Sadler, Reddick Lead JRM in Bizarre Round of 8 Opener at Kansas

JR Motorsports | 10/20/2018

Brandt BurgerFi Elliott Sadler Justin Allgaier Kansas Michael Annett News Pilot Flying J Playoffs Textron Tyler Reddick XFINITY Series

Elliott Sadler and Tyler Reddick both brought home top-five finishes in Saturday's NASCAR Playoffs Round of 8 opener at Kansas Speedway.

Race 30 of 33: Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather: Sunny; 63 degrees
Race Winner: John Hunter Nemechek

Sadler's Finish: 3rd
Reddick's Finish: 5th
Allgaier's Finish: 38th
Annett's Finish: 40th

Elliott Sadler

Elliott Sadler and the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team ran their race, finishing third in the Kansas Lottery 300 on Saturday afternoon at Kansas Speedway. With the strong finish, Sadler was able to claim his 14th top five of the season, now only one top-five finish away from tying his career-best of 15 in one season. Following the 300-mile event, the No. 1 team jumps to second in the NXS playoff standings— only nine points behind the leader with two races remaining in the Round of 8.

After advancing into the third and final round of knockout qualifying, Sadler took the green flag in 11th at the 1.5-mile speedway. With the help of his spotter Brett Griffin, Sadler was able to avoid two multi-car incidents in the opening laps of the event. Once the field was able to log consecutive laps, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX driver was able to report tight handling of his No. 1 Chevrolet. With his racing experience, the veteran driver was able to drive through the tough-handling condition and into the top five by the stage end. At the conclusion of Stage One, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team was in fifth place.

Just prior to Stage Two, the No. 1 Chevrolet came to pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. With a longer stop for the changes, Sadler restarted for the second stage in 12th place. It didn’t take long however, for the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team to reenter the top 10 as the adjustments improved the handling of their Camaro for Sadler. By the lap-58 caution, the team was in the eighth-place running position. Sadler remained on track and later found himself racing teammate Tyler Reddick for the fourth position on lap 63. As the stage continued, the Virginia native once again came over the radio to relay he was tight driving through the center of the turns. When the stage ended on lap 90, Sadler had completed the pass, earning a fourth-place finish.

Under the stage-ending caution, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX Chevrolet came to pit road for fresh tires, fuel and another adjustment. Sadler then began the final stage in fifth place. Shortly thereafter, the No. 1 team began to report quick lap times to their driver who was running in the fourth position. As the field remained green, crew chief Kevin Meendering called Sadler down pit road for a scheduled green-flag pit stop on lap 150. When the green-flag stops cycled through, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team remained in the fourth position. On lap 163, the final caution of the day was displayed. This time, Meendering made a last second two-tire call for right-side tires, putting Sadler on the front row for the restart. Sadler restarted strong, taking over the lead for two laps before two cars with four fresh tires made their way past the No. 1 Chevrolet. When the checkered flag waved on lap 200, the Textron Off Road Wildcat XX Chevrolet was in third place. Sadler was the second highest driver of the playoff contenders.

John Hunter Nemechek won the first event in the Round of 8 and was followed by Daniel Hemric, Sadler, Shane Lee and JR Motorsports teammate Tyler Reddick to round out the top five.

Elliott Sadler, driver No. 1 Textron Off Road Wildcat XX team

“Man, that was a wild race. The first and last race of each playoff round is always important, as we saw today. Kevin (Meendering, crew chief) made some great adjustments to our Textron Off Road Wildcat XX Chevrolet throughout the race, getting us better and better each stage. That was also a great call, taking two tires, there at the end. We did what we needed to do to start this Round of 8 off right. Now, to keep up the top fives and hopefully a win.”

Tyler Reddick

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet Camaro, earned his fifth top-five finish of 2018 in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Kansas Speedway after overcoming slight damage while avoiding a multi-car incident to earn a fifth-place finish. The result improves the JR Motorsports driver to the third-seed in the NXS Playoffs, 11 points above the cutline with two races remaining in the Round of 8. Following the NXS race at ISM Raceway on Nov. 10, the bottom four drivers will be eliminated from the playoffs.

Reddick took the green flag for the 200-lap event from the sixth position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. The JRM driver quickly moved up to third following the initial start after narrowly avoiding a multi-car incident in the center of Turns 1 and 2 on the opening lap. Then, the driver of the Burgerfi Chevrolet again narrowly avoided trouble heading down the back straightaway once the race was back underway as Reddick was forced to take evasive action onto the apron to avoid contacting another car. Despite the chaotic beginning, Reddick lined up for the lap 16 restart in the second position but a loose-handling condition quickly developed and shuffled the 22-year-old back to sixth before the caution flag was displayed once again on lap 24.

Crew chief Dave Elenz took advantage of this caution period to bring Reddick to pit road for a round of adjustments and some slight repairs to the right-side skirt. The driver of the BurgerFi Chevrolet returned to the track following the stop in the 27th position and wasted little time charging forward, utilizing only three laps to race back into the top 10. The march forward didn’t stop there as Reddick improved four positions in the closing laps of the opening stage to take the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 45 in the sixth position. The result earned Reddick five valuable stage points in the process.

During the stage-ending caution, the Corning, Calif. native came back to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment. Following the stop, Reddick returned to the track for the beginning of Stage Two in the fifth position and remained inside the top five throughout a stage that saw the caution flag displayed an additional two times. In the closing laps of the second stage Reddick reported that he was still a little too free rolling through the corner. Although not handling to his liking, Reddick was able to end Stage Two on lap 90 in the third position and earn eight more valuable stage points.

Prior to the beginning of the final stage, Elenz called Reddick back to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment in the hopes of alleviating the loose-handling condition. The driver of the BurgerFi Chevrolet lined up for the lap 97 restart from fourth and continued to fight for position inside the top five for much of the ensuing green-flag run. The JRM driver ultimately moved into the race lead during the lone round of green-flag pit stops, pacing the field for two laps before coming to pit road under green on lap 151. Reddick returned to the track following the green flag stop in third, but a caution on lap 163 provided another opportunity to come to pit road for four fresh tires.

After taking the lap 168 restart in the fourth position, Reddick battled for several laps with Shane Lee and teammate Elliott Sadler before taking the checkered flag in the fifth position.

With the result, Reddick improves to the third seed in the NXS Playoffs, 11 points ahead of the cutline with two races remaining in the Round of 8.

The second race in the Round of 8 takes place at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Nov. 3.

John Hunter Nemechek scored the victory with Daniel Hemric, JRM teammate Sadler, Lee and Reddick rounding out the top five.

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 BurgerFi team

“Today was a solid day for our BurgerFi Chevrolet. We did what we needed to do and survived the chaos around us to put ourselves in a much better points position heading into the final two races of this round. I want to thank Dave (Elenz, crew chief) and all my guys on this JR Motorsports team for their hard work today. We all know what the ultimate goal is, and that is to get to Homestead. So, I’m really happy that we were able to come away with a really good points day and put some distance between ourselves and the cutline. We just need to keep this momentum going into Texas and Phoenix. If we do that, we will get to Homestead for sure. I’m ready.”

Justin Allgaier

Trouble struck early for Justin Allgaier in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 as the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy was involved in an incident on the first lap that relegated the team to a 38th-place finish. With two races left in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, Allgaier now sits sixth in the standings just five points below the cutoff line for the Championship 4.

The day started off promising for Allgaier and the BRANDT team as they qualified third for the 200-lap race. The 32-year-old driver was battling for the second position in Turn 2 on lap 1 when he got loose underneath the No. 20 of Christopher Bell, triggering a multi-car incident. The No. 7 Chevrolet was too damaged to continue and the team was forced to retire from the race. Allgaier was scored with a 38th-place finish.              

John Hunter Nemechek won the Xfinity Series race and was followed by Daniel Hemric, JR Motorsports driver Elliott Sadler, Shane Lee and JRM driver Tyler Reddick to round out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team

“I just got loose and I just hate it for everybody that we took out on lap 1. It’s uncalled for. That one’s on me. I’m super disappointed for everyone that’s involved with this team. This BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro was really good this weekend and not only did we wreck our day, we wrecked a lot of other competitors. So I hate it for those guys. Hopefully we can go to Texas and rebound from it.”

Michael Annett

Optimism was high in the No. 5 Pilot Flying J pit for Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars at Kansas Speedway, but it didn’t last long. Coming into Turn 2 on the initial start of the 200-lap event, driver Michael Annett was caught in a multi-car crash. The resulting damage ended his day with a wrecked Chevrolet Camaro and a faint hope of what might have been.

Annett, who qualified 15th for the 30th of 33 series races, was hard on the gas as the field made it through Turn 1. In the middle of the corner, contact among the leaders sent cars all over the track. Annett, who had started on the bottom lane, was able to miss the initial contact and with the guidance of spotter Kevin Hamlin, had gotten as low as he could off Turn 2 when he encountered the No. 22 of Austin Cindric. With nowhere left to go, Annett slammed into the side of the No. 22, lifting that car off the ground and punishing the front end of the Pilot Flying J machine.

Coming to a stop along the backstretch, Annett climbed out of his destroyed Camaro and took his mandatory trip to the infield care center, ending his day without completing a lap. He was classified 40th at the finish.

John Hunter Nemechek won the race, followed by Daniel Hemric, JRM teammate Elliott Sadler, Shane Lee and JRM’s Tyler Reddick. Matt Tifft topped the second five, with Ryan Reed, Ty Majeski, Ryan Sieg and Jeremy Clements rounding out the top 10.

Michael Annett, driver No. 5 Pilot Flying J team

“It was going to be a good one today. I got as low as I could get when all that happened, but the cars coming off the wall were all across the track and I hit the 22 pretty solid. I hate it for Pilot Flying J team, but there was just nowhere that I could go to miss it. We qualified well and had a plan for the day to maximize our points, but we didn’t get the chance. We’ll go to Texas in a couple of weeks and continue to work hard.”

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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