Three JRM Top-10s in Xfinity Series Return at Darlington

JR Motorsports | 5/21/2020

Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee Daniel Hemric Darlington Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J Poppy Bank Precision Build TrueTimber XFINITY Series

JRM and the NASCAR Xfinity Series returned to action for the first time in 75 days on Thursday at Darlington Raceway for 200 miles on the track dubbed "Too Tough to Tame" with JRM grabbing three top 10 spots.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

Race 5 of 33: Toyota 200 at Darlington Raceway
Track Specs: 1.366-mile oval / 147 laps
Weather: Partly cloudy; 75 degrees 
Race Winner: Chase Briscoe

Allgaier's Finish: 3rd
Gragson's Finish: 5th
Hemric's Finish: 6th
Annett's Finish: 25th

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 Precision Build Camaro, put on quite a show on Thursday in the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ first race back in over two months. The Illinois native battled inside the top 10 for the entire race and was leading with 15 laps to go when a caution came out. Allgaier continued to race hard in the closing laps, ultimately coming home with a third-place finish at Darlington Raceway. The result was his best effort in 10 career NXS starts at the historic track.

Stage One Finish: 6th 

Firing off 10th for the 147-lap race, Allgaier continued to run inside the top 10 until the competition caution on lap 15. The team called the driver of the Precision Build Camaro to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. Restarting in the eighth position, he climbed as high as fifth, ultimately crossing the line to end Stage One in sixth on lap 45. Allgaier relayed to crew chief Jason Burdett that the Precision Build Camaro was tight through the center of the turns and free on entry toward the end of the run. The team opted to make a stop for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment. A fast stop allowed Allgaier to gain two spots on pit road.

Stage Two Finish: 2nd

The 33-year-old driver started the second stage from the fourth position and raced his way up to second in a hurry. Early in the run, he reported that the Precision Build Camaro was a little free with the right-rear and snappy off the corner. He continued to keep leader Kyle Busch within his sights during the remainder of the caution-free second stage and would take the green-and-white checkered flag in the runner-up spot. Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier came in for four tires and fuel and exited pit road in the second position.

Final Stage:

After Busch was caught speeding on pit road, Allgaier lined up as the leader to start the final stage. Chase Briscoe took the lead away, but Allgaier didn’t give up as he continued to track the driver of the No. 98 down. The JR Motorsports driver made the pass for the lead on lap 130 and was pulling away from Briscoe when a car spun, bringing out the caution with 15 laps to go. The field came in for their final stops of the race and Allgaier’s stop was fast, but he was just shy of winning the battle off pit road.

Allgaier lined up on the inside of row one for the last restart of the day and raced hard against Busch and Briscoe in the final laps, ending the race in the third position. It was the JRM driver’s second top-10 finish in five races this season.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Precision Build Chevrolet

“This No. 7 team did an awesome job today. Our Precision Build Chevy was really good and it felt great to get back out on the track. We had the lead towards the end there, but unfortunately that caution came out. We needed a bit of a longer run and I think we could have had something for them. All-in-all it was a really good day and I’m proud of the speed we had. It makes me excited to see what we can do at Charlotte. Hats off to Chase (Briscoe), he drove a heck of a race.”

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/Black Rifle Coffee/TrueTimber Chevrolet, finished fifth in Thursday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Toyota 200 at Darlington Raceway. Gragson started from the pole after a random draw and was able to grab points during both stages, including a win in Stage One and the addition of a very valuable playoff point. This marks Gragson’s third top five and fourth top ten of the season in five races.

Stage One Finish: 1st

Gragson fired off in the first starting position for the 147-lap event and remained in the lead until the competition caution flew on lap 15. The No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/Black Rifle Coffee/TrueTimber Camaro consistently rode in the lead until a late yellow on lap 35. Everyone stayed on the track and Gragson restarted from the top spot. The No. 9 Camaro took off and crossed the line for the green-and-white checkered in the first position, earning 10 stage points and one playoff point.

Stage Two Finish: 3rd

The No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/Black Rifle Coffee/TrueTimber Camaro came to pit road following the stage break for four tires, fuel and no adjustments as Gragson was happy with the way the car felt throughout the run. Gragson left the pits in the second position and dropped as low as fourth after the restart. The No. 9 Camaro fought a tight-handling condition as the sun went behind the clouds and was able to stay in front of a hard-charging Chase Briscoe to finish Stage Two in the third position, earning an additional eight stage points.

Final Stage: 

During the stage-break, Gragson came into the pits for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to fix his tight-handling Camaro. Gragson came out in the fourth position but would move up to third after the leader was penalized for speeding on pit road. Restarting on the bottom lane of Darlington proved to be tough, but Gragson was able to get to the high side after losing only three positions on the track. The No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/Black Rifle Coffee/TrueTimber Camaro ran right outside the top five, in the sixth position, until a yellow came out with 14 laps remaining.

Gragson reported the car was too loose on that run and wanted to be tightened up for the remaining nine laps. The No. 9 Camaro restarted in the sixth position but was able to climb as high as third on the restart, before ultimately falling two spots to fifth on the leaderboard, where he crossed the finish line.

This fifth-place finish marks Gragson’s third top five and fourth top 10 through five races. Gragson has also now led 90 laps on the season to date.

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

 “Our Bass Pro Shops/Black Rifle Coffee/TrueTimber Camaro was really fast today and I can’t thank everyone at JR Motorsports enough for what we were able to accomplish today. Not having practice or qualifying was super tough to come back to, but we fought through that adversity and were able to win a stage and consistently run in the top five. The last restart was crazy and I was able to get up close to the leaders, but track position was key with that few of laps remaining, but I am happy to bring home a solid top five. That was my goal to start the day and we accomplished it. Really looking forward to getting to Charlotte next week after having such a great race today.”

Daniel Hemric

Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet, earned a hard-fought sixth-place finish in the first NASCAR Xfinity Series event since March 7 on Thursday afternoon at Darlington Raceway. Hemric battled inside the top five for much of the final stage in the afternoon matinee before ultimately taking the checkered flag in sixth following a late-race caution period. The result is Hemric’s second top 10 of 2020 and his ninth top 10 in his last 11 NXS starts dating back to Richmond Raceway in September of 2018.  

Stage One Finish: 7th   

With the starting lineup being set by a blind draw earlier in the week, Hemric took the green flag for the first NXS event in over 10 weeks from the 23rd position. Once underway, the Kannapolis, N.C. native wasted little time charging toward the front, needing just four laps to race into the top 15. The driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet continued his climb from there, racing into the top 10 for the first time just before the scheduled competition caution was displayed on lap 15. Following a four-tire pit stop during the caution period, Hemric pressed onward, driving up to the seventh position by the time the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed to end Stage One on lap 45. The stage-ending result netted Hemric four valuable stage points.  

Stage Two Finish: 6th    

During the stage-ending caution, crew chief Taylor Moyer called the driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment after Hemric had reported that he was really free rolling through the corner at the end of the run. Returning to the track in sixth following the stop, Hemric maintained his track position throughout the caution-free second stage and battled to try to break into the top five with JR Motorsports teammate Michael Annett before the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed once again to end Stage Two on lap 90. The stage finish also earned Hemric an additional five stage points, bringing his race total to nine.  

Final Stage:  

Prior to the beginning of the third and final stage, Moyer called Hemric back to pit road for four tires and another round of adjustments. The driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet exited pit road in the fifth position, which meant that he would have to line up on the inside line for the ensuing restart. Despite not restarting in the preferred line, Hemric marched forward and fought hard for track position inside the top five with JRM teammates Annett and Noah Gragson. Hemric ultimately prevailed in the battle with his teammates and raced up to the third position before a caution on lap 132 provided Moyer with another opportunity to put fresh tires on the Poppy Bank Chevrolet. 

Lining up for the lap 138 restart in fifth, Hemric was trapped on the inside line through the first and second corner, shuffling the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year back to sixth. With the laps winding down, Hemric fought to try to rejoin the top five but ran out of time, ultimately taking the checkered flag in the sixth position.  

The result is Hemric’s second top 10 of the young season and his best finish to date for JRM through his first four starts for the organization. 

Daniel Hemric, driver No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet team 

“We had a really good Poppy Bank Chevrolet today and I can’t thank my guys on this No. 8 team enough. I thought we were in a really good position to get a solid top-three finish there before we got stuck on that bottom line for that last restart. But overall, it felt good to get back behind the wheel and I just have to give a big thank you to all of the guys at JR Motorsports for all of their hard work. I feel like we have something to build on going forward and we’ll get ready to do that on Monday night in Charlotte. You know there’s nothing better than a home race. Bring it on.”   

Michael Annett

With less than 15 laps remaining in Thursday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Michael Annett and the No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet team were running in the top five and looking to advance up the order. Coming into Turn 3 on that lap while battling to the inside of JRM teammate Daniel Hemric, Annett took the low line to avoid the lapped car of Joe Nemechek. The line was a bit too low to maintain traction and he spun, flattening both right-side tires. That ended a near-perfect run and relegated him to a 25th-place finish at the end of 147 laps. It was the first race back since March for the series and was postponed two days because of weather.

Stage One Finish: 9th  

Drawing the second starting spot prior to the race, Annett took off under the green flag and spun his tires hard. After catching the car, Annett pulled into line in 12th position for the opening run to the competition caution at lap 15. He was 11th when that caution came out, and headed to pit road for some diagnosis from crew chief Travis Mack and the No. 1 Pilot Flying J team. Annett had said the nose of his Camaro was hard to control, and it felt like the rear tires were out of the track. Mack called for wedge and track-bar adjustments and removed a bit of packer from the front end before sending his driver back out in 11th place. Once the race restarted, Annett used the adjustments to move forward, breaking into the top 10 at lap 32. The Iowa native wasn’t done, grabbing the eighth spot in the remaining laps before settling for ninth and the two stage points when the green checkered flag waved over Stage One. On the stage-ending pit stop, Annett got four new tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment for Stage Two.

Stage Two Finish: 5th

Starting Stage Two from ninth position, Annett continued to move forward. At lap 49, he advanced to eighth and just eight laps later was in seventh. He was still there with 15 laps remaining and passed Ross Chastain for sixth four laps later. As the laps clicked away, Annett’s Pilot Flying J machine kept getting stronger as others around him got worse, and he swept into the top five with three laps remaining in Stage Two. He would finish there, banking five more important stage points in the process. On his pit stop, Annett took four tires with an air-pressure adjustment and fuel to the end, returning to the track in fifth position.

Final Stage:

Thanks to a speeding penalty issued to Kyle Busch off pit road, Annett would take the green flag for the final stage from the outside of the second row. Once the race restarted, Annett settled into fifth position and let the race come to him. At one point, all four JR Motorsports drivers were in the top five as the laps wound down. With 19 laps remaining, Annett caught Hemric and JRM’s Noah Gragson battling for third place. Those two made contact in Turn 1, bogging their run, and Annett slipped past on the low line to take third place. A lap later, Hemric had gotten back to speed and caught back up, and he passed Annett back with 17 laps remaining. Annett kept the battle going in heavy lapped traffic, which set up the spin in Turn 3 that ended a sterling run. Once the tires were flat, the resulting pounding did damage to the front bodywork, and once he got to the pits, he lost a lap while repairs were made. He rallied to finish 25th, the first car one lap down. After five races, Annett remains 10th in series points.

Chase Briscoe won the race in a thrilling battle with Busch and JRM’s Justin Allgaier. Austin Cindric was fourth and Gragson fifth at the checkered, with Hemric close behind in sixth. Ryan Sieg, Chastain, Harrison Burton and Justin Haley rounded out the top 10.

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

“I just made a rookie mistake. We had a great Pilot Flying J Chevrolet here today that Travis (crew chief Travis Mack) and the team put together, ran top-five, top-three all day long and had a really good shot at being there at the checkered. I just got too low into Turn 3 and spun. I was so glad to get back on the track and we had a good car. We’ll put another one together for Charlotte and keep this going.”



XFINITY Series Schedule

  • October 3 04:30 PM ET
    Talladega 300*Talladega Superspeedway
  • October 10 03:30 PM ET
    Drive for the Cure 250*Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
  • October 17 07:00 PM ET
    Kansas Lottery 300*Kansas Speedway
  • October 24 04:30 PM ET
    O'Reilly Auto Parts 300*Texas Motor Speedway
  • October 31 03:30 PM ET
    NXS at Martinsville*Martinsville Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Las Vegas 300*

Las Vegas Motor Speedway | 9/26/2020
1Chase Briscoe (P)21100
2Austin Cindric (P)2093-17
3Noah Gragson (P)2076-34
4Justin Allgaier (P)2068-42
5Justin Haley (P)2054-56
6Brandon Jones (P)2053-57
7Ryan Sieg (P)2049-61
8Harrison Burton # (P)2042-68
10Michael Annett (P)2032-78