JRM Secures a Pair of Top-10 Finishes at Road America

8/8/2020

Allstate Parts Bass Pro Shops Brandt Daniel Hemric Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Poppy Bank Race Report Road America TrueTimber XFINITY Series

JRM's four-car contingent brought home a pair a top-10 finishes after a strong outing from each of its teams.

Race 18 of 33: Henry 180 at Road America
Track Specs: 4.048-mile road course / 45 laps
Weather: Sunny; 82 degrees
Race Winner: Austin Cindric

Gragson's Finish: 6th

Annett's Finish: 10th

Allgaier's Finish: 30th

Hemric's Finish: 35th

 


Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet, finished sixth in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Henry 180 at Road America. Gragson started the race from the ninth position after the lineup was set by a random draw earlier in the week. Gragson struggled to find the balance on the No. 9 Camaro but was able to drive his way to a sixth-place finish, his 12th top-10 finish of the year.

Stage One Finish: 21st

Gragson fired off from the 9th position after the lineup was set by a random draw earlier in the week for the 45-lap event. The first caution flag of the event flew on lap 2 as Gragson climbed to seventh. The 22-year-old dropped to eighth on the ensuing restart but remained in the top 10 by the time the next caution flag flew. Before going back green, lightning struck within 10 miles and the field was forced down pit road to begin a lengthy red flag period. When the cars returned to the track, teams used varying strategies of when to use wet versus dry tires as rain fell periodically during the red flag. Choosing to remain on the dry, slick tires, Gragson requested to restart from the rear of the field in order to avoid any trouble during the final laps of the opening stage. Lining up in 28th, Gragson made quick moves but was slowed by another caution flag on lap 11.

The Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee team made the decision to pit again to put rain tires on as the rain had picked up and water started settling on the surface of the track. Restarting from 26th with one lap remaining in Stage One, Gragson was able to move his way up to take the green-and-white checkered flag in the 21st position.

Stage Two Finish: 14th

The driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro decided not to pit following the stage-break and restarted from the seventh position. Gragson made quick work of the top –running cars and jumped to the lead on lap 20. However, Gragson wheel-hopped entering a sharp left-handed corner, forcing him to slow and run off track before re-entering the field in third on lap 21. Crew chief Dave Elenz called Gragson to pit road on lap 26 to change from rain tires back to slicks. Following the stop, the field was slowed for another caution on lap 27, catching Gragson in the 27th position. This caution period ultimately ended the stage, but Gragson was able to move up to 14th by the time he took the green-and-white checkered as several of the leaders had to pit before the stage end.

Final Stage:  

Prior to the final stage getting underway, Gragson came back into the pits for fuel only after having just taken tires one lap earlier. Restarting from fourth, Gragson was able to run in the sixth position until a lap 39 yellow caught Gragson in the seventh position. Pitting for four tires, Gragson restarted in 11th and was able to gain three spots before a lap 41 yellow. Restarting eighth, Gragson and the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro gained two spots over the final two laps to ultimately earn a sixth-place finish. The top-10 result is his 12th top 10 of the 2020 season.

Noah Gragson, driver No. 9  Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro SS

 

“Today was both frustrating and great at the same time. I didn’t feel like we had the speed towards the beginning of the race but then the rain started falling and that was some of the most fun I have ever had on the race track. We were able to drive to the lead before I made a mistake, but I can’t thank this No. 9 team enough for bringing another great car to the track. To get a finish back in the top 10 and just outside of the top five felt good and we will take what we learned today to Daytona next week as we take on a track that very few have any experience on.

Michael Annett

A valiant effort on the final lap of Saturday’s Henry 180 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars at Road America pushed Michael Annett into the top 10 at the finish of the 45-lap road-course event and ran his streak of consecutive top-10 finishes in the series to seven in a row. Annett passed Harrison Burton with less than a quarter-lap remaining to put his Allstate Parts and Service Chevrolet into the top 10. The Iowa native has averaged a seventh-place finish over the past seven races and remains eighth in series points with a healthy lead over the cut line.

 Stage One Finish: 7th     

Annett started the 45-lapper from the pole for the third straight race, but gave way to fellow front-row starter Austin Cindric at the entry to Turn 1. He continued to slide back through the field over the first lap, crossing the line in sixth. His slide continued over the next several laps, stopping at 14th on lap 6. The next time by, the caution waved for a car stopped on the front straightaway, and that put Annett 13th when the first of two delays for lightning stopped the field. After a couple of cancelled restarts, Annett pitted on lap 10 for rain tires. New pit-road procedures were in place for the race, which saw team members rather than dedicated crews perform the stops, and either tires or fuel could be taken, but not both at one time. The race restarted with three laps left in Stage One, and several cars decided to pit again for fuel only, which put Annett ninth under the green flag. He picked up two spots on the way to the green-checkered flag to end the stage and earned four stage points in the process. At the end of the stage, Annett pitted for fuel and lined up for the 15-lap Stage Two in 22nd position.

 Stage Two Finish: 9th     

Starting from the outside of Row 11, Annett began moving up immediately, crossing the line 19th after just one lap of green-flag racing. He was 17th at lap 24 when cars began hitting pit road to switch to slicks from the rapidly-degrading rain tires. Combined with a couple of off-course excursions ahead of him, Annett found himself ninth at lap 27 when the yellow waved for Jesse Little’s Chevrolet, which was beached in the gravel trap off Turn 3. There was some difficulty dragging Little’s car from the soggy pit, forcing NASCAR to end the stage under caution and allow Annett to earn stage points for the second time on the day with his ninth-place stage finish. At stage end, Annett pitted for four slick tires, returning the next time around for as much fuel as the No. 1 Chevrolet could take. He would restart 18th for the final run to the checkered flag.

 Final Stage:

On the restart that began the final stage, Annett took his time to sort out the handling of his Camaro before jumping to 15th with nine laps remaining. As the laps clicked away, the action heated up and that spawned a string of caution flags. The first came at lap 39, when Scott Heckert spun at the top of Turn 6 and could not re-fire his car. That allowed Annett to dive to pit road for fuel to the end. On the restart, Annett took off from 16th position and missed a huge crash at the front of the field that caught JRM teammate Justin Allgaier among others. Once the cleanup was finished, Annett took the green flag for the final three laps in 12th place, chasing Burton and others for the top 10. He took 11th place one lap later and was in position when Burton bobbled in one of the final corners to earn 10th place at the checkered flag.

 Austin Cindric won the race over AJ Allmendinger, Chase Briscoe, Kaz Grala and road-race veteran Andy Lally. JRM’s Noah Gragson led the second five, with Ross Chastain, Preston Pardus, Ryan Sieg and Annett in tow.

Michael Annett, driver No. 1 Allstate Parts and Service Chevrolet team

 

“That was a pretty wild day here at Road America. We played a good strategy, had a setup in the Allstate Parts and Service Chevrolet that we could work with given the weather, and we managed to get to the top-10 at the checkered flag. It’s all about points as we head to the playoffs, and we’re doing a good job of staying where we need to be.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro, was battling inside the top 10 after a late-race restart in Saturday’s event at Road America when he was involved in a multi-car incident. Allgaier made heavy impact with a retaining wall, causing severe damage to the BRANDT Camaro and ending his day early. The 34-year-old driver was relegated to a 30th-place finish.

Stage One Finish: P6

Firing off from the 12th position after the field was set by random draw, Allgaier had little time to get a feel for his Camaro before a quick caution came out on lap 2. He restarted in the same position and had worked his way up to 10th when another yellow flag waved on lap 8. During the caution period a weather system entered the area, causing a lengthy red flag for lightning.

Once the red flag lifted, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for rain tires to help navigate the slick track. The JR Motorsports driver restarted just inside the top 10 and raced his way to sixth before the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end Stage One. During the stage break, the team took the opportunity to pack the No. 7 Camaro full of fuel.

Stage Two Finish: P12

With teams on varying pit strategies, Allgaier lined up 21st for the start of Stage Two on lap 18 and methodically advanced his position to 16th by lap 21. As the weather cleared the area, Allgaier continued to give feedback to the team on the amount of moisture on the track. Once it was dry enough, the team called Allgaier to pit road for a green-flag stop on lap 23 to switch to the dry, slick tires. Some other teams followed suit as the laps wound down in Stage Two and Allgaier ended the stage in the 12th position.

 Under the stage-ending caution, Burdett radioed Allgaier to bring the No. 7 Camaro to pit road for fuel-only.

 Final Stage:

When the field lined up for the final stage, Allgaier was in the second position and wasted little time battling for the lead once the green flag dropped on lap 33. The Illinois native led for one lap before being surpassed by a car with fresher tires, but continued to race inside the top five. When a caution came out with six laps remaining, Allgaier and the No. 7 team took the opportunity to get a set of fresh tires.

 He restarted inside the top 10 with four laps to go and was battling for position when he was involved in a multi-car incident that sent him off the track and into a retaining wall. The contact caused big damage to BRANDT Camaro and brought an early end to Allgaier’s day. He was ultimately scored with a 30th-place finish and remains seventh in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.

 Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet

“I’m really disappointed our day ended the way it did. This No. 7 team worked hard all day long and we had some good speed in our BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro. I really thought we had a shot at a top-five finish, but instead we ended up with a wrecked racecar. Eventually our luck will turn around. We’ll head back and regroup and hopefully put together a solid finish at Daytona.”

 

Daniel Hemric

Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet, was battling for position inside the top 10 in the early laps of Stage One in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Road America before an engine issue coming to the completion of lap 7 caused the JR Motorsports driver to slow on the front straightaway. After diagnosing what was wrong, it was discovered that the issue was something that the team would be unable to repair, ultimately ending Hemric’s day shy of the finish. Despite the result, the No. 8 team remains 50 points ahead of the 12th and final playoff position in the owner standings.  

Stage One Finish: 35th   

Hemric took the green flag for the scheduled 45-lap event from the 10th position after the field was once again set via a random draw earlier in the week. Once under way, the driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet patiently worked forward, taking advantage of a lap 4 restart following a quick caution on lap 2 to move into ninth. Then, while battling for position with JRM teammates Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier, Hemric radioed to crew chief Taylor Moyer that there was an issue with the engine, causing him to dramatically slow on the long frontstretch at Road America and ultimately come to a stop at the exit of pit road. After surveying what was wrong, it was determined that the engine issue was unfortunately a terminal one, bringing a premature end to Hemric’s afternoon.

 Hemric was ultimately scored with a 35th-place finish.   

 Daniel Hemric, driver No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet team 

“Man, I hate that that happened for everyone on this Poppy Bank team. We had a lot of speed right from the start of the race and we just didn’t really get a chance to make anything happen. It’s unfortunate but we will rebound from this and be ready to go next weekend at the Daytona road course.”

 

 


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XFINITY Series Schedule

XFINITY Series Standings

After Desert Diamond West Valley Casino 200*

Phoenix Raceway | 11/7/2020
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Austin Cindric (P)40400
2Justin Allgaier (P)4032-8
3Justin Haley (P)4029-11
4Chase Briscoe (P)4028-12
5Noah Gragson2306-1734
6Brandon Jones2273-1767
7Ross Chastain2270-1770
8Harrison Burton #2248-1792
9Michael Annett2202-1838