HALFWAY TO 100: JR Motorsports Notches 50th Victory

Ron Lemasters | 9/14/2020

Brandt Dale Earnhardt Jr. FilterTime Justin Allgaier Kelley Earnhardt Miller NASCAR Xfinity News Richmond Raceway

Last Friday night at Richmond Raceway, Justin Allgaier posted the 50th NASCAR Xfinity Series victory for JR Motorsports since it began competition back in 2005. It's an auspicious start to the playoffs and a key milestone for the company.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Sept. 14, 2020) – On Friday night at Richmond Raceway, Justin Allgaier won his second race of the 2020 season for JR Motorsports. That’s important, because the playoffs are on the very near horizon and it’s time to race for championships.

The victory, however, is statistically important for all of JR Motorsports, as it was the landmark 50th victory for the team, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Rick Hendrick dating back to 2005.

With the 50th victory, JRM solidified its hold on fifth place among the all-time leaders in team victories for the series. Win No. 50 puts the team just 25 behind Team Penske for fourth, while RCR (85), RFR (138) and JGR (171) lead the way.

Of course, JRM is the lone NXS-only team in that top five.

Allgaier wasn’t done. On Saturday, the Illinois driver led 135 of the 250 laps to win for the second straight day, and he owns victories 49, 50 and 51 for the team, giving him 11 for his career with JRM and the all-time lead among drivers here.

The 49th victory came on Aug. 22, when Allgaier shook off a season’s worth of close calls, near-misses and bad luck to dominate the first of two Drydene 200s at Dover International Speedway. Allgaier’s victory was his ninth with the team, which extended his team lead in the category to three over a collection of drivers including NASCAR Cup champions-to-be Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick and Regan Smith, all with six.  

“Achieving 50 victories in a series as tough as the NASCAR Xfinity Series is quite an accomplishment,” said JRM General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller on the historic achievement “JR Motorsports was founded so that up-and-coming drivers would have a chance to compete at higher levels of our sport, and I think our record of that speaks for itself. From Brad Keselowski to Regan Smith and on through William Byron and Noah Gragson, JR Motorsports has followed through on its founding purpose.”

As important as the drivers are, the teams win races as a group as part of an overall organization. That was part of JRM’s founding principle as well.

“It’s not only drivers that have come through this building, either,” Earnhardt Miller said. “Many mechanics, car chiefs and crew chiefs have gotten their careers started here and gone on to great success, and some of them returned here to continue their careers. Our Late Model team has won championships and big races, and drivers like William, Josh Berry and others have taken their first steps toward the highest levels right here at JRM.”

Current NASCAR Cup crew chief Greg Ives is an example of the former, having led Chase Elliott to his and the team’s first NXS championship in 2014. Ives now leads the No. 88 team at Hendrick Motorsports with driver Alex Bowman.

On the other side, former HMS car chief Jason Burdett, Allgaier’s crew chief, is now the all-time leader in victories among crew chiefs at JRM with 13.

The first of the first 50 victories for JRM came in the 2008 Sam’s Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, when Mark Martin won the event over Greg Biffle. The race came down to a late restart, and had it ended up staying green, JRM’s Brad Keselowski might have been the driver in Victory Lane rather than Martin.

Keselowski, driving the No. 88 U.S. Navy Chevrolet, and Carl Edwards were battling for the lead in the waning laps, following a restart with nine laps remaining. Martin, in the No. 5 Delphi Chevrolet, had taken two tires on the previous caution flag at lap 189 and restarted fourth.

As the cars emptied out of Turn 4 and headed to the start/finish line, Martin had a monster run on the inside and was on Edwards’ bumper, with Biffle right alongside Edwards. As the cars came across the line, Martin was in the process of heading to the apron when he clipped the rear of Edwards’ No. 60 machine.

That upset the rear end, and Edwards fought to keep it straight, with no luck. He slapped the side of Keselowski’s Chevrolet and sent both spinning into the outside wall. Martin zipped past with the lead.

“I had a run and he (Edwards) came down...I got into him,” Martin said under caution. “Man, I hate that.” Neither Edwards nor Keselowski were particularly happy when it was over, and Martin was rather subdued in celebration.

“First of all, I have to apologize before we do any celebrating,” Martin said in Victory Lane. “I got into Carl and Brad, and I messed up a potential 1-2 finish for JR Motorsports.”

Another milestone for JRM came at Richmond on Sept. 11, 2015.

Chase Elliott, the defending series champion, led the final 83 laps that night to win the Virginia 529 College Savings 250. The soon-to-be NASCAR Cup Series driver took the lead on lap 168 and never let it go, holding off Kyle Busch by 1.308 seconds to earn the victory, which was also the 400th for Chevrolet in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition.

Many sponsors were represented in JRM’s run to 50 victories. The winningest among them is BRANDT Professional Agriculture, with seven victories, all by Allgaier. GoDaddy, TaxSlayer and NAPA Auto Parts are next with four each, and Hellmann’s and OneMain Financial each had three cars in Victory Lane for the team.

Axalta, Liberty University, BurgerFi, U.S. Navy, Delphi, Kroger and Bad Boy Buggies also had multiple victories for JRM, with two each.

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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