Byron Wins at Phoenix; Allgaier, Sadler Join Him in Championship 4

JR Motorsports | 11/11/2017

Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier News Phoenix William Byron

William Byron won Saturday's Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix Raceway and JRM teammates Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler will join him next weekend in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Race 32 of 33: Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix Raceway
Track Specs: 1-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather: Sunny; 86 degrees
Race Winner: William Byron

Byron's Finish: 1st        
Allgaier’s Finish: 10th        
Annett’s Finish: 16th         
Sadler’s finish: 18th

William Byron

For the fourth time this season, William Byron brought home the NASCAR Xfinity Series race victory on Saturday afternoon in the Ticket Galaxy 200. This win gives Byron the most wins in a single season by a JR Motorsports rookie, besting Chase Elliott’s previous record of three. The Charlotte-native secured his spot in the championship 4 and will compete for the NXS Championship next weekend in Miami.

The Liberty University Chevrolet was fast off the truck in practice on Friday afternoon and the team knew they would have a good car come race day. Byron qualified second for the 200-lap event after a fast qualifying lap. The No. 9 machine was running in second when the No. 22 of Ryan Blaney got by him on lap 17. Byron radioed to the team that his car was good in Turns 1 and 2, but a little tight off in Turns 3 and 4. When the caution flag waved on lap 24, the driver reported that he was a little free during the first five laps and the team elected to stay out on track.

Byron restarted from the third position on lap 30 and just seven laps later relayed to the team that his car was too tight overall. At the conclusion of Stage One, Byron was scored in the sixth position and he asked the team to free up his machine. The team brought the Liberty University Chevy to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. After a slight delay on the left side, Byron restarted 14th on lap 68.

Within 15 laps, Byron was scored in the seventh position and told the team he needed some help on the exit of the corners. Stage Two went caution free and Byron was able to pick off one additional position to finish the stage sixth. Following the stage, the driver reported that his Chevrolet was building tighter and he needed to get off the corner better. The team came to pit road for four tires and fuel and restarted eighth on lap 128.

Byron worked his way up to the third position by lap 146 and on lap 152 the team relayed that they were going to be approximately three laps short on fuel. While running third on lap 182, the caution was shown giving the Liberty University team the break they needed. The team came to pit road for right-side tires and fuel. After a quick two-tire stop, the team was set to restart from the first position on lap 188. Byron would continue to lead the field until taking the checkered flag on lap 200.

This is Byron’s first NXS victory at Phoenix Raceway and his fourth overall victory this season. He was followed to the line by Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Christopher Bell and Daniel Hemric rounding out the top five.

William Byron, driver No. 9 Liberty University team

“We have been building on the year and we had a great summer. This Liberty University team has been working non-stop and we are extremely lucky to be able to go after a championship next week in Homestead. Dave (Elenz, crew chief) made a gutsy call at the end, but it was exactly what we needed to be able to get out front. This victory definitely gives our team some good momentum going into the championship race next weekend and hopefully we can bring home a victory for JR Motorsports.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the BRANDT Professional Agriculture team secured a spot in the Championship 4 following their 10th-place finish in Saturday’s Ticket Galaxy 200 at Phoenix Raceway. This marks the second consecutive season that Allgaier will compete for the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The Illinois native rolled off the grid in the 10th position and was up to eighth when the first caution of the race came out on lap 2. Allgaier relayed to crew chief Jason Burdett that the No. 7 Chevy was free in dirty air. On the lap 5 restart, the JR Motorsports driver quickly maneuvered his way to fifth. He radioed that the car was pretty good and was running in fourth when another yellow flag waved on lap 24. During the caution, Allgaier told the crew that the BRANDT Camaro had started getting tight in the center of the turns at both ends. Opting to stay out, he restarted in fourth on lap 30 and raced his way into the third position. As the run went on, the No. 7 began to tighten back up and Allgaier ended up finishing Stage One in the fifth position 60 laps in.

Under the stage-ending caution, the team made a pit stop for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Allgaier took the green flag for Stage Two in sixth on lap 68, but was back up to third just over 20 laps later. Shortly after, he reported that the No. 7 was tight with the front. He slid back to fourth in the closing laps of Stage Two and that is where he would finish when the green and white checkered flag waved on lap 120.

Allgaier came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. He was in the seventh position when the race got back underway on a lap 128. Settling in, Allgaier began advancing positions and was in the fourth spot with 50 laps to go. The 31-year-old driver reported on lap 155 that his Camaro was still tight with the front end. He was still running in fourth when the last caution of the race came out on lap 182. Burdett called Allgaier down pit road for four tires and fuel. A slow stop resulted in Allgaier restarting in the 16th position, but he was able to work his way back up to take the checkered flag in 10th.

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Allgaier’s JRM teammate William Byron won the 200-lap race and was followed by Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones and Christopher Bell, with Daniel Hemric rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team

“When you start the season in Daytona, this is the ultimate goal. I’m really proud of our guys. We knew that we had put enough points in the bank today that we needed to have two really good stages. We weren’t sure if that would put us in the position to make the Championship 4, but ultimately that was the case. We had a solid BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy all day. We did what we needed to do and unfortunately had a rough pit stop at the end there and had to go quite a ways further back than where we felt we could have finished. I’m really proud of William. To have a JR Motorsports sweep here this year, it’s pretty incredible. We feel like we bring quality race cars to the track every week and that’s what we’ve got to do next week too, to battle it out with this guy (Daniel Hemric) and my two teammates for a championship.” 

Michael Annett

All during the 2017 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, Michael Annett and his No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet team have focused on putting a complete race weekend together, and on Saturday at Phoenix Raceway, they put another one in the books. Annett qualified 12th and finished 16th in the Ticket Galaxy 200 on the 1-mile oval, and is just two points out of ninth place in the points heading into the season finale next weekend

The solid start—Annett’s best since Indianapolis in July--nearly didn’t matter, as Brendan Gaughan got loose underneath Annett’s No. 5 Chevrolet heading into Turn 3 on the opening lap. Gaughan’s car broadsided Annett’s, doing some damage to the left side door and fender panels, but the damage was minor enough that Annett did not have to come to pit road. He did, however, lose seven spots trying to miss the aftermath and wound up dropping three more spots on the first lap back to green when some of the bodywork caught on the left front tire.

Following a caution flag for another crash, Annett put his head down and started clicking off spots. He restarted 18th on lap 30, and over the next 20 laps he worked his way to 14th. Annett would add one more spot before the end of Stage One to finish 13th. Annett reported that his car was tight in the center of the corners and loose off, but decided against changing much because his car seemed to gain grip as the run went on, rather than lose it as most of the rest of the field was doing. Crew chief Jason Stockert called his driver to pit road for four tires and fuel, with only air-pressure adjustments built in. JRM’s regular pit crews were not able to make the race due to an aircraft issue en route, and the replacement crew held serve for Annett, getting him two spots on pit road to put him 11th for the Stage Two restart.

Annett took off well on lap 68, but lost a spot to teammate William Byron on the initial break. He would lose a couple more when his Pilot Flying J Chevrolet turned “wrecking loose.” By lap 90, however, the car came back to life and he was 13th in the order. He finished Stage Two in 12th spot.

After pitting for four more tires and fuel with minimal adjustments, Annett headed back out in 13th spot for the final 74-lap run to the checkered. Annett started the final segment very loose again, dropping to 18th by lap 149. He clawed back two spots by lap 178 to run 16th and Gaughan crashed with 21 laps to go to give Stockert one more shot at adjustments for the final run. Four more Goodyear Eagles, three seconds of fuel and a slight air-pressure adjustment later, Annett rolled back on track in 16th. He briefly held 15th spot, but settled into 16th for the final 17 laps to finish there.

Byron won the race by leading the final 17 laps, topping Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Christopher Bell and Daniel Hemric. Blake Koch was sixth, followed by Cole Custer, Alex Bowman, Austin Dillon and teammate Justin Allgaier. JRM’s Elliott Sadler was 18th at the finish. Byron, Allgaier and Sadler will each have a chance at the NXS championship next weekend in Homestead.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“We qualified better than we have lately, and that was a good start today. We were able to stay strong throughout the longer runs, and when we made changes they made the car better. The last run, on that late caution flag, we just got too tight to move up. The car would start out a run really, really free and then it would tighten up and we could make time. Our team has one more shot at it this year next weekend, and we’re going to go down to Miami and do even better.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the Textron Aviation team took the checkered flag in 18th place Saturday afternoon at Phoenix Raceway in the Ticket Galaxy 200. Through points, Sadler secured his place in the Championship 4 and will drive for the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship title next weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

After starting 13th at the 1-mile oval, Sadler raced his way into the top 10 by lap 8. It was only 11 laps later that the veteran driver reported ill-handling on his No. 1 Chevrolet.  Remaining focused, the Textron Aviation driver held onto the top 10 before slipping back to 15th. Once again, Sadler came over the radio to relay his thought of possible shock trouble. It wasn’t until the stage end that the Textron Aviation Chevrolet came down pit road for adjustments. It was the 15th-place running position that the team would finish in for Stage One.

Stage Two brought a similar fight for Sadler and his JR Motorsports team. The Virginia native was able to make his way back into the top 12 after handling improvements, but would once again slip back to 15th. On lap 95 the No. 1 driver reported his Chevrolet remained numb in the front end, but the changes did help. When the stage-ending caution was displayed, Sadler was in 15th.

Before the final stage of the race, Kevin Meendering (crew chief) made the call for a longer pit stop to make a shock adjustment. Sadler restarted 17th and drove his way back into 13th place by lap 150. When the caution flag waved just 20 laps later, the Textron Aviation Chevrolet came down pit road for fresh tires, fuel and another adjustment. With some teams opting to take only right-side tires, Sadler moved to 17th place. Knowing they only needed to complete the race in order to advance in the series playoffs, Meendering told Sadler to race smart and avoid any possible incidents. When the race concluded, Sadler and the Textron Aviation team was in 18th. Through their strong finishes and consistency all season long, the team claimed their spot in the Championship 4.

JRM teammate William Byron won the 200-mile event, followed by Ryan Blaney, Erik Jones, Christopher Bell and Daniel Hemric to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 Textron Aviation team

“I’m so proud of this team and all of their hard work week-in and week-out. We’ve had one goal all season long and that was to compete in Homestead as part of the final four. Now, it’s time to add to our regular season champion title and win the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.”

 

No. 9 Liberty University Camaro

William Byron

Start

2nd

Finish

1st

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (17)

Points (Bonus)

50 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

1st (+0)

Status

Running

 

No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro

Justin Allgaier

Start

10th  

Finish

10th 

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

40 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

3rd (-0)

Status

Running

 

No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Camaro

Start

12th           

Finish

16th

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

21 (0)

Standings (from leader)

10th (-1,873)

Status

Running

 

No. 1 Textron Aviation
Chevrolet Camaro
Elliott Sadler

Start

13th

Finish

18th

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

19 (0)

Points Standings (from leader)

2nd (-0)

Status

Running

 

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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