JRM Controls the Top-Three Spots in the Championship Battle after the Monster Mile

JR Motorsports | 9/30/2017

Axalta Cessna Dover Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News OneMain Pilot Flying J Playoffs Race Report William Byron

Justin Allgaier and William Byron both scored top-three finishes in Saturday's race at the Monster Mile. Along with Elliott Sadler, the JRM trifecta now control the top-three spots in the championship battle.

Race 28 of 33: Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200 at Dover International Speedway
Track Specs: 1-mile concrete oval / 200 laps
Weather: Mostly cloudy; 64 degrees
Race Winner: Ryan Blaney

Allgaier’s Finish: 2nd    
Byron’s Finish: 3rd
Sadler’s finish: 9th
Annett’s Finish: 11th         

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier posted his third straight top-three effort on Saturday, piloting the No. 7 Textron Off Road Chevy to a second-place finish at Dover International Speedway. The runner-up result made Allgaier the highest-finishing NASCAR Xfinity Series regular. He earned a total of 50 points in the race, which was key to helping him stay atop the point standings. The Illinois native leads by three markers over teammate William Byron with one race left before the playoff field is narrowed down to eight.

The No. 7 Chevrolet rolled off the grid fourth for the 200-lap race. The first stage was caution-filled, but Allgaier was able to maintain a top-four position throughout, taking the green-and-white checkered flag in fourth on lap 60. Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier reported that he was lacking grip, so the team made a pit stop for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment to help with the handling.

Taking the green for Stage Two on lap 68 in the fifth position, Allgaier slipped back to seventh, but started working his way back up during what became a long green-flag run. By lap 97, he was back up to fourth and set his sights on the No. 18 of Daniel Suarez, making the pass to take over the third position on lap 104. Third place is where he would remain to finish the second stage on lap 120. Under the yellow, he reported to crew chief Jason Burdett that the No. 7 Chevy was free early in the run and then got tight. The team made a pit stop for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.

Allgaier started the final stage in fourth on lap 128. Getting a good restart, he secured the second position and was able to hold off the competition to take the checkered flag in the runner-up spot, behind Ryan Blaney. Byron, Daniel Hemric and Brennan Poole rounded out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Textron Off Road team

“It was a solid day for our Textron Off Road team. Starting off we were lacking short-run speed on the restarts, but we also knew our car was really good on the long runs. On that final restart I was able to get to second, but Ryan Blaney’s car was really good on the short run and got out and away from us. We made some good gains there on that last pit stop to make our car better, but unfortunately we still needed a little bit more on the short run to get our Textron Off Road Chevy up towards the front there a little bit closer. All-in-all it was a good day, a good points day. It feels good to be leading the points heading into Charlotte next week.”

William Byron

William Byron captured his ninth top-five finish of the 2017 season on Saturday afternoon after finishing third at Dover International Speedway in the No. 9 Axalta/Central Aluminum Chevrolet. The 19-year-old won the pole award for the 200-lap event, his second pole this year. Byron jumped three positions in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship point standings and is now sitting second, three markers behind the leader.

The Axalta Chevrolet was strong in qualifying, finishing each round in the first position. Byron chose the outside lane for the initial start and maintained the lead throughout Stage One. When the first caution was shown on lap 7, Byron remained quiet on the radio and restarted from the first position on lap 14. The caution flag was shown five laps later and Byron told the team that his Chevrolet was a lot better. Throughout the remainder of the stage, Byron maintained position and collected a stage win and one bonus point for the playoffs. Following the stage, the driver radioed to the team that his car was too tight on that cycle and the team pitted for four tires, fuel and a small air-pressure adjustment.

Byron restarted second in Stage Two, after the No. 22 of Ryan Blaney was able to leave pit road ahead of the No. 9. Shortly after taking the green flag, Byron relayed that his machine was free to start off. Stage Two went caution free and the Axalta Chevy finished the stage in the second position. At the end of the stage, Byron reported tight conditions at the end of the run, but too free taking off. Crew chief Dave Elenz called Byron to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. Byron restarted second on lap 128.

One lap after taking the green flag, teammate Justin Allgaier got around Byron for the second position. Byron was running third on lap 150 and would maintain that position for the remaining 50 laps to finish third. The No. 9 Chevy captured its ninth top-five finish of the season and Byron was the event’s Sunoco Rookie of the Race.

Blaney won the 200-mile event and was followed by Allgaier, Byron, Daniel Hemric and Brennan Poole rounding out the top five.

William Byron, driver No. 9 Axalta/Central Aluminum team

“Overall, I think today went pretty good. Our team as a whole was good all weekend and the nine car definitely had the speed. Today is the day that we needed and hopefully this run can translate into Charlotte next weekend. Moving to second in points is huge for our team and I know this Axalta team will bring a fast car next weekend.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team took the checkered flag in ninth place Saturday afternoon in the Use Your Melon. Drive Sober 200. After claiming a top-six and top-five finish in Stages One and Two, respectively, Sadler holds onto third place in the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff standings.

After advancing to the third and final round of qualifying, Sadler earned a 10th- place starting position for the 200-mile event. By lap 18, the OneMain Financial driver relayed to the No. 1 team that the handling on his Camaro was “good through the middle, but tight on exit.” As the field raced through a series of cautions, the OneMain Financial team held their top-10 position.  When Stage One concluded, Sadler had raced his way into the sixth position.

Stage Two brought a similar fight for Sadler and his JR Motorsports team, but reports of improvement were relayed following their stage-ending pit stop. The Emporia, Va. native, began the second stage at the Monster Mile in eighth place. Remaining focused, Sadler made the pass for seventh. It wasn’t until the final laps in Stage Two that the OneMain Financial Chevrolet completed two additional passes to drive into the top five. Sadler was scored in fifth place at the stage end.

The final stage brought a different challenge for Sadler as he was plagued with a loose-handling condition after further adjustments were made under caution. After slipping back to 10th place during the long green-flag run, the veteran driver began to quicken his lap times as he managed the handling. Sadler was able to regain one position before the checkered flag waved over the field, ultimately finishing the event in ninth.

Ryan Blaney won the second Dover race, followed by Justin Allgaier, William Byron, Daniel Hemric and Brennan Poole to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 OneMain Financial team

“Our OneMain Financial Chevrolet ran great in the first two stages, but we just got it too loose for the last run. It’s not the finish we wanted, but we’ll keep building off the good stage finishes. We’re in a good place heading to Charlotte. Our goal is to survive and advance.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett drove his No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet to a 11th-place finish in the Use Your Melon, Drive Sober 200 on Saturday at Dover International Speedway, and that was just what he needed to do to gain ground in points heading to the final race of the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. Annett gained five points on eighth place, the cutoff spot for the Round of 8, with his result, and sits seven points adrift of Ryan Reed for that spot.

The last 72 laps of the race were the key for Annett’s 11th-place run, as the Iowa native fired off 15th in the run to the checkered flag on lap 128 of 200. Following a pit stop at the end of Stage Two that restored the car’s setup to what it was at the start of the race, spotter Kevin Hamlin urged Annett to get to the high line on the 1-mile concrete oval as soon as he could, and Annett was able to do that. Advancement was hard to come by, however, as he was the last car on the lead lap and chasing Playoff rival Brendan Gaughan.

Annett took 14th spot on lap 174, passing Ross Chastain, and nine laps later he got past a fading Erik Jones, who had tire issues. Crew chief Jason Stockert came over the radio just before that to urge his driver onward, saying the team needed two more spots before the end of the race. Passing Jones put him 13th with 17 laps remaining, and tire problems for Tyler Reddick bumped him up to 12th six laps later. Annett took one more spot in the final laps to finish the race on the cusp of the top 10 in 11th.

The finish, Annett’s best since a runner-up result at Road American in August, put him 10th in points, 59 behind leader Justin Allgaier and just seven behind Reed in eighth. Reed finished 16th on the day.

Starting the race in 16th—Annett’s best start since Indianapolis (fifth)—Annett used the opening 60-lap stage to sort out the handling on his No. 5 Chevrolet. He ran as high as 13th and ended Stage One in 15th. Stockert made air pressure and wedge adjustments to help Annett run the top groove better, and his Pilot Flying J pit crew got him out 12th for Stage Two, a three-spot improvement. The adjustments killed Annett’s turn in the corners, however, and he slipped back to 16th at times during the 60-lap stage before ending 15th.

On the ensuing pit stop, which would set the team up for the run to the checkered, Stockert went back on the previous adjustments and made a couple more to get Annett’s turn back. It worked, especially near the end of the race, when he was able to pick up four spots over the final 26 laps.

Ryan Blaney won the race, followed by JRM’s Allgaier and William Byron, Daniel Hemric and Brennan Poole. Matt Tifft was sixth, followed by Daniel Suarez, Cole Custer, JRM’s Elliott Sadler and Gaughan.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“That was a good run for us, and we closed the gap to the cut line with a race to go. It could have been better, too, because I got tight behind the 42 (Tyler Reddick) and lost so much time to the 62 (Brendan Gaughan). On the last pit stop, Jason (crew chief Jason Stockert) and the Pilot Flying J guys made the car better for the final segment of the race, so thanks to them for that. We lost a lot of time restarting on the bottom today, too. We have a better shot at making the Round of 8 next week at Charlotte than we did coming in here, that’s all we can ask for, and we’ll get it done next weekend on home turf.”

 

No. 7 Textron Off Road Camaro

Justin Allgaier

Start

4th  

Finish

2nd

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

50 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

1st (+3)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 9 Axalta/Central Aluminum Camaro

William Byron

Start

1st

Finish

3rd

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (62)

Points (Bonus)

53 (1)

Point Standings (from leader)

2nd (-3)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 1 OneMain Financial
Chevrolet Camaro
Elliott Sadler

Start

10th

Finish

9th

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

39 (0)

Points Standings (from leader)

3rd (-13)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Camaro

Start

16th           

Finish

11th      

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

26 (0)

Standings (from leader)

10th (-59)

Status

Running

Articles

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • 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
  • November 18 03:30 PM ET
    Ford EcoBoost 300Homestead-Miami Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Drive for the Cure 300

Charlotte Motor Speedway | 10/7/2017
RankDriverPointsBehind
1William Byron # (P)30260
2Justin Allgaier (P)3023-3
3Elliott Sadler (P)3020-6
4Daniel Hemric # (P)3009-17
5Cole Custer # (P)3007-19
6Brennan Poole (P)3006-20
7Ryan Reed (P)3005-21
8Matt Tifft # (P)3004-22
10Michael Annett (P)2058-968