JRM Tallies a Trio of Top 10s at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

JR Motorsports | 7/20/2019

Bar Harbor Brandt Justin Allgaier Michael Annett New Hampshire News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J Race Report Ryan Truex Switch XFINITY Series

JRM emerged from New Hampshire Motor Speedway with three top-10 efforts from its four-car team.

Race 18 of 33: Roxor 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.058-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather: Fair; 92 degrees
Race Winner: Christopher Bell                 

Allgaier's Finish: 3rd
Truex's Finish: 7th
Gragson's Finish: 10th
Annett's Finish: 11th

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the BRANDT/ Rev1 Energy team powered their way to a third-place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The finish was their eighth top-five effort of the season. Allgaier moved up to fourth in the NXS point standings.

The Illinois native qualified eighth for the 200-lap race and was quick to gain positions from the drop of the green flag. Running in fifth on lap six, he reported to the team that the BRANDT/ Rev1 Energy Camaro was good in, tight center and loose on exit.

He continued his surge forward, moving into the third position on lap 11. When the first caution flag of the race waved on lap 32, Allgaier told the team that the center stayed tight and the exit got a little better. The team opted to come to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. With some teams deciding not to pit, the JR Motorsports driver restarted 10th on lap 37 and was able to advance his position to fifth before the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end the first stage on lap 45.

Staying out under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier lined up in the third position to start the second stage and quickly moved to second. Tyler Reddick tried to take over the spot and a battle ensued between the two, with Cole Custer closing in as well. Custer made it three-wide to take over the second spot, with Allgaier slipping back to fourth on lap 56.

The three drivers continued to battle for much of Stage Two and Allgaier’s Camaro proved to be better on the longer run as he was able to get back by both, moving into second on lap 76. He reported to the team soon after that the BRANDT/ Rev1 Energy Chevy was loose in, tight through the center of the turns and free late exit. Still, he maintained his position on the track, finishing Stage Two in the runner-up spot.

During the caution to end Stage Two, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier in for fresh tires and fuel, along with wedge and air-pressure adjustments. He took the green flag for the final stage on lap 98 in the second position, and soon after, Custer closed in on his bumper. The two dueled for several laps until Custer took over the position on lap 114. Allgaier was still running in the third spot when a caution came out on lap 141 and team took the opportunity to pit for the final time for four tires and fuel.

A fast stop allowed Allgaier to line up second for the restart. With the leader choosing the preferred top line, Allgaier was forced to start on the bottom. He was running in third when another yellow flag waved on lap 154 and once the race was back under way, he slid back to fourth. However, with the remainder of the race going caution-free, Allgaier was able to use his Camaro’s long-run speed to get by Reddick in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in third.

Christopher Bell won the race and was followed by Custer and Allgaier, with Reddick and Paul Menard rounding out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT/ Rev1 Energy team

“Our BRANDT/ Rev1 Energy Camaro was really good on the long run. We needed a little bit of short-run speed to be able to keep up with Christopher (Bell) and Cole (Custer), but it was a solid day. We executed well and had great pit stops. Eddie (D’Hondt, spotter) did a great job getting me in lanes that I needed to be in to really maximize the day. I’m really proud of this team. We needed a day like today.”

Ryan Truex

Ryan Truex secured another top 10 for the No. 8 Bar Harbor team, driving to a seventh-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Saturday’s Xfinity Series Roxor 200. The effort stands at Truex’s second consecutive top eight and gives him one top five and three top 10s in three starts for JR Motorsports. The No. 8 team also netted two positions in the owner points battle and are currently ranked 10th.

Lining up in ninth amid summer heat that had temperatures soaring into the mid-90s, Truex jockeyed for several positions in the opening laps of Stage One. It took the Bar Harbor entry about a dozen laps to come in, but when it did, Truex started posting laps times equal to the leaders while running 10th. The team elected to pit under the first caution on lap 33, using the opportunity to make adjustments in addition to taking on four tires and fuel. With the top eight competitors staying out, Truex lined up in 14th for the ensuing restart. He then proceeded to dash his way through the field, climbing to sixth for the end of Stage One.

Truex took the Stage Two restart in fourth, battling a loose condition for the onset. He drifted back a couple positions but held on to the seventh position for the Stage Two conclusion. Crew chief Taylor Moyer called the No. 8 pit road for additional adjustments under the stage-ending caution. The Bar Harbor Chevrolet rolled off in eighth for the beginning of the final stage.

Once the field fired off things got dicey for the No. 8 team. Truex found himself in a gaggle of cars, battling bumper-to-bumper and wheel-to-wheel for position. The trio of competitors contested in tight quarters for several laps until the field spread out, with Truex commenting that Bar Harbor entry was “free on both ends” of the track. Then a caution on lap 142 gave teams an opportunity for one final pit stop. Truex followed his competitors onto pit road and found himself restarting 12th with 53 laps remaining.

In the run up to the checkered flag, Truex climbed back inside the top 10 to ninth. He continued laying down some of the fastest lap times on the circuit, but with track position paramount and passing nearly impossible, Truex could only snag two more spots to muster a seventh-place finish.

Christopher Bell won the race. He was followed the line by Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier, Tyler Reddick and Paul Menard.

Ryan Truex, driver No. 8 Bar Harbor Chevrolet team

“Track position was everything today. We just need a little more of it with the Bar Harbor Chevrolet. It’s so hard to pass here, and when your racing door-to-door with these guys you just heat your stuff up too much. That’s what happened to us in the final stage. Taylor and the guys did a solid job staying on top of the adjustments all day and we definitely went the right way on most of those changes.”

Noah Gragon

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 9 Switch Chevrolet Camaro, overcame sweltering heat to earn a 10th-place finish in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. With the result, Gragson has now earned seven top-10 finishes in the last eight NXS races and remains sixth in the championship standings, 98 points ahead of the 12th and final cutoff position for the Playoffs.

After taking the green flag from the 10th position, Gragson battled three-wide for a handful of laps before ultimately settling in to 12th despite reporting that the Switch Chevrolet had developed a tight-handling condition through the center of the corner. Although not handling to his liking, Gragson continued to fight for track position until a lap-31 caution gave crew chief Dave Elenz an opportunity to play with some strategy. With several of the leaders opting to come to pit road, Elenz decided to keep Gragson on the track, moving the 21-year old driver up to third for the lap-37 restart. Gragson fought to remain inside the top 10 for as long as he could before succumbing to the fresher tires from those that pitted, shuffling the JR Motorsports driver back to 13th by the time Stage One came to a close on lap 45.

Prior to the beginning of Stage Two, Elenz called Gragson to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment, sending the rookie-of-the-year contender back out for the lap-52 restart in the 19th position. Once back underway Gragson methodically pressed forward, needing just 10 laps to rejoin the top 15. The Las Vegas native’s climb didn’t stop there as Gragson moved into 14th on lap 72 despite reporting that the balance of the Switch Chevrolet had gone to the loose side on the entry of the corner. Even though the balance continued to fluctuate with the warm track conditions, Gragson maintained his running position for the closing laps of the caution-free second stage to take the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 90 in 14th.

Under the stage-ending caution, Gragson returned to pit road for four tires and another chassis adjustment and with the help of the Switch crew, was able to gain four positions to line up for the lap-98 restart in 10th. After utilizing a three-wide move on the restart to move into ninth, Gragson reported that the handling had again gone to the loose side on entry, which ultimately shuffled the driver of the Switch Chevrolet back to as far as 15th before the caution flag was displayed once again on lap 140. Elenz used this caution as a chance to make further adjustments in the hopes of improving the loose-handling condition and, with the help of another stellar pit stop by the Switch crew, was able to move Gragson back into the top 10 for the lap-147 restart.

Contact during an intense battle for position sent Gragson back to 14th just two laps after the restart, but a quick caution on lap 153 allowed the driver of the Switch Chevrolet to regain the track position that was lost. On the ensuing restart Gragson started his march back toward the front, utilizing a never-give-up-attitude to steadily drive back into the top 10 during the long green-flag run to the finish and take the checkered flag in the 10th position.

The top-10 result is Gragson’s seventh top-10 in the last eight races and keeps the JRM driver sixth in the championship standings with eight races remaining in the regular season. 

Christopher Bell scored the victory, with Cole Custer, JRM teammate Justin Allgaier, Tyler Reddick and Paul Menard rounding out the top five.

Noah Gragson, driver No. 9 Switch team

“Today was a character-building day for sure. We fought hard all race long and I’m happy we were able to come away with another top-10 finish. Dave (Elenz, crew chief) and everyone on this team made some good changes throughout the day and just never gave up. Now we get to go back to one of my favorite places again in Iowa and see what we can do.”

Michael Annett

On a sweltering day at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Michael Annett and the No. 1 Pilot Flying J team worked from green flag to checkered flag to improve their position. At the end of the ROXOR 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series event, Annett’s No. 1 Chevrolet was scored in 11th spot.

The day belonged to Christopher Bell, who led 186 of the 200 laps to earn the victory. Behind him, however, the action was hot and heavy on the 1.058-mile oval and Annett was in the middle of that all day long. After qualifying 16th earlier in the day, Annett rolled off for the initial start on the top line, a decided advantage on the paperclip-shaped track. Over the first 10 laps, the Iowa native picked off three spots to run 13th and was running there on lap 32, when John Hunter Nemechek brought out the first caution flag by hitting the wall hard in Turn 2. After relaying that he needed more front turn in his Camaro, crew chief Travis Mack called his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Following the stop, Annett returned to the track in 16th, still on the outside line.

On the restart, Annett wasted no time moving forward. He was 11th on lap 38 and stayed there through the end of Stage One. Staying out over the stage break, Annett told Mack that while his Chevrolet took off a little free, the car had good forward bite and the turn-in was decent. After pit stops, Annett lined up eighth for the Stage Two opener. He settled in and stayed in the top 10 for the entirety of Stage Two, finishing 10th and earning a stage point in the process. Coming to pit road for service, Annett took four more tires, fuel, adjusted air pressures and a small adjustment similar to that made on the first stop.

Starting the 102-lap final stage in 14th place, Annett immediately noticed that his car was very free, and he dropped a spot in the first few laps to 15th. With 85 laps remaining, he regained 14th place by passing Kaz Grala, and 15 laps later he moved by Justin Haley for 13th. At lap 139, Annett passed JRM teammate Noah Gragson for 12th just in time for the caution flag for debris to wave three laps later. Annett told Mack that he was lacking lateral grip and drive off the corners. Mack responded by bringing Annett down pit road for four tires, fuel and some changes to the adjustments made on the previous stop. The Pilot Flying J pit crew gained a spot on the stop, and Annett lined up 11th for the restart. It would be his first attempt at restarting on the bottom line.

Annett lost two spots on the first lap of green and another just after that, but a quick caution flag for an accident in Turns 1 and 2 allowed him to advance to 12th and restart on the preferred top line again. As the action around the track picked up Annett moved up and down the standings, as high as 12th and as low as 14th, before passing Haley again at lap 180 to take 11th place. With 11 laps remaining, the Iowa driver picked off JRM teammate Noah Gragson to move back into the top 10, but Gragson kept coming and retook 10th place with three laps remaining. Annett made a charge at the end but was unable to reclaim the top 10 at the checkered.

Bell was followed to the finish line by Cole Custer, JRM’s Justin Allgaier, Tyler Reddick and Paul Menard. Chase Briscoe was sixth, followed by JRM’s Ryan Truex, Ryan Sieg, Brandon Jones and Gragson.

Michael Annett, driver No. 1 Pilot Flying J team

“New Hampshire is a place that is difficult to get around, and if you’re a little off it can be a long day. We had a good car at times today, but the heat and the track made for a lot of changes that had to be made. We tried a few things with our Pilot Flying J Chevrolet that we’ll take with us to Iowa next week, and thanks to Travis (crew chief Travis Mack) and the crew for working hard all weekend.”

XFINITY Series Schedule

  • August 24 03:00 PM ET
    CTECH Manufacturing 180Road America
  • August 31 04:00 PM ET
    Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200Darlington Raceway
  • September 7 03:00 PM ET
    Indiana 250Indianapolis Motor Speedway
  • September 14 07:30 PM ET
    Rhino Pro Truck Outfitters 300Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • September 20 07:30 PM ET
    Go Bowling 250Richmond Raceway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Food City 300

Bristol Motor Speedway | 8/16/2019
1Tyler Reddick9780
2Christopher Bell924-54
3Cole Custer839-139
4Justin Allgaier819-159
5Austin Cindric785-193
6Chase Briscoe #742-236
7Noah Gragson #728-250
8Michael Annett695-283