Allgaier Sweeps Richmond, Earns Third Victory of '20; Burton, Gragson, Annett in Top 10

9/12/2020

Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee Brandt Jeb Burton Justin Allgaier LS Tractor Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J Race Report Richmond Raceway TrueTimber

Justin Allgaier sweeps the weekend at Richmond while JRM places all four cars inside the top 10.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

 

Race 25 of 33: Virginia is for Racing Lovers 250 at Richmond Raceway

Track Specs: 0.75-mile; D-Shaped oval

Weather: Cloudy; 78 degrees

Race Winner: Justin Allgaier

Allgaier's Finish: 1st

Burton's Finish: 2nd

Gragson's Finish: 5th

Annett's Finish: 7th


 

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier swept the weekend doubleheader at Richmond Raceway, scoring the first back-to-back victories of his NASCAR Xfinity Series career after taking the checkered flag in Saturday afternoon’s Virginia is for Racing Lovers 250. Allgaier led a race-high 135 laps in his No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro en route to the 14th win of his NXS career and third of the 2020 season.

Stage One Finish: 1st

After scoring the victory in the opening night of the weekend doubleheader in Richmond, Allgaier rolled off 14th due to an invert of the top portion of the field. The Illinois native wasted little time though once the green flag dropped, driving into the top 10 by lap 20 and up to second by the lap-40 competition caution. Under the caution, Allgaier reported that he just needed the BRANDT Camaro to rotate the center a little better. The team opted to stay out along with most of the field.

Restarting in the second position on lap 45, Allgaier powered his way to the lead in a hurry and held point until the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end Stage One on lap 75. The stage win was his 10th of the season.

Stage Two Finish: 8th

During the stage break, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier in for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustment to help with center rotation. A fast pit stop allowed Allgaier to win the race off of pit road. He lined up in the top spot for the start of the second stage on lap 82, but didn’t put up a fight when the No. 10 of Ross Chastain made a pass for the lead in an effort to save his tires for later in the run. Allgaier settled into the second position and patiently waited until it was time to make a move.

The 34-year-old driver retook command of the race on lap 128 and stayed out front until a caution came out on lap 139. Burdett made the decision to have Allgaier stay out on the track to conserve tires for the final stage while some teams opted to pit. He lined up for the restart in the top spot and battled hard in the closing laps, doing his best to fend off the cars on fresh tires. When the flag waved to signal the end of Stage Two, he was scored in the eighth position.

Final Stage:

Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier took the opportunity to take four fresh tires and fuel. He started the final stage from the 11th position on lap 157, but didn’t let the loss of track position deter him. By lap 163 he had pressed his way to second and less than 10 laps later made the pass for the lead. Allgaier put on a dominating performance from there, continuing to distance himself from the rest of the field as the run went on. The JR Motorsports driver was nearly eight seconds ahead of second place when a caution came out on lap 229 of the 250-lap event.

Allgaier brought his Camaro to pit road during this caution period for four tires and fuel and again won the race off of pit road. On the restart, Allgaier was able to hold off the competition, driving on to earn his second victory of the weekend.

The victory was the 51st for JR Motorsports in NXS competition. Allgaier is now third in the projected playoff standings with just one race left in the regular season.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet

“We caused a party today! Man, it was awesome to get BRANDT Professional Agriculture back to Victory Lane. I knew we had speed and knew that when we needed to go, we could. I’m just proud of these guys. I put us behind the eight ball. We had to change the nose last night. I stayed here with them until the garage closed just trying to help them get it all fixed. The amount of time and effort that’s gone into this weekend is really special. This team did a fantastic job all weekend long.”


 

Jeb Burton

Jeb Burton, driver of the No. 8 LS Tractor Chevrolet, led 12 laps and battled for the victory with JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier in the final stage of the Saturday afternoon matinee at Richmond Raceway before coming home with a strong second-place finish. The runner-up finish is a career-best result for Burton in the NXS and gives the 28-year-old driver his fourth top-five in 15 starts for JRM dating back to Texas Motor Speedway in March of 2019. Today’s result also moves the No. 8 team back into the 12th and final playoff position in the owner standings, 10 points ahead of 13th with one race remaining in the regular season.

Stage One Finish: 8th  

Burton lined up for the second event of the weekend doubleheader at Richmond from the 21st position and wasted little time climbing forward, taking advantage of the opening run to improve nine positions to 12th by the time the scheduled competition caution was displayed on lap 40. Opting to stay out during the competition caution for the second day in a row, the driver of the LS Tractor Chevrolet continued his steady march toward the front once back underway, racing into the top 10 for the first time on lap 67. Burton continued to move forward from there, ultimately moving into the eighth position just before the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed to end Stage One on lap 75 and earn three extremely valuable stage points. 

Stage Two Finish: 3rd    

During the stage-ending caution, crew chief Taylor Moyer made the call to bring the LS Tractor Chevrolet to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment after Burton had reported that he needed more forward bite to help him get off of the corners. The Halifax, Va. native returned to the track following the stop in the sixth position and once again methodically moved forward, driving up to as high as the fourth position on lap 89. However, as the long green-flag run progressed, Burton reported to Moyer that the LS Tractor Chevrolet was starting to get tight through the center of the corner. This tight-handling condition shuffled Burton back to seventh, but an opportune caution on lap 140 gave Moyer a chance to play with some strategy. With several of the front runners choosing to remain on the track, Moyer made the call to bring Burton to pit road with just nine laps remaining in Stage Two for four fresh tires and another round of adjustments.

As a result of the stop, Burton found himself sitting in the 13th position for the five-lap run to the stage end. Undeterred by the loss of track position, Burton pressed forward, taking advantage of his fresher tires to charge back into the top five in just two laps and all the way up to third at the completion of Stage Two on lap 150. The third-place stage-ending result netted Burton an additional eight stage points, bringing the race total for the No. 8 team to 11.

Final Stage:

Due to the call to pit right before the end of the second stage, the decision was made for Burton to stay out for the beginning of the final stage, while those that still had to pit came to pit road. Lining up for the lap-157 restart in third, Burton quickly drove into the second position and right up to the back bumper of race leader Ross Chastain. Then, utilizing the outside line, Burton powered around Chastain to move into the race lead on lap 160. The driver of the LS Tractor Chevrolet would remain out front for the 12 laps that followed before JRM teammate Allgaier moved into the top spot with the help of his 10-lap-fresher tires.

Despite no longer being out front, Burton remained solidly inside the top three, settling into the third position behind Allgaier and Chastain as another long green-flag run dominated the final stage. However, that green-flag run was brought to an end on lap 228 as the caution flag was displayed for what turned out to be the final time on the afternoon. During this caution period, Moyer called the JRM driver back to pit road for their final set of fresh tires. A fast stop by the LS Tractor crew saw Burton improve one position to second upon exiting pit road, directly behind Allgaier.

Choosing the outside of the front row for the lap-237 restart, Burton quickly got in line behind his JRM teammate as the field entered Turn 1. Burton would remain there throughout the closing laps and hold off a charge by Chastain as the duo battled through lapped traffic to earn a career-best second-place finish.  

The runner-up result also helped propel the No. 8 team back into the 12th and final playoff position in the owner standings, 10 points ahead of 13th with one race remaining in the regular season.

Jeb Burton, driver No. 8 LS Tractor Chevrolet team

“We were so close today with our LS Tractor Chevrolet. Taylor (Moyer, crew chief) and all the guys on this JR Motorsports team made some great adjustments from last night to today and we were able to be in position to fight for the victory. Congratulations again to my teammate Justin (Allgaier) on sweeping the weekend, I just wish we could’ve been a little bit closer there at the end. But overall, I’m really happy coming home second today and I can’t wait to keep this momentum going next weekend in Bristol.”


 

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet, finished fifth in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Virginia is for Racing Lovers 250 at Richmond Raceway. Gragson started the race from the eighth position after the lineup was set by an invert of the top-15 finishing order from Friday night’s GoBowling250. Gragson fired off fast, capturing valuable stage points in both Stage One and Two before going on to earn his 11th top-five finish of the 2020 season.

Stage One Finish: 2nd

Gragson lined up from the eighth position following the top-15 field invert after Friday evening’s kickoff to the weekend doubleheader. From the drop of the green flag Gragson showed speed, driving inside of the top five by lap 7 and ultimately into the race lead on lap 30. The driver of the Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro held on to the top spot through the scheduled competition caution on lap 40. Opting to remain on track during the competition caution, Gragson selected the outside line for the ensuing restart, but quickly fell to second as JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier utilized the bottom line to gain the lead from the No. 9. Gragson followed in Allgaier’s tire tracks for the remaining 30 laps of Stage One, crossing the line in second to earn nine stage points to begin the day.

Stage Two Finish: 9th

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. Restarting outside of the front row, Gragson was able to drop in to third following the restart and maintain his track position inside of the top five until a yellow flag flew on lap 140. With only 10 laps remaining in Stage Two, varying pit strategies came into play and Gragson decided to stay out. Restarting third, newer tires prevailed as Gragson quickly slipped outside of the top five and into the ninth position when he crossed the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 150, earning two additional stage points.

Final Stage:  

Gragson was called to pit road during the final stage break for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to help his Camaro turn better in the center and help his drive off the turns. Choosing the outside line, Gragson restarted from the outside of row six due as numerous front runners chose to stay out after having visited pit road just before the completion of Stage Two. Following the restart, Gragson quickly drove back into the top 10 and into the top five on lap 166. As the race drew closer to the end, Gragson’s handling started to fall off and the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro dropped to sixth before the caution flew again on lap 228. With less than 20 laps remaining in the 250-lap event, Gragson came to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to help his short-run speed.

Restarting on the inside of row four, Gragson drove into sixth and set his sights to the top five drivers. An encounter with lapped traffic helped Gragson close in on Justin Haley in the closing laps before eventually getting past him and earn his 11th top-five finish of the 2020 season, taking the checkered flag in fifth.

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

“I can’t thank my JR Motorsports team enough for making wholesale changes to the Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro last night to get us ready for today’s race. They stayed late and had to be back here before the sun came up, so thank you to my guys. They got the car almost where I needed it and it allowed us to lead some laps which felt good to have happen again. We go back to Bristol next week and hopefully we can have the same result as we did earlier in the year to set the momentum for the playoffs.”


 

Michael Annett

For the second straight day at Richmond Raceway, Michael Annett drove his No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet to a seventh-place finish, his seventh consecutive finish in the top 10 in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition. While the first race on Friday locked him into the NXS playoffs, Saturday’s run in the Virginia Is for Racing Lovers 250 set him up with some momentum for the seven-race stretch to the series championship, which begins Sept. 26 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In between is a race at Bristol Motor Speedway, where Annett has had solid success.

Stage One Finish: 6th

Annett started from ninth position on the grid for the second straight day, and it took just one lap for the Iowa driver to leapfrog into the top five. As the 75-lap stage continued, Annett kept position in the top seven until the competition caution waved at lap 40. Under caution, he reported to crew chief Travis Mack that his No. 1 Chevrolet was loose on entry, tight in the middle of the corner and loose again coming off. Staying out to preserve a set of tires, Annett resumed racing from seventh position and made it work, launching back into the top five in short order by passing Chase Briscoe on lap 53. Annett would stay fifth until just four laps remained in the stage and eventually finished sixth. Annett told Mack that his entry had gotten better but the tight condition in the center had gotten worse. On pit road, Annett got four tires, fuel and both wedge and track-bar adjustments to improve his drive off. He would start Stage Two from 13th position.

Stage Two Finish: 11th

In just 12 laps, Annett had advanced from 13th to 10th, battling with Brett Moffitt and others for the spot. Over the next 28 circuits, Annett held the 10th position, but the handling started to go away and he dropped to 11th. He was 12th on lap 134 when he told Mack that his rear drive off the corner was rapidly going away. The caution flag came out seven laps later with Annett holding 11th position. Several cars ahead elected to pit while Annett stayed on-track, and that put him fourth for the restart with just four laps remaining in Stage Two. The cars who pitted for fresh tires had a distinct advantage and powered past, leaving Annett 11th when the green-checkered flag waved at lap 150. On pit road, Mack took a swing at fixing the handling with a chassis adjustment, four tires and fuel for the 100-lap final segment, and Annett would start from 14th position.

Final Stage:

When the green flag waved to start the final segment, Annett was on the other side of having new tires and he grabbed three spots on the initial lap. As the tires equalized, Annett fell back to 12th, and at lap 169 he started to move forward again by passing Moffitt. Four laps later, he passed Riley Herbst for 10th and at lap 175 took Briscoe to move to ninth. Continuing to move forward, Annett got Kaz Grala for eighth at lap 180 and nine laps later took care of point leader Austin Cindric for seventh. With 60 laps remaining in the race, Annett was in position to challenge for the victory.

Annett held seventh position until just 20 laps remained in the race, when an incident in Turn 2 brought out just the second caution flag of the day for a racing mishap. Annett told Mack that he was better in the center of the corner but that he still needed lateral grip and drive-off. Coming to pit road, Annett got four tires, fuel and a couple of adjustments for the run to the checkered flag. When the green waved at lap 238, Annett rode the high line into Turn 1 and swooped into fifth place, holding it until lap 241 when JRM teammate Noah Gragson got past. Justin Haley got by two laps later and Annett held seventh over the remaining laps to finish there.

JRM’s Justin Allgaier won for the second straight day, topping teammate Jeb Burton, Ross Chastain, Harrison Burton and Gragson. Haley led Annett, Brandon Jones, Grala and Cindric in the second five.

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

“It was a great feeling to not have to worry about points today since we clinched our playoff berth last night, and at times today we had a pretty good Pilot Flying J Chevrolet. We went back and forth on the handling in the sunshine, sometimes loose, sometimes tight at different places and sometimes both at once, but our No. 1 team made good changes and we came away with another top-10 finish. We are getting ready for the playoffs and there are some good tracks in there for us.“

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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