Allgaier Fourth in Championship Standings After Homestead Finale

JR Motorsports | 11/16/2019

Brandt Homestead Jeb Burton Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J PubG Mobile State Water Heaters XFINITY Series

Justin Allgaier finished fourth of the championship contenders in Saturday's season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Race 33 of 33: Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather: Partly Cloudy; 69 degrees
Race Winner: Tyler Reddick

 

Gragson's Finish: 4th
Burton's Finish: 9th
Annett's Finish: 11th
Allgaier's Finish: 14th

 

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 9 PUBG Mobile Chevrolet Camaro, closed out the 2019 season with a strong fourth-place finish in Saturday afternoon’s season finale for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Homestead-Miami Speedway. With today’s finish, Gragson concludes the 2019 NXS campaign with a total of nine top-fives, 22 top-10s and an overall average finish of 9.3. The JR Motorsports driver also with the result scored his 19th top-10 in the final 23 races, dating back to Charlotte Motor Speedway in May.

Gragson lined up for the 200-lap event from the 10th position after fighting a loose-handling condition during Saturday morning’s qualifying session. Despite the loose condition, the driver of the PUBG Mobile Chevrolet marched forward once under green, utilizing the outside line to race up to the sixth position before the first caution flag of the day was displayed on lap 4. Gragson fought inside the top 10 following the restart, maintaining his track position until a lap 32 caution provided crew chief Dave Elenz an opportunity to play with some strategy. With several of the leaders opting to come to pit road, Elenz made the call to keep Gragson out on the track, moving the JRM driver up to second for the lap 37 restart.

With the help of a strong restart, Gragson raced into the lead for the first time on lap 38 and held on to the top spot for two laps before the fresher tires from the cars behind prevailed. Fighting for all the track position he could in the closing laps of the stage, Gragson was ultimately shuffled back to 11th when the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed to end Stage One on lap 45.

During the stage-ending caution, Elenz called Gragson to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment after the 21-year-old driver reported that he was still fighting the loose-handling condition. Returning to the track following the stop in 11th, Gragson again pressed forward, taking advantage of a second stage dominated by long green flag runs to race back into the top 10 and up to sixth by the time Stage Two came to a close on lap 90.

Then, prior to the beginning of the final stage, the driver of the PUBG Mobile Chevrolet returned to pit road for four tires and another round of adjustments after reporting that he needed help with the rear-end security rolling through the corner. A strong stop by the pit crew gained the Las Vegas native two positions on pit road and sent Gragson back out for the ensuing restart in fourth. From there Gragson pressed forward, utilizing the outside line to charge into the race lead. Gragson would remain out front for the eight laps that followed before a tight-handling condition through the center of the corner shuffled the rookie driver back to fifth. Gragson would then maintain his top-five track position until a lap 122 caution period provided Elenz with another chance to make adjustments to the PUBG Mobile Chevrolet.

Gragson returned to the track for the lap 127 restart in third following another strong stop by the pit crew, but was quickly shuffled back to ninth after getting forced into a three-wide situation in between Turns 1 and 2. Undaunted by the loss of track position Gragson pushed on, taking advantage of strong long-run speed to drive back up to sixth before the lone round of green flag pit stops began on lap 160. After pitting for the final set of fresh tires Gragson continued to climb forward, using the momentum built by running up next to the wall to march back into the top five.

In the closing laps, Gragson would battle with the No. 98 of fellow rookie driver Chase Briscoe before taking the final checkered flag of the 2019 season in the fourth position.

Tyler Reddick scored the season-ending victory, with Cole Custer, Briscoe, Gragson and Christopher Bell rounding out the top five.

Noah Gragson, driver No. 9 PUBG Mobile team

“Tonight was fun. To be able to run up by the wall like we were and to make up time like we did all day long was really awesome. It was just a really fun night overall and I can’t thank everyone on this PUBG Mobile team enough. We fought hard all year long and learned a ton as a group that has me really excited for what next year will be for us. I’m just really proud to be a part of this team and to be a part of JR Motorsports. This is a great group and I can’t wait to see what we can do next year.”

 

Jeb Burton

Jeb Burton rounded out the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series season with a ninth-place finish in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The effort was hard fought as Burton and the No. 8 State Water Heaters team pulled together and rallied back from a cut tire. With the finish, Burton secured his sixth top 10 in seven races. For the No. 8 team, its season totals tally a stout seven top five and 23 top 10s among nine drivers along with a 10th-place finish in the championship points battle.

Burton fired off in 18th for the 200-lap event and rapidly wheeled his way to 15th by the race’s opening caution on lap five. His initial feedback on the No. 8 machine centered on a manageable “free condition”. Over the next several laps the condition faded, with Burton commenting, “I think we’re pretty good.” The team maintained the 11th spot until coming to pit road for its opening stop just before the conclusion of Stage One. Burton ultimately closed out the opening stage in seventh.

Lining up in eighth for the Stage Two restart, Burton found his way to fifth by lap 66. Over the next 10 laps he held tight to the position until debris punctured the right-rear tire of his Chevrolet, forcing Burton to hang on and limp the State Water Heaters entry back to pit road under green-flag conditions. The crew expeditiously changed four tires but not before Burton fell a lap down to the leaders. He ended Stage Two in 28th.

Burton took the wave around under the stage-ending caution which placed him back on the lead lap in 18th as the green flag emerged for the final stage. He went to work over the final 100 laps, climbing to 10th by lap 137 while wrestling a tight condition on the State Water Heaters Chevy. After the final round of pit stops on lap 160, Burton clawed back inside the top 10 and gained one additional position over the closing circuits to take the checkered flag in ninth.

Tyler Reddick won the race and the 2019 NXS championship. Cole Custer, Chase Briscoe, Noah Gragson and Christopher Bell rounded out the top-five finishers.

Jeb Burton, driver No. 8 State Water Heaters Chevrolet team

“This year has been a lot of fun running for JR Motorsports, State Water Heaters and LS Tractor. I can’t thank them enough and I appreciate everyone on this No. 8 team’s hard work. It was an up-and-down race for us. I just couldn’t run the wall like I needed to, but I’m glad we were able to rebound from the flat tire. That could have been much worse for us. We’ll keep digging. We learned a lot for next season and we’ll be ready to go after wins.”

 

 

Michael Annett

Michael Annett and the No. 1 Pilot Flying J ‘Thank You Veterans’ team raced to an 11th-place finish in the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, bringing an end to a tremendous NASCAR Xfinity Series season for them and for JR Motorsports.

Annett, the 33-year-old Iowa native, had his most successful season in the series in 2019, earning his first victory in February at Daytona International Speedway and advancing to the Round of 8 in the playoffs. Along the way, he posted six top-five and 19 top-10 finishes, which tied his career best in the former and set a new personal mark in the latter. He ended the season ninth in series points.

After qualifying 20th for the final 200 laps of the season, Annett began to march toward the front at the wave of the initial green flag. As the first lap went into the books, Annett had gained four positions in the running order, and by the time 27 laps had spun by he was up to 12th. During an early caution, Annett reported to crew chief Travis Mack that his car’s front turn was really good and that the handling was neutral. As another yellow waved at lap 34, Annett was 11th and stayed on the track when several of the cars ahead went to pit road. That put him sixth for the restart, but the cars with new tires swarmed those who stayed out and he wound up 14th at the end of the 45-lap Stage One. Mack called his driver down pit road for four fresh tires and fuel, sending him back out one spot better than when he went in.

In Stage Two, Annett needed just five laps to crack the top 10, but cars who pitted again soon swept past. Annett rallied to maintain a spot in the top 10 and gained two more on the final lap of Stage Two when two cars ahead of him tangled off Turn 4. That put him eighth in the rundown for Stage Two and set him up for the longest run of the night to the checkered flag. Mack put four new tires on his No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet, added fuel and made a chassis adjustment before sending his driver back out to do battle. Annett had asked for more lateral grip to run the top, which is the fast way around the 1.5-mile oval.

Restarting ninth, Annett gained two spots on the initial lap of green, but settled in to the top 12 for the remainder of the race, finally finishing 11th, one lap down to the leaders’ torrid pace. The chassis adjustment turned Annett’s handling to the loose side and he carried it to the finish.

Tyler Reddick won the race and his second straight NXS championship. Cole Custer was second, followed by Chase Briscoe, JRM’s Noah Gragson and Christopher Bell. JRM teammate Justin Allgaier finished 14th after a late-race wall impact, putting him fourth in the Championship 4, and Jeb Burton finished ninth in JRM’s No. 8 Chevrolet.

Michael Annett, driver No. 1 Pilot Flying J ‘Thank You Veterans’ team

“We fought hard all day long. For some reason, we got really loose there at the end when we put wedge in it, which shouldn’t really happen. It didn’t make sense. This has been a great season, and this No. 1 Pilot Flying J team did some great things all year long. I have to thank Travis Mack, my crew chief, and the rest of our team at JR Motorsports for making this a special year. We are going to start working on 2020 next week, but we had a great year and I can’t thank them enough.”

 

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier and the BRANDT Professional Agriculture team wrapped up the season fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings after a hard-fought battle for the championship in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Allgaier raced inside the top 10 for much of the 200-lap race, but a cut tire with less than 20 laps to go forced the team to make a green-flag pit stop, relegating them to a 14th-place finish. This was the JR Motorsports driver’s third appearance in the Championship 4 in the last four years.

Allgaier qualified an uncharacteristic 16th for the final race of the season, but from the drop of the green flag he surged forward, finding himself inside the top 10 by lap 12. He reported to the team during Stage One that the BRANDT Camaro was free on entry and exit of the turns and tight through the center.  When the third caution of the race came out on lap 33, Allgaier was in the ninth position. The No. 7 team opted to stay out, while other cars on a varying strategy decided to pit. Allgaier restarted fourth, but fresher tires prevailed as he was scored in the 13th position when the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end Stage One on lap 45.

Under the stage-ending caution, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments to try to improve the handling on the No. 7 Chevy. He took the green flag for Stage Two inside the top 15 on lap 52 and he made quick work of the field, driving up to the third position by lap 58. Allgaier stayed in that same position for the remainder of the long green-flag run that made up the second stage. During the caution period, Allgaier relayed that the BRANDT Camaro was still free in and free off and tight through the middle of the corners, but was way more manageable. The team decided to make another adjustment during the pit stop for four tires and fuel.

Allgaier lined up fifth for the start of the final stage on lap 97 and was up to fourth before a caution came out just one lap into the stage. Allgaier restarted in the same spot and continued to race inside the top 10, running in sixth when another caution flag waved on lap 123. He reported that he was still free on entry and exit of the turns. Back under green, Allgaier advanced his position to fifth by lap 132.

A long green-flag run ensued and the field needed to make one more round of pit stops before the conclusion of the race. Allgaier came to pit road on lap 160 for four tires, fuel and a little bit of tape on the grille. He was running in the seventh position when a cut right-rear tire after brushing the wall forced Allgaier to pit road with less than 20 laps to go. The 33-year-old driver got back out on the track two laps down in the 19th position and was able to make up one of the laps, racing his way up to 14th before the checkered flag waved.

Fellow Championship 4 competitor Tyler Reddick earned the victory and took home the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship. He was followed by Cole Custer, with Chase Briscoe, JRM driver Noah Gragson and Christopher Bell rounding out the top five.

Allgaier ended the season fourth in the NXS championship standings, with one win (Phoenix II), 16 top fives and 24 top 10s.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team

“Tonight wasn’t our night. We wanted to go for a championship. We felt like we had the opportunity to do that and it just didn’t work out in our favor. I’m still so proud of Jason Burdett (crew chief) and everybody on this BRANDT Professional Agriculture team and everybody back at the shop. They worked their tails off all year and we put together a great season. Now we’ll go back home and get ready to make another run for the title next year.”

XFINITY Series Schedule

XFINITY Series Standings

After Ford EcoBoost 300

Homestead-Miami Speedway | 11/16/2019
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick (P)40400
2Cole Custer (P)4035-5
3Christopher Bell (P)4032-8
4Justin Allgaier (P)4023-17
5Chase Briscoe #2302-1738
6Austin Cindric2294-1746
7John Hunter Nemechek #2253-1787
8Noah Gragson #2246-1794
9Michael Annett2239-1801