Gragson Leads JRM Contingent with Top-Three Effort at Daytona Road Course

8/16/2020

Bass Pro Shops Brandt Daniel Hemric Daytona Daytona Road Course Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J Poppy Bank Race Report TrueTimber XFINITY Series

Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier paved the way for team JRM during the wild debut of the Xfinity Series at Daytona's iconic road course.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

Race 19 of 33: UNOH 188 at Daytona International Speedway Road Course
Track Specs: 3.61-mile road course / 52 laps
Weather: Partly cloudy; 79 degrees
Race Winner: Austin Cindric

Gragson's Finish: 3rd

Allgaier's Finish: 9th

Annett's Finish: 15th

Hemric's Finish: 37th 

 


 

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet, finished third in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series UNOH 188 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course. Gragson started the race from the third position after the lineup was set by a mathematical equation set by owner’s points, finishing position and fastest lap from the week prior. Gragson captured stage points in Stage One and drove to the lead in Stage Two before finishing third in the inaugural race at the famed road course.

Stage One Finish: 2nd

Gragson fired off from the third position after the lineup was set by a mathematical equation earlier in the week for the 52-lap event. The 22-year-old maintained his top-three track position from the drop of the green flag before having to serve a stop and go penalty on-track for missing the Turn 14 chicane, but fortunately only lost one position as a result of the penalty. Differing strategies set in as a car slowed on track with Gragson sitting in the second position as the first yellow flag of the event flew on lap 12. Pitting for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, Gragson restarted the race from seventh with only one lap remaining in the stage. The driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro used newer tires to his advantage as he drove up to second during the final lap of Stage One and earned nine stage points to start the afternoon off.

Stage Two Finish: 25th

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 lead. Coming out of Turn 4, Gragson got his right-side tires off track, sending him sliding off-course and into the tire barrier located in Turn 5. The yellow flag flew immediately and Gragson came to the pits to fix the slight damage that was sustained in addition to changing all four tires and adding fuel. Gragson made quick work of the cars in front of him on the ensuing restart as he jumped from 28th to 17th in only one lap. A lap 20 caution slowed the field and Gragson brought the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro back to pit road to fix a slight tire rub and to top off with fuel. Restarting 27th on lap 22, Gragson drove to 15th within three laps before returning to pit road for four tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment just before the stage-end. Nursing the car back to the green-and-white checkered flag in order to save tires and fuel, Gragson finished Stage Two in the 25th position.

Final Stage:  

Crew chief Dave Elenz called Gragson to pit road during the final stage break for fuel only to ensure they could make it to the end without running out. Gragson restarted from 16th and jumped inside of the top 10 one lap later. A lap 42 caution brought the field back to pace car speed as Gragson ran in the eighth position. Pitting for four tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment, Gragson gained two spots during the stop but would restart 10th as a variety of strategies took place during the caution period.

Smoke would engulf Turn 1 once the race got back underway as the leaders locked their tires up from braking too hard and an incident and caution flag was soon to follow. Gragson made it through unscathed and gained three spots during the mishap. Restarting seventh, Gragson was able to drive his way inside of the top five and into the third position before the checkered flag waved on the 52-lap inaugural event at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course.

This finish marks Gragson’s ninth top-five and 13th top-10 finish of the 2020 season.

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

“I had a lot of fun today running this track for the first time. I messed up entering Turn 5 while leading and that set us back but luckily a yellow flag came out immediately which saved our day. The JR Motorsports guys got the car fixed up and we were able to drive back to a third-place finish. What a whirlwind of a day but I am glad to get back to finishing up front.”


Justin Allgaier
 

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro, rebounded for a ninth-place finish in Saturday’s road course race at Daytona International Speedway after contact from another car sent the JR Motorsports driver for a spin with three laps to go while running third. It was the first time the NASCAR Xfinity Series competed on the 3.61-mile course. The ninth-place result was Allgaier’s second top-10 finish in three starts on road courses in 2020. He remains seventh in the NXS point standings.

Stage One Finish: 6th

Firing off from the 17th position, Allgaier took good care of his Camaro, steadily gaining positions while adjusting to the new track. By lap 3 he had worked his way up to ninth and radioed that he needed more forward drive, but that the balance and brakes were good. He was scored in the fourth position when the first caution of the race came out late in the stage. Under the yellow, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier in for fresh tires and fuel for the BRANDT Camaro.

The JRM driver restarted in ninth and battled his way to sixth before the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end Stage One.

Stage Two Finish: 9th

Staying out under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier started the second stage in fourth and was battling hard for position when a quick caution came out before the field could complete a lap under green. Allgaier was concerned that he had flat spotted his tires, so the team opted to bring the No. 7 Camaro to pit road for four tires and fuel.

After the 34-year-old driver returned to the track, Burdett relayed that they had made a good call as the team had discovered a pretty good flat spot on one of his tires. Allgaier restarted in 21st on lap 19 and maneuvered his way to ninth before Stage Two concluded on lap 30. The team called Allgaier back to pit road under the stage-ending caution for four tires and fuel.

Final Stage:

Allgaier lined up for the final stage from the 11th position on lap 32 and methodically moved his way forward into the seventh position by lap 41. Just two laps later the caution came out, giving the team an opportunity to make their final pit stop of the day for four fresh tires and fuel. Allgaier restarted in the ninth position after some cars opted to stay out and navigated his way up to third, avoiding big chaos in Turn 1 that brought out a caution.

The field went back to green with five laps to go and Allgaier was still running in the third position when contact with the No. 16 sent him for a spin with three laps remaining in the race. Allgaier was able to avoid damage to his BRANDT Camaro and continued on, rebounding to score a ninth-place finish.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet

“I’m really proud of everyone on this BRANDT Professional Agriculture team. The guys did a really good job and made big gains all day. The pit crew did a great job getting track position. The spotters did awesome just getting me into the right spots. It’s not the first time AJ’s (AJ Allmendinger) wrecked me and it’s hard when the same person wrecks you over and over again. We’ll move on to Dover next week and keep digging.”


Michael Annett 


Michael Annett was in position for an eighth consecutive top-10 finish on Saturday on the road course at Daytona International Speedway, but a broken axle on the final lap relegated him and the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet to a 15th-place finish in the UNOH 188 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines. Despite finishing outside the top 10 for the first time since June 20 at Talladega, Annett remains eighth in series points, a solid 186 points above the playoff cutline.

Stage One Finish: 9th    

In the first week using NASCAR’s new starting lineup selection method, Annett lined up seventh for the start of the inaugural 52-lap event on the storied Daytona road course. With no practice and on a new course, Annett gained a pair of positions on the first lap. The Iowa driver remained in the top 12 until lap 12, when the caution came out for the first time. Several cars took the opportunity to come to pit road, but crew chief Travis Mack elected to keep Annett on the track for track position in the 15-lap Stage One. Restarting from the front row with two laps remaining, Annett finished ninth at the green-checkered flag to bank a pair of stage points. Needing forward drive on the slow infield sections, Mack called Annett to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment to help his driver move forward. The drivers who pitted ahead of Annett moved up during the stop, and Annett would take the green flag from 20th position.

Stage Two Finish: 26th    

After a couple of incidents on the restart brought out another caution flag, Annett moved up to 15th for the second start. Another caution for debris two laps later put Annett in the top 10 until Mack called him back to pit road on lap 27 for tires and fuel ahead of the Stage Two break. Exiting pit road after his stop, Annett slotted in 26th and remained there until the end of Stage Two. Returning to pit road, Annett got a full tank of fuel for the final 20-lap run to the checkered flag and would start the final segment from 12th.

Final Stage:

Still battling handling issues on the infield part of the circuit, Annett was running 15th in the order on lap 43 when the yellow waved again for debris. Mack brought Annett to pit road for fuel and four tires with an air-pressure adjustment. Firing off 15th, Annett was in the thick of a massive off-track excursion in Turn 1 which saw several cars leave the racing surface. Annett managed to miss the carnage and gained four positions. On the following restart attempt, Annett was 10th when Jade Buford spun directly to Annett’s right. Annett managed to miss the spinning car and gained a spot in the exchange, putting him back in the top 10.

Annett was eighth with three laps remaining and was holding 10th position on the final lap when the axle broke after hitting a curb in the chicane. He would finish 15th on the day.

Austin Cindric won the race over Brandon Jones, JR Motorsports’ Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger and Andy Lally. Jeremy Clements headed the second five, with Riley Herbst, Harrison Burton, JRM’s Justin Allgaier and Myatt Snyder rounding out the top 10.

Michael Annett, driver No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet team

“I hit the curb on the final lap and the axle broke. We were in line to finish in the top 10 again, and the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet was pretty good all day. I just couldn’t turn in Turns 3 and 5, and that made it difficult to make up positions that we needed. It was pretty wild out there, even for a first visit. On the final restart, I just followed everybody off the track, which wasn’t that smart, but I didn’t dent any fenders. We’ll go to Dover next weekend and start another streak.”


Daniel Hemric


Daniel Hemric had methodically worked his way into the top 10 in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course before an incident following a lap 14 restart severely damaged the nose of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet. With heavy rain falling throughout the weekend in Daytona, Hemric found himself submerged in the grass, unable to get rolling again due to the damage to the front end of his JR Motorsports Camaro. After initially hoping that with the help of a tow truck he would make it back to pit road for repairs, it was discovered that the damage was too severe to continue, ending Hemric’s day prematurely and relegating him to a 37th-place finish.  

Stage One Finish: 28th   

Hemric took the green flag for the 52-lap event from the 23rd position after the field was set via a new formula by NASCAR earlier this week that is based on the previous week’s finishing position, the team’s fastest lap run in the previous event and where the team is ranked in the owner standings. Right from the onset Hemric marched forward, charging up to the 12th position by the completion of lap 3. The driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet continued his ascent up the leaderboard from there, racing into the top 10 and up to ninth by the time the first caution flag of the event was displayed on lap 12.

While under this caution period, crew chief Taylor Moyer called the driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment after Hemric reported that he needed help with rear stability in the hard-braking zones. Returning to the track for the one-lap shootout to end Stage One in 10th, Hemric entered Turn 1 three-wide for position. However, as the field exited the first corner, contact from another car running behind Hemric knocked him sideways, sending the Kannapolis, N.C. native hard into the retaining wall and badly damaging the nose of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet. This damage proved to be too severe to continue on, bringing an end to Hemric’s afternoon shy of the finish.

In the end, Hemric was scored with a 37th-place finish.

Despite the result, the No. 8 team remains 11th in the owner standings, 25 points ahead of the 12th and final playoff position. 

Daniel Hemric, driver No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet team 

“We were making a lot of progress with our Poppy Bank Chevrolet, getting up there in the top 10 and in position to keep moving forward. I just hate that we ran into trouble again. This team is tough and resilient and we will rebound from this. We all have a never-give-up attitude and we will be ready to go for both Jeb (Burton) and I next week in Dover.”

 

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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