JRM Lands Trio of Top 10s in Indy Road Course Thriller

7/4/2020

Indianapolis Jeb Burton Justin Allgaier Klondike LS Tractor Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J Race Report Switch XFINITY Series

Team JRM brought home a trio of top 10s with its four-car team in Saturday's NASCAR debut on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

Race 13 of 33: Pennzoil 150 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Track Specs: 2.439-mile road course / 62 laps
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 88 degrees
Race Winner: Chase Briscoe

Annett's Finish: 9th
Allgaier's Finish: 7th
Gragson's Finish: 3rd
Burton's Finish: 31st


Michael Annett

A late-race pit stop allowed Michael Annett to get the tires he needed on Saturday as the Iowa native drove his patriotically-themed Pilot Flying J Chevrolet to a ninth-place finish on the 2.439-mile road course inside the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It was Annett’s second straight top-10 finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series following a fifth-place at Pocono Raceway last week, and his fifth of the season.

Stage One Finish: 13th   
After drawing the second starting spot, Annett began the 62-lap inaugural event on the road course alongside JR Motorsports teammate Jeb Burton. By the time the first lap was in the books, Annett was seventh as the cars sorted themselves out. At the halfway point of Stage One, Annett was running 14th when Vinnie Miller lost a tire and brought out the caution flag with just three laps remaining in the 20-lap stage. Crew chief Travis Mack pondered pitting ahead of the stage break, but the cleanup took too long and the pits were never opened, putting Annett 13th at the green-and-white-checkered flag. When the pits were open for business, Annett came down for four tires and fuel, gaining three positions to start Stage Two from 12th.

Stage Two Finish: 5th   
Annett dropped to 15th after the first lap of green-flag running once Stage Two got under way and he was 14th on lap 35 when Brandon Jones’ car spouted flames and brought out the caution flag. Just five laps were left in the stage when the majority of the field decided to come to pit road. Mack and Annett stayed out, moving all the way to second place for the restart just three laps later. Lining up for the restart, Mack told Annett to “do your best two laps and get your stage points.” Annett did so, crossing the line fifth to pick up six important stage points and set himself up for the final run to the checkered flag. Under the caution, Annett came to pit road for four more tires and an adjustment, dropping back to 18th following the stop.

Final Stage:
The race went green again at lap 43, and Annett was 20th on lap 46. After passing Josh Williams the next time by, Annett got back to where he started the final stage in two more circuits. The yellow would wave again for debris, and Mack called his driver in for four more tires and an easing of the last adjustment. Gaining a few positions on the exchange, Annett would take off from 11th-place for the run to the checkered. The charge to Turn 1 was packed solid at the entry, and Annett slid through a gap in the middle to ninth with six laps left. Over the final circuits, Annett ran as high as seventh before finishing ninth at the checkered flag.

Chase Briscoe won the race in a thrilling last-lap battle, topping Justin Haley, JRM’s Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric. Ross Chastain was sixth, followed by JRM’s Justin Allgaier, Alex Labbe, Annett and Preston Pardus.

Michael Annett, driver No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet team
“That was a team effort. On new tires, the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet was very positive, but when we got the new off of them and they started to slide a little bit, I could put it where I needed it to be. That last pit stop, the crew guys had a great stop and that helped us get the track position we needed, and I got a good restart at the end. Our strategy was to be there at the end and we were, and that’s good for our points and the playoffs.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 Klondike Chevrolet, overcame a late-race pit road penalty to drive to a seventh-place finish in Saturday’s Pennzoil 150 on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course. The effort was Allgaier’s sixth top 10 of 2020. Allgaier finished second in each of the first two stages, scoring valuable stage points that helped propel him to sixth in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.

Stage One Finish: 2nd
Allgaier started the race from fifth and wasted little time advancing his position. By lap 2, he found himself in the lead and paced the field for two laps before Austin Cindric worked his way by. When the first caution flag of the race came out on lap 18, Allgaier reported to the team that the No. 7 Klondike Camaro was losing rear-lateral grip as the run went on. Ultimately, Stage One ended under the caution and when the green-and-white checkered flag waved, the 34-year-old driver was scored in the second position, earning nine coveted stage points in the process. Under the caution, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier in for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.

Stage Two Finish: 2nd
A chaotic pit road under the caution put Allgaier just outside the top five for the start of Stage Two on lap 24. He methodically raced his way forward throughout the stage, moving up to the third position by lap 32.  Allgaier was still in that same spot when a caution came out on lap 36. He radioed that the last adjustments made the Klondike Chevrolet tight through the center of the corners, so the team called him to pit road for four tires, fuel and another air-pressure adjustment.

Allgaier restarted in eighth with some cars on varying pit strategies, but pressed forward, maneuvering his way to second by the end of Stage Two. The finish allowed him to collect nine more stage points on the day.

Final Stage:
Allgaier fired off in the second position for the final stage on lap 44 and continued to race inside the top five, running in fourth with 13 laps to go. The Illinois native was in that same spot when the final caution of the race came out with 10 laps remaining. Allgaier joined the rest of the field for their final pit stops of the day. Upon leaving pit road with fresh tires and fuel, Allgaier was alerted that the team was given a pit road penalty for removing equipment from the pit stall and would have to start at the rear of the field.

Undeterred by the loss of track position, Allgaier made quick work of the cars ahead of him and raced his way to seventh before the checkered flag waved.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Klondike Chevrolet
“We had a fantastic Klondike Camaro today. It’s unfortunate that we got that pit road penalty at the end there because I know we had a shot to battle for the win or a top-five finish. To come back through the field and get a top 10 is still a solid day. I’m proud of this team and all of the effort that they put in. I’m ready to see what we can do next week in Kentucky.”

Jeb Burton

Jeb Burton, driver of the No. 8 LS Tractor Chevrolet, had a solid run going in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, starting from the pole and leading the opening lap before mechanical issues with the power steering ultimately led to a 31st-place finish. Despite the result, Burton and the No. 8 team remain ninth in the NXS owner standings, 44 points ahead of the 12th and final Playoff position.

Stage One Finish: 35th
With the field set via a blind draw earlier in the week, Burton lined up from the pole position for the inaugural event on the road course at Indianapolis. The driver of the LS Tractor Chevrolet held strong on the opening lap, maintaining the race lead ahead of the field of 38 before getting shuffled back outside of the top five by the completion of lap 3 as the jockeying for position intensified among the front runners. Despite the loss of track position in the early laps, Burton continued to fight for position inside the top 10 until he was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop under green on lap 15 for an issue that had developed with the power steering inside the LS Tractor Chevrolet.

After surveying the issue on pit road, crew chief Taylor Moyer relayed to Burton that he would no longer have power steering for the remainder of the race. The Halifax, Va. native returned to the track following the pit stop right at the completion of Stage One on lap 20 and was scored in the 35th position.

Stage Two Finish: 32nd 
The JR Motorsports driver returned to pit road during the stage-ending caution for four tires and fuel before Stage Two got underway on lap 23. A quick caution just two laps later proved beneficial as Burton was able to get back onto the lead lap by way of the free pass as a result of being the first car one lap down. Once back on the lead lap Burton soldiered on, improving three positions despite the difficult conditions to end the second stage on lap 40 in 32nd.

Final Stage:
Prior to the start of Stage Three, Moyer called Burton back to pit road for another set of fresh tires, sending the driver of the LS Tractor Chevrolet back out for the lap 43 restart in 29th. Burton continued to persevere once back underway, fighting for position before a late caution 10 laps shy of the finish slowed the field once again.

Burton battled hard on the ensuing restart, but was unable to make forward progress in the closing laps, ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 31st position.

Jeb Burton, driver No. 8 LS Tractor Chevrolet team
“It’s really unfortunate that we had an issue with the power steering on our LS Tractor Chevrolet. I was just settling in there and getting more comfortable around this place when that happened. But I just want to thank everyone on this JR Motorsports team for believing in me and working as hard as they did this weekend. There isn’t much we can do in situations like that but I’m ready to get to Kentucky already and bounce back with a strong run.”

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson showed off more of his road racing skills with the No. 9 Switch Chevrolet in Saturday’s Pennzoil 150 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Gragson positioned himself solidly in contention throughout the event, even rebounding from a Stage-Two spin to claim a third-place finish. It marked his eighth top-five effort of 2020.

Stage One Finish: 5th
After the random qualifying draw handed Gragson and the No. 9 Switch team an eighth-place start, Gragson immediately began a steady march forward from the race’s onset. He gained four positions on the opening and slid comfortably into the fourth spot. Battling a “free in” condition in Turn 14, Gragson ultimately took the checkered flag for Stage One in fifth.

Stage Two Finish: 14th
Under the stage-ending caution, the team took the opportunity to bring Gragson to pit road for four tires, fuel and a slight adjustment. Gragson fired off in sixth and again made quick work of his competitors, climbing into the third position. The driver commented that the Switch Chevrolet was “better though Turn 14 on this run”, and it showed. Gragson was running second with five laps to go in the stage. With a caution emerging just a few laps prior the conclusion of the stage, Gragson followed most of the front runners onto pit road while some competitors elected to stay out. He took four fresh tires and lined up in 10th for the ensuing restart. Back in a thicket of cars, Gragson received contact to his rear bumper from the No. 13 of Timmy Hill, which looped the No. 9 around off track. Gragson made a quick recovery but would finish out the second stage in 14th.

Final Stage:  
Gragson came back to pit road for fresh tires during the stage-ending caution and restarted deep in the field in 22nd. He continued his strong restarts, blasting past 11 cars on the opening green-flap lap, and was scored sixth with 14 laps remaining in the race. Following one final pit stop, Gragson continued his climb up to fourth with only five laps to go. The No. 9 ran in the tire tracks of the leaders who were aggressively mixing it up at the front of the field. Gragson eventually caught the lead pack and stole away the runner-up spot as the field started stretching out. After a slight bobble, the No. 9 gave way to the No. 11, and Gragson fell in line to secure a third-place finish.

Chase Briscoe won the race and was followed the line by Justin Haley, Gragon, AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric.

Noah Gragson, driver No. 9 Switch Camaro SS

“It was a lot of fun out there today. Everyone on this Switch team put a lot of work in and we did a good job keeping up with the track today. Turn 14 was where we struggled the most. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen there at the end but we caught the leaders. We were right behind them and if they had gotten tangled up we would have been in a great position. All in all, it was a good day for our No. 9 Switch team, and if it wasn’t for a small mistake there at the end, we would have finished one spot better.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • August 15 03:00 PM ET
    UNOH 188 Daytona Road Course
  • August 22 04:00 PM ET
    Drydene 200Dover International Speedway
  • August 23 12:30 PM ET
    Drydene 200Dover International Speedway
  • August 28 07:30 PM ET
    Wawa 250Daytona International Speedway
  • September 5 04:00 PM ET
    Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200Darlington Raceway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Henry 180

Road America | 8/8/2020
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Austin Cindric7710
2Chase Briscoe760-11
3Ross Chastain708-63
4Noah Gragson697-74
5Justin Haley636-135
6Harrison Burton #608-163
7Justin Allgaier598-173
8Michael Annett543-228