Allgaier Outlasts Field at Richmond, Earns Second Victory of ’20; Annett, Gragson in Top 10

JR Motorsports | 9/11/2020

Bass Pro Shops FilterTime Jeb Burton Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J Race Report Richmond Raceway State Water Heaters

Justin Allgaier won Friday night's NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Richmond Raceway, earning JR Motorsports' 50th series victory while Michael Annett and Noah Gragson posted top-10 finishes.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

 

Race 24 of 33: Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway

Track Specs: 0.75-mile; D-Shaped oval

Weather: Cloudy; 75 degrees

Race Winner: Justin Allgaier

 

Allgaier's Finish: 1st

Annett's Finish: 7th

Gragson's Finish: 8th

Burton's Finish: 32nd 


Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 FilterTime Camaro, proved to have the fastest car on Friday night, leading 78 laps on the way to his second victory of the season in the Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway. The win was the 50th NASCAR Xfinity Series win for JR Motorsports as an organization and the 10th for Allgaier since he joined the team in 2016. In all, the 34-year-old driver has 13 career NXS victories.

Stage One Finish: 5th

Allgaier rolled off 16th for the 250-lap race and drove up to 10th before the first caution of the night came out on lap 16. Under the yellow, the JRM driver reported that the FilterTime Camaro needed more center turn and was a little free in. Opting to stay out on the track, Allgaier chose the inside line and restarted in the 11th position. Dropping back some positions, Allgaier relayed that he’d lost right-front grip and had no turn in the center.

When the competition caution came out on lap 40, the Illinois native was scored in the 15th position. Crew chief Jason Burdett called him to pit road for four tires and fuel and a chassis adjustment to help with the No. 7 Camaro’s handling. He restarted in 12th on lap 45, but suffered a little bit of damage to the front of the FilterTime Chevy after cars ahead of him stacked up. The caution came out for a separate incident that same lap, so spotter Eddie D’Hondt was able to survey the damage and let the team know it was minimal.

Back under green, Allgaier finally had an opportunity to see what his Camaro could do after the team had made the earlier chassis adjustment. He drove from 15th to eighth in less than 10 laps and continued his climb, racing into the top five and taking the green-and-white checkered flag to end Stage One in fifth.

Stage Two Finish: 1st

Burdett called Allgaier in during the stage break for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment to prepare for the second stage of the night. A fast stop allowed Allgaier to gain a position on pit road, lining him up for the start of Stage Two in the fourth position on lap 83. He wasted little time taking over the third position after the green flag dropped and quickly reported that he was happy with the FilterTime Camaro’s handling.

By lap 96 he had taken over the runner-up spot and set his sights on the leader. Allgaier continued to close in on the No. 22 of Austin Cindric, making the pass for the lead on lap 125. Allgaier remained out front until the green-and-white checkered flag waved to secure his ninth stage win of the year.

Final Stage:

With the second stage going caution free, the No. 7 team was prepared for there to be another long green-flag run in the final stage. Allgaier came in for a pit stop for four tires and fuel and won the battle off of pit road to take command of the start of the last stage of the race. He led early in the run, but wanted to take care of the tires on his Chevy, so opted to let the No. 11 of Justin Haley make the pass for the top spot on lap 174.

Allgaier settled into the second position as a long-green flag run ensued. The JRM driver waited for the right time to make his move. With less than 50 laps to go, Allgaier began closing the gap on the leader. Allgaier made the pass on lap 222 and the two drivers continued to battle for a few laps, but ultimately the driver of the No. 7 Camaro was able to pull away and drive on to the victory.

The win was his first at Richmond Raceway and the 13th NXS victory of his career. The victory also makes Allgaier the winningest driver in JRM history with 10th wins since joining the organization in 2016.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 FilterTime Chevrolet

“I feel like we’ve let so many get away here at Richmond and just haven’t been able to seal the deal, until tonight. It’s been so frustrating, but I’m proud of these guys and proud of the effort tonight. The pit stops were amazing. Everybody at JR Motorsports, they built a fantastic Camaro. A huge thank you to all of our partners. We’ve got BRANDT Professional Agriculture on the car tomorrow and FilterTime on tonight. Everybody on our program right now is doing just a fantastic job. I can’t be more excited to get back at it tomorrow.”


 

Michael Annett

Michael Annett earned his 12th top-10 finish in his last 13 races in Friday night’s Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway, coming on in the caution-free final segment to post a seventh-place finish in the No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. The bigger news, however, was that the Iowa native locked himself and his team into the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs with the result. Annett is the ninth driver to claim a spot in the seven-race postseason series that will decide the series champion.

Stage One Finish: 6th     

Rolling from ninth place at the start of the 75-lap Stage One on the racy .750-mile oval, Annett sorted out the handling of his No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet over the first 14 laps before the caution flag waved for Colby Howard’s stricken car in Turn 4. Annett told crew chief Travis Mack that his Camaro took off really free late in the corner at each end of the track. Despite the trend, Annett grabbed eighth place on the restart and stayed in the top 10 until lap 39, one circuit prior to the competition caution. Sitting 11th, Annett told Mack that he lacked drive off the corners at both ends. Mack brought Annett down pit road for the first time, putting on a set of four Goodyear tires, adding fuel and making a chassis adjustment to help his driver out. Exiting pit road in 17th, Annett gained five spots in Turn 2 as several cars dodged a potential accident, leading to another caution period. When it went green again, Annett wasted little time putting the new tires to good use, advancing to 10th on lap 56, 19 laps from the end of the stage. Four laps later, he was sixth, and with 15 laps to go in the stage, advanced to the top five. He ran fifth until lap 74, when teammate Justin Allgaier passed him and put him sixth at the green-checkered flag, earning Annett five important bonus points toward the playoffs. On pit road, Annett got his second set of tires with an air-pressure adjustment and fuel, holding his position in the rundown. He would start Stage Two from sixth position.

Stage Two Finish: 10th     

As the stage began, Annett continued to hold position in fifth, with Kyle Busch stalking him over the first 12 laps before getting past on lap 95. Annett stayed in the top eight until lap 143, when JRM teammate Noah Gragson got by to put Annett in ninth. One lap later, JRM’s Jeb Burton passed for ninth and Annett held off a charge from Chase Briscoe over the final five laps of the stage to earn another stage point, giving him six for the evening. Annett told Mack that he had no rear drive 10 laps into the 75-lap stint and that his Pilot Flying J machine was getting tighter quicker during the run. Mack took a big swing on the chassis adjustment during the pit stop at stage end, putting four more tires on and adding fuel. Mack warned Annett that the right front tire had corded during the long green-flag run. Annett left pit road in 11th place for the 100-lap final segment.

Final Stage:

Once the green flag waved on lap 158, there would not be another caution period in the race, and Annett had just one set of tires in the pits for the 92-lap run to the checkered. Annett set a solid pace but took care of his tires. The Iowa native advanced back into the top 10 at lap 181 by passing Burton, and nine laps later passed Briscoe for ninth. As the lap counter clicked over to 200, Annett took the measure of JRM teammate Noah Gragson for the eighth position. Annett stayed eighth until lap 229, when he passed Kaz Grala for seventh, and he kept that spot until the checkered flag.

It was Annett’s 12th top-10 finish in 13 races and 15th of the season, which puts him in position to better his single-season best of 19, set last year. It also put him into the playoffs on points, and he advanced to eighth in the standings, just one week after Brandon Jones had passed him following his win at Darlington.

Allgaier won the race, the 50th triumph for JR Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Justin Haley was second, with Busch third, Austin Cindric fourth and Ross Chastain fifth. Brett Moffitt headed the second five, with Annett, Gragson, Grala and Riley Herbst the rest of the top 10.

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

“Clinching our spot in the playoffs is the big thing tonight, but we had a good run in our Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. Like everybody else, we struggled a little bit with drive off the corners, but Travis (crew chief Travis Mack) and our No. 1 team made good changes all night. The last segment ran caution-free and we had to maintain our pace for a long time. It paid off in the end, and we know we have a good hot rod for tomorrow’s race.”


 

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet, finished eighth in Friday evening’s NASCAR Xfinity Series GoBowling 250 at Richmond Raceway. Gragson started the race from the fourth position after the lineup was set by a mathematical equation set by owner’s points, finishing position and fastest lap from the week prior. Long green flag runs through the final two stages forced Gragson into saving his tires until late in the run, which earned him an eighth-place finish, his 17th top-10 finish of the 2020 season.

Stage One Finish: 17th

Gragson fired off from the fourth position after the lineup was set by a mathematical equation earlier in the week for the 250-lap event. The No. 9 team fell to 10th in the opening laps as Gragson had a plan to save tires to ensure a hard charge late in the stage. The first yellow flag flew on lap 15 as Gragson ran in the 11th position. Restarting from the outside of the fifth row, Gragson drove to eighth before the competition caution waved on lap 40. Crew chief Dave Elenz had a plan to save an extra set of tires in case of a late-race yellow, which meant the team would not pit during this caution.

Restarting from the outside of row two, Gragson utilized the high-side to remain in fourth as the caution waved as they exited Turn 2 on lap 46. The lap 51 restart saw Gragson choose the bottom and take the green from the fifth position. Gragson fell to 15th as new tires proved to have a large advantage on older tires. The No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Camaro crossed the green-and-white checkered flag in the 17th position.

Stage Two Finish: 8th

The driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Camaro decided to pit for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to alleviate a tight-handling condition through the center of the turns prior to the beginning of the Stage Two. Gaining seven spots on the stop, Gragson chose to restart on the inside of row six. Gragson again chose to utilize the plan of saving his tires until late in the stage. This decision proved beneficial during the caution-free second stage as the Las Vegas native drove from 16th to eighth in final 25 laps of the stage to end Stage Two inside the top 10 and earned three stage points in the process.

Final Stage:  

Gragson was called to pit road during the final stage break for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to help the Chevy on the short run. Choosing the inside, Gragson restarted from the inside of row four. Following the restart, Gragson settled in the ninth position and went back to his plan of saving tires for the end of the race. As the race neared the 250-lap mark, Gragson chose to turn up the heat as he started to use his tires a little harder each lap. Crossing the line for the final lap, Gragson ran down and drove by Kaz Grala to take the checkered flag in eighth and earn his 17th top-10 finish of the season.

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

“Dave Elenz and the JR Motorsports group brought me a fast Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Chevy tonight. We had a plan and we stuck with it, unfortunately, it just didn’t work out the way we had hoped. We had one more set of tires than the leaders laying in the pits and if we would have gotten a couple late-race yellows, I think we would have had an even better shot at the win. We brought the car back to the garage in one piece which means we get to use it again tomorrow and I think we will be able to improve upon our eighth place run tonight.”


 

Jeb Burton

Jeb Burton, driver of the No. 8 State Water Heaters Chevrolet, had a strong run going in Friday evening’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Richmond Raceway, fighting for position inside the top 10 for much of the 250-lap event before a bad vibration during the final stage forced the JR Motorsports driver to go behind the wall to diagnose the issue. Once in the garage, the crew discovered that the rotor shield had broken off of the brake rotor, leading to a crack in the rim of the wheel which created the vibration Burton was feeling. After the repairs were made, the Halifax, Va. native returned to the track in the final laps to record a 32nd-place finish. 

Stage One Finish: 13th  

Burton took the green flag for the opening leg of the weekend doubleheader at Richmond from the 28th position after the starting lineup was set via NASCAR’s new mathematical formula earlier in the week. Once the night got underway the driver of the State Water Heaters Chevrolet marched forward, racing up to the 15th position by the time the first caution flag of the day was displayed on lap 15. Burton continued to fight for position inside the top 15 following the restart, moving up to 13th when the scheduled competition caution came out on lap 40. During this caution period, crew chief Taylor Moyer opted to play with some strategy and chose to keep Burton out on the track in order to save a set of tires for later in the race.

Lining up for the ensuing restart in the seventh position, Burton battled inside the top 10 for several laps before ultimately succumbing to the cars that had pitted for fresh tires. Despite the loss of track position, Burton continued to race inside the top 15 for the remainder of the stage, taking the green-and-white checkered on lap 75 in 13th.

Stage Two Finish: 9th   

Moyer made the call to bring the driver of the State Water Heaters Chevrolet to pit road during the stage-ending caution for four tires and a chassis adjustment after Burton had reported that he needed help on the exit of the corners. A strong pit stop by the crew gained Burton five positions on pit road and sent the JRM driver back out for the beginning of Stage Two in the eighth position. After initially moving up to sixth following the restart, Burton reported to Moyer that the State Water Heaters Chevrolet had shifted to the free-side all the way through the corner. Although his Camaro was not handling to his liking, Burton maintained his track position inside the top 10 throughout the caution-free second stage, ultimately taking the green-and-white checkered flag to end Stage Two on lap 150 in ninth and earn two extremely valuable stage points.

Final Stage:

Prior to the beginning of the third and final stage of the evening, Moyer again called for the driver of the State Water Heaters Chevrolet to return to pit road for four tires and another round of adjustments in the hopes of alleviating the loose-handling condition. Maintaining the ninth position through the visit to pit road, Burton immediately climbed forward once Stage Three got under way, racing up to fifth by the completion of lap 169. However, Burton’s ascent up the leaderboard was brought to an abrupt halt after the driver of the State Water Heaters Chevrolet reported that he had developed a bad vibration with his brakes. After riding around for a handful of laps, the decision was made for Burton to come to pit road and go directly behind the wall in order for the crew to diagnose what the issue was. While behind the wall, the discovery was made that a piece of the rotor shield over the brake rotor had broken off, creating a crack in the rim and causing the vibration Burton was feeling.

After the repairs were made, Burton returned to the track in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in the 32nd position.

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

“We had a fast State Water Heaters Chevrolet tonight. Taylor (Moyer, crew chief) made some great adjustments all race long and that helped us race up and into the top five. It’s just unfortunate that we got that vibration and had to go behind the wall. But we will rebound from tonight and be ready to get back after it tomorrow here in Richmond. Also, a big congrats to Justin (Allgaier) on getting the win tonight for JRM. That was cool to see. Now it’s on to tomorrow.”

 

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • October 31 03:30 PM ET
    NXS at Martinsville*Martinsville Speedway
  • November 7 05:00 PM ET
    Desert Diamond West Valley Casino 200*Phoenix Raceway

XFINITY Series Standings

After O'Reilly Auto Parts 300*

Texas Motor Speedway | 10/24/2020
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Chase Briscoe (P)31330
2Austin Cindric (P)3103-30
3Justin Allgaier (P)3097-36
4Justin Haley (P)3093-40
5Brandon Jones (P)3089-44
6Ross Chastain (P)3078-55
7Noah Gragson (P)3069-64
8Ryan Sieg (P)3050-83
10Michael Annett2128-1005