Burton, Annett Score Top-10s for JRM at Texas

JR Motorsports | 3/30/2019

Cessna Jeb Burton Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J State Water Heaters Switch Texas XFINITY Series

Jeb Burton finished fifth in his JRM debut and Michael Annett continued his early-season success finishing sixth on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway.

Race 6 of 33: My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile quad-oval / 200 laps
Weather: Cloudy; 50 degrees
Race Winner: Kyle Busch

Burton's Finish: 5th
Annett's Finish: 6th
Allgaier's Finish: 12th
Gragson's Finish: 13th

Jeb Burton

Jeb Burton and the State Water Heaters team brought home a fifth-place finish in the My Bariatric Solutions 300 on Saturday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway. The finish is the No. 8 team’s second top five of the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series season and is also Burton’s second-best career NXS finish following a fourth-place run at Daytona in 2017.

After advancing into the final round of qualifying in Fort Worth, Burton rolled off the grid for the 300-mile event in sixth place. On lap 3, the caution flag was displayed and the 26-year-old driver was able to relay to his team that the handling of his No. 8 Chevrolet was too tight through the center of Turns 1 and 2. Following the quick caution, the track remained green, leaving Burton to drive through the tough-handling condition until the team was able to make adjustments following the stage end. With no changes able to be made, the State Water Heaters team finished Stage One in the 14th position.

A quick stop under the stage-ending caution for fresh tires, fuel and an adjustment put the No. 8 team in 11th place for the start of Stage Two. With adjustments being made in the right direction, the Virginia native was able to race his way into the top five by lap 56. Electing to stay out under the lap-59 and lap-66 cautions, Burton held onto his top-six track position. In the closing lap of Stage Two, the yellow flag returned giving the State Water Heaters team the opportunity to make a strategy call. Crew chief Taylor Moyer brought Burton down pit road for four tires, fuel and another small change. The No. 8 team took the final restart of the stage in 11th after other teams opted to stay out. When the stage concluded, Burton had advanced four positions into seventh.

With their recent pit stop prior to the stage end, the State Water Heaters team remained on track following the green-and-white checkered flag, taking the restart for the final stage of the race in the fifth position. The further improved handling of the No. 8 Chevrolet allowed Burton to drive into fourth and begin logging his fastest laps of the race. As the long run continued, the handling of Burton’s Chevrolet began to grow tight. On lap 127, the caution flag waved giving the team the opportunity to once again make changes to their Camaro’s handling. The State Water Heaters team restarted in seventh and found themselves back up in fourth place when the yellow flag once again returned within just two laps. Following the restart, the JR Motorsports driver remained quiet and focused throughout the closing laps of the race until a late-race caution came with 10 laps to go. On the restart, Burton was the first car with four fresh tires as others elected for opposite strategies. In the final laps, the State Water Heaters team advanced one additional position to claim a fifth-place finish.

Kyle Busch won the cowboy hat in the NXS event and was followed by Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe and Burton to round out the top five.

Jeb Burton, driver No. 8 State Water Heaters team

“It was a good run today. We missed it a little bit with the long-run speed. We just got the front end a little too tight, but our short-run speed was good. We always made up ground on the restarts and stayed pretty much top five all day, besides the first run when we fell back. Taylor (Moyer, crew chief) did a good job of making adjustments. It was a great day. We (my sponsors, family and I) needed that after everything we’ve been through over the last five years. It was refreshing to get back in good equipment and be with a really good team. State Water Heaters, Alsco and Ultimate Headers made it happen. I feel like I’m at home here at JR Motorsports, and feel like if I could run with these guys every week, we could run for a championship.”

Michael Annett

After running in the top 10 most of the day on Saturday, Michael Annett and crew chief Travis Mack took a bigger swing than the rest of the field and turned it into a solid sixth-place finish in the My Bariatric Solutions 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. It was his fourth top-10 finish in six NASCAR Xfinity Series events run so far this season in the No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Camaro. The result, his best at Texas Motor Speedway in 14 career NXS starts, also put Annett and his team in the field for the first Xfinity Dash 4 Cash race set for next weekend at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Starting the race in 13th position on a chilly, windy day at the 1.5-mile TMS oval, Annett sorted out his No. 1 Chevrolet early in the going, ascending to the top 10 on lap 28. He stayed there, battling with JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson for the final stage point. Gragson passed Annett on the final lap to earn 10th, leaving Annett in 11th at the end of the 45-lap Stage One. Prior to his first pit stop, Annett told Mack that the car was good in clean air, but the aerodynamics in traffic affected his handle.

Mack called his driver to pit road and put on four new tires, added fuel and put a piece of tape on the grille to alleviate those concerns, sending his charge back out in ninth place after the crew gained two positions with some quick work. A penalty ahead of him put him eighth for the start of Stage Two. On the restart, Annett got caught in a snarling pack and dropped five spots to 13th the next time they hit the start/finish line. A caution waved on lap 59 and Mack brought Annett down pit road again for fuel only, which cost the team four positions on the track. Restarting 17th, Annett jumped two spots in the order on a lap-70 restart and was 12th five laps later after passing Ross Chastain and Ryan Sieg. After another caution at lap 81, Mack brought Annett down pit road again for four tires and fuel, which dropped him a spot to 13th when all was said and done. Over the remaining laps in Stage Two, Annett maintained 13th spot and, since he had made his pit stop earlier, stayed out on the stage break. He would start the final 110-lap stint in 10th position.

Running 11th with 73 laps remaining, the caution waved for an altercation in Turn 4. Heading to pit road again, Annett got four new tires and as much fuel as he could get. The No. 1 pit crew also picked up five positions with a blazing-fast pit stop, and he would restart the race in sixth spot. A caution waved on lap 134 for a crash in Turn 2, which eliminated both Cole Custer and Brandon Jones. Once the race got going again, Annett settled into the top 10 and ran there, saving fuel as much as possible, until lap 182, when fuel concerns began to creep up. Running seventh, Annett was in line to come to pit road with 11 laps remaining when Jeremy Clements ran out of fuel in the middle of pit road, which forced NASCAR to throw the caution flag. Mack called for four tires, wedge and air-pressure adjustments to help Annett’s takeoff for the final restart and sent his driver back out in 10th spot for the final six-lap shootout. Annett was seventh at the end of the first lap, gained one more spot to sixth with four laps to go and wound up there at the checkered flag.

Kyle Busch won the race, followed by Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe and JRM’s Jeb Burton. Annett was sixth, followed by Justin Haley, Jeffrey Earnhardt, John Hunter Nemechek and Sieg. Annett was the fourth full-time NXS driver in the results, earning a spot in the opening race of the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash next weekend at Bristol.

Michael Annett, driver No. 1 Pilot Flying J team

“Man, we had to fight like crazy for that sixth-place finish today. Our Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Camaro was a little free all day on take-off, and we couldn’t get back to the gas as aggressively as some of the other guys. We had a great strategy for the end of the race, and our Pilot Flying J pit crew got us spots on pit road all day. That last stop, we took tires and made a couple of adjustments, and that let us gain four spots, so that’s a good, good day. The big thing is, we are in the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash next week in Bristol, so that’s a big win for all of us and for JR Motorsports.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the Cessna team came back from a mid-race spin to score a 12th-place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. The JR Motorsports driver now sits sixth in the NXS point standings, 64 markers outside of the lead.

The Illinois native qualified fourth for the 200-lap race and was up to third in a hurry. He was running in second when he reported that the Cessna Chevy was a little tight through the center of the turns and had really good balance overall. Later in the stage, the No. 7 Chevy started to get a little tighter through Turns 1 and 2 and that allowed the No. 18 of Kyle Busch to get by him. When the green-and-white checkered flag waved on lap 45, Allgaier was scored in the third position. Under the stage-ending caution, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment.

He took the green for Stage Two in the fifth spot and was in sixth when the caution came out shortly after for an incident in Turn 4. Back underway, the 32-year-old driver gained positions, moving into third on lap 64. He was running in second when the fifth caution flag of the race waved on lap 80 and reported to the team that the Cessna Camaro was still tight through the center of the turns. Allgaier came to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. Restarting in seventh with less than 10 laps to go in Stage Two, Allgaier was shuffled back and finished the stage in 14th. Under the caution to end Stage Two, Allgaier relayed that the last adjustment made the Cessna Chevy unstable.

When the green flag dropped for the final stage on lap 99, Allgaier was in 11th. He continued his forward momentum, moving into seventh on lap 102. Just a few laps later, he reported that the No. 7 was still lacking rear stability. He slipped back to eighth, but moved his way up to sixth on lap 119. Allgaier was battling for position when he got loose and spun into the infield grass with 75 laps to go. The Cessna Camaro sustained minimal damage and the team put four fresh tires on and reversed the previous air-pressure adjustment when the field came to pit road under the caution

Back under green, Allgaier moved from 15th up to 10th before another yellow flag waved on lap 133. He restarted in ninth and began to surge forward, making his way to fourth on lap 144 and was still in the same position late in the race. With most of the field needing make another pit stop to make it the rest of the way on fuel, Allgaier was about to hit pit road when a caution came out on lap 189. Getting the chance to pit under the yellow flag, the team opted to take four tires along with fuel. Allgaier restarted in seventh on lap 195 and after brushing the wall while trying to make his way back toward the front, he ultimately took the checkered flag in the 12th position.

Busch won the race and was followed by Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell, with Chase Briscoe and JRM driver Jeb Burton rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Cessna team

“We had a great Cessna Chevy today and I thought we were going to come home with a top-five finish after coming back from that spin, but it just didn’t work out in the end. I’m really looking forward to getting to Bristol next week. It’s unfortunate that we won’t be competing for the Xfinity Series Dash for Cash, but hopefully we can be there at the end and battle for a win.”

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 9 Switch Chevrolet Camaro, earned stage points in both Stage One and Two and led for 13 laps in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Texas Motor Speedway before an inopportune caution cost the JR Motorsports driver his top-10 track position, ultimately leading to a 13th-place finish. With the result, Gragson has placed 13th or better in each of his nine starts in his NXS career.

Gragson lined up for the 200-lap event from the 16th position but wasted little time charging forward, improving four positions to 12th by lap 34 while reporting to crew chief Dave Elenz that the Switch Chevrolet was feeling really good through the corner. The Las Vegas, Nev. native’s climb didn’t stop there, as Gragson drove into the top 10 just before the completion of the opening stage to take the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 45 in the 10th position, earning a valuable stage point in the process.

After pitting for four tires and no adjustments during the stage-ending caution, Gragson returned to the track to begin Stage Two in the sixth position before taking advantage of a rash of quick cautions to drive up to second. Then, following a lap 70 restart, Gragson powered into the race lead, driving by eventual race winner Kyle Busch to lead the ensuing 13 laps before the caution flag was displayed once again. During this caution period, the decision was made to bring the driver of the Switch Chevrolet to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment to set Gragson up for the beginning of the final stage. As a result of the stop, Gragson took the lap 87 restart in fifth before ultimately taking the green-and-white checkered flag to end Stage Two on lap 90 in sixth, earning an additional five valuable stage points.

Due to pitting just prior to the end of Stage Two, the decision was made for Gragson to stay out to begin the third and final stage, moving the 22-year old driver up to the fourth position for the lap 98 restart. After initially maintaining his track position inside the top five, Gragson reported that he had gotten loose rolling through the corner, ultimately sliding the driver of the Switch Chevrolet back to seventh before the caution flag was displayed once again on lap 125. Elenz took the opportunity under this caution to bring Gragson back to pit road in the hopes of alleviating the loose-handling condition.

Returning to the track in ninth, Gragson quickly marched back up to the fifth position before the loose condition returned, shuffling the JRM driver back to 10th as a long green-flag run dominated the second-half of the final stage. As the laps began to wind down, Elenz opted to make a strategy call as the window opened for the lone round of green flag pit stops and chose to bring Gragson to pit road on lap 185 for two tires and fuel. However, a caution just three laps after the pit stop thwarted Elenz’s strategy call and trapped Gragson a lap behind the race leaders. Despite losing a lap, Gragson took advantage of the caution period to take the wave around to get back on the lead lap as the race leaders all came to pit road.

Once back on the lead lap, Gragson pressed forward and was able to gain two positions in the final laps to take the checkered flag in 13th.

With the result, Gragson remains eighth in the championship standings after six NXS events, 77 points shy of the series lead.

Busch earned the victory, with Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell, Chase Briscoe and JRM teammate Jeb Burton rounding out the top five.

Noah Gragson, driver No. 9 Switch team

“I want to thank all of my guys on this JR Motorsports team for their hard work this weekend. We had a really fast Switch Chevrolet all day long today, but just couldn’t catch a break with that caution coming out right after our green-flag pit stop. But today had a lot of positives and we are continuing to make gains every time we come to the racetrack. Hopefully we can keep this going and unload just as quick next week in Bristol.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • June 16 05:30 PM ET
    CircuitCity.com 250Iowa Speedway
  • June 29 03:30 PM ET
    Camping World 300Chicagoland Speedway
  • July 5 07:30 PM ET
    Firecracker 250Daytona International Speedway
  • July 12 07:30 PM ET
    Alsco 300 at KentuckyKentucky Speedway
  • July 20 04:00 PM ET
    Lakes Region 200New Hampshire Motor Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After LTi Printing 250

Michigan International Speedway | 6/8/2019
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick6270
2Christopher Bell538-89
3Cole Custer510-117
4Austin Cindric486-141
5Justin Allgaier479-148
6Chase Briscoe #440-187
7John Hunter Nemechek429-198
8Noah Gragson #423-204
9Michael Annett406-221