Allgaier Comes Home Third, Leads JRM at Watkins Glen

JR Motorsports | 8/5/2018

Brandt Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Michael Annett Nationwide Children's Hospital News Textron TMC Tyler Reddick Watkins Glen XFINITY Series

Justin Allgaier finished third to lead JRM on Saturday at Watkins Glen International in a race that saw the NASCAR Xfinity Series compete in wet weather conditions.

Race 20 of 33: Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International
Track Specs: 2.45-mile road course / 82 laps
Weather: Partly Cloudy; 79 degrees
Race Winner: Joey Logano

Allgaier’s Finish: 3rd       
Reddick’s Finish: 11th    
Sadler’s Finish: 12th        
Annett’s Finish: 17th

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team earned their second consecutive top-three finish on Saturday afternoon, placing third in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. Earning valuable stage points throughout the race, Allgaier is now just 37 markers from the top spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings and remains in the fifth position overall.

The Illinois native rolled off the grid in 10th for the 82-lap event and methodically started working his way further inside the top 10 once the race was under way. By lap 2, he was up to the eighth position and radioed to crew chief Jason Burdett that the BRANDT Chevy was tight on entry and free on exit everywhere. Allgaier continued advancing his position, finding himself in sixth on lap 11. Just a few laps later, some teams called their drivers to pit road under green as part of strategy. The No. 7 team opted to remain on track to finish Stage One in the fourth position on lap 20. Under the stage-ending caution, Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.

When the green flag dropped for Stage Two on lap 24, Allgaier was quick to move back inside the top 10. He was running in sixth when the caution came out on lap 27 for an on-track incident. While under caution, a quick rain shower engulfed the track, forcing teams to come to pit road for rain tires. Restarting in sixth on lap 31, Allgaier wasted no time racing towards the front on the rain-soaked road course, cruising to second by lap 34. He remained there to earn the runner-up spot for Stage Two. During the caution, Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for fuel and four slick tires, as the track had dried. While trying to leave the stall at the completion of the stop, Allgaier was forced to wait as the No. 76 was entering the pit stall ahead of him.

The lengthy time on pit road caused Allgaier to start the final stage further back in the field, from the 19th position. He was back up to 10th on lap 50 and just a couple laps later came to pit road, along with several other teams, for a scheduled stop for fuel-only as part of their strategy. Allgaier had worked his way up to seventh before a caution came out on lap 67. The team opted to come to pit road for four tires and fuel. Allgaier restarted in 11th on lap 70 and advanced to eighth before another yellow flag waved just two laps later. He restarted in eighth on lap 75 and set his sights toward the front of the field, passing cars until he found himself in second with just a few laps remaining. On the last lap, the No. 23 of A.J. Allmendinger caught up to Allgaier and the two battled it out, but Allmendinger was able to make the pass. Allgaier ultimately took the checkered flag in third, earning his 10th top-five finish of the season.

Joey Logano claimed the victory and was followed by Allmendinger, Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Aric Almirola to round out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team

“Jason Burdett (crew chief) and the guys did an awesome job with our BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro and really gave us a car that we could battle with. I think that was the most important piece for us. We were battling all day. We lost a little track position there, but I felt like at the end our strategy was the right one. We had fresh tires at the end. I got into a battle with A.J. (Allmendinger) coming to the checkered flag. I probably could have done some things a little bit differently to fend him off. It was a great points day for us, so there was no need to crash both of us coming to the checkered, so we gave up a spot. All-in-all though it was a solid top three and great race.”

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet Camaro, overcame a wide variety of weather conditions and two pit road penalties to earn an 11th-place finish in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Watkins Glen International. With the result, Reddick remains third in the playoff seeding by way of his victory at Daytona International Speedway in the season opening event with six races remaining in the NXS regular season.

Reddick was involved in an incident during the second round of qualifying that flat-spotted the tires of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet, forcing the JR Motorsports driver to take the green flag for the 82-lap event from the rear of the field. Despite starting at the rear, Reddick wasted little time moving forward, driving into the top 20 just 13 laps into the event. The 22-year old driver’s climb forward didn’t stop there as crew chief Dave Elenz opted to do an opposite strategy from the race leaders during the closing laps of Stage One. The strategy call paid off as Reddick stayed out while a number of the leaders came to pit road just prior to the end of the stage. This decision ultimately led to Reddick taking the green-and-white checkered flag to end the opening stage in the 10th position, earning one valuable stage point in the process.

During the stage-ending caution, Elenz called Reddick to pit road for four fresh tires and a slight adjustment, but it was deemed that a crew member had gone over the wall too soon prior to the beginning of the pit stop, which is a penalty. As a result of the penalty, the driver of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet was forced to begin Stage Two from the rear of the field. Although restarting at the back of the pack, Reddick once again charged forward, racing up to the 15th position just before a lap-26 caution period. While under caution the skies began to open up and heavy rain started to fall around the famed 2.45-mile road course.

With the track conditions becoming wetter and wetter, Reddick returned to pit road to switch out his slick tires for a set of rain tires. On the ensuing restart, Reddick took advantage of the wet conditions to move into the top 10 and up to seventh before an inopportune caution and subsequent red flag came out on lap 34. Due to the red flag conditions, the wet track surface started to dry as the rain had halted, which provided a handful of teams a chance to switch back to the slick tires. Opting to remain on the rain tires due to the amount of standing water still on the track, Reddick lined up for the lap 38 restart in the sixth position. Unfortunately, the slick tires prevailed over the final two laps of the second stage, shuffling Reddick back to 15th by the completion of Stage Two on lap 40.

Prior to the beginning of the final stage, the Corning, Calif. native came back to pit road for four fresh slick tires, returning to the track in the 21st position. The driver of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet methodically moved back forward once the final stage was under way, only needing one lap to rejoin the top-20 and three laps to move back into 15th before several of the race leaders began a round of green-flag pit stops. Choosing to stay on the track for the duration of the fuel run, Reddick raced into the top five for the first time on lap 53 and ultimately to the race lead on lap 62 before Elenz made the decision to bring Reddick to pit road for the scheduled green-flag pit stop. However, Reddick was found to be speeding on the entry of pit road prior to the stop and was forced to serve a pass-through penalty under green just before a fortuitous caution came out on lap 66. Reddick opted to stay out during the caution period while several of the leaders came to pit road, lining the JRM driver up for the lap 69 restart in the 10th position.

In the closing laps, Reddick would fight hard with Christopher Bell and Brad Keselowski before crossing the finish line for the final time in the 11th position.

With the result, Reddick remains seventh in the regular-season standings and third in the playoff seeding with six races remaining in the NXS regular season. 

Joey Logano earned the victory with AJ Allmendinger, JRM teammate Justin Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Aric Almirola rounding out the top five. 

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital team

“Today was a good foundation day for everyone on this Nationwide Children’s Hospital team. I feel like we were able to learn a lot out here that will for sure help us at the upcoming road courses of Mid-Ohio and Road America. I wish we could’ve held on at the end and brought home another top-10 finish, but we fought hard all race long and came home with a solid result. Hopefully we can continue to build off of this next week at Mid-Ohio. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team finished 12th in the Zippo 200 on Saturday afternoon at Watkins Glen International. Following the event, in both the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season standings and the NXS Playoff standings, Sadler sits in fourth place.

The No. 1 Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team rolled off the grid for the 82-lap event in 13th. On just the third lap of the day, when the caution flag was displayed, Sadler relayed his Camaro was on the loose side. The veteran driver fought the tough-handling condition and made his way into 10th place within the next 12 laps. On lap 17, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX crew chief, Kevin Meendering, made the strategy call to bring Sadler down pit road under green for fresh tires, fuel and an adjustment. When the first stage of the event concluded just a few laps later, the No. 1 team was in the 22nd position.

Because they elected to pit before the stage end, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team stayed out under the stage-ending caution. When Stage Two began, Sadler restarted in fourth. Shortly thereafter, the yellow flag was displayed for an incident and rain followed. It was then that the field came to pit road for rain tires and fuel. The changed track conditions brought a bit of a challenge for the No. 1 team as the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX driver battled to hold his position, but began to slip back after once again mentioning loose handling of his Chevrolet. When the second stage ended on lap 40, Sadler was scored in 23rd place.

Before the final stage of the race began, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team came to pit road. With the track back dry after just the short shower of rain, the team returned to slick tires, refueled and made another adjustment. Sadler continued to drive steady through the left and right turns before making a green-flag pit stop, following slight contact with a competitor that sent the No. 1 Chevrolet spinning. With the fresh tires and the help of his spotters, Sadler made his way back through the field from 27th place. Through a series of cautions and one additional pit stop for fuel, the team continued to make up ground. When the checkered flag waved concluding the race, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX driver had made his way into the 12th-place position.

Joey Logano won the first road course event of the season and was followed by AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Aric Almirola to round out the top five.                                                                                                                           

Elliott Sadler, driver Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team

“Today was definitely a challenge having to adapt to the wet and dry conditions. My guys fought hard all day long and made a great pit stop in the rain. Kevin (Meendering, crew chief) also made some good strategy calls, keeping us competitive. We’ll take what we learned from this weekend and use it heading into the next two road course races.”

Michael Annett

Battling rain and a loose condition, Michael Annett drove the No. 5 TMC Transportation Chevrolet to a 17th-place finish in Saturday’s Zippo 200 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars on the venerable road course at Watkins Glen International. With the finish, he remains one spot out of the NXS Playoffs with six races left before the field is set.

Starting 27th, Annett gained eight spots on the first of 82 laps and was 18th on the second, but under caution on lap 5, he reported to crew chief Travis Mack that his black-and-gold Chevrolet was neutral everywhere. Restarting 17th on lap 8 with rain building off Turn 1, Annett felt something amiss in the left front of his car. He fell to 21st by lap 12 while the issue played out, and Mack, in his first race atop the pit box for the team, called him to pit road for four tires and fuel on lap 15. The left front wheel was loose when the team changed it. Exiting pit road, however, Annett became the first of several drivers to earn a penalty for running through too many pit stalls on exit. That resulted in a drive-through penalty and put Annett 36th, one lap down. He finished Stage One in 35th place, still a lap down, but took the wave-around to get back onto the lead lap for Stage Two.

A caution flag on lap 27 for a crash in the Bus Stop slowed the action with Annett sitting 29th.  The rain that had been building finally hit the track with 10 laps left in Stage Two, which slowed the action yet again and necessitated a change to rain tires. Annett gained several spots to run 22nd when a crash on lap 34 brought out the red flag with six to go in Stage Two.

After getting his rain tires switched out for slicks on lap 40, Annett had work to do over the final stage. Starting 24th, Annett was on a long-run strategy, and he started picking up spots as other drivers pitted. He was 18th on lap 51 when Brad Keselowski pitted from the lead and 15th one lap later. On lap 53, Annett ran his fastest lap of the race and was ninth at the stripe. The Iowa driver made it all the way to fifth before the early takers caught back up. He was ninth at lap 66 when the final caution of the day waved, and Mack brought him down pit road for four tires and fuel on lap 68. He was 13th on the restart and 16th on lap 71, but lost a couple of spots after slipping in the Bus Stop. On the restart with eight laps remaining, Annett was 18th, and he made up one spot before the checkered flag waved.

Joey Logano won the race, followed by A.J. Allmendinger, JRM’s Justin Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Aric Almirola.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 TMC Transportation team

“That was a wild race with the rain and how quickly it dried out. Our No. 5 TMC Transportation Chevrolet was free for most of the day, especially in the fast corners both left and right, and (crew chief) Travis Mack made it better as the race went on. Our strategy was pretty good, but I made a slip in the Bus Stop and lost a couple of spots. We’ll go on to Mid-Ohio and see if we can gain some points.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • August 17 07:30 PM ET
    Food City 300Bristol Motor Speedway
  • August 25 03:00 PM ET
    Road America 180Road America
  • September 1 03:30 PM ET
    Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200Darlington Raceway
  • September 8 04:00 PM ET
    Lilly Diabetes 250Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • September 15 05:00 PM ET
    DC Solar 300Las Vegas Motor Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Rock N Roll Tequila 170

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course | 8/11/2018
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Christopher Bell #7710
2Elliott Sadler754-17
3Daniel Hemric754-17
4Cole Custer752-19
5Justin Allgaier751-20
6Brandon Jones623-148
7Tyler Reddick #606-165
13Michael Annett405-366