Allgaier, Sadler Bounce Back for Top-Fives at Bristol Motor Speedway

JR Motorsports | 4/14/2018

Armour Bristol BurgerFi Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Pilot Flying J Suave Tyler Reddick XFINITY Series

Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler led the way for JRM Saturday at Bristol, both overcoming on-track incidents to score top-five finishes and qualifying for the Dash 4 Cash next week at Richmond.

Race 7 of 33: Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Track Specs: .533-mile oval / 300 laps
Weather: Fair; 80 degrees
Race Winner: Ryan Preece

Allgaier’s finish: 2nd
Sadler’s finish: 4th           
Reddick’s finish: 7th       
Annett’s finish: 21st       

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the Suave Men team survived an eventful Saturday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway, powering to a second-place finish in the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300. The Illinois native’s third runner-up finish of the season qualified him for next weekend’s second round of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash. Leading 47 laps and earning points in each stage, the 31-year-old driver moved up to fourth in the NXS point standings, 21 markers outside of the lead.

Allgaier qualified in the second position for the 300-lap event and took the lead on lap 1, remaining there until the yellow flag waved for a lap-45 competition caution. He relayed to the team that he was tight through the center of the turns, but overall the No. 7 Chevy was really good. Crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier down pit road for four tires and fuel. Restarting on the inside line in third on lap 55, Allgaier slid back to fifth as the top line had a better run. He was battling for position just a few laps later when he was involved in a multicar incident that brought out the caution. Under the yellow, the team changed two-right side tires and made sure there was no significant damage to the Suave Men Chevy. Restarting in 17th on lap 66, Allgaier worked his way back up to 10th before the green-and-white checkered flag waved for the end of Stage One on lap 85.

Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier relayed that his Chevy was still tight through the center of the turns. The team opted to stay out and Allgaier took the green for Stage Two on lap 99 in the second position. He made contact with another car early in the run that caused him to get loose and spin, bringing out the caution after making slight contact with the inside retaining wall. He brought the No. 7 Chevy to pit road for four tires and restarted just outside the top 20 on lap 110. He radioed early in the run that he was down on the splitter, but was still able to pick up positions. By the time the next caution came out on lap 142 for a multi-car incident, Allgaier had worked his way back up to ninth. Once pit road opened, Burdett called the JR Motorsports driver in so that they could work on the splitter. He took the green flag on lap 150 in 14th and made quick work of the field, advancing to third by the end of Stage Two on lap 170.

The team called Allgaier to pit road under the stage-ending caution for four tires and fuel. Starting the final stage in seventh on lap 178, Allgaier lost a few positions before another quick caution came out. He restarted in 10th on lap 194 and cracked the top five on lap 225, surpassing the No. 00 of Cole Custer. Allgaier was up to third when a caution came out on lap 284. The lead-lap cars came to pit road, with the No. 7 team opting for four fresh tires. The race came down to a 10-lap shootout, with Allgaier restarting in the third position and advancing to second before the checkered flag waved.

Ryan Preece took home the victory and the $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash prize. He was followed by Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, JRM driver Elliott Sadler, and Spencer Gallagher.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Suave Men team

“We had such a fast Suave Men Chevy today and this team worked hard all weekend long. We came up just short of the victory, but to finish second after the adversity we faced today, and to qualify for the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash at Richmond, I’ll take it. Hats off to all the guys back at the shop that work on these cars. We’ve been so strong this year and I know a win is coming. It’d be awesome to visit Victory Lane next weekend and take home that $100, 000 Dash 4 Cash prize.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the Armour Chili team battled adversity during the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 to claim a fourth-place finish Saturday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway. The finish, which is his seventh consecutive top-10 finish of the season, is a series-high for the driver for a start to a season. Sadler remains the points leader for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and will be one of four drivers competing in next weekend’s Dash 4 Cash event at Richmond.

After starting 13th at the 0.533-mile speedway, Sadler was quick to begin making his way towards the top 10. Just five laps into the race, the Armour Chili driver relayed to his team that he was a bit tight but overall his Camaro was handling really well. When the competition caution was displayed on lap 45, Sadler was in eighth place. It was then that the No. 1 team made their first stop on pit road for four tires and fuel. The Armour Chili Chevrolet took the restart in seventh place and completed four laps before getting clipped by No. 42 car, receiving damage. Crew chief Kevin Meendering made the call to bring Sadler down pit road twice for repairs, which resulted in the team going one lap down. It didn’t take long, however, for Sadler to race his way into the Lucky Dog position before the stage end. When Stage One concluded, the Armour Chili team was in 24th place and received the free pass to return to the lead lap.

The Armour Chili team began Stage Two in 22nd after opting to visit pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and additional repairs. With perseverance, the team worked their way back to the top 10. On lap 139, Armour Chili spotter Brett Griffin relayed to Sadler that his lap times were fastest of the field. Through a series of cautions, the No. 1 Chevrolet remained on track as Sadler liked the handling. With just 10 laps before the stage-end, the Virginia native was in eighth place. Unfortunately, the Armour Chili driver locked his tires while driving into Turn 1 and fell back to 15th place. This is where Sadler would be scored for Stage Two.

Once again under the stage-ending caution, the team elected to visit pit road for a fresh set of Goodyear tires and fuel. The fast stop put the No. 1 JR Motorsports team in 11th place for the final stage at Bristol. When the field reached 100 laps to go, Sadler was racing his teammates Justin Allgaier and Tyler Reddick among the top eight. On lap 256, the veteran driver made his way into the top five. Knowing he needed to claim one more position to qualify for next weekend’s Dash 4 Cash event at Richmond, he continued his drive forward. It was with 30 laps remaining that Sadler made the pass to claim both a fourth-place finish and a spot in next weekend’s Dash 4 Cash event.

Ryan Preece won the NXS event and was followed by Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, Sadler and Spencer Gallagher to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 Armour Chili team

“Man, that’s what you call battling back. I’m proud of everybody on this Armour Chili team— we kept fighting and we never gave up. My car was a rocket today, especially on long runs. We just couldn’t get it to go like we needed it to on those short runs. All-in-all, it was a solid day for our No. 1 JR Motorsports team, coming back from getting caught in a wreck and going a lap down to finishing fourth. We’ll take this momentum and go home to my sweet home of Richmond. I’m looking forward to the chance of winning some Dash 4 Cash money at my home track.”

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet Camaro, improved 18 positions over the course of Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 to finish seventh at Bristol Motor Speedway. The rookie driver persevered through damage sustained in a multi-car incident on lap 101 to earn his fifth top-10 finish of the 2018 season. The JR Motorsports driver remains in the top three in the championship standings, just 14 points behind JRM teammate Elliott Sadler.

Reddick took the green flag for the 300-lap event from the 25th position and wasted little time moving forward, gaining 12 positions to 13th by the lap 45 competition caution. However, an issue on pit road during the caution period saw the Corning, Calif. native slide back to 17th for the lap 54 restart. Despite losing the track position, Reddick battled forward in the closing laps of the opening stage to take the green-and-white checkered flag in the 13th position.

In between stages, Reddick returned to pit road for four fresh tires but a jack malfunction while changing the left-side tires resulted in a slow pit stop, shuffling the JRM driver to 21st for the beginning of Stage Two. Just three laps into the second stage, a multi-car incident occurred directly in front of Reddick, leaving the 22-year old driver with nowhere to go and damaging the nose of the BurgerFi Chevrolet. After pitting twice for repairs during the caution period, Reddick took the ensuing restart from 23rd and once again charged forward, racing up to the 14th position before a lap 140 caution. Then, following a rash of cautions, crew chief Dave Elenz decided to make a strategy call and brought Reddick back to pit road just prior to a lap 161 restart, while the race leaders remained on-track, for four tires and a chassis adjustment. After taking it easy on the tires for the final 14 laps of Stage Two, Reddick took the green-and-white checkered flag in 19th.

The call by Elenz prior to the end of the second stage paid off as several of the race leaders came to pit road prior to the final stage, moving Reddick up to the third position for the lap 177 restart. Reddick remained inside the top five until a lap 193 restart shuffled the JRM driver back to eighth. However, as the long green-flag run progressed, Reddick climbed back toward the front, methodically moving back into the top five and up to fifth before the final caution of the event came out on lap 282.

After pitting for four tires, Reddick restarted from the fifth position on lap 290 and fought hard in the closing laps before ultimately taking the checkered flag in seventh.

The result is Reddick’s fifth top-10 finish of 2018 and the seventh top-10 in his last nine NXS starts dating back to Kansas in the fall of 2017.

Ryan Preece scored the victory with JRM teammate Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric, JRM teammate Sadler and Spencer Gallagher rounding out the top five.  

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 BurgerFi team

“What a day today. I can’t thank everyone on this BurgerFi team enough for their work this weekend. We battled through a lot of adversity today and were able to fight through and come home with another top-10 finish. Dave (Elenz, crew chief) made a great call at the end of the second stage to get us the track position we needed to run up toward the front. We’ll keep building off of this and get ready to go in Richmond.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett was sitting in a very good spot early in Stage Two at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, running seventh with a pretty good Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. In the space of a couple of laps, however, a flat left rear tire cost him any shot at a top-10 finish in the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines on the .533-mile oval.

Following a restart, Annett had just passed Ryan Reed for the seventh spot when his lap times started to fall off. Spotter Kevin Hamlin sounded the alarm to crew chief Jason Stockert, and then Annett came over the radio to say he had a left-rear tire going flat. He managed to get to pit road without further incident and his Pilot Flying J crew changed all four, but it cost him three laps to the leader and put him 30th in the rundown.

That put Annett, Stockert and the team into crisis mode, trying to figure out how to make up the deficit over the remaining laps. Depending on the way the cautions fell, the wave-around seemed to be the only option. It didn’t work out, however, as differing pit strategies thwarted their opportunities to do so. Annett raced hard over the final 170 laps, but ended up with a 21st-place finish. The ill-timed mishap dropped Annett and his team two spots to 16th in the NXS driver point standings.

Once he got back out on the track after the incident, Annett picked up where he’d left off, putting down solid lap times and managing his equipment. For a large part of the final Stage, he was running better lap times than the top six on much older tires. From 30th, he advanced to 27th by the end of Stage Two and over the final 130 laps he picked up six more spots. The final caution of the day, with just 16 laps remaining, allowed Annett to take the wave-around and get one of his laps back. The final restart, with 10 laps to go, saw Annett pick up two positions to 21st by the time the checkered flag waved.

Annett started the race from 18th and moved to 16th before the competition caution waved at lap 45. He rolled down pit road for four tires and fuel and to remove tape from the grille to help his engine temperatures. His Pilot Flying J pit crew gained him three spots on the exchange, and he was on the cusp of the top 10 in 12th when Stage One came to an end. On the ensuing pit stop, for four more tires and fuel, the crew put another three-spot gain on the board and sent him out ninth for Stage Two. He had climbed to seventh when the left-rear tire went down and changed the trajectory of his race.

Ryan Preece won the race and the $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus, while JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier came home second. Daniel Hemric was third, followed by JRM’s Elliott Sadler and Spencer Gallagher. Allgaier, Hemric, Sadler and Gallagher will compete next week at Richmond Raceway in the second round of the Dash 4 Cash program.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“We had a really good Pilot Flying J Chevrolet today. Jason (Stockert, crew chief) and the team made really good changes overnight and the car was really good, even after we had the tire go down. We just made the best of what we were dealt today, and I can’t wait to get back here in the fall. I’ve always run well here, and with this kind of car again, we’ll be very competitive.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

XFINITY Series Standings

After Ford EcoBoost 300*

Homestead-Miami Speedway | 11/17/2018
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick (P)40400
2Cole Custer (P)4035-5
3Daniel Hemric (P)4033-7
4Christopher Bell # (P)4026-14
5Elliott Sadler2255-1785
6Matt Tifft2254-1786
7Justin Allgaier2251-1789
14Michael Annett632-3408