Sadler Wins Dash 4 Cash Bonus, Leads JRM at Richmond

JR Motorsports | 4/21/2018

BurgerFi Chevrolet Dash4Cash Elliott Sadler Hellmann's Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Pilot Flying J Richmond Tyler Reddick XFINITY Series

Elliott Sadler led JRM at Richmond Raceway Friday night, finishing third and taking home the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus.

Race 8 of 33: ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway
Track Specs: 0.75-mile D-shaped oval / 250 laps
Weather: Clear, 52 degrees
Race Winner: Christopher Bell

Sadler’s Finish: 3rd
Reddick’s Finish: 11th
Allgaier’s Finish: 14th
Annett’s Finish: 20th

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the No. 1 Chevrolet team brought home a third-place finish and the $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash prize in Friday night’s race at Richmond Raceway. Sadler also claimed his first stage win of the 2018 season, earning one playoff point while competing at his hometrack. The strong finish qualified Sadler for next weekend’s Xfinity Dash 4 Cash event at Talladega and keeps him on top of the NASCAR Xfinity Series leaderboard. The veteran driver now leads by 29 markers over second place.

After advancing into the third and final round of qualifying, Sadler began the 250-lap race in eighth place. On lap 20, while under the day’s first caution, the Chevrolet driver relayed to his team that he was tight center and free off of Turn 4. Driving through the tough-handling condition, the Emporia, Va., native made his way inside the top five. Sadler’s fifth-place running position at the end of Stage One was just the beginning of a successful night.

Following the stage end, crew chief Kevin Meendering called Sadler down pit road for fresh tires and fuel. With a few teams electing to remain on track, the No. 1 team began Stage Two in ninth place. By lap 111, the JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro was back in the top three and leading the Dash 4 Cash competitors. Just 15 laps later, Sadler was informed by his spotter that he was the fastest car on track. On lap 132, the No. 1 Chevrolet completed the pass to take over the lead. When the stage ended on lap 150, Sadler remained out front. The stage win was his first of the season, bringing the Chevrolet team one playoff point for the NXS championship run.

A quick pit stop for four tires and fuel under the stage-ending caution allowed the No. 1 team to remain in the lead for the start of the final stage. Following the restart, Sadler was quick to report the tight handling had return with the cold tires. His Chevrolet team reminded him of his great long-run speed, which he soon found again. By lap 190, reports of strong lap times were once again heard over the radio. Throughout the final 50 laps of the race, Sadler drove to compete with the top two. Although he was third in the field, the Chevrolet driver was first of the four competing Dash 4 Cash drivers. At the conclusion of the race, Sadler was in third place. Once again, the No. 1 Chevrolet team brought home a single-digit finish, claiming their sixth top-five of the season.

Christopher Bell won the Virginia event and was followed by Noah Gragson, Sadler, Matt Tifft and Austin Cindric to round out the top five.                                                                                                                                                  

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 Chevrolet team

“It’s always so good to run here at my home track. To be running up front, taking home a stage win and the Dash 4 Cash $100,000 prize is awesome. I wish we would have gotten the win, but I couldn’t be more proud of my guys. I just got myself too tight there at the end. With another top five, we’ve set ourselves up to compete in next week’s Dash 4 Cash event. We’ll bring this momentum and hopefully win it all at Talladega.”

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet Camaro, ran inside the top 10 for much of Friday evening’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Richmond Raceway, earning valuable stage points in both Stage One and Two. However, a tight-handling condition during the final stage of the evening ultimately led to an 11th-place finish. With the result, the JR Motorsports driver remains third in the championship standings, 31 points behind JRM teammate Elliott Sadler.

Reddick began the 250-lap event from the 10th position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Friday afternoon. From the drop of the green flag Reddick steadily moved forward, climbing up to the seventh position before a lap 62 caution period shuffled the running order. Opting to stay on the track while several leaders came to pit road, Reddick took the lap 69 restart in the fifth position and battled hard in the closing laps of the opening stage before taking the green-and-white checkered flag in seventh on lap 75, earning four valuable stage points in the process.

In between stages, crew chief Dave Elenz called the Corning, Calif. native to pit road for four fresh tires, sending Reddick back out for the lap 88 restart in the 10th position as a handful of leaders opted to stay out to begin Stage Two. Once back to green, Reddick again methodically worked his way toward the front, utilizing the caution-free penultimate stage to move the BurgerFi Chevrolet into the eighth position by the completion of Stage Two on lap 150, earning another three valuable stage points.

After pitting prior to the final stage for four tires and a chassis adjustment, Reddick took the green flag on lap 162 from the sixth position and quickly utilized a three-wide move to jump into fifth just prior to the caution coming back out on lap 164. The driver of the BurgerFi Chevrolet took the ensuing restart in fifth and maintained his top-five track position for several laps before a tight-handling condition began to affect the JRM driver rolling through the corner. Due to the handling condition, Reddick began to get shuffled back as a long green-flag run dominated the final stage.

As a result of the handling condition and the lack of opportunities to come to pit road to make adjustments, Reddick came home with an 11th-place finish.

Christopher Bell scored the victory with Noah Gragson, JRM teammate Sadler, Matt Tift and Austin Cindric rounding out the top five.  

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 BurgerFi team

“We fought hard tonight with our BurgerFi Chevrolet and had really good speed throughout the race until we just got too tight during the final stage. But my guys on this JR Motorsports team battled hard all day long and I can’t thank them enough. We will move on from tonight and get ready to go next week in Talladega.” 

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the Hellmann’s Real Ketchup team never gave up during Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway, overcoming adversity twice to battle back to a 14th-place finish. The Illinois native sits fifth in the NXS point standings, 48 markers back from the leader.

The Hellmann’s Real Ketchup team prepared Allgaier with a strong Chevrolet and it showed, as the JR Motorsports driver was second fastest in final practice and qualified seventh for the 250-lap event. At the drop of the green flag, Allgaier showed speed, driving his way to fourth within the first lap. He was running in third when the first caution flag of the race was shown on lap 20. He relayed to the team that the Hellmann’s Real Ketchup Chevy was tight through the center of the turns, but that he had good forward drive. Back under green, Allgaier was battling with the No. 21 of Daniel Hemric for fourth place on lap 34 when the two made contact, forcing Allgaier into the wall. As he began losing positions, he told the crew that the No. 7 Camaro was now plowing in the center of the corner after the contact with the wall. He was still able to hold on to finish Stage One in the 11th position on lap 75.

Under the stage-ending caution, the team called Allgaier to pit road for four tires, fuel and track bar and air pressure adjustments. They made one more stop to lift the hood to check for damage before sending the driver of the Hellmann’s Real Ketchup Chevrolet back out on the track to restart 27th on lap 89. Allgaier wasted no time passing his competitors, working his way up to 13th within 20 laps. He advanced one more position before the conclusion of Stage Two on lap 150 to finish 12th. During the caution, Allgaier reported that he was still really tight center, but had better forward drive. The Hellmann’s Real Ketchup team called the driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and multiple adjustments.

Firing off for the final stage in 14th on lap 163, Allgaier was up to 12th just two laps later when he was involved in a multicar incident that sent his No. 7 Hellmann’s Real Ketchup Chevy spinning. Avoiding any contact with the wall, he was able to continue on, and when pit road opened he came down for four fresh tires and fuel. Allgaier restarted in 19th on lap 171 and worked his way up inside the top 10 to the ninth position by lap 188. As the remainder of the race went caution free, the longer run took away the positive handling of the No. 7 Chevrolet. He battled for position down to the very end, taking the checkered flag in 14th place.

Christopher Bell won the race and was followed by Noah Gragson, Elliott Sadler and Matt Tift, with Austin Cindric rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Hellmann’s Real Ketchup team

“Tonight was definitely not the night we wanted, but this Hellmann’s Real Ketchup team never gave up. I’m so proud of these guys. They keep bringing me fast Chevrolet Camaros every week and tonight we just had bad luck. It makes it that much more frustrating when you know how good of a car you had to start. We really wanted to finish strong tonight and be able to battle it out for that Xfinity Dash 4 Cash prize.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett had plenty of optimism heading into the final stage on Friday night at Richmond Raceway, but those hopes were dashed on lap 166 when he was collected in a five-car crash on the front straightaway of the .75-mile oval. Contact in the middle of it damaged the right front fender on his Pilot Flying J Chevrolet and cost him any chance at a better finish. Fighting handling troubles over the remaining distance in the 250-lap race, Annett was classified 20th at the finish.

After qualifying ninth—his best start of the season since a seventh-place effort at the season opener in Daytona--Annett and crew chief Jason Stockert were hopeful of improving on their solid run at Bristol the week before.  The 31-year-old Iowa native moved to seventh by the end of the first lap, but was stuck on the bottom groove and fell to 10th soon after when he reported that his entry into Turn 3 was getting freer. He was 16th when the caution waved for a spin on lap 64, and Stockert brought his driver down pit road to change tires before the Stage One break. That put him 21st for the restart, but would help him for Stage Two.

When the stage ended six laps later. Annett had finished 17th. He stayed on the track while the majority of the field pitted and restarted on the front row for the 75-lap Stage Two. By lap 104, however, he was eighth, still fighting for track position when Cole Custer got tight on the low line and door-slammed Annett’s machine off Turn 2. That dropped Annett to 12th, and the forward bite on his Chevrolet was fading fast. He finished Stage Two in 15th place, two spots better than he finished Stage One.

On the ensuing pit stop for tires and fuel, Annett came off pit road in 15th and started the final stage there with an eye on jumping toward the top 10. The front-stretch accident four laps later ended those hopes, and Annett was forced back down pit road to fix the damage and change right-side tires. He stopped one more time on that caution and rejoined the field in 23rd, the last car on the lead lap. Annett was battling to maintain position midway through that run when a lapped car got loose in front of him off Turn 2 and he made contact on the right front, which added more handling difficulties. Fighting the damaged car, Annett went a lap down to the leader with 38 to go, but rallied to 20th on lap 230. That was where he finished. Despite the bad luck, Annett gained two spots to 14th in the NXS driver point standings, just 39 points out of the Playoffs.

Christopher Bell won the race over teammate Noah Gragson, JRM’s Elliott Sadler, Matt Tifft and Austin Cindric. Sadler won the second $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus with his third-place finish. Bell, Sadler, Tifft and Cindric will compete next week at Talladega Superspeedway in the third round of the Dash 4 Cash program.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“It just wasn’t our night. We pitted before the end of Stage One to give us track position and had a good chance of making up some ground in Stage Two, and we were in decent shape heading into the final stage. Then we got caught up in that accident and just didn’t have anywhere to go. It messed up the right front and just made it so we couldn’t advance any farther. Talladega is next week, so we will have a good chance of getting some good points for our Pilot Flying J Chevrolet.”

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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