Allgaier Finishes Second, Leads JRM at Iowa

JR Motorsports | 7/29/2018

Elliott Sadler Iowa Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Precision Tank Takl TMC Tyler Reddick U.S. Cellular XFINITY Series

Justin Allgaier just missed out on the Midwest Sweep on Saturday finishing second in the U.S. Cellular 250 and leading JRM at Iowa Speedway.

Race 19 of 33: U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway
Track Specs: 0.875-mile oval / 250 laps
Weather: Mostly Cloudy; 72 degrees
Race Winner: Christopher Bell

Allgaier's Finish: 2nd 
Sadler's Finish: 6th
Annett's Finish: 14th
Reddick's Finish: 22nd

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the No. 7 Precision Tank team nearly completed the sweep at Iowa Speedway, placing second in Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 after the race went into overtime. The Illinois native earned valuable points in each stage and led for six laps, increasing his season total to 496 laps led, a new career-high for the JR Motorsports driver in a single season.

Qualifying seventh for the 250-lap race, Allgaier remained inside the top 10 for the first stage while battling a tight-handling condition through the center of the turns and a free condition on exit. Allgaier was scored in the sixth position at the end of Stage One and the team made a stop for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Taking the green flag for Stage Two in fifth on lap 68, the 32-year-old driver battled for position, falling back to sixth at one point. As the run went on though, the handling of Allgaier’s Chevrolet started to come to him as he advanced his position up to third by the end of the stage. Under the caution, the driver of the No. 7 relayed that he just needed to turn a little better through the center. Crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires, fuel, another wedge adjustment and an air-pressure adjustment.

On lap 130, Allgaier started the final stage from the fourth spot and was up to second in a hurry. He maintained the position until lap 140, when Christopher Bell made the pass. He was running in fourth when green-flag pit stops began as the race was nearing lap 200. The team called the JRM driver down for four fresh tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. Allgaier was running in third when a caution came out on lap 237 and the team opted to stay out. Back under way on lap 244, Allgaier went to the bottom, making it three-wide going into Turn 1. He was scored in the fourth position when yet another caution came out for a wreck, sending the race into overtime.

The field went back to green on lap 250 and Allgaier made an impressive move to the outside, taking the lead just before another wreck brought out the caution and eventually the red flag. He chose the outside line for the ensuing restart and retook the lead, but the No. 20 of Bell caught the No. 7 and the two battled it out, with Bell ultimately taking the checkered flag in first. Allgaier claimed the runner-up spot and was followed by Kyle Benjamin, Ross Chastain and John Hunter Nemechek to round out the top five. Allgaier remains fifth in the NXS point standings, just 52 markers behind the leader.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Precision Tank team

“I know that Christopher (Bell) definitely had the best car, but we did what we needed to do there at the end and capitalized on it. As racers it’s always disappointing when we finish second. I just never had an opportunity to get back to him. Overall it was a good day at Iowa for our Precision Tank team, to walk out of here with a first and second-place finish in the two races here.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the U.S. Cellular team brought home a sixth-place finish after starting from the pole on Saturday evening in the U.S. Cellular 250. The pole award was JR Motorsports’ second of the 2018 season and Sadler’s fourth career at Iowa Speedway. With the finish, Sadler moves up to second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings and holds onto his fourth-place seed in the NXS Playoff standings.

After a strong qualifying run, earning the pole award, the No. 1 team began the 250-lap race with great momentum. When the first caution of the day was displayed on lap 20, Sadler reported his Camaro was free on exit and tight rolling into the center. The U.S. Cellular team, however, elected to stay out in order to take the restart in first place. Sadler lead the opening 26 laps, but fell to second by the completion of the restart lap. The veteran driver remained in the second-place running position until the conclusion of the first stage on lap 60.

Under the stage-ending caution, Sadler came to pit road for fresh tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. When Stage Two began, the U.S. Cellular Chevrolet was in second place. With adjustments being made in the right direction, Sadler retook the lead and paced the field for the next 15 laps. As the track began to change, the U.S. Cellular Chevrolet became looser on exit. Sadler worked to battle through the tough-handling condition, but slowly began to slip back as he relayed he had no rear grip. When the second stage ended, Sadler was in eighth place.

A quick pit stop by the No. 1 pit crew kept the U.S. Cellular Camaro in eighth for the start of the final stage. Sadler then began making his way back through the field and once again into the top five. On lap 200, crew chief Kevin Meendering called his driver down pit road for a scheduled pit stop. Once the green-flag stops cycled through, the No. 1 Chevrolet was running in the sixth position. Before the conclusion of the race, two late-race cautions were displayed. Through them, the No. 1 Chevrolet remained on track and raced among the top 10. When the checkered flag waved in overtime, the U.S. Cellular team was in the sixth position.

Christopher Bell crossed the finish line first followed by Justin Allgaier, Kyle Benjamin, Ross Chastain and John Hunter Nemechek to round out the top five.                                                                                                                                          

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 U.S. Cellular team

“We unloaded a really fast Chevrolet and it’s always fun to back that up and start from the pole. We had a solid Stage One and got too loose in Stage Two. Kevin (Meendering, crew chief) made great adjustment calls, but we just couldn’t keep up with the track changes. In the end, we needed more rear grip. We’ll take this finish and see what we can do in Watkins Glen next weekend.”

Michael Annett

Racing at his home track, Iowa Speedway, Michael Annett drove to a solid 14th-place finish in Saturday’s U.S. Cellular 250 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines on the .875-mile oval. The Des Moines native was able to miss a last-lap fracas among the lead group to gain a position in the final two corners.

Starting 17th, Annett reported early in Stage One that his TMC Transportation Chevrolet was sliding the nose off the corners at both ends of the track. Adjusting his line to accommodate the handling, Annett finished Stage One exactly where he started, in 17th spot. The handling had stayed largely the same, with an occasional snap-loose condition thrown in. He pitted at the stage break for four tires, fuel and adjustments, gaining three spots in the race off pit road and another due to penalty.

As Stage Two began, Annett started to work the bottom groove on the racy little oval to good effect, but the toll the line took on his tires caused him to drop a few spots. By the end of the second 60-lap run, Annett had fallen to 18th position. Crew chief Jason Stockert made wedge and track-bar adjustments to help his drive and add front grip to the No. 5 all the way around the track, and the pit crew gained three more spots on the exchange, putting him 15th for the final stage.

Annett stayed in the top 16 for much of the first 50 laps of the long final stage, switching lines to the top of the track to save tires for the end. On lap 192, leader Christopher Bell got past to put Annett a lap down. That changed the strategy for the final run to the checkered, as Annett stayed out during a flurry of green-flag stops that began eight laps later. He advanced all the way to second place, getting his lap back in the bargain.

On lap 209, running second, Annett peeled off and came down for his own stop, getting four more tires and fuel to the end. That put him back to 16th and one lap down. With 14 laps to go, Annett was 15th and reported that he had picked up a bound in one of his front wheels. Stockert called his driver down under caution on lap 239 to attend to it and make a chassis adjustment. Annett maintained 16th place on the stop and set up for the run to the finish.

Another caution waved at lap 244, with Annett still 16th. On the initial try at a green-white-checkered finish, Matt Tifft and Max Tullman crashed in Turn 2 and the resulting cleanup brought out the red flag. When it was lifted and the race restarted, Annett was 15th and got past Casey Roderick for 14th in the two-lap run to the finish.

Christopher Bell won the race, with JRM’s Justin Allgaier second. Kyle Benjamin, Ross Chastain and John Hunter Nemechek rounded out the top five, with JRM’s Elliott Sadler a solid sixth. Annett trails 12th place in the series standings by 40 with seven races left until the cutoff.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 TMC Transportation team

“We were hoping that running here at home would give us some luck, but we just got tight during that long run toward the end and couldn’t take advantage. The TMC Transportation Chevrolet was tight to the gas a lot of the day, and Jason (crew chief Jason Stockert) made some good adjustments to help it, but at the end of the day we were 14th. We missed that mess at the end and gained a spot, so that was good. We will go on to Watkins Glen and try to cut that deficit again.”

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 Takl Chevrolet Camaro, was battling for a top-five position in Saturday evening’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Iowa Speedway before contact with another competitor just shy of lap 20 flattened the left-rear tire and damaged the fender. The JR Motorsports driver was forced to make several trips to pit road as a result of the damage to make repairs, ultimately costing the team laps to the race leaders. Reddick, however, persevered through the adversity and utilized a never-give-up attitude to improve 14 positions over the remainder of the race to record a 22nd-place finish. 

Reddick took the green flag for the 250-lap event from the fifth position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Saturday afternoon. After initially getting shuffled back to ninth on the opening lap, the driver of the Takl Chevrolet began to methodically move forward, driving back up to the sixth position by the completion of lap 10. Then, while trying to work his way into the top five, Reddick sustained damage and a subsequent flat left-rear tire as a result of contact with another car while trying to maneuver around lapped traffic. The flat tire badly damaged the left-rear fender and knocked the wiring to the radio loose, forcing Reddick to come to pit road several times to fix both the damage and the radio issues. Once all the repairs were made, Reddick returned to the track but was unfortunately off of the lead lap in the 36th position.

Despite being off the of the lead lap, Reddick pressed forward, taking advantage of a long green-flag run to begin the final stage to move back into the top 25 and up to 22nd before crew chief Dave Elenz called the Corning, Calif. native to pit road for a scheduled green-flag pit stop. Reddick returned to the track following the stop in 24th and maintained his track position until two late-race cautions saw the driver of the Takl Chevrolet improve two positions to take the checkered flag in 22nd.

With the result, Reddick remains third in the Playoff seeding by way of his victory in the season opening event at Daytona International Speedway with six races remaining in the NXS regular season. 

Christopher Bell earned the victory with JRM teammate Justin Allgaier, Kyle Benjamin, Ross Chastain and John Hunter Nemechek rounding out the top five. 

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 Takl team

“We had a fast Takl Chevrolet to begin the day. It’s just unfortunate that we didn’t really have a chance to show what we had after the flat tire damaged our fender. I just want to thank everyone on this JR Motorsports team for not giving up today. We fought hard all race long and got the best result we could in the end. We’ll rebound from this and be ready to go next weekend in Watkins Glen.”

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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