Late Charge Nets Three Top-10s at Talladega for JRM

JR Motorsports | 4/28/2018

Armour Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News OneMain Pilot Flying J Talladega Trademark Nitrogen Tyler Reddick XFINITY Series

An overtime restart allowed JRM to land three drivers in the top-10 Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway, with Elliott Sadler winning another $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus.

Race 9 of 33: Sparks Energy 300 at Talladega Superspeedway
Track Specs: 2.66-mile D-shaped oval / 115 laps
Weather: Sunny; 80 degrees
Race Winner: Spencer Gallagher

Allgaier’s Finish: 3rd
Sadler’s Finish: 5th
Reddick’s Finish: 8th
Annett’s Finish: 14th

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier raced the TradeMark Nitrogen Chevrolet to a third-place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway, battling back after running out of fuel during a late-race caution. The comeback qualified Allgaier for next week’s Xfinity Dash 4 Cash finale and allowed him to move up to third in the NXS point standings. He’s now 47 markers behind the leader, his teammate Elliott Sadler.

Qualifying sixth for the 300-mile race, Allgaier had worked his way up to second by lap 5. With the front-runners running single file for much of the first portion of the race, the Illinois native was able to stay in the same spot, finishing second at the end of Stage One on lap 25, collecting nine valuable stage points. Under the yellow flag, Allgaier came to pit road for fuel and adjustments, with the team opting not to take tires.

Back out on the track, he took the green flag for Stage Two in the second position in the bottom lane on lap 32. With the outside line getting the better restart, Allgaier was posted in the seventh position on lap 33 when a caution came out for a wreck. He restarted in seventh on lap 41 and faded back to 11th, but worked his way up to eighth before the green-and-white checkered flag for the end of Stage Two came out on lap 50. Allgaier relayed to the team that his TradeMark Nitrogen Chevy drove better during that stage and came down pit road for right-side tires and fuel.

The 31-year-old driver restarted in sixth for the final stage on lap 57. He was running in the outside line for a few laps until he could find a hole to switch down to the bottom, where there was more momentum. When the caution came out for a spin near him on lap 62, he was scored in the 13th position. Crew chief Jason Burdett called him to pit road for four tires and fuel. Before the race went back to green, Burdett called Allgaier back down one more time to top off in an effort to make it to the end without having to pit again. Restarting in 28th on lap 67, Allgaier was able to work his way up to eighth on lap 73 and assumed the lead just two laps later as the cars in front of him elected to pit under green.

The team’s strategy looked like it was going to pay off as Allgaier paced the field for 35 laps before a caution came out with less than 10 laps to go. Under the caution, Burdett relayed to Allgaier that he needed to save as much fuel as he could, but the No. 7 Chevy ran out and had to be pushed back to pit road. Making it to his pit stall, the team filled the TradeMark Nitrogen Camaro with enough fuel to make it to the end and got him back out without losing a lap. The length of the caution, due to multiple car running out of gas, forced the race into overtime, with Allgaier restarting in 17th. He and teammate Sadler worked together, moving to the middle line to advance position on the final lap. Allgaier was ultimately able to cross the line for the final time in third and secure his spot for the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash finale at Dover International Speedway next week.

Spencer Gallagher took home the race win and was followed by Brandon Jones, Allgaier, Noah Gragson and Sadler to round out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 TradeMark Nitrogen team

“I’m really just proud of this team and everyone at JR Motorsports. This TradeMark Nitrogen Camaro was really fast today. We led a lot of laps there. I was bummed when Daniel (Hemric) had his issue because the caution came out and then in the grand scheme of things when we ran out of fuel, I thought well maybe it was the best thing that could have happened. The TradeMark Nitrogen group was out there watching on the back straightaway and I could see them out there and I could see their hands go to their heads when we ran out of fuel and I was so bummed. But again, really proud of these guys. We locked our way in to next week’s Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash event. We’re going to keep fighting. We’ve got a great race track for us next week on the schedule and I’m excited about it.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team brought home a hard-fought fifth-place finish in the Sparks Energy 300 on Saturday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway. After claiming the highest finish of the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash drivers, the No. 1 team earned their second consecutive $100,000 D4C prize and qualified themselves for the final Xfinity D4C event in Dover. This finish continues Sadler’s top-10 finishing streak to start the 2018 season and retains his position as the NXS point standings leader.

Sadler qualified second for the 300-mile restrictor-plate event after advancing to the second and final round of single-car qualifying, but ultimately started from the rear of the field after changing engines due a leak following Friday’s practice sessions. Within four laps of the green-flag waving, the Emporia, Va. native made his way into the top five and relayed overall good handling of his OneMain Financial Chevrolet. The JR Motorsports driver ran with the top four throughout the stage until in the closing lap, he chose to test the field and dove to the bottom. With no one opting to run the low line with him, Sadler slowly began to slip back. When Stage One concluded on lap 25, Sadler was scored in the eighth-place running position.

Before Stage Two began, the OneMain Financial team made a fuel-only pit stop putting the team in sixth place for the restart. Sadler was quick to drive forward and was running third when the first non-stage-ending caution of the day was displayed. The OneMain Financial team elected to remain on track and hold their position. When the field restarted, Sadler drove his Chevrolet to the lead. The veteran driver led the field for the remainder of the stage, taking the green-and-white checkered flag in first place. The finish brought the No. 1 team their second playoff point of the season.

Once again, the OneMain Financial team came to pit road under the stage-ending caution. This time, the team gave their Chevrolet fresh right-side tires and fuel. Sadler restarted second, but jumped back to the lead by the completion of the opening lap. When green-flag pit stops began on lap 74, Sadler remained out front. While coming to pit road, Sadler sped up to avoid being clipped by the No. 42 Chevrolet who spun and was headed towards him. The additional push of the gas pedal put Sadler half a mile per hour over the speed limit, resulting in a pass-through penalty. With perseverance, the OneMain Financial team drove back into the top 20 after falling to 34th place. When the yellow flag waved on lap 106, the No. 1 team opted to stay on track and take the wave around in order to return to the lead lap. With the final restart being delayed due to competitors running out of fuel, Sadler moved further through the field. When the track returned to green, the OneMain Financial Chevrolet was in 14th place.

With the help of his teammate Justin Allgaier in the closing laps, Sadler was able to race his way into fifth place and pass Christopher Bell for the D4C victory. The finish was Sadler’s seventh top-five finish of the season and second consecutive D4C win.

Spencer Gallagher won the NXS superspeedway event and was followed by Brandon Jones, Allgaier, Noah Gragson and Sadler to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 OneMain Financial team

“That’s an up and down day, for sure. We came from the back to fourth in five laps. We won the second stage. Then when the No. 42 wrecked when we went to pit under green, I sped up to avoid him clipping us. Obviously it costed us and we lost a lap from the penalty. My team never gave up and we came back to get another top-five finish and win the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash for a second week in a row. We have the OneMain Financial 200 next weekend and we’ll do all we can to win the $100,000 prize there too.”

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 Armour Chili Chevrolet Camaro, drafted inside of the top 10 throughout Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Talladega Superspeedway, earning valuable stage points at the completion of both Stage One and Two. The JR Motorsports driver was in position to contend for the victory on the final restart, leading the white-flag lap before getting shuffled three-wide heading into the final corner to ultimately earn an eighth-place finish. With the result, Reddick moves back into second in the championship standings, just behind JRM teammate Elliott Sadler. 

Reddick took the green flag for the scheduled 113-lap event from the eighth position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. The driver of the Armour Chili Chevrolet wasted little time drafting forward once underway, moving into the top five by the completion of the opening lap and up to the third position by lap 5. Once inside the top three, Reddick maintained his track position as the majority of the field opted to run in a single-file line. However, with two laps remaining in the opening stage Reddick got stuck on the inside line without much drafting help, shuffling the Corning, Calif. native back to the 10th position by the end of Stage One on lap 25.

After pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment between stages, Reddick lined up in the 14th position for the beginning of Stage Two on lap 31. The 22-year-old driver utilized the outside line to quickly draft back into the top 10 and remained there through a lap-32 caution. After restarting in the eighth position on lap 40, Reddick once again took advantage of the outside line to draft into the top five in the closing laps of the second stage to end Stage Two in the fifth position, earning six valuable stage points.

Prior to the beginning of the final stage, crew chief Dave Elenz called Reddick to pit road for right-side tires and fuel. However, due to being blocked in by the car ahead during the pit stop, the driver of the Armour Chili Chevrolet took the lap 56 restart from 18th. Despite the loss of track position, Reddick once again charged forward, racing back into the top 10 and up to the eighth position just prior to a lap-61 caution period. Reddick continued to fight for position inside the top 10 following the restart, using a three-wide move to drive into sixth just prior to coming to pit road during the lone round of green-flag pit stops on lap 74.

After pitting for fuel-only during the stop, Reddick cycled back out in the 10th position as the first car in a pack of seven that was separated from the main pack, which was led by JRM teammate Justin Allgaier, who was hoping to stay out and make it the rest of the way on fuel. Despite not being in the main pack Reddick drafted back up to the fifth position as the race leaders began to get more strung out. Then, an opportune caution on lap 104 closed the field back together and forced several of the leaders hoping to make it on fuel to pit road, moving Reddick up to the second position during the caution. 

Then, as the field was coming back to the green for NASCAR’s version of overtime on lap 113, the race leader Austin Cindric ran out of fuel, giving Reddick control of the restart. After jumping out to the lead, Reddick worked both lanes of traffic hoping to fend off all challenges. However, a large run by the middle lane on the final lap ultimately forced Reddick to the outside line in the middle of Turns 3 and 4, leaving the JRM driver without much drafting help.

In the end, Reddick came home with an eighth-place finish. The result is Reddick’s sixth top-10 finish of the 2018 season.

Spencer Gallagher scored the victory with Brandon Jones, Allgaier, Noah Gragson, and Sadler rounding out the top five.

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 Armour Chili team

“Man, I did all I could to hold off those guys there on that last restart, that middle lane just got a huge run that I couldn’t get down in front of in time. I just want to thank everyone on this JR Motorsports team for their hard work this weekend. Our Armour Chili Chevy was fast from the moment we unloaded. We will build off of today and get ready for next week in Dover.”  

Michael Annett

Michael Annett finished 14th on Saturday in the Sparks Energy 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines at Talladega Superspeedway, but his Pilot Flying J Chevrolet could have been much farther up the finishing order had a late-race blend-line violation not put him back in the field for a two-lap shootout at the finish.

Annett, who qualified a season-best fifth for the 113-lap event, was running as the last car on the lead lap with eight laps remaining when a caution waved for Daniel Hemric’s flat tire. Crew chief Jason Stockert called his driver down pit road for four tires and fuel for the final flurry. On exiting the pits, Annett and two other cars went around a safety truck parked on the apron. NASCAR called all three cars for a blend-line violation and sent them to the tail of the field for the restart. Several cars short on fuel ran out, which extended the caution flag by several laps, and leader Austin Cindric ran out coming to the green. With just two laps to work with and several cars still short on fuel, there was no time to advance and he finished 14th.

Up to that point, it had been a solid day for Annett and the Pilot Flying J team. Rolling off fourth after teammate Elliott Sadler was forced to start at the rear for an engine change, Annett finished the 25-lap Stage One in 12th spot, narrowly missing out on stage points after getting tight on the bottom line. A fuel-only stop on the stage break put him fifth for Stage Two, and soon after that a five-car crash brought out the yellow flag. Annett held serve and advanced to fourth place in the 10 laps that remained, picking up seven stage points in the process.

After starting eighth for the final stage, Annett stayed in line for the first few laps until another caution waved on lap 61. The team kept Annett on track and he advanced to fourth place before pitting on lap 75 with several of the cars he was running with. Entering pit road, Annett was slammed from behind by Spencer Gallagher as Christopher Bell spun lazily across the nose of the Pilot Flying J Chevy. The original call was for two tires, but Annett flat-spotted his sliding into the stall and the team changed four instead. The right front had a hole in it upon inspection, Stockert said.

That put Annett 30th, near the end of the field, and right in front of teammate Justin Allgaier, the race leader. It stayed that way, with Annett running just in front of his teammate, until the caution waved for Hemric’s flat. Allgaier’s 20-plus-second lead evaporated and Annett went to pit road for the final stop.

Gallagher ended up winning the race in a tight battle with Brandon Jones, while Allgaier finished third despite running out of fuel during Hemric’s caution. Noah Gragson and Sadler rounded out the top five, and Sadler won his second straight $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus in the process. The top four drivers will compete next week at Dover International Speedway in the final round of the Dash 4 Cash.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“Well, the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet is in one piece and we’ll have a fast one for Daytona. It was a really good race for Jason Stockert and our team today, just had a couple of things we couldn’t control bite us. That blend-line penalty put us back in the field for a two-lap shootout. On that last pit stop, I got piled into by the 23 car (Gallagher) and then the 20 (Bell) spun across the nose. It was just Talladega. We’ll move on to Dover and keep building momentum.”

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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