Gragson's Top Five Leads JRM in Soggy Las Vegas

JR Motorsports | 2/24/2020

American Heart Association Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee Brandt Daniel Hemric Justin Allgaier Las Vegas Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J South Point TrueTimber XFINITY Series

Noah Gragson scored his second top-five finish of the season to lead JRM in Sunday night's rain-delayed Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

Race 2 of 33: Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather: Clear; 60 degrees
Race Winner: Chase Briscoe

Gragson's Finish: 4th
Annett's Finish: 7th
Allgaier's Finish: 8th
Hemric's Finish: 35th

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson scored his second top-five finish in as many races in 2020 on Sunday afternoon, coming home with a fourth-place finish. Gragson overcame an ill-handling car for most of the race, until the final stage when the adjustments started to work in his favor. Gragson used a late-race restart to fight his way into the top five before passing JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier for the fourth position with less than 20 laps remaining. The 21-year-old tried the high and low line in an attempt to climb into the top three, but fell just short in the end.

Stage One Finish: 8th 

Gragson fired off in the seventh position for the 200-lap event after qualifying was canceled due to rain. The No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro would run seventh for the first 19 laps of the event before the first yellow of the day came out. Gragson reported the car was too loose everywhere, so crew chief Dave Elenz called Gragson to pit road for four tires, fuel, air pressure and trackbar adjustments. He would restart eighth and by the end of lap 24, he had jumped to fourth. As the stage progressed, the handling dwindled and dropped Gragson to eighth, where he finished in the opening stage, earning three stage points.

Stage Two Finish: 11th 

Rain began falling just before the green flag waved on Stage Two, ultimately postponing the remainder of the race until Sunday afternoon. The engines roared on the 1.5-mile oval shortly after 4:45 p.m. PST Sunday Evening in Las Vegas and Gragson lined up for the restart in 24th. Gragson utilized the high and low lines to move his way into 12th during a 20-lap green flag run. The yellow flag flew on lap 71 and the No. 9 team decided to stay out on the track instead of pitting, lining him up 12th for the restart. Before the stage end, Gragson jumped to the 11th position and remained there until the end of Stage Two.

Final Stage:

During the stage break, Gragson pitted for four tires, fuel, air pressure and trackbar adjustments. The pit crew gained two spots on the stop and sent Gragson back out for the final stage in ninth. Gragson fell to the 11th position and rode there until lap 118 when he raced back into the top 10. Gragson maintained his track position until green flag pit stops began. Gragson took four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment on lap 146 and once the pit sequence cycled out, Gragson improved one position and rode there until a yellow flag on 163. While under the caution, Gragson brought the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro to pit road where they took their last set of fresh tires. After restarting eighth, the field saw Gragson utilizing the high side to gain three positions, entering the top five. Before the checkered flag flew, Gragson passed JRM teammate Allgaier for the fourth position, where he ultimately finished the race.

Noah Gragson, driver No. 9 Bass Pro Shops, TrueTimber, Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet

“This top five was a great testament to the fight inside this JR Motorsports team both at the track and back in the shop. We struggled early in the day and ended up throwing the kitchen sink at the car which actually worked. We would have loved to win the race, but top fives are what I need to continue to strive for throughout this season and it will have us sitting well as we enter the playoffs.”

Michael Annett

Michael Annett drove to a seventh-place finish in Sunday night’s Boyd Gaming 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, earning his first top-10 finish of the season and setting the stage for a solid West Coast swing in the process. After finishing sixth in Saturday’s Stage One and waiting out persistent rain showers that forced postponement to Sunday, Annett ran in the top echelon all night long on the way to fourth place in series points after two events.

Stage One Finish: 6th

After starting from the eighth position on Saturday, Annett put his No. 1 Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet on a rail over the first circuit, crossing under the flag stand fifth before dropping back to eighth for the run to the competition caution, which was scheduled for lap 20.  Reporting to crew chief Travis Mack, Annett said his No. 1 Chevrolet had good front turn, but the rear tires felt like they were on top of the track. Mack called his driver to pit road for four tires and fuel at the caution, and sent him back out in eighth position for the remainder of Stage One. Staying in the back half of the top 10, Annett worked various lines before catching fire. On lap 40, Annett passed both Harrison Burton and JRM teammate Noah Gragson with an outside-in move into Turn 3 to take sixth position, which he would hold until the green-checkered flag waved at lap 45. It was the third straight stage in which Annett had scored points this season after doubling up in the opener at Daytona. Heading to pit road, Mack called again for four tires and fuel and the No. 1 team got him out in seventh spot. Before the race could go back to green-flag racing, the rains came in again and forced postponement to Sunday evening.

Stage Two Finish: 4th 

When the race resumed on Sunday, Annett took the green flag from fifth position after a couple of cars around him pitted. On lap 60, Annett passed Ross Chastain for fourth and ran there until a yellow waved on lap 71, using the low groove to power his way toward the top three. Under caution, Annett told Mack that the front turn was very good, but the rear tires were out of the track, the same situation he faced in Stage One on Saturday. Once racing resumed, so did Annett’s battle with Chastain. After slipping to sixth, Annett reset and needed just a handful of laps to regain fourth position, and he held it to the end of Stage Two. Combined with his finish in Stage One, Annett made it two straight races in 2020 with double stage points. Mack gave his driver four new tires, a full load of fuel and made both air-pressure and chassis adjustments to help glue the No. 1 Camaro to the track. The pit crew ripped off a blazing stop and put their driver out in second place, just behind teammate Justin Allgaier, for the run to the checkered flag.

Final Stage:

Starting on the front row, Annett took off when the green waved and was swallowed up when his shifter hung up in second gear. By the time he got it sorted out, he was sixth. A few laps later, on lap 100, Annett brushed the wall off Turn 2 in traffic, but the damage was slight. That set up a 15-lap battle with Burton for the spot, which Burton took on lap 115. On lap 129, while running eighth, Annett told Mack that all four tires were on top of the track at that point. Coming up on the pit window to the end of the race, Mack kept his driver on the track until lap 146, when Annett came down under green for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. In the middle of a green-flag flurry, Annett rejoined the race in 13th but wound up seventh a couple of laps later when a pair of competitors were caught speeding on pit road. He ran there until lap 163, when the caution waved for a crash on the front straightaway. With one fresh set of tires in the pit lane, Mack called Annett back down pit road to put them on. After getting back on track, it was discovered a lug nut was loose and he had to return to pit lane to get it tightened. That left him ninth for the run to the checkered.

When the race restarted, Annett needed just two laps to move up a spot, passing Riley Herbst for eighth. Annett maintained position there until lap 196, when he got past teammate Justin Allgaier for seventh, which is where he finished. Annett currently sits fourth in series points, 15 points out of the lead after two events.

Chase Briscoe won the race, followed by Austin Cindric, Ryan Sieg, Gragson and Burton. Brandon Jones led the second five, followed by Annett, Allgaier, Herbst and Chastain.

Michael Annett, driver No. 1 Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet team

“We had a fast Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet for most of the night, and it was getting better at the end. We had good strategy and the car was solid, but we went through a period where I couldn’t run the middle of Turns 3 and 4 to save my life. We got back up to seventh and scored double stage points for the second week in a row. It was a long weekend, but a good one for our No. 1 team and we’ll come back out to California next week and hopefully continue working our way forward.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro, led 63 laps and scored his second stage win of the season during the Boyd Gaming 300, ultimately coming home with an eighth-place finish. Allgaier and the No. 7 team were fast early, leading laps in the first stage on Saturday afternoon. When rain postponed the remainder of the race to Sunday, the team continued to be a force to be reckoned with. Ending the day with a strong top-10 finish, the JR Motorsports driver moved up to ninth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, just 22 points behind the leader.  

Stage One Finish: 5th

The starting lineup was set according to the rule book after qualifying was rained out on Saturday morning. Allgaier rolled off the grid from the fourth position and wasted little time working his way forward, taking over the lead on lap 3. He reported to the team early into the run that the BRANDT Camaro fired off good, but was a little greasy with the right-rear tire. The JR Motorsports driver was still pacing the field when an on-track incident brought out the first caution of the day on lap 18. Crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments. After completing the stop, Allgaier needed to put the BRANDT Chevy in reverse to get around the car pitted ahead of him, costing him valuable spots on pit road. The Illinois native restarted in 10th on lap 23 and advanced his position to fifth before the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 45.

During the latter part of the stage, Allgaier relayed that the No. 7 Camaro was tight with the front and had nothing to lean on with the right-rear tire. Under the stage-ending caution, the team made a stop for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. Before the field was able to get Stage Two underway, another rain cell enveloped the track, bringing out the red flag. As more rain moved in, NASCAR was forced to postpone the remainder of the race to Sunday.

Stage Two Finish: 1st

Allgaier fired off in the fourth position for the start of Stage Two on lap 55 and advanced to third before a caution came out on lap 71. Under the yellow flag, he reported that he was struggling to keep the right rear loaded up. He restarted in second on lap 77 and powered to the lead, holding onto the top spot for the remainder of Stage Two, earning his second stage win of the season. Under the stage-ending caution, Burdett called Allgaier in for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. A fast stop by the No. 7 pit crew allowed Allgaier to maintain the lead off of pit road.

Final Stage:

The driver of the BRANDT Camaro held point after the lap-96 restart for the final stage. Relaying to the team that the No. 7 Chevy was tight through the center of the turns and greasy on exit on lap 102, Allgaier continued to lead until Austin Cindric made the pass on lap 124. He was running in the fourth position when green-flag pit stops ensued shortly after lap 140. The team called Allgaier in for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment and when stops cycled through, he maintained his fourth-place running position on the track. During the final caution flag of the night, the majority of the field came to pit road one last time. Allgaier had reported under the caution that the previous adjustment helped the exit, but hurt the center, so one last round of adjustments were made during the team’s pit stop. He restarted in fourth on lap 169, but as the run went on, the BRANDT Camaro’s handling began to fade. Allgaier continued to battled through, ultimately taking the checkered flag in the eighth position.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet

“We had a really good BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro early in the race and led a lot of laps, and we were able to get that stage win. Unfortunately at the end of the race the car just wasn’t where we were needing it to be to be in position to compete for the win. It wasn’t from lack of effort. Jason Burdett (crew chief) and everyone on this team work their tails off. This was our first mile-and-a-half of the season and we had some really good speed, so I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do the rest of the year.”

Daniel Hemric

Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 8 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, was running strong inside the top five during the rain-marred NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before an incident on lap 18 badly damaged the right-side of the JR Motorsports Camaro. Despite the best efforts at making repairs, the damage was deemed too severe to continue, relegating Hemric with a 35th-place finish. 

Stage One Finish: 35th 

With rain canceling qualifying on Saturday morning, the field was set based off of the 2019 NXS Owner’s Points, per the NASCAR Rulebook, meaning that Hemric lined up for the 200-lap event from the 10th position. From the drop of the green flag Hemric charged forward, needing just two laps to race into the top five and up to fourth. The Kannapolis, N.C. native maintained his top-five track position until an incident coming off of the fourth corner on lap 18 badly damaged both the right-front and right-rear of the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet.

During the ensuing caution period, crew chief Taylor Moyer called Hemric to pit road numerous times for repairs in the hopes of gaining as many positions as possible. Returning to the track following the repairs on lap 21, the JRM driver soldiered on for the final 24 laps of Stage One to take the green-and-white checkered flag in 35th.

While under the stage-ending caution, the decision was made to take the South Point Chevrolet back to the garage as it was determined that the damage was too severe to be able to continue in the race.

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

Daniel Hemric, driver No. 8 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet team

“I hate that we had some trouble today with our South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet. We were able to make a lot of moves there at the start and I felt like we were in a good position coming to the competition caution. It’s just unfortunate that we had some trouble but I can’t thank all of the guys on this JR Motorsports team enough. We fought hard all weekend and I can’t wait to get back after it next week in California.”



XFINITY Series Schedule

  • May 23 01:00 PM ET
    Alsco 300 at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway
  • May 30 01:00 PM ET
    Mid-Ohio 170Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • June 6 01:30 PM ET
    LTi Printing 250Michigan International Speedway
  • June 13 08:30 PM ET
    Iowa 250Iowa Speedway
  • June 20 04:00 PM ET
    Chicagoland 300Chicagoland Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After LS Tractor 200

Phoenix Raceway | 3/7/2020
1Harrison Burton #1760
2Chase Briscoe173-3
3Austin Cindric155-21
4Brandon Jones148-28
5Ross Chastain146-30
6Noah Gragson143-33
7Ryan Sieg143-33
8Justin Haley140-36
9Justin Allgaier138-38
10Michael Annett119-57