Byron, Allgaier and Sadler Advance to the Round of 8 at Charlotte

JR Motorsports | 10/8/2017

Advance Auto Parts Charlotte Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Liberty University Michael Annett News OneMain Playoffs Race Report TMC William Byron XFINITY Series

William Byron, Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler advanced to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs at Charlotte last night. Sadler led the way for JRM picking up a top-10 finish.

Race 29 of 33: Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile quad-oval / 200 laps
Weather: Cloudy; 70 degrees
Race Winner: Alex Bowman

Sadler’s finish: 10th
Byron’s Finish: 16th
Annett’s Finish: 27th
Allgaier’s Finish: 33rd      

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team brought home a 10th-place finish in the rain-delayed Drive for the Cure 300 on Saturday evening at Charlotte Motor Speedway. After claiming his 22 top-10 finish of the season, Sadler sits third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff standings and has advanced to the Round of 8.

Sadler began the 200-lap event from the seventh-place starting position after qualifying was canceled due to inclement weather. The Emporia, Va. native remained quiet over the radio as the field raced single-file throughout the opening laps. On lap 15, the No. 1 driver relayed over the radio that his Camaro was a little tight rolling into the center. Following the restart after the first caution of the day, the OneMain Financial Chevrolet received front right-side damage after contact was made with the No. 48 of Brennan Poole. When Stage One ended on lap 45, Sadler had slipped back and was scored in 20th place.

Before Stage Two began, the OneMain Financial team made their first stop down pit road for four fresh tires, fuel, repairs and an adjustment. The team returned to pit road under the stage-ending caution for a second time to make additional right-side repairs. On the restart, Sadler was in 27th place. When the caution flag waved for an incident in Turn 1 while completing lap 63, the veteran driver had made his way into the 16th-place running position. The No. 1 crew chief, Kevin Meendering, made the call for Sadler to stay out and hold his track position. Sadler continued his drive forward, battling the tight-handling condition, to claim a ninth-place finish at the end of Stage Two.

The OneMain Financial team opted to visit pit road once again under the stage-ending caution. With a quick pit stop, the No. 1 driver took the restart for the final stage from the sixth-place position. While running in sixth around lap 130, Sadler was the highest NXS series regular. Opting to take a chance, the OneMain Financial crew chief called Sadler down pit road under the lap-142 caution for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. With other teams remaining on track, Sadler found himself driving through the field from the 19th position following the restart. Able to hold his track position under the following restart while the leaders pitted, the No. 1 Camaro restarted in second place on lap 166. Sadler raced his JR Motorsports teammate William Byron for first before he slowly began to slip back as teams with fresher tires made their way through the field. When the raced concluded just over 30 laps later, the OneMain Financial Chevrolet was in 10th place.

Alex Bowman won the race, followed by Sam Hornish Jr., Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillion and Poole to round out the top five. 

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 OneMain Financial team

"It was unfortunate we had some damage early on, but the guys did a great job fixing our Chevrolet and made awesome pit stops. I appreciate Kevin (Meendering, crew chief) taking chances and being aggressive. We made it to the next round and have some good tracks coming up. I'm proud of this team and can't thank OneMain Financial enough for the opportunity to run this pink breast cancer awareness paint scheme."

William Byron

Charlotte native William Byron finished 16th in the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday evening. Byron clinched a spot in the Round of 8, following his sixth-place finish in Stage One. The 19-year-old is currently leading the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings by three markers.

Weather was a factor for the majority of the day on Saturday, which forced the Xfinity Series teams to start the race via owner points. The Liberty University machine rolled off sixth and was battling two JR Motorsports drivers for position during the first eight laps. While running seventh, Byron radioed to the team that his Chevrolet was tight in the center, but mainly tight overall. When the first caution flag was shown on lap 30, the Liberty University team stayed out on track to maintain their position. On lap 35, Byron was scored in the sixth position and would maintain that position through the end of Stage One. By finishing sixth, Byron locked himself into the Round of 8.

The Liberty University team elected to hit pit road under caution on lap 47 for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. After a quick stop, the team gained three positions and restarted fourth on lap 52. The caution flag was shown on lap 63 and Byron reported that his Chevrolet had better take-off, but was still tight on exit. The team stayed out on track and restarted fifth on lap 67. Byron battled the No. 00 of Cole Custer through the remainder of Stage Two, but ultimately beat him to the line to finish seventh.

At the conclusion of Stage Two, Byron radioed that his machine was tight as he continued to progress through a run. The team elected to hit pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. The Liberty University team was able to gain three positions on that pit stop, but was caught speeding and had to restart at the tail-end of the field. The team knew they had some ground to make up and Byron did just that on the restart. By lap 117, Byron was scored in the 12th position and reported tight conditions. Byron was in the 10th position on lap 127 and when the caution was shown on lap 142, the team decided to come to pit road for four more tires, fuel and another track-bar adjustment. With fresher tires than some of the cars in front of him, Byron was able to advance to the sixth position on lap 159.

When the final caution flag waved on lap 161, the Liberty University team was in a great position. As most of the cars in front of Byron needed to pit, the No. 9 Chevy would restart from the first position on lap 167. Byron was able to lead the field for six laps, until the cars with fresher tires were able to get by. On lap 192, the driver radioed to the team that he had a right-rear tire going down and the Liberty University pit crew was ready on pit road. Byron was able to take care of his tire and cross the line in the 16th position.

Alex Bowman captured his first-career NXS win and was followed by Sam Hornish Jr., Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon and Brennan Poole.

William Byron, driver No. 9 Liberty University team

“We battled tight conditions all throughout the night here in Charlotte. Dave (Elenz, crew chief) and the guys made great adjustments all night on pit road to help free up the car. We had a tire going down at the end, so I am just glad that it didn’t let go. It is a great feeling going into the off weekend as the points leader and I feel strong about what we can bring to Kansas in a few weeks.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett and crew chief Jason Stockert knew they had to make something happen Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway to advance to the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. They certainly tried, and were in position to make the next round with laps winding down, but circumstances conspired to end the TMC Transportation team’s hopes.

A flat tire on a lap-167 restart led to a spin in Turn 3, and the subsequent pit stop to change it put him two laps down. That put him 27th and ended any chance the No. 5 JR Motorsports team had of advancing to the Round of 8. Annett took the green flag on that restart in fifth spot and was three points to the good to advance, but that advantage was gone by the exit of Turn 2 and turned into a 22-point deficit by the time the checkered flag waved in the Drive for the Cure 300.

Annett was running 20th on lap 161 when a caution flag waved for a smoking Joey Gase, 11 points out of a transfer spot and not gaining much ground. Stockert decided that track position was more important than fresh tires and kept his driver on the track while 15 cars in the lead pack headed to pit road. When the stops cycled, Annett was fifth, and that had him in the Round of 8 with 33 laps remaining. The strategy was to maintain track position and hope for another caution to bolt on the last remaining set of Goodyear Eagles for the run to the finish.

As the field stormed toward the start-finish line on the restart, Annett spun his older tires a touch and that allowed Ryan Blaney to pound the rear deck of the No. 5 TMC machine several times heading toward Turn 1. Annett was pushed high into Turn 1 and lost several positions on the run down to Turn 3 before the tire went down. He spun at the entrance to Turn 3 after contact from the No. 01 machine of Harrison Rhodes. No other cars made contact with Annett, and he was able to slide to a stop at the bottom of the corner. No caution flag waved, either, and once he had the car pointed the right way, it was too late to stay on the lead lap. He lost another lap on pit road, and his hopes of advancement were dashed.

Over the first two stages of the race, Annett ran in the top 20 most of those 90 laps, sorting out what his black and gold machine would do. Stockert made adjustments to help his turn and keep him on the move forward, and the team was in position to make a strategy call at the end. Despite the disappointment, Annett and the No. 5 team stayed in the top 10 in points and will battle for ninth over the final four races. Brendan Gaughan, Blake Koch and Jeremy Clements joined Annett in not advancing to the Round of 8.

Alex Bowman won the race, his first career NXS triumph, followed by Sam Hornish Jr., Blaney, Austin Dillon and Brennan Poole.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 TMC Transportation team

“We struggled a little bit tonight. We were stuck right there around the guys we were racing for the playoff spot. We knew that wasn’t going to be enough for us to move on to the next round, so we knew we had to do something to try and get a ton of points. I spun the tires a little bit on the restart and I knew that (Blaney’s contact) was coming. I didn’t have a chance of getting down into the corner. At least we didn’t tear the car completely up. It was nothing that we needed to have or wanted to have happen tonight.”

Justin Allgaier

Going into Saturday’s cutoff race for the Round of 8, Justin Allgaier had a fast No. 7 Advance Auto Parts Chevrolet, but his engine overheated after striking a piece of debris early in the race and the team would ultimately finish 33rd at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Allgaier still earned enough points after finishing fourth in Stage One to advance on to the Round of 8. He currently sits second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, three back from leader William Byron.

The Illinois native started the rain-delayed race in fifth after the field was set by owner points and maintained position early on. He radioed to the team on lap 10 that the No. 7 was a little edgy with the back. When the first caution of the evening came out on lap 30, Allgaier relayed that the left front had started to give up grip and he was losing rear grip. The team decided to stay out and restarted in fifth on lap 35. Getting a good restart, Allgaier advanced to fourth before the caution flag waved for a spin by the No. 78. Under the yellow, Allgaier struck a large piece of debris off the No. 78, causing damage to the nose of the No. 7 Chevy.

Stage One ended under the caution and when pit road opened, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier in so the team could assess the damage and begin repairs. Under the stop, the team also gave the No. 7 four fresh tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Burdett had Allgaier come back down to continue repairs and the team got him back out on the lead lap to begin Stage Two in the 28th position on lap 52. He was back up to 22nd on lap 57 and a lap later reported that he was starting to lose a little bit of power and his water and oil temps had gone up.

Allgaier was in the 21st position when another caution came out on lap 62. The team made two pit stops under the yellow to make repairs, going a lap down in the process. Allgaier restarted in 31st on lap 66, working his way up to 28th by the end of the lap. He came over the radio to report that his gauges hadn’t changed and was still struggling for power. He ended Stage Two one lap down in the 28th position.

Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier came to pit road for four tires, fuel and more repairs. He took the green for the final stage in 28th on lap 97. He worked his way up to 26th, the first car one lap down, and caught a break when the caution came out on lap 104. He relayed that there was still no change to his temperatures. He restarted in 25th on lap 108 and was up to 21st when his engine started to overheat. Allgaier took the No. 7 Advance Auto Parts Chevy to the garage with 112 laps complete. He would finish the race in the 33rd position.

Alex Bowman claimed the victory in the 300-mile race and was followed by Sam Hornish Jr., Ryan Blaney and Austin Dillon, with Brennan Poole rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Advance Auto Parts team

“Unfortunately when the No. 78 got into the fence the battery came out. I saw some debris coming across the race track and was looking at that and didn’t see the battery. It kind of blended in with the race track, and when I saw the parts go up over the hood, I knew what it was. I really hate it for these guys. This Advance Auto Parts Chevy was really, really good tonight. We had strong runs early there in the first stage. Hopefully we can keep ourselves in the owners points championship and be able to go for the next round, but all in all I’m really proud of these guys. The Hendrick Engine Shop always does a great job and this Chevy engine was running good. Unfortunately it will only last so long with that temperature and that kind of damage. I just hate it for these guys that our night ended the way that it did.”


No. 1 OneMain Financial
Chevrolet Camaro
Elliott Sadler





Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

29 (0)

Points Standings (from leader)

3rd (-6)




No. 9 Liberty University Camaro

William Byron





Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (6)

Points (Bonus)

30 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

1st (+3)




No. 5 TMC Transportation Chevrolet Camaro





Laps Completed (Led)

197 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

10 (0)

Standings (from leader)

10th (-968)




No. 7 Advance Auto Parts Camaro

Justin Allgaier





Laps Completed (Led)

112 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

11 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

2nd  (-3)






XFINITY Series Schedule

  • July 28 05:00 PM ET
    U.S. Cellular 250Iowa Speedway
  • August 4 03:30 PM ET
    Zippo 200Watkins Glen International
  • August 11 03:00 PM ET
    Mid-Ohio ChallengeMid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • August 17 07:30 PM ET
    Food City 300Bristol Motor Speedway
  • August 25 03:00 PM ET
    Road America 180Road America

XFINITY Series Standings

After Lakes Region 200

New Hampshire Motor Speedway | 7/21/2018
1Daniel Hemric6500
2Christopher Bell #644-6
3Elliott Sadler643-7
4Cole Custer637-13
5Justin Allgaier602-48
6Tyler Reddick #553-97
7Brandon Jones543-107
14Michael Annett343-307