Top-10s for Allgaier, Reddick in the Bluegrass State

JR Motorsports | 7/14/2018

BurgerFi Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Kentucky Michael Annett News OneMain Pilot Flying J Tyler Reddick Whisky River XFINITY Series

Justin Allgaier and Tyler Reddick both found themselves in the top-10 at the end of the night, leading the way for JRM Friday at Kentucky Speedway.

Race 17 of 33: Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile D-shaped oval / 200 laps
Weather: Clear; 74 degrees
Race Winner: Christopher Bell

Allgaier’s Finish: 4th       
Reddick’s Finish: 6th       
Sadler’s Finish: 12th        
Annett’s Finish: 15th      

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the Whisky River team led 32 laps during Friday night’s Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway on their way to a fourth-place finish. The effort was the team’s eighth top-five finish of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season and the 32-year-old driver now has 490 laps led just 17 races into the year.

Allgaier qualified second for the 200-lap event and remained there for the few first laps of the race, but as the run went on the Whisky River Chevy continued to get tight center out. He dropped back some, but still was able to hold on to remain inside the top 10, finishing the first stage in eighth on lap 45. Crew chief Jason Burdett called him in under the stage-ending caution for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. 

Taking the green for Stage Two in 11th on lap 52, Allgaier wasted no time working his way back inside the top 10. By lap 59, the Illinois native had moved into the sixth position and radioed shortly after that the Whisky River Camaro was free into Turn 3 and still tight on exit at both ends of the track. Allgaier stayed in the sixth position for the remainder of Stage Two to collect valuable points for the second stage in a row. Under the caution the No. 7 team made a fast stop for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment to try to improve the handling. 

Initially the adjustment had helped as Allgaier started the final stage in fifth on lap 98 and was up to third in a hurry before a wreck brought out a caution on lap 100. Once the race got back to consistent green-flag conditions, Allgaier reported that the Whisky River Chevy was loose on entry and even tighter on exit as he fell back to the ninth position. When a caution came out on lap 133, the team caught the break they needed to be able to make some adjustments in addition to getting four fresh tires and fuel. He restarted in seventh on lap 139 and worked his way past the No. 18 of Kyle Busch to take second before another caution came out on lap 148. Staying out under the yellow, Allgaier maintained his track position and got a good restart on lap 152, taking over the lead. He paced the field for 32 laps before the Whisky River Chevy’s tight-handling condition returned and the No. 20 of Christopher Bell worked his way by. Allgaier remained inside the top-five in the closing laps and held off Cole Custer to take the checkered flag in fourth place.

Christopher Bell claimed the victory ahead of Daniel Hemric and Kyle Busch, with Allgaier and Custer rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Whisky River team

“I’m just really proud of everybody here at JR Motorsports. Our Whisky River Camaro was a handful tonight. We struggled a little bit early, but we were really good on restarts though and I think that’s what made the difference for us, especially at the end. We were able to get a good pit stop, come out with good track position and then make the most of it. Hats off to the guys, they did a great job and made great adjustments all night. We just needed that little bit extra and maybe we could have gone to Victory Lane.”

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet Camaro, ran inside the top 10 throughout Friday evening’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Kentucky Speedway, ultimately earning a sixth-place finish. The result is Reddick’s 11th top-10 finish of the season and keeps the JR Motorsports driver sixth in the championship standings.

Reddick began the 200-lap event from the eighth position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Friday afternoon. From the drop of the green flag, the driver of the BurgerFi Chevrolet reported to crew chief Dave Elenz that he was battling at tight-handling condition rolling through the corner. Although not handling to his liking, Reddick maintained his top-10 track position throughout the caution-free opening stage, ultimately taking the green-and-white checkered flag to end Stage One on lap 45 in the seventh position and earning four valuable stage points.

After pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment prior to the beginning of Stage Two, the Corning, Calif. native lined up in the ninth position for the lap 51 restart. Once back underway Reddick wasted little time moving forward, driving up to sixth before the handling of the BurgerFi Chevrolet once again shifted toward the tight-side. Despite the tight-handling condition, Reddick continued to battle for position inside the top 10, taking the green-and-white checkered flag in the caution-free second stage in the eighth position, earning an additional three stage points in the process.

While under the stage-ending caution, Elenz called Reddick back to pit road for four tires and another chassis adjustment in the hopes of improving the handling of the BurgerFi Chevrolet. Returning to the track in eight, Reddick took advantage of a rash of caution flags to move up to sixth before getting forced three-wide on a lap 108 restart, shuffling the JRM driver back to the 12th position. Despite the loss of track position, Reddick persevered and methodically raced his way back into the top 10 and up to seventh before the caution came out once again on lap 146. Opting to stay out during the caution, Reddick took advantage of the ensuing restart to charge into the top five.

Reddick maintained his track position until a lap 161 caution period shuffled up the running order as several cars, including Reddick, chose to come to pit road while others remained on the race track. Returning to the track following the stop in the 12th position, Reddick charged forward, improving six positions over the final 34 laps to take the checkered flag in the sixth position.

Christopher Bell earned the win with Daniel Hemric, Kyle Busch, JRM teammate Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer rounding out the top five. 

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 BurgerFi team

“Tonight was a solid night for our BurgerFi Chevrolet. We made improvements throughout the race and were able to avoid any trouble and come home with a top-10 finish. I just want to thank all of my guys for their hard work all weekend. Tonight was a good rebound after the last two weeks and I’m confident that we can keep this momentum going forward and chip away some more top-10 finishes before the playoffs.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team finished 12th in the Alsco 300 on Friday night at Kentucky Speedway. Following the 300-mile event, Sadler continues to hold onto first place in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings for the 2018 regular season.

After advancing into the third and final round of qualifying, Sadler rolled off the grid for the 300-mile event in 10th place. Within just 11 laps, the JR Motorsports driver was able to relay to his team that the No. 1 Chevrolet was too tight rolling into the center. The tough-handling condition held the OneMain Financial team to a 10th-place finish as no pit stops for adjustments were made until Stage One ended.

A quick stop under the stage-ending caution kept the No. 1 team in 10th place for the start of Stage Two. With adjustments being made in the right direction, the Emporia, Va. native was able to begin logging top-six lap times. It was on lap 55 that the OneMain Financial spotter Brett Griffin relayed to Sadler that he was running his quickest lap times so far of the event. As the field stayed green throughout Stage Two, the No. 1 Chevrolet grew tighter. When the stage concluded on lap 90, Sadler was in 11th place.

With a longer pit stop for multiple adjustments, Sadler began the final stage of the race in the 13th-place running position. Through a series of cautions, the veteran driver remained on track, holding his position. The improved handling of the OneMain Financial Chevrolet, following the changes made by No. 1 team, allowed Sadler to drive his way into the top 10. By lap 139 the OneMain Financial Camaro was up to sixth place. Shortly thereafter, the No. 2 of Matt Tifft clipped the No. 1 Chevrolet, sending Sadler into the wall causing slight right-side damage. With perseverance and solid repairs, the team battled back from 19th to finish the event in 12th place.

Christopher Bell crossed the finish line first and was followed by Daniel Hemric, Kyle Busch, Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 OneMain Financial team

“Our night didn’t go as planned. Track position and restarts were key, and things just didn’t go our way on those. We got put into the fence, but the guys did a great job fixing the damage. We’ll take this run and move onto New Hampshire.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett’s run in the Alsco 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines on Friday night ran the gamut of emotions, from delight at leading laps and running solidly near the top 10 to frustration at losing a chance to spend a lot of time in the top five. When the checkered flag waved at the end of 200 laps, the Iowa native had driven his No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet to a solid 15th-place finish at Kentucky Speedway.

After qualifying 17th, Annett was on the move early in Stage One, picking up three spots on the initial lap and another on the second to run 13th. He stayed in that spot until Stage One ended, holding off eventual winner Christopher Bell for it after the latter was forced to start from the rear after a spin in qualifying. On the break, Annett told crew chief Jason Stockert that all was good with his Chevrolet except for an inability to get back to the gas off Turn 4 as quickly as he’d like. It would be a theme the rest of the evening.

When Stage Two got under way, Ty Majeski started from the outside of the front row after taking two tires on his pit stop. That lasted until Turn 2, when he got loose and slapped the wall. Annett, who restarted 15th, gained a spot as Majeski slowed, and climbed as high as 11th as the stage wore on. But the problems in Turns 3 and 4 hadn’t gone totally away, and by the end of Stage Two, Annett, who finished 13th in the second stage as well, told Stockert that the free roll in Turn 3 was killing him in the center on that end. Stockert made a wedge adjustment along with air pressure and sent him back out in 15th place.

After gaining a spot on the first lap of green-flag racing, the pace was slowed by a spinning Blake Jones on lap 100. Four laps later, Annett barely missed a spinning Brandon Jones and managed to pick up two spots in the process to 12th. By lap 132, when Majeski spun through the front straightaway, Stockert called Annett to pit road for two tires and fuel in an effort to gain track position. It worked, as Annett was scored the leader off pit road for the restart on lap 139.

Choosing the low line for the restart, Annett got a good jump and led into Turn 1, but by the exit of Turn 2 he had a car to his outside and it sucked the rear end of the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet around. The wiggle cost Annett 12 spots on the track, which put the team right back to where they’d been at the end of Stage Two, and Annett reported that the car had gone very loose. A caution waved soon after, on lap 148, and Stockert called Annett down pit road to put on the left-side tires from the last stop and make a track-bar adjustment.

The newer tires altered the entry characteristics of Annett’s machine and he reported that it was still very loose. After a battle with Joey Gase that ended when Gase spun out in Turn 3 on lap 162, Annett came back down for his final set of tires on lap 163 and returned to the track in 14th. Annett gained two spots in the early laps, but fell back to 18th with 30 laps remaining. He was 16th and chasing Ryan Sieg for position with 15 to go, finally making the pass with five laps remaining. He was closing on Ty Dillon for 14th when the checkered flag waved. The finish shaved two points off his deficit to 12th place in the point standings.

Christopher Bell won the race, with Daniel Hemric, Kyle Busch, JRM’s Justin Allgaier and Cole Custer rounding out the top five.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“We fought all night long to keep our track position, and it worked for a long time. We were pretty good through the first two stages, but it kept sliding the nose off Turn 3 and killing my corner exit. Jason (crew chief Jason Stockert) made it better, but at the beginning of the final stage it just went really, really loose. I couldn’t be aggressive in the corners until the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet tightened up with about 10 laps to go, but it was too late by then. We gained a couple of points and we’ll go to the next one and hopefully gain some more.”

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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