Late Surge Nets Four Top-10s for JRM at Darlington

JR Motorsports | 9/1/2018

Armour Chevrolet Darlington Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Old Milwaukee Pilot Flying J Tyler Reddick XFINITY Series

JRM fought back late to score four top-10 finishes on a hot Saturday afternoon at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina on NASCAR Throwback Weekend.

Race 24 of 33: Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 at Darlington Raceway
Track Specs: 1.366-mile oval / 147 laps
Weather: Sunny, 94 degrees
Race Winner: Brad Keselowski

Reddick's Finish: 3rd
Sadler's Finish: 5th
Allgaier's Finish: 7th
Annett's Finish: 10th

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 Old Milwaukee Throwback Chevrolet Camaro, ran inside the top five throughout Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Darlington Raceway, earning valuable stage points in both Stage One and Two before taking the checkered flag in the third position. The result is Reddick’s second top-three finish of 2018 and keeps the JR Motorsports driver third in the playoff seeding via his season-opening victory at Daytona International Speedway with two races remaining in the NXS regular season. 

Reddick took the green flag for the 147-lap event from the third position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying earlier on Saturday afternoon. Following a lap 3 caution period, Reddick settled into fifth and maintained his top-five track position throughout the opening stage. Then, after reporting to crew chief Dave Elenz that the Old Milwaukee Throwback Chevrolet had moved toward the tight side rolling through Darlington’s distinct corners, Reddick methodically moved into the fourth position and remained there until the completion of Stage One on lap 45, earning seven valuable stage points in the process.

In between stages, Elenz called Reddick to pit road for four tires and a round of adjustments in the hopes of improving the tight-handling condition. Returning to the track in the fifth position, the driver of the Old Milwaukee Throwback Chevrolet continued to fight for position, reporting to Elenz at the mid-way point of the stage that the handling had improved but that he was still a little tight in the corners. Despite not handling to his liking, Reddick stayed inside the top five throughout the remainder of the second stage, taking the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 90 in the fifth position and earning an additional six valuable stage points.

Prior to the beginning of the third and final stage, Elenz brought Reddick back to pit road for four tires and another round of adjustments. After lining up sixth for the lap 96 restart, the Corning, Calif. native wasted little time moving back toward the front, racing up to the fourth position by lap 98 and ultimately up to second after narrowly avoiding an incident coming off of the second corner on lap 110. During this caution period Reddick came back to pit road for four fresh tires and returned to the track for the lap 116 restart in the fourth position. Then, after several laps of battling with the No. 18 of Denny Hamlin, Reddick was able to make his way around and ultimately take the checkered flag in the third position.

The result is Reddick’s second top-three finish and his 13th top-10 finish of 2018 and moves the JRM driver up to sixth in the championship standings.

Brad Keselowski scored the victory with Cole Custer, Reddick, Denny Hamlin and JRM teammate Elliott Sadler rounding out the top five.

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 Old Milwaukee Throwback team

“This was a solid day for us and a really good momentum builder moving forward. We were consistently up front and running in the top five all day long and Dave (Elenz, crew chief) made some really good adjustments when we came to pit road. I’m really happy that we had a run like we had today while running this Old Milwaukee Tim Richmond throwback paint scheme. It means a lot to me that we had them come on the car for this weekend and to come home with a solid finish just makes this even more special.” 

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the Armour Chili team drove a strong race throughout Saturday’s 147-lap event, coming back from a pit road penalty to finish fifth at Darlington Raceway. Sadler remains second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings after claiming his 12th top five of the season.

After advancing to the final round, qualifying eighth, Sadler was quick to begin making passes at one of his favorite racetracks. The veteran driver had made his way into the sixth position before a lap-3 caution was displayed. Under the yellow, Sadler relayed that his Armour Chili Chevrolet was tight rolling through the center and loose on exit. Crew Chief Kevin Meendering made the call for Sadler to remain on track and hold his position. Fighting the tough-handling condition, the Emporia, Va., native was able to battle within the top 10 throughout the remainder of the stage. When Stage One concluded on lap 45, the Armour Chili Chevrolet was in seventh place.

Under the stage-ending caution, the No. 1 Chevrolet came down pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. Unfortunately, the team was hit with an uncontrolled-tire penalty, putting them in 23rd for the start of Stage Two. Remaining focused, Sadler drove his Chevrolet Camaro through the field with the help of his spotter, returning to the top 10 by lap 77. The Armour Chili driver then relayed to his team that the adjustment made at the conclusion of Stage One improved the handling of his Chevrolet, but his car was growing tighter throughout the run. When the stage ended on lap 90, Sadler was in the eighth-place running position.

Pitting for four tires, fuel and another adjustment, the No. 1 team began the final stage of the race in eighth. On lap 111, the yellow flag was displayed once again and Meendering called Sadler down pit road for the team’s final pit stop of the day. A quick stop put the team in fifth for the restart. Sadler raced with his teammate Tyler Reddick throughout the closing laps, working to gain on the leaders. Ultimately, when the checkered flag waved, the Armour Chili team was in fifth place.

Brad Keselowski won the NASCAR throwback themed event followed by Cole Custer, JR Motorsports driver Reddick, Denny Hamlin and Sadler to round out the top five.                                                                                                                                              

Elliott Sadler, driver Armour Chili team

“It was great to bring home a top-five finish in my last race at one of my favorite tracks. My guys worked hard all day, coming back from a penalty, to get our partner Armour Chili a solid finish. I’m thankful for my guys and all of their hard work each and every week. We have a few more races before the playoffs, so we’ll keep at this consistency and start our championship run on a high note.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the No. 7 Chevrolet Accessories team came back from a late pit-road penalty to earn a seventh-place finish at historic Darlington Raceway on Saturday afternoon. His 12th straight top-10 finish allowed him to maintain his NASCAR Xfinity Series point lead by 16 points with only two races remaining in the regular season.

The Illinois native rolled off the grid 10th for the 147-lap NXS race and was all the way up to fifth by lap 12. On lap 22 he radioed to crew chief Jason Burdett that he was starting to lose rear-lateral grip as the run when on. He lost a position to the No. 98 of Kevin Harvick, but worked his way back to fifth by getting passed the No. 21 of Daniel Hemric on lap 33. He held on to the spot for the remainder of Stage One to claim six stage points at its conclusion on lap 45. Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier came to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments.

Taking the green for Stage Two in sixth on lap 53, the 32-year-old driver once again began advancing his position. He was up to third by lap 55, but began losing positions as the run went on. Allgaier was running in fifth when the caution flag waved on lap 66 and came over the radio to report that the No. 7 Chevy was tighter at the ¾ mark and snappier late exit in the corners. He restarted in fifth on lap 71 and worked his way to fourth, where he remained until the green-and-white checkered flag waved for Stage Two. He came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment.

Allgaier started the final stage from the fourth spot on lap 97 and got a good run to take over third. He faded back to fifth on lap 99 and relayed to the team shortly after that the No. 7 Chevrolet Accessories Camaro was too tight to run up top. When a caution came out on lap 111, Burdett call Allgaier down pit road for fresh tires, fuel and adjustments. When the stop was complete and Allgaier left the stall, the adjustment wrench was still in the rear window, resulting in a penalty of having to start at the rear of the field. When the race was back underway on lap 117, Allgaier wasted no time working his way towards the front. He was up to 10th on lap 132 and ultimately took the checkered flag in seventh.

Brad Keselowski won the NXS race and was followed by Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin and Elliott Sadler to round out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Chevrolet Accessories team

“This No. 7 team did a great job on adjustments all day and getting the handling of our Chevrolet Accessories Camaro where we needed it to be. That showed there at the end when we were able to drive back up to seventh after getting that pit-road penalty. This team is awesome and that makes me excited to get to the track each week and run these fast Chevys. I can’t wait to get to Indy.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett was solid all day long at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, racing to a 10th-place finish in the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines to kick off Labor Day weekend.

Driving a special paint scheme dedicated to celebrating the foundation and history of primary sponsor Pilot Flying J, Annett steered the No. 5 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet to his second top-10 run in the last three races and best of his career at fabled Darlington. His previous best at Darlington, 11th, came back in 2010, and the Iowa native was seventh at Bristol two weeks ago.

After qualifying a sturdy 15th, Annett spent the 45-lap Stage One maintaining track position. With five laps remaining in Stage One, he was 12th and running laps two-tenths faster than the leaders. He finished 12th in the stage, brought his white-and-yellow Chevrolet to pit road for four tires, fuel and no adjustments after reporting that he was loose on the initial takeoff in Turn 2, neutral most everywhere else. As the run went on, he got tighter at the exit of Turn 2, but his car got stronger as the laps ticked past.

In Stage Two, Annett held his own and ended up 14th as several cars had taken tires and passed back up through the field. On his pit stop at the end of Stage Two, his pit crew earned several spots on the transfer, adding fuel and four tires. Annett lined up ninth for the final stage.

Despite Chase Elliott getting past on lap 104 to boot Annett from the top 10, the driver reported that the handling changes made on the stop had improved the side-bite and forward drive all the way around the 1.366-mile oval. By lap 116, he was eighth and stayed in the top 10 through lap 132, when JRM teammate Justin Allgaier, who was rallying through the field after a pit penalty, passed him. That left Annett to battle with Daniel Hemric for the 10th spot, which Annett took with eight laps remaining.

Over the remaining distance, Annett ran in the tire tracks of ninth-place Ty Dillon. When the checkered flag waved, Annett was two-tenths of a second behind Dillon, cutting more than half a second off the deficit during that time. With two races remaining before the cutoff for the NXS Playoffs, 13th-place Annett trails 12th place by 54 points.

Brad Keselowski won the event, followed by Cole Custer, JRM’s Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin and JRM teammate Elliott Sadler in the top 10. Elliott kicked off the second five, with Allgaier, Matt Tifft, Dillon and Annett rounding out the top 10.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“I wish we had more laps here, the way our Pilot Flying J Chevrolet came in on the long runs. It was a good day in the points for us too, and that’s what matters. We started off free on the initial start and on all the restarts, but about 10 laps in, it would come to me and we could gain spots. The longer we ran the better we got, and the rest of the guys I was racing fell off a lot faster than we did. The pit crew did a great job, and so did (crew chief) Travis Mack. We need every point we can get to make the Playoffs.”

 

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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