Preview: Rinnai 250

JR Motorsports | 2/20/2019

American Heart Association Atlanta Cessna Justin Allgaier Louisiana Hot Sauce Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J Ryan Preece Switch XFINITY Series

With the success of Daytona behind, JRM heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend with a load of confidence and a fresh face in the No. 8 Chevrolet.

TRACK: Atlanta Motor Speedway
RACE: Rinnai 250 (163 laps / 251.02 miles) 
DATE: Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019
TV: 2:00 p.m. ET on FS1
RADIO: 1:30 p.m. ET on PRN and SiriusXM Ch. 90

Quotes:

Michael Annett: “Coming into the season, we came up with a slogan for our No. 1 Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association team. It is ‘one team, one dream, one goal.’ Winning a race was part of those goals, and we did that at Daytona. I am so happy for Travis (Mack, crew chief) and the rest of our team and for JRM. We’re in the Playoffs, and now we have to work toward the end goal, which is to win more races and the championship. Heading to Atlanta, we’re going to try to keep this momentum high and get started on all the other goals.”

Justin Allgaier: “It feels nice to head to Atlanta Motor Speedway coming off of a solid finish at Daytona to start the season. I think the cooler weather this weekend and the normally fast speeds of Atlanta are going to make for some great racing, but not being tricked into burning up your tires too early with the extra added grip is going to be extremely important. If we can do a good job of preserving those tires, then I think our No. 7 Cessna team has a good chance at racing for the win and continuing that positive momentum.”

Ryan Preece: “I’m really grateful to Dale, Kelley and everyone at JR Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to run a select amount of NASCAR Xfinity Series races this season. I’m really curious to see how the tire wear is going to affect the race, and definitely think we’re going to need to be prepared for that throughout the weekend. Atlanta Motor Speedway is a track that I don’t have a ton of experience at, but a racetrack is a racetrack, and I’m looking forward to getting there and having a good run in the No. 8 Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet.”

Noah Gragson: “I’m definitely ready to get to Atlanta this weekend with our Switch Chevrolet. We tested there back in January and I feel that Dave (Elenz, crew chief) and I learned a lot and have a really solid game plan heading into the weekend. If we execute and do all that we can throughout the course of the race I am really confident that we can come home with a really strong run for everyone at JR Motorsports.”

Notes:

• Michael Annett earned his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win, leading the last 45 laps in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway and heading another one-two finish for JR Motorsports.

• With the victory, Annett and the No. 1 Pilot Flying J team are locked into the NXS Playoffs and hold the most bonus points in the series with five.

• Heading to Atlanta Motor Speedway, Annett sits third in the NXS point standings, only seven markers behind the leader.

• The Iowa native has made seven NXS starts at Atlanta with a best finish of 10th coming in 2012. 

• After finishing second at Daytona last week, Justin Allgaier currently sits fifth in the NXS point standings just 10 markers behind the leader.

• In eight NXS starts at AMS, Allgaier has one top five and four top 10s with a best effort of fifth in 2012.

• Last year, the Illinois native finished sixth at Atlanta and earned valuable points by finishing in the top 10 in each stage.

• Cessna colors will be on Allgaier’s No. 7 Chevrolet at Atlanta this weekend. The aviation company will also sponsor the 32-year-old driver at Texas Motor Speedway next month and Daytona in July. 

• Ryan Preece has previously made one NXS start at Atlanta while competing full-time in the series in 2016.

• On mile-and-a-half tracks last season, Preece claimed one top-five and two top-10 finishes in five NXS starts. In 55 career NXS starts, the Connecticut native has two victories, 11 top fives and 15 top 10s, along with one pole and 221 laps led.

• This will be the first of four scheduled events for Preece with JRM. He will return to drive the No. 8 entry at Auto Club Speedway (March 16), Pocono Raceway (June 1) and Watkins Glen International (Aug. 3). 

• Noah Gragson will make his first career NXS start at Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.

• In two previous starts in the Truck Series at Atlanta, Gragson has recorded a best finish of second after leading 43 laps in February 2018.

• In 18 career starts at 1.5-mile tracks in the Truck Series, Gragson earned one win (Kansas 2018), four top fives and 12 top 10s.

• The 20-year-old native of Las Vegas currently ranks 11th in the championship standings following an 11th-place finish last weekend at Daytona. 

Articles

image

XFINITY Series Schedule

  • March 30 01:00 PM ET
    My Bariatric Solutions 300Texas Motor Speedway
  • April 6 01:00 PM ET
    Alsco 300 at BristolBristol Motor Speedway
  • April 12 07:00 PM ET
    ToyotaCare 250Richmond Raceway
  • April 27 01:00 PM ET
    MoneyLion 300Talladega Superspeedway
  • May 4 01:30 PM ET
    Xfinity Series at DoverDover International Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Production Alliance Group 300

Auto Club Speedway | 3/16/2019
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick2200
2Cole Custer213-7
3Christopher Bell206-14
4Brandon Jones183-37
5Austin Cindric179-41
6Michael Annett178-42
7Justin Allgaier171-49
8Noah Gragson #161-59