JRM Caps Championship Season with Historic 1-2-3 Finish in Standings

JR Motorsports | 11/19/2017

Brandt Elliott Sadler Homestead Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News OneMain Pilot Flying J Race Report

JR Motorsports ended the 2017 season sitting 1-2-3 in the final standings following the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Race 33 of 33: Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather: Clear; 74 degrees
Race Winner: Cole Custer

Sadler’s finish: 8th
Annett’s Finish: 9th         
Allgaier’s Finish: 12th        

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team took the checkered flag in eighth place on Saturday afternoon in the 300-mile season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Sadler concluded the 2017 season with a regular season championship, one pole award, 12 top-five finishes, 25 top-10 finishes and a runner-up finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.

The veteran driver rolled the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro off the grid for the 200-lap event in 14th place. In only 12 laps, Sadler was able to begin providing feedback to his OneMain Financial team in preparation for their first round of adjustments. The team’s driver reported overall good handling, but he was a little free off the turns. Throughout the stage, Sadler battled Championship 4 contender Daniel Hemric for the top position, but ultimately finished the stage one position behind him. It wasn’t until the end of Stage One, where the OneMain Financial team finished eighth, that Sadler came down pit road for adjustments, fuel and fresh tires.

After the quick pit stop by his OneMain Financial team, Sadler began Stage Two in eighth place. By lap 61, the Virginia native had made his way into the sixth-place running position and was racing JR Motorsports teammate William Byron for the top Championship 4 seed. Sadler relayed to his crew chief Kevin Meendering that the first set of changes helped the exit, but he was now needing help throughout the center. As Stage Two concluded, Sadler was scored in the sixth position.

The OneMain Financial team elected to visit pit road once again following the stage conclusion. When the final stage began, Sadler was in the fourth position—picking up two position on pit road. On the restart, the No. 1 driver jumped to third and became the top Championship 4 contender. Shortly after, Sadler was passed by Byron and began a great battle with his teammate for the next 50 laps. As the field remained green, the teammates put on a show. On lap 145, the OneMain Financial Chevrolet made a scheduled green-flag pit stop for four tires, fuel and another adjustment. The race continued between the teammates until Sadler was able to complete the pass for the top position on lap 164 and began to drive away. The OneMain Financial driver remained focused as he led the Championship 4 with 10 laps to go until the No. 18 of Ryan Preece held up the No. 1 Camaro. On lap 192, Byron passed Sadler and the No. 18 retaking the top seed. When the checkered flag waved, the OneMain Financial driver was in eighth place. Sadler finished the 2017 in second place overall, five points behind Byron.

Cole Custer won the NXS season finale, followed by Sam Hornish Jr., Byron, Tyler Reddick and Preece to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 OneMain Financial team

“It’s very frustrating to be that close to a championship and to be raced by someone not in contention. It gave William (Byron, teammate) the opportunity to get past us and let the championship slip away. It was the closet I’ve ever been. I’m devastated for myself and my team, but I’m happy for William and all of JR Motorsports for still bringing home the trophy.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett drove to a ninth-place finish in Saturday night’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on the same night that JR Motorsports teammate William Byron clinched the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship. It was Annett’s best finish since a second-place run at Road America and his seventh top-10 result of the season.

Byron, who finished third in the race, topped teammates Elliott Sadler (eighth) and Justin Allgaier (12th) in the battle for the title, making JRM the first team in series history to place drivers in the top three spots in the standings. With his finish, Annett took over ninth place in the final standings, giving JRM all four cars in the top nine in points for the season.

Starting 18th, Annett took off well and advanced two spots in the first five laps, but the Pilot Flying J Camaro was free all around the track for the remainder of Stage One. Annett, who ended the first 45-lap stage in 20th, said that the car got looser as the run went on, and when he came down pit road for the first time, crew chief Jason Stockert had four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments ready for him. The pit crew picked up four spots on the stop for Annett, and he restarted in 16th spot.

In Stage Two, Annett picked up where he began the race, advancing to 14th by altering his line around the 1.5-mile oval. On lap 73, Annett told Stockert he needed more front turn in the car while racing with Ben Kennedy and Matt Tifft, both of whom eventually got past before the end of Stage Two. Annett took the green checkered in 16th place, exactly where he started it.

For the final 104-lap run to the checkered flag, Stockert gave his driver four more tires, fuel and a slight wedge adjustment, and the pit crew ripped off another good stop to put him 13th for the lap-97 restart. Annett ran in the top 15 as the laps ticked by toward a potential pit stop for the end of the race. Stockert aimed to bring his driver to pit road before the 50-to-go mark, and Annett reported that his car needed a little bit more rear grip to move forward.

Annett hit pit road under green-flag conditions—there were no caution flags over the final 104 laps—on lap 142 for four tires, fuel to the end and no adjustments. He rejoined a lap down in 19th place, and as green-flag stops continued to cycle, Annett found himself 11th with 52 laps remaining in the race. He continued there until leader and eventual race winner Cole Custer put him a lap down on lap 169. Annett continued to click off solid laps, eventually getting into the top 10 with 15 laps remaining. He gained one more spot over the remaining laps to finish ninth. 

Former JR Motorsports driver Custer won the race, followed by Sam Hornish Jr., Byron, Tyler Reddick and Ryan Preece.  Brennan Poole, Tifft, Sadler, Annett and Ty Majeski rounded out the top 10.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“That was a good way to go into the offseason. We fought hard all day long and got to the top 10 late in the race. Our Pilot Flying J Chevrolet was pretty consistent, for the most part. We were free to start with and stayed there, but Jason (crew chief Jason Stockert) made some really good changes, and Hamlin (spotter Kevin Hamlin) called a good race to get us up where we could gain ground. The pit crew was really good all day, great stops and got us spots every time. Proud of everybody on this race team.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier earned his second consecutive third-place finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings on Saturday following a 12th-place finish in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Illinois native and his BRANDT/TradeMark Nitrogen team ended the year with two wins, 10 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.

The team went into Championship 4 weekend without the leadership of crew chief Jason Burdett, who was serving a one-race suspension. Serving as interim crew chief was No. 7 car chief Billy Wilburn. Chad Knaus, crew chief at Hendrick Motorsports, also provided assistance atop the pit box. Starting the 300-mile race in the 16th position, Allgaier moved his way up to 12th and radioed to the team on lap 12 that the No. 7 Chevy was loose in, tight center and loose off. The only non-stage-ending caution of the day came out on lap 20 while Allgaier was still in the 12th position. The team opted to stay out and on the restart, Allgaier was shuffled back to 14th and had worked his way up to 13th before the handling started to fade on his car. He ended Stage One in the 19th position.

Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier came to pit road for four tires and fuel, along with wedge and track-bar adjustments. Taking the green for Stage Two in 13th on lap 52, the 31-year-old driver quickly advanced to the 10th position. He reported to the team on lap 58 that the No. 7 Chevy had better fire-off speed. Knaus relayed back that he was running lap times comparable to everybody he was racing. He was able to work his way up to ninth before the green-and-white checkered flag waved on lap 90 for the end of Stage Two.

The team had Allgaier pit for four tires, fuel and multiple adjustments to get the BRANDT/TradeMark Nitrogen Chevy more dialed in. The car came to life after the green flag dropped for the final stage on lap 97. Allgaier advanced from 11th to fifth by lap 103. On lap 114, he radioed that the No. 7 was snappy at the top in Turns 3 and 4. He was running in the eighth position when scheduled green-flag pit stops got underway on lap 140. Allgaier came to pit road just a few laps later for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. On lap 155 he was up to seventh, but as the run went on, his handling began to fade. Allgaier battled to try to stay inside the top 10, but ultimately took the checkered flag in the 12th position.

Cole Custer won the 200-lap race and was followed by Sam Hornish Jr., William Byron and Tyler Reddick, with Ryan Preece rounding out the top five. Allgaier’s JR Motorsports teammate Byron won the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT/TradeMark Nitrogen team

“We did a good job yesterday in practice and felt like the car had good speed. Unfortunately when we started the race tonight, we just knew something was way off. We just struggled. There were moments on those restarts that we picked up quite a few spots and we thought that maybe we had a shot to get up there and battle it out, but ultimately on the long run we just really started dropping speed and were way too loose. You work hard all year to get to this point and obviously the goal at Daytona is to have a shot when you get to Homestead to go for a championship. Hats off to William (Byron). He did a great job. We’ll get ready for next year. This team works hard and I know that we’re capable of winning a championship.”

 

No. 1 OneMain Financial
Chevrolet Camaro
Elliott Sadler

Start

14th

Finish

8th

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

29 (0)

Points Standings (from leader)

2nd (-5)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Camaro

Start

18th           

Finish

9th

Laps Completed (Led)

199 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

28 (0)

Standings (from leader)

9th (-1,879)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 7 BRANDT/TradeMark Nitrogen Camaro

Justin Allgaier

Start

16th

Finish

12th

Laps Completed (Led)

199 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

25 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

3rd (-9)

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