Sadler Second in Daytona Photo Finish

JR Motorsports | 7/7/2018

Armour Breyers Daytona Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Pilot Flying J Takl Tyler Reddick XFINITY Series

Elliott Sadler came within inches of picking up the win Friday night in a photo finish, leading the JRM fleet at Daytona International Speedway

Race 16 of 33: Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway
Track Specs: 2.5-mile tri-oval / 100 laps
Weather: Mostly cloudy; 73 degrees
Race Winner: Kyle Larson

Sadler’s Finish: 2nd
Allgaier’s Finish: 9th       
Annett’s Finish: 11th      
Reddick’s Finish: 31st     

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the Armour Chili team brought home a second-place finish in the Firecracker 250 on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway. After finishing highest of series regulars in Stage One and earning his 10th top-five finish of the season, Sadler regained the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings lead – now leading by 12 markers over second place.

Sadler began the 250-mile event from fifth, his then current position in the owner point standings, after qualifying was cancelled due to inclement weather. In the opening laps, the Emporia, Va. native remained quiet over the radio as the field drafted side-by-side. On lap 6 when the top-three cars went single file, Sadler was up to second place. Shortly thereafter, a run of momentum on the outside line brought the cars back to racing double-file. The Armour Chili Chevrolet ran among the top four before taking the green-and-white checkered flag in third for the conclusion of Stage One. Sadler and the No. 1 team were the highest-finishing team of NXS regulars.

Before Stage Two began, the Armour Chili team made their first stop down pit road for right-side tires, fuel and a tightening adjustment. Sadler restarted 10th after a few teams opted to make a fuel-only pit stop. With handling moving in the direction he needed, Sadler was back up to the fourth-place running position by lap 40. It was just under 10 laps later that the No. 1 Chevrolet got caught racing three-wide and slipped back to ninth. This is where the Armour Chili team would finish the second stage.

Crew chief Kevin Meendering made the call to have Sadler came to pit road once again under the stage-ending caution for two fresh tires. Within only two laps after restarting third, Sadler found himself in second place. With the help of his spotter, the Armour Chili driver found the momentum and took over the lead. Sadler held on to first place through a series of cautions as the closing laps neared. It was on the lap 93 restart that the second-place car received a stronger push, taking over first. A final caution on lap 98 put the race into overtime. Sadler raced forward as the field returned to green and fought three-wide for the lead. Ultimately when the checkered flag waved, the Armour Chili team was in second place.

Kyle Larson won the Friday night event and was followed by Sadler, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney and Kaz Grala to round out the top five.

 

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 Armour Chili team

“I felt really good coming off of (Turn) 2, but there’s a lot of racing between there and Turn 4. The No. 24 car came out of nowhere and I just lost my momentum on the No. 42 (car). I’m devastated for my team and my partners. They deserve to be in Victory Lane.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the Breyers 2in1 team earned their 11th top-10 finish of the season on Friday night, placing ninth in the Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway. Earning valuable stage points throughout the 100-lap race, Allgaier was able to advance one spot to fifth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.

With rain washing out qualifying, the field was set by owner points. Allgaier rolled off the grid in the ninth position and had a strong Chevrolet from the start. He remained in the bottom line for the first part of Stage One and was part of the first six cars that were able to break away from the rest of the pack. Running in fourth, he was able to remain there until the green-and-white checkered flag waved at the conclusion of lap 30. Late in the run, Allgaier had relayed that he was loose, but was tight off of Turn 4. When pit road opened, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier in for four tires, fuel and multiple adjustments.

Taking the green for Stage Two in 11th on lap 36, the 32-year-old driver used the bottom line once again to advance up inside the top 10 in the lead pack. By lap 41, he was running in fifth and was part of a single-file line of cars that started to break away. Eventually another line of cars started to gain on the pack on the outside, but Allgaier was able to remain near the front to end Stage Two in the sixth position. Under the yellow, the Illinois native reported that the No. 7 Breyers 2in1 Chevy was not as loose that run. The team made a stop for four tires and fuel.

Allgaier was in 15th for the start of the final stage on lap 67, but wasted no time maneuvering his way back inside the top 10. He remained inside the main pack and avoided trouble as multiple cautions ensued. Allgaier was running in second when yet another wreck brought out the yellow flag, sending the race into overtime. Allgaier restarted in second for the two-lap shootout and was battling at the front, but got shuffled back amid the chaotic finish and ultimately took the checkered flag in ninth.

Kyle Larson claimed the victory, with JR Motorsports driver Elliott Sadler taking second. Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney and Kaz Grala rounded out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Breyers 2in1 team

“Man, we had a strong Breyers 2in1 Chevy and we had a good run going, but it just didn’t work out there for us at the end. We’ve had a rough few races here at Daytona, so it’s great to actually end the night here with a solid top-10 finish. We’ll take it.”

Michael Annett

With seven laps remaining in Friday night’s Firecracker 250 at Daytona International Speedway, Michael Annett had positioned himself solidly inside top 10 and was poised for a run to the checkered flag. But without solid drafting help to mount a charge, the No. 5 Pilot Flying J team brought home a stout 11th-place finish.

After rain washed out the day’s qualifying session, Annett took the start of the race in 17th and firmly settled into a position among the top 20 through the opening laps of Stage One. As the leaders broke away into a single-file line at the front of the field at the stage’s halfway point, Annett radioed the crew that the Pilot Flying J entry was “all over the splitter”, a handling issue that negated his ability to be aggressive behind the wheel.

Crew chief Jason Stockert took that information and called Annett to pit road four laps prior to the conclusion of Stage One for a strategic two-tire stop. Had it played out according to plan, the stop would have netted multiple positions on the track once the lead pack’s pit stops cycled through. Unfortunately for the team, they elected to come back to the pits under the stage-ending caution and take a bigger swing at Annett’s handling issues.

Annett restarted Stage Two in 33rd and moved right back inside the top 17, commenting that the crew’s changes made the Pilot Flying J Chevy “definitely better”. He rode steady and jockeyed several positions in the nuances of the draft, ending Stage Two in 18th.

Things got dicey for the No. 5 team when Annett was forced to avoid a pair of major accidents in the race’s final stage that had him using every inch of the racing surface in an effort to emerge unscathed. The biggest hurdle came during a massive multi-car pileup that saw Annett weaving around wrecking cars and narrowly avoid contact with a spinning Daniel Hemric. His evasive maneuvers allowed the team to take the ensuing restart in 10th with 13 laps remaining.

During the final laps, the No. 5 Pilot Flying J entry was in position to make a charge to the front of the pack. But lacking solid drafting help from his peers, and hampered in three-wide racing, Annett slipped to 13th by the time the race was forced into overtime. He kept focus over the final two laps to earn back two positions and claim 11th, marking the team’s season-best finish.

Kyle Larson won the race and was followed to the line by Elliott Sadler, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney and Kaz Grala.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“Daytona is always a little bit of a wild-card race that can go either way sometimes. I’m glad our Pilot Flying J team was able to come out of here with an 11th-place finish tonight. Jason (Stockert, crew chief) and the crew did a good job making the necessary changes to get the car’s handling more manageable for the conditions we had. We stayed out of trouble and didn’t get caught up in anyone else’s wrecks tonight. We’ll take this finish and look to build on it next week at Kentucky.”

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 Takl Chevrolet Camaro, was battling inside the top 10 following a lap 77 restart in Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Daytona International Speedway when contact between two cars in front of him triggered a multi-car incident that severely damaged the JR Motorsports Chevrolet. The incident ended Reddick’s evening 23 laps shy of the finish. Prior to the incident, Reddick had earned valuable stage points following a fifth-place result at the end of Stage Two.

Reddick took the green flag for the 100-lap event from the eighth position after heavy rain cancelled Friday afternoon’s qualifying session, forcing NASCAR to set the field by owner points, per the rulebook. After initially gaining ground on the opening lap, Reddick was caught on the outside lane without any drafting help, ultimately shuffling the 22-year old driver back to the 20th position. The driver of the Takl Chevrolet continued to fight for position despite reporting to crew chief Dave Elenz that the car had become tight everywhere rolling through the corner. Although not handling to his liking, Reddick improved five positions in the closing laps of the opening stage to take the green-and-white checkered flag in the 18th position.

Prior to the beginning of Stage Two, Elenz called Reddick to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment in the hopes of alleviating the tight-handling condition. The Corning, Calif. native returned to the track following the stop in 19th and wasted little time moving forward, drafting back into the top 10 just 16 laps after the lap 35 restart. Reddick’s march forward didn’t stop there as the driver of the Takl Chevrolet took advantage of the outside line to race into the fifth position just prior to the conclusion of the second stage on lap 60, earning six valuable stage points in the process. 

During the stage-ending caution, Elenz opted to play with some strategy and called Reddick to pit road for just right-side tires and fuel. The call paid off as Reddick lined up for the beginning of the final stage on the outside line in the second position. However, immediately following the restart the inside line began to prevail, shuffling Reddick back to seventh before the caution came out once again on lap 72. Now on the inside line Reddick lined up in seventh for the lap 77 restart and continued to draft on the bottom of the racetrack before contact in front of him on lap 81 set off a multi-car incident that left the JRM driver with nowhere to go, badly damaging all four corners of the Takl Chevrolet.

After briefly surveying the damage on pit road, the decision was made to take the Takl Chevrolet behind the wall and to the garage, ending Reddick’s night just shy of the finish.

In the end, Reddick was scored in the 31st position.

Kyle Larson earned the victory with JRM teammate Elliott Sadler, Christopher Bell, Ryan Blaney and Kaz Grala rounding out the top five. 

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 Takl team

“We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time tonight. Once they were sideways in front of me I did my best to miss it but just clipped the back of the (No.) 60 which sent us up into the wreck. I hate it for all my guys on this JR Motorsports team. We had a really fast Takl Chevrolet tonight and were making up a lot of ground on the bottom there. We’ll keep fighting and be ready to get after it next weekend in Kentucky.” 

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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