes, Sadler restarted for the second stage in 12th. Just a few laps after the field returned to green, Sadler reported to his OneMain Financial team that he hit a bump on the track. When the caution flag was displayed on lap 75, crew chief Kevin Meendering called Sadler to pit road for a possible repair, sticker tires and fuel. The opposite strategy call put the No. 1 team in 17th place for the restart. In the final laps of the stage, the OneMain Financial Chevrolet raced forward claiming the 10th-place running position at the stage end.

Electing to stay out following Stage Two, Sadler began the final stage in first place. With the right adjustments from their second pit stop, the OneMain Financial team was able to make a strong restart and hold onto the lead. Sadler led the field for 11 laps before he was passed by driver Ryan Preece. Even on older tires, Sadler was able to run steady among the top five before pitting under green for fresh tires and a fuel top off. When the green-flag pit stops cycled through, the OneMain Financial team remained in the top five. With 10 laps to go, Sadler was in sixth place—the position the OneMain Financial team would ultimately finish the race.

Tyler Reddick crossed the finish line first, followed by Brennan Poole, JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier, Preece and Cole Custer to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 OneMain Financial team

“We always want to win, but when we can’t, we want the best possible finish—that’s what we did today. I’m proud of our OneMain Financial team and this solid finish. The next two races are strong tracks for us—we’ll be ready for Dover.”

Michael Annett

The first race of the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs at Kentucky Speedway ended with Michael Annett and his Pilot Flying J team up one spot in the Playoff points, but farther behind in the quest to advance to Round 2 in two weeks’ time.

Annett, who has had solid success on the 1.5-mile oval in the Bluegrass State, started the race 18th and spent Stage One trying to sort out the handling on his Chevrolet. Just 20 laps into the 200-lap race, Annett called crew chief Jason Stockert to report that the car was pivoting around the right front tire and the right rear was being pulled out of the track. He had fallen to 20th spot by then, but was able to gain one back to finish 19th at the end of Stage One. On the lap-47 pit stop, Stockert made air pressure changes to help Annett’s handle, which had sorted itself out to a degree during the remainder of the 45-lap run only to introduce a loose condition to the mix, and a quick stop sent him back out for Stage Two in 15th spot.

The restart went a lot better this time around, speed-wise, and Annett gained two spots after the initial rush to 13th, only for the ghosts to reappear. Clean air made him tight and he was lacking lateral grip. A spin brought out the first non-Stage-end caution on lap 75. Stockert elected to keep Annett out on the track while several others in front of him pitted, moving Annett to 10th in the order for the restart. When the green waved once again, Annett got caught in the crush and dropped to 15th two laps later, but quickly regained one of those spots and held on for 14th at the end of Stage Two.

More air-pressure adjustments and some on the track bar went into the No. 5 Chevrolet on the ensuing pit stop, trying to build more rear security and help the front end work better. He restarted 15th for the final segment, but soon reported that the changes were not providing the needed support. He battled on from 17th until green-flag pit stops began and despite being a lap down to leader Tyler Reddick, he pitted from second place on lap 153. Six laps later, he went back down a lap in 17th spot. He picked up a spot to 16th and rode the rest of the way to finish there.

The finish put him 11th in the points, 35 adrift of leader and JRM teammate Justin Allgaier and 12 out of eighth place, the final spot that will move on to Round 2 of the Playoffs with two more races to run.

Reddick, who will join JR Motorsports for the 2018 season, won the race, his first career NXS victory, followed by Brennan Poole, Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Cole Custer. JRM’s Elliott Sadler led the second five in sixth, with Daniel Hemric, Brian Scott, Matt Tifft and Ryan Reed making up the remainder of the top 10.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“We were hoping for a better start to the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs tonight at Kentucky, but we could never get the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet to handle like we needed it to. We couldn’t take off the way we needed to, no matter what Jason (Stockert) and the team guys tried. Add to that the fact that we ran under green so much, and that was pretty much our night. We gained a spot in the points, but we have more ground to make up. We’ll go on to Dover and try to get some of that back next weekend.”

William Byron

William Byron and the Liberty University team brought home an 18th-place finish on Saturday night at Kentucky Speedway after having to battle back from a loose wheel early in the 200-lap race. Byron is currently fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship standings, six markers behind the leader.

The 19-year-old rookie qualified 12th for the 300-mile event. Byron maintained the 12th position for the first 10 laps of the race and made a two-car pass for 10th on lap 11. On lap 25, the driver came over the radio to let the team know that his Chevy was tight across the center in Turns 3 and 4. At the conclusion of Stage One, Byron was in the 10th position and told the team his car had really good balance in Turns 1 and 2. The Liberty University machine visited pit road for four tires, fuel and a small adjustment under caution and picked up three positions for the restart.

Byron started Stage Two from the seventh position and was up to the fifth running position on lap 58. The Charlotte native continued to knock off positions and passed Brennan Poole for fourth on lap 72. The caution came out just three laps later for a spin in Turn 4 and Byron told the team his Chevrolet had great balance. The team elected to stay out on track and Byron restarted fourth on lap 79. Byron was running in the fifth position at the end of Stage Two. The rookie driver brought his car to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment under the stage-ending caution. Shortly after the field took the green flag, Byron radioed that he had a loose wheel and was coming to pit road. The team made a four-tire pit stop and confirmed a loose left-rear wheel.

After returning to the track, Byron was scored one lap down and was fighting for the free-pass position. On lap 120, the Liberty University machine made a pass and was the first car one lap down. Byron reported that his car was good, but a little tight in traffic on lap 138. During the green-flag pit stops around lap 140, the team relayed to the driver that they would run through their window. The team ran until lap 165, when Byron brought his car to pit road for four tires and fuel. On lap 177, the Liberty University Chevrolet was scored two laps down in the 21st position.

Byron would pick off three positions to finish the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 300 in 18th place. Tyler Reddick brought home the win and was followed by Poole, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Cole Custer rounding out the top five.

William Byron, driver No. 9 Liberty University team

“We had a tough night in our Liberty University Chevrolet tonight in Kentucky. We didn’t get the caution that we needed to get our laps back, but we had great speed in the car all night long. This team is strong and we will bounce back next week. A little adversity won’t hurt us.”

 

No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro

Justin Allgaier

Start

4th  

Finish

3rd

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

34 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

1st (-0)

Status

Running

 

No. 1 OneMain Financial
Chevrolet Camaro
Elliott Sadler

Start

6th

Finish

6th

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (11)

Points (Bonus)

35 (0)

Points Standings (from leader)

3rd (-2)

Status

Running

 

No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Camaro

Start

18th           

Finish

16th      

Laps Completed (Led)

199 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

21 (0)

Standings (from leader)

11th (-35)

Status

Running

 

No. 9 Liberty University Camaro

William Byron

Start

12th

Finish

18th

Laps Completed (Led)

198 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

26 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

5th (-6)

Status

Running

 

Articles

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • June 16 05:30 PM ET
    CircuitCity.com 250Iowa Speedway
  • June 29 03:30 PM ET
    Camping World 300Chicagoland Speedway
  • July 5 07:30 PM ET
    Firecracker 250Daytona International Speedway
  • July 12 07:30 PM ET
    Alsco 300 at KentuckyKentucky Speedway
  • July 20 04:00 PM ET
    Lakes Region 200New Hampshire Motor Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After LTi Printing 250

Michigan International Speedway | 6/8/2019
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick6270
2Christopher Bell538-89
3Cole Custer510-117
4Austin Cindric486-141
5Justin Allgaier479-148
6Chase Briscoe #440-187
7John Hunter Nemechek429-198
8Noah Gragson #423-204
9Michael Annett406-221