JRM Remains 1-2-3 in the Championship Hunt after Texas

JR Motorsports | 11/5/2017

Degree Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Liberty University Michael Annett News oskar blues Pilot Flying J Playoffs Race Report Texas William Byron XFINITY Series

Elliott Sadler, William Byron and Justin Allgaier remain 1-2-3 in the Chamionship Hunt following the second race in the Round of 8 at Texas. Sadler led the way for JRM bringing home a top-five finish.

Race 31 of 33: O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile quad-oval/ 200 laps
Weather: Partly cloudy; 77 degrees
Race Winner: Erik Jones

Sadler’s finish: 4th
Byron’s Finish: 9th
Allgaier’s Finish: 11th       
Annett’s Finish: 12th         

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the Dale’s Pale Ale team brought home a fourth-place finish in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Following his fifth consecutive top-10 finish in five playoff races so far this season and after claiming the most points of any series regular, Sadler takes over the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship standings.

After advancing into the third and final round of qualifying, Sadler rolled off the grid for the 300-mile event by rounding out the top five. Sadler was quick to advance into the top three by lap 2 and relay feedback to his Dale’s Pale Ale team by lap 10. The Virginia native informed his team that his Chevrolet was overall handling well, but he was a little free in Turn 1. Throughout Stage One, Sadler ran among the top three. When the stage ended, the Dale’s Pale Ale team was running in the third position and was the highest among the NXS playoff contenders.

A quick stop under the stage-ending caution kept the No. 1 team in third place for the start of Stage Two. After getting caught on the outside, the veteran driver slipped back into fifth. Just six laps later, a quick caution was displayed and the team elected to stay out to hold onto their track position. Once again, the Dale’s Pale Ale Camaro fell back on the restart, feeling too free. Staying focused, Sadler drove his way from the 11th position to fourth place by the stage end. The Dale’s Pale Ale Chevrolet was the second highest NXS regular series car to finish the stage.

With multiple cars opting to stay out, Sadler began the final stage of the race in the 13th-place running position after choosing to visit pit road. With a fast Camaro and good handling, the Dale’s Pale Ale driver was able to race his way through the field and was back in the top three by lap 131. When the green-flag pit stops began, Sadler was running in third. Crew Chief Kevin Meendering made the call to take right-side tires and fuel only during the final pit stop. No adjustments were made. Once the green-flag pit stops cycled through, Sadler was in fourth. This position is where the Dale’s Pale Ale team would take the checkered flag just under 15 laps later. The No. 1 team finished the race highest of the all playoff competitors.

Erik Jones won the Saturday night NXS race, followed by Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Sadler and Cole Custer to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 Dale’s Pale Ale team

“All-in-all, my guys gave me a good racecar and put us in a good position heading into Phoenix. We earned the most points tonight, putting us in the playoff lead. We’re one step closer to our main goal of winning the championship. Our Dale’s Pale Ale team had a great weekend from start to finish. We feel confident in what we’re bringing to Homestead.”

William Byron

William Byron and the Liberty University team crossed the finish line ninth in Saturday night’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. This was Byron’s 20th top-10 finish of the 2017 season. Byron remains second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, five points behind Elliott Sadler.

The Liberty University machine rolled off ninth for Saturday’s 200-lap race. By lap 2 Byron was running in the fifth position. The first caution of the day was shown on lap 10 and the No. 9 machine was scored in the fourth position. Byron relayed to the team that his machine fired off good on that run. The team elected to stay out on track and restarted fourth.

On lap 22, the driver radioed to the team that his Chevrolet was too tight in the center of Turns 1 and 2. At the conclusion of Stage One, Byron was scored in the seventh position. Byron told the team that his machine needed to be freed up, so the team called him to pit road for right-side tires, fuel, a track-bar and an air-pressure adjustment. After a quick stop by the Liberty University crew, Byron restarted from the first position.

The No. 9 Chevy was leading the field to green on the lap 67 restart when the field got shuffled and Byron was bumped back to the sixth position. While running in the eighth position on lap 81, Byron relayed that he believed the left-side tires were worn out and that his car needed to be tightened up. The team elected to pit for four tires, fuel and another adjustment under the lap 83 caution. The team restarted from the 13th position with five laps remaining in the stage. Byron knocked off four positions before the Stage Two end to finish ninth. Following the stage, the team elected to stay out on track and would restart second on lap 98.

When the final caution of the day was shown on lap 126, Byron relayed that his Chevy needed to rotate better in the center. The team called Byron to pit road for four tires, fuel and to pull a rubber out of the left rear. With 65 laps to go in the 200-lap event, Byron was running in the seventh position and reporting that his car was driving a little better. Crew chief Dave Elenz radioed to Byron on lap 159 that they were about four laps short on fuel and would need to make a pit stop before the end of the race.

Elenz called Byron to pit road on lap 189 from the ninth position for right-side tires and fuel. After green-flag pit stops cycled through, Byron was scored in the ninth position. The 19-year-old would maintain this position through the conclusion of the race. Byron scored his 20th top-10 finish of 2017 on Saturday night and is now five markers behind the NXS points leader.

Erik Jones brought home the win in Texas and was followed by Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, Sadler and Cole Custer. 

William Byron, driver No. 9 Liberty University team

“We struggled a little bit tonight. Our car just didn’t have the speed we needed to get the finish we needed. Going into Phoenix next week will be good for us. That is a track that has been good to us in the past, so I know we are all looking forward to that. This Liberty University team has worked hard all year and I am confident that these guys have put together some great cars for the next two races.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the Degree Deodorant team finished 11th on Saturday evening in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. With just one race remaining before the Championship 4 are determined in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, the 31-year-old driver sits third in the standings, nine points behind the leader.

Starting the 200-lap race in 13th, Allgaier was up to 12th when the first caution of the evening came out on lap 10. Under the yellow flag, the driver of the No. 7 relayed to the team that the Degree Deodorant Chevy was tight in the center of Turns 1 and 2 and edgy in Turns 3 and 4. Restarting in 12th on lap 14, he was up to eighth on lap 28 and remained inside the top 10 to finish ninth at the end of Stage One on lap 45.

Under the stage-ending caution, the team opted to pit for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. A series of cautions plagued the first part of Stage Two, but once the race got back into a rhythm, Allgaier was running in 11th on lap 67. He moved up to 10th just two circuits later and reported that the No. 7 Chevy was tight in the center of Turns 1 and 2. Allgaier was in 11th when the caution came out on lap 83. Crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. The Illinois native restarted 16th on lap 87 and worked his way up to 15th to finish out Stage Two.

Staying out under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier was able to take the green for the final stage in the sixth position on lap 98. He was running in in 11th on lap 106 when he reported that his Camaro was lacking grip. The caution came out on lap 126 and the team made a pit stop for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. He restarted in ninth on lap 131 and stayed within the top 10 until lap 61 when the No. 48 of Brennan Poole was able to make the pass, shuffling Allgaier back to 11th. However, he was able to work his way back up to the 10th spot just seven laps later. Shortly after, green-flag stops got under way and Burdett called Allgaier to pit road on lap 187 for right-side tires and fuel. The Illinois native drove hard in the remaining laps to finish 11th in the 300-mile event.

Erik Jones won and was followed by Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson and Elliott Sadler, with Cole Custer rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Degree Deodorant team

“It was a rough night. We felt like throughout practice we had decent speed in our Degree Deodorant Chevy and felt like it was handling the way that we wanted it to. Then tonight, we got into the race and just struggled, especially in Turns 3 and 4. We felt like we never really got the speed that we were looking for. Disappointing finish, but we go to Phoenix next week, which is one of my favorites on the schedule. Obviously being able to go to Victory Lane in the spring there, that helps. We salvaged what we could tonight and we’ve got to move on to next week and hopefully have no issues and try to make it to Homestead.”

Michael Annett

The operative word for Michael Annett and the Pilot Flying J team on Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway was aggression. The Iowa driver used that aggressive approach to earn a 12th-place finish in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines on the 1.5-mile oval.

Annett qualified 18th for the race, but had to start at the rear of the field after a parts issue. He took the green flag in 38th spot and had advanced to 23rd in the first six laps. He was 20th on lap 10 when the first caution of the night waved for Ty Dillon’s spin. He continued to move forward, getting to 15th with five laps left in Stage One and finishing 12th when the green checkered flag waved to end it.

Annett reported that he was a little tight in Turns 3 and 4, and that he was slow on entry to Turns 1 and 2 but pretty good on exit. Compared to the drivers he was racing, he said the car was more than manageable. He told crew chief Jason Stockert not to change anything on the first pit stop at lap 48, taking four tires and fuel and gained a spot on pit road to line up 11th for Stage Two.

Just four laps into the stage, a caution waved and Annett said that while his No. 5 Chevrolet did not have quite the takeoff power or turning ability that the other cars around him had, his car did not fall off like the others did. On the ensuing restart, Annett was driving behind the car of Brandon Jones when the latter moved down the track and into the right front of the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. Jones spun and hit the wall off the corner, ending his night, and Annett was forced to pit to check the damage. He came to pit road on lap 64 from 12th to repair it and other damage. He restarted in 22nd, the last car on the lead lap, on lap 66.

By lap 83, he was up to 17th when another caution waved, and Stockert called him back in for four more tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment before the end of Stage Two. He again restarted 22nd, and when the stage ended four laps later he was 18th. Staying out on the break, he took the green for the final 110-lap segment in ninth. After mixing it up on the cusp of the top 10 for several laps, Annett dropped to 15th after reporting that his rear grip was going away in a tight battle for position. He was 16th on lap 126 when the caution waved for another spin. Stockert dialed up adjustments for the pit stop, and he rejoined the field in 15th. The first few laps after the green waved again were among Annett’s best of the night, as he sailed up to 11th on lap 133, and with 50 laps to go he was running 16th.

As the laps clicked off toward the finish, Annett held his spot until green-flag pit stops began. Stockert told his driver they were going to run the car until they were out of gas. Annett stayed out as the others came down for fuel and led lap 189, his first time at the front of the field since the race at Road America. He came to pit road with 10 to go for two seconds of fuel and no adjustments, and rejoined the field for the final run in 12th spot. He stayed there, despite losing a lap to eventual winner Erik Jones with four circuits remaining, and earned a 12th-place result. He gained four points on Brendan Gaughan in their battle for ninth place in the points and left Texas trailing Gaughan by 18 with two races remaining.

Jones won the race over Ryan Blaney, Kyle Larson, JRM teammate Elliott Sadler and Cole Custer.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“We knew we had to be aggressive all night long here, especially since we had to start the race from the back. For the most part, we were able to do that under green, and we had it going pretty well at times during the race. The key to all of that was figuring out how to make time in Turns 1 and 2 and we had a good plan for it, thanks to Kevin (spotter Kevin Hamlin) and Jason (crew chief Jason Stockert). At the end, we were hanging on to get the best finish we could, and the leaders caught me just before it was over. It was a good day for the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet and we’ll head to Phoenix just looking to get better and earn another solid finish.”

 

No. 1 Dale’s Pale Ale
Chevrolet Camaro
Elliott Sadler

Start

5th

Finish

4th

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

48 (0)

Points Standings (from leader)

1st (+5)

Status

Running

 

No. 9 Liberty University Camaro

William Byron

Start

9th

Finish

9th

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (17)

Points (Bonus)

34 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

2nd (-5)

Status

Running

 

No. 7 Degree Deodorant Camaro

Justin Allgaier

Start

13th  

Finish

11th

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

28 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

3rd (-9)

Status

Running

 

No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Camaro

Start

18th           

Finish

12th

Laps Completed (Led)

199 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

25 (0)

Standings (from leader)

10th (-997)

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