JRM Controls Top-Three Points Positions after Strong Runs at ISM Raceway

JR Motorsports | 3/11/2018

Brandt Cessna Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Michael Annett Nationwide Children's Hospital News Phoenix Pilot Flying J Race Report Tyler Reddick XFINITY Series

After a solid day at ISM Raceway that saw Justin Allgaier contend for victory, JRM emerged with a trio of top 10s and three cars atop the series point standings.

Race 4 of 33: DC Solar 200 at ISM Raceway
Track Specs: 1-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather:  Cloudy, 64 degrees
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski

Allgaier’s finish: 2nd        
Sadler’s finish: 9th
Reddick’s finish: 10th
Annett’s finish: 17th

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the BRANDT Professional Agriculture team had a near-perfect day at ISM Raceway, finishing second in the DC Solar 200 after starting on the pole. Allgaier led a race-high 76 laps, earned a coveted playoff point after winning Stage One, and moved up to third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, just seven markers behind the leader. The pole was the sixth of his NXS career and the third for JR Motorsports at ISM Raceway.

Unloading with a fast BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet on practice day, Allgaier continued that trend by rocketing to the top spot during qualifying on Saturday. Before the green flag dropped for the 200-lap event, the driver of the No. 7 opted to start on the outside line. He led the first 10 laps of the race before the No. 22 of Brad Keselowski made the pass on lap 11. When the first caution flag of the day was displayed on lap 27, Allgaier relayed to crew chief Jason Burdett that the BRANDT Chevy got tighter through the center of the turns as he ran. Opting to stay out, the 31-year-old driver restarted in second on lap 34 and overtook the lead from Keselowski going into Turn 1. With 10 laps to go in the stage, Keselowski caught back up to Allgaier, but got loose under the No. 7 and lost momentum. Allgaier was able to cruise on to win Stage One as weather began approaching the track. Rain came down hard enough to put the race to a halt for just over an hour and a half.

Once the red flag was lifted and pit road was open, Allgaier came down for four fresh tires and fuel. Since some cars stayed on the track, Allgaier took the green flag for Stage Two from the fifth position on lap 53. Within five laps the JR Motorsports driver was back up to second. He radioed that the No. 7 Chevy was still a little tight in the center of the corners, but was a little bit better. Still running in second when a caution came out on lap 84, the team decided to make a pit stop for four tires and fuel while some cars stayed out. Before the field got back under way, another rain shower overtook the track and brought out the second red flag of the day. Lasting just under 30 minutes, the red flag was lifted and set up the race for a one-lap shootout to complete Stage Two. In just one lap, Allgaier made his way from 12th all the way up to the seventh position before the green-and-white checkered flag waved on lap 90.

With the cars ahead of him pitting under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier took the green flag for the final stage in the top spot on lap 97. Getting a good start on the outside line, Allgaier held on to the lead, pacing the field for nearly 50 laps before Keselowski worked his way by on lap 142. Allgaier radioed to the team that the BRANDT Chevy was just too tight. He was running in the third position when green-flag pit stops got under way. The team called him in on lap 168 for a pit stop for four tires and fuel. Once the stops cycled through, Allgaier was in the second spot. He set his sights on tracking down race leader Keselowski and made some big gains, but ultimately ran out of time, taking the checkered flag in the runner-up spot.

Keselowski claimed the victory in the NXS race and was followed by Allgaier, Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell, with Jamie McMurray rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team

“We had a great car all day. Our BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy was really stout. I knew that on the short run we were a little bit better than the 18, the 20 and the 22. They seemed to be a little bit better on the long run and we just got a little bit too tight. Then on that last restart there, we fired off a little more free and I just didn’t have the speed I wanted to take off there. Hats off to these guys. Everybody at JR Motorsports has done a great job. I’m really proud of the effort that we had. We got that close to being able to back it up and get another win here. But still, it was a great day and a great points day.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the Cessna team persevered to a ninth-place finish in the DC Solar 200 at ISM Raceway after experiencing engine trouble in Friday’s first practice session. After claiming his fourth top-10 finish of the season, Sadler reclaimed the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings lead following the Phoenix event on Saturday afternoon.

The No. 1 team’s weekend began like every other weekend, with practice. During only the second run of the day, Sadler had engine trouble causing the Cessna team to change motors quickly and efficiently before final practice. With success, Sadler was back out on the race track completing runs with the new engine in place. Although the team qualified 24th after electing to complete only one qualifying run in Round One, Sadler dropped to the rear of the field for the green flag due to Friday’s changed engine.

Following the start of the race, Sadler was quick to begin gaining track position. By lap 7, the Cessna Chevrolet was up to 24th and was named the biggest mover at that point. Under the first caution of the day, Sadler relayed to the No. 1 team that the handling on their Camaro was good on entry, tight in the middle and loose off. It was then that Sadler came down pit road for fresh tires, fuel and an adjustment. On the restart, the Cessna Chevrolet was in 21st place. In the next 10 laps before the stage end, the veteran driver was able to claim one position, ultimately finishing Stage One in the 20th-place running position. It was following the opening stage that the first red flag of the day was displayed for wet conditions.

After an hour and 34-minute rain delay, the field returned to green for Stage Two. With the recent visit down pit road, the No. 1 team elected to remain on track beginning the stage in 13th place. The second stage brought a similar fight for Sadler and his JR Motorsports team as he was still loose off. The veteran driver was battling for the 11th running position when the caution flag was displayed on lap 84 for an incident in Turn 1. Continuing with their unique strategy, Sadler pitted for four tires, fuel and an adjustment while others opted to stay out. The Emporia, Va. native took the restart for the final lap of the stage in 21st place after another 25-minute delay for weather. He gained one position in the final lap to finish Stage Two in 20th place.

The Cessna team restarted for the final stage of the race in ninth after crew chief Kevin Meendering made the call for Sadler to remain on track. In the opening laps following the restart, Sadler slipped back to the 11th position. As the run continued, Sadler reported improvement in the center turn but that he was still loose off. The Cessna team reached the eighth position before Sadler was called down pit road under green for a scheduled pit stop. When the green-flag stops cycled through, the No. 1 Camaro was scored in the ninth position. This is the position, the Cessna team would conclude the 200-lap race in just under 35 laps later. The strong performance by the team gave them their fourth top-10 finish of the season in just four races, so far.

Brad Keselowski won the Phoenix event and was followed by JRM teammate Justin Allgaier, Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell and Jamie McMurray to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 Cessna team

“Overall, we had a good day and made up good position. We struggled to get going on new tires and the weather kept throwing us all curveballs, which was making it tough to make the strategy play out the way we wanted. To come home with a single-digit finish is a pretty good day for us here. We will look forward to the next couple weeks and get ready for Fontana.”

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet Camaro, improved 30 positions over the course of Saturday’s rain-marred NASCAR Xfinity Series DC Solar 200 at ISM Raceway, after having to start at the rear of the field following an incident in qualifying, to earn a 10th-place finish. With the result, Reddick is now second in the championship standings and trails JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler by one point.

Reddick took the green flag for the 200-lap event from the 40th position after an incident during qualifying on Saturday morning, forcing the JRM driver to go to a backup car and start at the rear of the field. Despite starting at the rear, the driver of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Camaro wasted little time moving forward, improving 16 positions before the first caution of the afternoon came out on lap 26. After pitting for four tires and fuel, Reddick continued to climb forward, racing into the top 20 and up to 17th by the completion of the opening stage on lap 45. 

Following a lengthy red flag for rain at the conclusion of Stage One, crew chief Dave Elenz made the decision to keep Reddick on the track for the beginning of Stage Two while several of the race leaders came to pit road. The call to stay out paid off as Reddick took the green to begin the second stage as the race leader. After battling for the lead for several laps, fresher tires prevailed as the JRM driver settled in to the fifth position before a tight-handling condition shuffled Reddick back to ninth prior to the caution coming out once again on lap 82. Elenz chose to take this opportunity to have Reddick return to pit road for four fresh tires in the hopes of being able to stay out once again at the beginning of the third stage. However, following the stop the skies opened up and rain forced NASCAR to once again display the red flag. After a 25-minute delay, Reddick lined up for the one-lap shootout to end Stage Two in the 17th position and utilized a three-wide move to race into 14th when the green-and-white checkered flag came out on lap 90.

With the majority of the race leaders coming to pit road in between stages, the decision by Elenz to pit just prior to the completion of Stage Two paid off once again as Reddick remained on the racetrack to begin the final stage, taking the restart on lap 96 from the fourth position. The Corning, Calif. native maintained his top-five track position until the tight-handling condition returned, causing Reddick to slide back to the 10th position just before the lone round of green-flag pit stops began on lap 171. After pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment, the driver of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Camaro returned to the track in 18th before charging back toward the front, only needing two laps to rejoin the top 15 and 10 laps to move back into the top 10.

In the end, Reddick crossed the finish line for the final time in the 10th position. Reddick has now finished in the top 10 in three of the first four races to begin the 2018 season. 

Brad Keselowski scored the victory with JRM teammate Justin Allgaier, Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell and Jamie McMurray rounding out the top five.

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital team

“Today was a good day, especially after overcoming what happened in qualifying. I can’t thank my guys enough on this Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevy for all their hard work today. They never gave up and fought hard to get this car ready to race. We made the best of a tough situation this morning and I’m really proud of everyone. I can’t wait to get to Fontana next weekend and get after it again.”

Michael Annett

On a day spent dodging raindrops, Michael Annett and the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet fought to a 17th-place finish in Saturday’s DC Solar 200 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at ISM Raceway. Annett remains 16th in the NXS point standings after four races, with another West Coast trip next week to Auto Club Speedway.

Annett rolled off 15th for the initial start and battled a loose race car on the opening flurry. The handling tightened up five laps in and kept going, which allowed him to run as high as 14th before slipping to 16th at the end of the 45-lap Stage One. Before he could get his machine to crew chief Jason Stockert and the Pilot Flying J team, however, the skies opened up and the red flag came out on lap 47.

After a one hour, 35-minute stoppage, the cars finally were able to circulate for pit stops, and Stockert gave his driver four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment to help his handle. For the restart on lap 52, Annett was 16th, and the loose condition returned with a vengeance. He dropped two spots on the first lap of Stage Two and had fallen to 23rd spot by lap 68. Annett reported that his Chevrolet was free all the way around, especially off the sweeping Turn 2. A caution period at lap 82, just eight circuits short of the Stage Two finish, gave Stockert the opportunity to call his driver to pit road for changes.

Annett got four more tires, fuel and adjustments to air pressure and track bar before returning to the track, but pesky showers came back as well and led to another red-flag stoppage this one for 25 minutes. Having already completed his stop meant that by the time Stage Two ended and the rest of the field that had not already pitted came down for service, Annett would take the green for the final stage in 11th place.

During the Stage Two break, Annett reported that the car took off a little better on the restart, but was still free. When the stops were sorted out and the green flag waved for the final 100-plus-lap stage, Annett could not take off again and dropped from 11th to 18th at the end of the first lap. As the laps went on, Annett fought the handling for the next 40 laps until JRM teammate Justin Allgaier put him a lap down with 59 circuits remaining. Annett reported that the car had taken off free and was getting tighter and tighter the longer he ran.

Annett held sway in 20th spot as green-flag pit stops began around lap 155. Keeping the throttle down, he was 12th on lap 167 and ran as high as fifth before making his final stop on lap 173. Stockert put right-side tires on the No. 5 Chevrolet and sent him back out with fuel to the end, and he battled Ryan Reed for 17th spot over the remaining laps.

Brad Keselowski outlasted Allgaier for the victory, while Kyle Busch, Christopher Bell and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top five.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“We were just too free on the restarts today. I couldn’t take off at all, and when I got into a run, it would swing from loose to tight the longer we ran. This has always been a pretty good track for us, but we just couldn’t get the handle on it today. In the second half of the race I just could not get off Turn 4 at all. We had a similar situation in practice, where it would go from loose to progressively tighter. Still, we scored points and we’ll head to Auto Club Speedway and look for some more.”

 

 

No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro

Justin Allgaier

Start

1st

Finish

2nd

Laps Completed (Led)

200 of 200 (76)

Points (Bonus)

49 (1)

Point Standings (from leader)

3rd  (-7)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 1 Cessna Camaro
Elliott Sadler

Start

24th

Finish

9th

Laps Completed (Led)

199 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

28 (0)

Points Standings (from leader)

1st (+1)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Camaro

Tyler Reddick

Start

40th  

Finish

10th 

Laps Completed (Led)

199 of 200 (6)

Points (Bonus)

27 (0)

Point Standings (from leader)

2nd (-1)

Status

Running

 

 

No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Camaro

Michael Annett

Start

15th     

Finish

17th

Laps Completed (Led)

199 of 200 (0)

Points (Bonus)

20

Standings (from leader)

16th (-85)

Status

Running

Articles

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • September 21 07:30 PM ET
    GoBowling 250*Richmond Raceway
  • September 29 03:00 PM ET
    Drive for the Cure 200*Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
  • October 6 03:00 PM ET
    Dover 200*Dover International Speedway
  • October 20 03:00 PM ET
    Kansas Lottery 300*Kansas Speedway
  • November 3 04:30 PM ET
    O’Reilly Auto Parts 300*Texas Motor Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After DC Solar 300

Las Vegas Motor Speedway | 9/15/2018
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Justin Allgaier20390
2Christopher Bell #2032-7
3Elliott Sadler2011-28
4Cole Custer2011-28
5Tyler Reddick #2010-29
6Ross Chastain2010-29
7Daniel Hemric2010-29
13Michael Annett496-1543