Berry Claims NXS Win at Martinsville; Gragson Brings Home Dash 4 Cash Bonus

JR Motorsports | 4/11/2021

Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet Dash4Cash Josh Berry Justin Allgaier Martinsville Speedway Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J True Timber Walmart XFINITY Series

Josh Berry drove to victory in Sunday’s rain-delayed event at Martinsville Speedway, while teammate Noah Gragson brought home the $100k Dash 4 Cash bonus.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

Race 7 of 33: Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway 
Track Specs: 0.526-mile oval / 250 laps
Weather: Mostly cloudy; 72 degrees
Race Winner: Josh Berry

Berry's Finish: 1st 

Gragson's Finish: 2nd 

Allgaier's Finish: 9th

Annett's Finish: 10th 

 


Josh Berry

Josh Berry, driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet, scored his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. Berry, who started 29th, had driven his way into the lead on Friday night before falling to second as the race was red-flagged for rain. Restarting the race Sunday afternoon, Berry remained locked in as he drove his No. 8 Camaro to the lead late in the final stage to secure his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win in only his 13th start.

Stage One Finish: 20th

Berry took the green flag in the 29th position for the 250-lap event after the field was once again set via NASCAR’s mathematical formula earlier in the week. The Hendersonville, Tenn. native methodically battled his way inside the top 20 as the competition caution waved on lap 25. Remaining on track, Berry restarted from 20th and utilized the high line to gain two positions before a lap-42 caution slowed the field. Once again choosing the outside lane, Berry gained another two positions as the caution waved after a short five-lap run. Pitting for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, Berry restarted from the 28th position. Remaining patient in order to keep the Chevy Accessories Camaro clean, Berry crossed under the green-and-checkered flag in 20th to end Stage One on lap 60.

Stage Two Finish: 10th

During the stage-ending caution, crew chief Taylor Moyer made the call for the driver of the Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet to stay on track as they had pitted just 10 laps prior to the stage break. Cycling out to the fourth position following varying pit strategies, Berry once again restarted from the outside. Using what he learned from his 2019 ValleyStar 300 Late Model win at the .526-mile paperclip, Berry worked his way to the lead on lap 80. Rain began falling and Berry surrendered the lead just one lap shy of NASCAR waving the yellow flag, ultimately changing to red as the rain started falling harder. NASCAR moved the remainder of the race to Sunday afternoon and Berry picked up where he left off. Restarting from inside of the second row, Berry settled into fifth until a lap-106 yellow slowed the field. The 30-year-old brought his Chevy Accessories Camaro to pit road for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment to alleviate a tight-rolling Chevy. Returning to the track in the 18th position for the lap-113 restart, Berry wasted no time moving forward as he raced back inside the top 10. Berry crossed under the green-and-white checkered on lap 120 in the 10th-place, adding one important stage point to his day’s total.

Final Stage:

Varying pit strategies again saw Berry restart the final stage from second position and he was able to work the high side to take the lead immediately following the drop of the green flag. A lap-140 caution bunched the field together as Berry continued to pace the field in his Chevy Accessories Camaro. Restarting from the lead on lap 145, Berry maintained focus and kept his No. 8 Chevy out front as caution flags on lap 154 and lap 176 brought the field back together. Pitting for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment following the lap-176 yellow, Berry restarted from the inside of row four. Using the front bumper of his Camaro when needed, Berry worked his way back to the lead on lap 187, setting up a battle with a hard-charging Ty Gibbs. Surrendering the lead to Gibbs on lap 195, Berry set his sights forward.

A lap-206 yellow, as Berry was working his way around Gibbs for the lead, bunched the field together and trapped Berry in the second position. Restarting from the outside of row one, Berry was able to work his way to the bottom behind the 54, eventually taking the lead on lap 222. From there, the 2020 NASCAR Weekly Series National Champion never looked back.

Berry captured his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory, which was also the first for the JR Motorsports No. 8 and for crew chief Taylor Moyer. In doing so, Berry also locked into the NASCAR Xfinity Dash 4 Cash at Talladega in two weeks’ time and will do battle for the $100,000 bonus on NASCAR’s biggest oval track.

Josh Berry, driver No. 8 Chevrolet Accessories Chevrolet team

“Man, I am so happy to be here in Victory Lane with this No. 8 Chevy Accessories team. They work so hard throughout the week and we’ve had a rough couple of weeks that led up to this point, but this win makes up for it. Taylor (Moyer) called a perfect race and the car felt so good on the long run, we just needed to get to that point. I can’t thank everyone enough that has helped me get to this point, especially Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. for giving me this opportunity.”


Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson made the most of an opportunity in Sunday’s conclusion to the Cook Out 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway, posting a runner-up finish in his No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet and taking the first $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus of the season. The Las Vegas driver posted his second straight top-five finish and third in the last four races and picked up his second Dash 4 Cash payout, adding to the one he earned last season at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Stage One Finish: 1st  

Gragson fired off from the eighth position for the 250-lap event on the tight .526-mile oval after the lineup was set earlier in the week per NASCAR’s mathematical formula. Feeling out the surface under the lights, Gragson gained a position on the initial break and ran seventh through the first caution flag before jumping up to fourth at lap 12. He stayed there until lap 25 when the competition caution flew. Under caution, Gragson reported that was a little free on entry to the tight corners at Martinsville and that he had picked up a whiff of brakes, but didn’t need any handling adjustments at the time. He stayed out through the stoppage, and would restart fourth at lap 33. On the green flag, Gragson began to move forward, taking third place the next time by and chasing Austin Cindric for second. He caught Cindric five laps later and darted the inside into second. On lap 51, the caution waved for a spin in Turn 1 and set up a strategy call for Gragson and crew chief Dave Elenz. Pitting would give up a potential stage win but set Gragson up for success in Stage Two. Staying out would improve the chances of a stage victory but put him back in the order for Stage Two. Gragson told Elenz he wanted to stay out, saying he was going to win the stage. He remained on the track and easily sped to the stage victory at lap 60, collecting 10 bonus points and a playoff point. Coming to pit road after the stage end, Gragson took four tires and fuel with no adjustments and returned to the track in 17th position once the order was set.

Stage Two Finish: 2nd

Restarting on the bottom line, Gragson began Stage Two by doing what he had done in Stage One: advancing forward. The young driver needed just five laps to regain the top 10 and was ninth at lap 91 when the skies opened up. The resulting rain caused postponement of the event until Sunday afternoon. When the race resumed under sunny skies, Gragson fired off from eighth position and picked up where he left off when the rains came. In just two laps, he was back in the top five and stayed in the middle of the top 10 through a lap-107 caution flag for a spin in Turn 4. Staying out once again, Gragson advanced to third place for the restart at lap 112 and took second place a lap later. He would finish second in Stage Two, adding another nine points to his total for the day. Heading to pit road for four more tires and fuel, Gragson told Elenz he was happy with the Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet and the team was still on plan for the finish. Following the pit service, he returned to the track for the final stage in 21st position.

Final Stage:

When the green flag waved at lap 132 to begin the final stage, Gragson followed the same script as before by gaining positions early. Five laps into the final segment, Gragson had cracked the top 15 and just 15 laps after that, at lap 151, he was back in the top 10. Soon after that, and just before the caution waved again at lap 154, Gragson thought he had a right rear tire going flat. It turned out to be a false alarm. Gragson told Elenz he was glad for the cautions because he was restarting so well. Taking the green flag at lap 160 from ninth position, the young driver resumed his march forward. At lap 177, Gragson was seventh when the caution waved for the 11th time on the day for a two-car crash in Turns 3 and 4. Gragson chose to come down pit road at that time, banking on new tires helping him keep moving up the order. As he headed onto pit road, Gragson told Elenz he was good enough to beat his competition straight up and didn’t want to second-guess the call. After taking four tires and fuel to the end, Gragson returned to the track in 13th place.

On the lap-184 restart, Gragson made a big move to seventh place by the end of the lap, and needed just two more to regain the top five. He moved to fourth at lap 188 and tracked down Brandon Jones for third at lap 204. As the laps wound down, Gragson would continue to advance, taking second place with 27 laps remaining in the event. That put him behind teammate Josh Berry for the final run to the checkered flag, and Gragson finished a half-second behind at the checkered. The runner-up finish also secured the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus for Gragson and put him in the field for the second at Talladega Superspeedway on April 24. Racking up an impressive 54 points on the day, Gragson gained three positions to 11th in the standings, 149 behind the leader, after seven races.

Berry and Gragson were followed to the stripe by Daniel Hemric, Ty Gibbs and Brandon Jones in the top five. Cindric led the second five, followed by Harrison Burton, Justin Haley and JR Motorsports teammates Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett.

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

“It feels good to have another finishing position that showcased the amount of speed we have had this year. I can’t thank Dave Elenz enough and everyone that helps out with this No. 9 team. We may not have won but we brought home the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash payday and qualified for the next one, so I can’t wait to get to Talladega in a few weeks. I am so happy for not only my teammate but one of my really great friends, Josh Berry, on grabbing his first NASCAR national series win, I’m just glad to be able to share the track with him here at Martinsville because he’s a legend.”

 


Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 Walmart Fight Hunger Spark Change Chevrolet, earned a hard-fought ninth-place finish in the rain-marred NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday afternoon. With the result, Allgaier has now scored a finish inside the top 10 in three consecutive races dating back to Phoenix Raceway last month.

Stage One Finish: 18th

Allgaier lined up for the 250-lap event from the second position on Friday evening after the field was set via NASCAR’s mathematical formula earlier in the week. From the drop of the green flag, Allgaier reported to crew chief Jason Burdett that the Walmart Fight Hunger Spark Change Chevrolet was tight-rolling through the center of the corner. Despite this tight-handling condition, Allgaier continued to battle for position inside the top five throughout the caution-filled opening 40 laps. Then, during a lap-49 caution period, Burdett made the strategy call to bring Allgaier to pit road with the plan to remain on the track at the conclusion of Stage One, which was just 10 laps away.

Pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment, Allgaier was scored 25th for the five-lap shootout to end the opening stage. The JR Motorsports driver improved seven positions over the closing laps to take the green-and-white checkered flag in 18th

Stage Two Finish: 22nd 

The strategy call to pit prior to the end of Stage One proved fortuitous, as Allgaier stayed out during the stage-ending caution, catapulting the Illinois native up to second for the start of Stage Two on lap 67. However, while Allgaier continued to fight for position, the skies began to open up and heavy rains fell on the Virginia short track, leading to the red flag being displayed on lap 89. With the rain persisting throughout the evening, NASCAR was forced to postpone the remainder of the event until Sunday.

Returning to the track under bright blue skies, the Sunday-afternoon matinee was set to commence. Once the red flag was lifted, Burdett made the call to bring Allgaier to pit road for a chassis adjustment in the hopes of improving the tight-handling condition that hindered the team Friday night. Taking the green flag from 27th following the stop, the driver of the Walmart Fight Hunger Spark Change Chevrolet charged forward, quickly improving 11 positions to 16th before the field was slowed by a lap-105 caution period. While under caution, Allgaier made a return trip to pit road to utilize the same strategy that the team did on Friday night just prior to the conclusion of Stage One. Pitting for four tires and fuel, the JRM driver took the lap-112 restart from 26th, but was able to get back to the 22nd position by the time the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed to end Stage Two on lap 120.

Final Stage:

Opting to once again stay out during this stage-ending caution, Allgaier lined up for the start of the third and final stage from the 12th position and quickly moved forward, rejoining the top 10 and moving up to ninth before a flurry of caution flags were displayed over the 20 laps that followed. The driver of the Walmart Fight Hunger Spark Change Chevrolet continued to fight for position inside the top 10 on the ensuing restart, despite reporting that the tight-handling condition while rolling through the center of the corner persisted. Although not handling to his liking, Allgaier remained in the 10th position when a lap-175 caution provided Burdett with one last opportunity to bring the JRM driver to pit road for fresh tires and adjustments.

Due to a variety of strategies among the race leaders during this caution, Allgaier returned to the track for the lap-183 restart in 16th. Undeterred by the loss of track position, Allgaier methodically marched forward, needing just 10 laps to rejoin the top 10. Now back inside the top 10, Allgaier remained in lock-step formation with the race leaders until the final caution flag of the afternoon was displayed on lap 204.

Choosing the inside line for the lap-210 restart, Allgaier quickly worked his way forward, improving two positions over the closing laps to take the checkered flag in ninth and secure his third consecutive top-10 result.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Walmart Fight Hunger Spark Change Chevrolet team

“We battled hard all day long with our Walmart Fight Hunger Spark Change Chevrolet and I can’t thank Jason (Burdett, crew chief) and everyone on this team enough for all of their hard work throughout this weekend. We’ll move on from today and take what we learned to be ready to come back here in the fall. Also, a big congratulations to my teammate Josh Berry on his first win. To see how hard Josh has fought for this opportunity and for it pay off like this is really awesome.”


Michael Annett 

Michael Annett and the Pilot Flying J team rallied in the final stage of the rain-delayed Cook Out 250 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines on Sunday afternoon, earning a 10th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway. It was the second consecutive top-10 finish for the Iowa native and his third in seven races so far this season.

Stage One Finish: 28th     

Annett rolled off from 10th position on Friday night and started to move up immediately. He was eighth after two laps, but began to develop a tight condition in the front end of his Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. After dropping back to 13th on a restart early in the 60-lap Stage One, Annett reported to crew chief Mike Bumgarner that he had good forward drive but his car was tight in the corners. At the competition caution at lap 25, the condition worsened, as the car had picked up a chatter in the right front that did not allow him to free-roll the turns. When the race resumed, Annett had re-entered the top 10 with a good restart and held that track position, rising as high as eighth for a restart on lap 48. Two laps later, entering Turn 1, Annett wheel-hopped on the inside line and spun, bringing out the yellow flag with 10 laps remaining in the stage. That dropped him to 37th in the running order, and Bumgarner called him to pit road for tires and an adjustment to help his handling issues. Following the stop, Annett restarted from 35th position with five laps remaining until the green-and-white checkered flag would wave to end the stage. He gained seven positions in that span to end Stage One in 28th place. Since he stopped prior to the end of the stage, Annett would stay out for the beginning of Stage Two and rise to 10th in the running order.

Stage Two Finish: 4th    

On the start of Stage Two, Annett grabbed ninth position on the initial break and would stay in the top 10 until lap 78, when the handling issues returned. The car was still free, and while Annett was able to maintain 11th place, the front end was not fully in the track. He was still 11th when the rains came and he took the red flag at lap 91 in 11th. The storm was enough to postpone the remainder of the race until Sunday afternoon.

When the race resumed, this time under bright sunshine, Annett took the green flag from ninth position after moving up two spots thanks to the choose rule. The caution waved at lap 107 for a Josh Williams spin, and several cars took advantage of it to come to pit road. Annett stayed out and advanced to fifth for the restart at lap 113. With just seven laps remaining until the end of Stage Two, Annett was able to move up to fourth and finished there, earning seven valuable bonus points in doing so. Under caution, Annett told Bumgarner that his car took off better, but was loose at the three-quarter mark at both ends. Bumgarner responded with four tires and a pair of chassis adjustments designed to fix that problem, sending his driver back out in 24th position for the final stage, behind the cars that had pitted earlier.

Final Stage:

With 119 laps until the finish, Annett had his work cut out for him. Once the field was back under green, Annett began moving forward, gaining two positions on the first lap and five more over the next six to run 17th. Following a caution that further bunched the field, Annett was mired near the tail end of the top 20 but told Bumgarner that his Pilot Flying J Camaro was decent in all respects except for not being able to drive off the corners. Maintaining position near the back of the top 20, Annett climbed to 15th at lap 172, a few laps before a two-car crash in Turn 3 slowed the action once again. Under caution, Annett came to pit road for four tires and a wedge adjustment to help his entry and drive off. The caution jumbled the field, as most of the top runners hit pit road as well, leaving Annett in 22nd for the restart at lap 184. The changes immediately paid dividends, as Annett began to climb the order once again. He cracked the top 15 at lap 193 and was 14th with 50 laps remaining in the 250-lap race. A caution flag waved at lap 206 with Annett in 13th position. It would be the last stoppage of the day.

Over the final 40 laps, Annett marched forward and got back into the top 10 with eight laps remaining by passing Jeb Burton. Annett would maintain that position to the checkered flag to post his second straight top-10 finish and third of the season.

JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry won the race, his first career triumph in the series, and also qualified for the next round of the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash. Teammate Noah Gragson was second and claimed the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus and will race for it again at Talladega. Daniel Hemric was third, with Ty Gibbs and Brandon Jones rounded out the top five. Austin Cindric was sixth, followed by Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, JRM’s Justin Allgaier and Annett.

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

“We had to fight pretty hard today, but we got another top-10 finish. Really happy for Josh (Berry) and the No. 8 team. That was a great race for them. We couldn’t keep the front end working until that last pit stop, and the adjustment that Mike (crew chief Mike Bumgarner) made allowed me to really hunt the bottom over that last stint. We definitely got the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet better, and it paid off.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • April 24 04:00 PM ET
    Ag-Pro 300Talladega Superspeedway
  • May 8 01:00 PM ET
    Steakhouse Elite 200Darlington Raceway
  • May 15 01:30 PM ET
    Dover International Speedway
  • May 22 04:00 PM ET
    Pit Boss 250Circuit of the Americas
  • May 29 01:00 PM ET
    Alsco Uniforms 300 at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Cook Out 250

Martinsville Speedway | 4/9/2021
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Austin Cindric3170
2Daniel Hemric275-42
3Harrison Burton242-75
4Justin Haley230-87
5Jeb Burton221-96
6AJ Allmendinger218-99
7Myatt Snider206-111
8Justin Allgaier199-118
11Noah Gragson168-149
12Michael Annett168-149