Allgaier Takes Thrilling Win at Road America

JR Motorsports | 8/25/2018

Allstate Parts Brandt Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News OneMain Race Report Road America Tyler Reddick XFINITY Series

Justin Allgaier held off all challengers in the closing laps to score his fourth win of 2018 in Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Road America.

Race 23 of 33: Johnsonville 180 at Road America
Track Specs: 4.048-mile road course / 45 laps
Weather: Sunny; 74 degrees
Race Winner: Justin Allgaier

Allgaier’s Finish: 1st
Sadler’s Finish: 5th
Annett’s Finish: 12th
Reddick’s Finish: 34th

Justin Allgaier

Strategy and a fast BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet gave Justin Allgaier and the No. 7 JR Motorsports team their fourth victory of the season on Saturday at Road America. The victory gives the 32-year-old Illinois driver a second road-course win in 2018 and the third in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career.

It also gave Allgaier a boost in terms of the NXS Playoffs, as he is tied for the series lead in victories with four and took the overall point lead from Christopher Bell. Allgaier now leads Bell, who finished 23rd, by five points for the regular-season point championship. Just three races remain before the NXS Playoffs begin.

Allgaier started the race 11th and got the feel for his BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, which including diagnosing a front-balance problem. He ended the 10-lap run in ninth place, and crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier to pit road on lap 11 to change four tires and add Sunoco fuel for Stage Two. Restarting 13th, Allgaier blasted all the way to eighth on the first lap of the 4.048-mile course before another caution waved. During the yellow flag, Allgaier told Burdett that the front handling issue likely centered on the left-front tire and had disappeared when the new set of Goodyear tires went on.

With just three laps to go in Stage Two, Allgaier sat seventh and by the time it ended he was in the top five, getting around Justin Marks in Turn 14. Burdett pulled the first strategy call out at that point, keeping Allgaier on the track while the majority of the field came to pit road. Allgaier assumed the lead for the restart, but Brendan Gaughan got past onto Turn 1. Allgaier radioed that he needed side bite late in the corner and forward drive, and Burdett brought him down pit road under yellow on lap 27. Four more tires and a full load of fuel later, Allgaier rejoined the race all the way back in 29th place.

Another caution waved almost immediately, and Allgaier again stayed out while the entire lead pack hit pit road again for their final sets of tires and fuel. With 14 laps remaining, Allgaier took the green flag from second spot with Ryan Sieg the leader. Despite a shot from rival James Davison off Turn 1, Allgaier held off the charge and caught Sieg at the exit of Turn 5. Immediately, Allgaier stretched his lead to nearly a second as Davison battled with Sieg. It stayed that way for the next five laps, as Davison whittled down Allgaier’s advantage to just more than half a second. Allgaier reported that he was losing rear lateral grip during that span, but a yellow flag waved yet again for a car off the track in Turn 12. Burdett advised Allgaier to save as much fuel as possible.

That set up a seven-lap shootout with Davison, the British sports-car racer, on the outside of the front row for the restart. Davison got the lead off Turn 3 and tried to get away, but Allgaier stuck close. Coming into Turn 8, Davison’s car twitched and shot up the track, leaving a lane for Allgaier to slip through and back to the lead. By the time Allgaier got back to start/finish, he had a five-length lead. The next time by he was 1.344 seconds ahead and in a groove.

With three laps remaining, Marks and Davison tangled while battling for second and spun off-course, losing a precious five seconds to Allgaier, and two laps later Allgaier crossed the finish line for the victory. It was the ninth triumph for Allgaier in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and seventh with longtime partner BRANDT Professional Agriculture paint on his car. As well, it was JR Motorsports’ fourth overall victory on a road course, second of the season and first at Road America. Allgaier’s victory puts the JRM victory total to 42 as well and continued a personal streak of 11 straight races with at least a top-10 finish.

Trailing Allgaier to the finish were Matt Tifft, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and JRM teammate Elliott Sadler.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team

“I spun the tires really bad on that last restart when I got from behind, and I thought that I had just given it away. When he (Davison) made the mistake down in Turn 8, I knew I just had to be smooth and fast. This team is awesome. I told them after the race that it is an honor driving this race car. I can’t say thank you enough to everyone on this team and back at JR Motorsports and all of our other partners. Rick and Sierra (Brandt) weren’t here this weekend because Sierra started college this week. This team is incredible. They never give up, and the fans here this weekend were incredible. I drove around the track and there wasn’t an ounce of this track that wasn’t covered by awesome race fans. I never thought we could have had a dream season like this one. Can you believe two road-course victories? All in all, it was a great day, and ultimately, the guys on the box and making the pit stops won this race.”

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the OneMain Financial team claimed a fifth-place finish in the Johnsonville 180 on Saturday afternoon at Road America. After earning 40 points in the Wisconsin road-course event, Sadler clinched his spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. The finish was Sadler’s 11th top five of the season.

The No. 1 OneMain Financial team began the 45-lap event in 17th place after battling tight-handling conditions throughout qualifying. On lap 4, the Virginia native began providing feedback to his team, relaying that his Camaro was tight through each left turn, but was loose off on right turns. When the first caution of the day was displayed just one lap later, OneMain Financial crew chief Kevin Meendering called Sadler down pit road for fresh tires and fuel—performing an opposite strategy of the field. When the race resumed, the driver of the No. 1 Camaro was in 37th place. Sadler then raced smart, avoiding trouble, to finish Stage One in 35th place.

Having pit before the stage end, the OneMain Financial Chevrolet stayed out under the stage-ending caution. When Stage Two began, Sadler was in the fifth position. By the next caution on lap 16, Sadler had made his way into the top three. Once again the team opted to remain on track to hold their position. When the second stage ended on lap 20, Sadler was in third place.

Under the Stage Two-ending caution, the OneMain Financial team made a pit stop for four tires and fuel. Sadler took the restart for the final stage in 12th place after other teams chose to remain on track. On lap 25, the veteran driver relayed his Chevrolet was growing tighter but that he was able to manage, claiming two positions before another full-course caution. It was then that Meendering called Sadler down pit road for the team’s last pit stop of the day. With 10 laps remaining in the 182.16-mile event, Sadler was quiet over the radio and driving in the eight-place running position. When the checkered flag waved concluding the race, the OneMain Financial driver had made his way to the fifth position.

JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier won the NXS event and was followed by Matt Tifft, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Sadler to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet

“My guys did a heck of a job this weekend from the road crew to the pit crew. Kevin (Meendering, crew chief) made some great strategy calls, putting us in position to race up front and with the leaders. Now that we’re locked into the playoffs, we can be aggressive and focus on our championship run. I’m proud of this finish today and my whole OneMain Financial team.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett endured a dicey and action-packed road-course race to emerge with a 12th-place finish in Saturday’s Johnsonville 180 at Road America. It marked his best road-course effort of the season. Driving the No. 5 Allstate Parts & Service Group Chevrolet, Annett raced securely enough to remain 13th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, still within reach of the 12th and final position in the Playoffs.

Annett began his day at Road America with a 19th-place starting spot. In the opening laps, Annett radioed that the No. 5 was harboring a tight condition through many of the corners on the racetrack. He maintained a position outside the top 20 until pitting for a scheduled stop just before the conclusion of Stage One. He would take the stage-ending caution in 33rd.

Annett cycled up to ninth for the Stage-Two restart and remained a contender among the top 15 as the 10-lap stage wound to its conclusion. Annett radioed the crew that changes on the previous stop helped him carry speed off the corner, but he felt straight-line speed was lacking. He would hold on to finish out Stage Two in 13th.

The No. 5 Allstate Parts & Service Group hit pit road for four tires, fuel in anticipation of the final stage where Annett be shown in 18th. Once the field rumbled back to life, the race took on a chaotic feel in the closing laps with competitor’s door banging and leaning heavily on one another. But cooler heads prevailed and Annett patiently climbed the leaderboard from 18th to 15th with 10 laps remaining. After a caution slowed the field on lap 38 and set the stage for a seven-lap shootout, Annett made quick work of his competitors and grabbed three more positions to finish 12th.

Annett’s JRM teammate Justin Allgaier won the event. He was followed the line by Matt Tifft, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Elliott Sadler.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Allstate Parts & Service Group team

“It was a decent day for us. These road races can be challenging when you’re racing against competitors you typically don’t see but once or twice a year. We stayed out of trouble for the most part and still were able to have a good run. We’ll take this and look to get back to oval racing next week. I want to thank everyone on this Allstate Parts & Service Group team. They did a good job all weekend and we have a solid finish to show for it.”

Tyler Reddick

Plagued by brake issues for the better part of the day, Tyler Reddick and the No. 9 JR Motorsports team were relegated to a 34th-place finish in Saturday’s Johnsonville 180 at Road America. It was an uncharacteristic finish for the team but Reddick still finds himself locked squarely into the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.

Reddick rolled off in 29th in only the third road-course race of his NXS career. By the race’s third lap, while running 27th, he was already detecting a brake issue and promptly radioed crew chief Dave Elenz to inform the team. In an effort to fix the issue, Elenz called Reddick to pit road to bleed the brakes under the race’s first caution. To compound matters, a pair of penalties were levied on the team and Reddick rounded out Stage One in 35th.

Despite a still prevalent brake issue, Reddick managed to cycle up inside the top 25 and stay there during Stage Two. Under the race’s fourth caution on lap 16, Reddick commented that he “can race hard for two laps and then the brakes start to go away”. Elenz brought Reddick to pit road, and again the team bled the brakes. He would finish Stage Two in 19th.

Having recently pitted, Reddick stayed out under the stage-ending caution and restarted in sixth. As the field got up to speed, it was a struggle for Reddick to manage the No. 9 Chevrolet without much of a brake pedal. He eventually spun out due to excessive wheel hop and radioed the crew that he thought he broke an axle in the spin. Reddick came down pit road for the crew to assess the damaged. He returned to the track only briefly, and after dropping fluid on the racing surface, the team retired to the garage.

JRM teammate Justin Allgaier won the event. He was followed the line by Matt Tifft, Daniel Hemric, Cole Custer and Elliott Sadler.

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 JR Motorsports team

“It just wasn’t meant to be for us this weekend. Road racing can be a huge challenge and there’s a reason for that. Nothing really went our way today. The brakes were an issue from the very beginning. Dave [Elenz, crew chief] and the guys did what we could to try and fix it on pit road. Once we got up closer to the front during the final stage, the car was wheel hopping in every braking zone and eventually it just spun out. We’ll continue to work at it and set our sights on Darlington next week.”

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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