Strong Runs Derailed for JRM in Daytona Season-Opener

2/13/2021

American Heart Association Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee Brandt FilterTime Josh Berry Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J Race Report True Timber TrueTimber XFINITY Series

All four JRM cars spent time in the top-10 early in the race before being involved in cautions that ended their days early.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

 

Race 1 of 33: Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway

Track Specs: 2.5-mile tri-oval / 120 laps 

Weather: Partly cloudy; 70 degrees

Race Winner: Austin Cindric

 

Berry's Finish: 27th

Allgaier's Finish: 28th 

Gragson's Finish: 32nd 

Annett's Finish: 36th 

 


Josh Berry

Making his NASCAR Xfinity Series return, Josh Berry fought his way to the front and was battling for position inside the top five in the closing laps of Saturday evening’s season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway. Then, while drafting on the inside line heading into the third corner, Berry was collected in a multi-car incident that sent the No. 8 FilterTime Chevrolet hard into the outside retaining wall. As a result of the subsequent damage, Berry was unable to continue, relegating the JR Motorsports driver to a 27th-place finish.

Stage One Finish: 14th

With persistent rain falling throughout Saturday morning, NASCAR was forced to cancel qualifying and set the field based off of the 2020 NXS Owner Points, per the NASCAR Rulebook. That meant Berry lined up for the 120-lap event from the ninth position. From the drop of the green flag Berry moved forward, taking advantage of the inside line to move up to the seventh position before a caution on lap 10 provided the first opportunity for crew chief Taylor Moyer to play with some strategy. While under caution, Moyer made the call for Berry to come to pit road for four fresh tires and a quick round of adjustments. Returning to the track in 35th following the stop, the driver of the FilterTime Chevrolet charged forward, needing just four laps to improve 19 positions to 16th by the time the caution flag was again displayed on lap 19.

With the majority of the leaders choosing to come to pit road during this caution, Moyer made the call for Berry to remain on the track, moving the Hendersonville, Tenn. native up to the eighth position for the lap-23 restart. Once back under way Berry continued to fight for position, but lost his drafting help on the final lap of Stage One, ultimately taking the green-and-white checkered flag in 14th on lap 30.

Stage Two Finish: 10th

While under the stage-ending caution, Moyer called the driver of the FilterTime Chevrolet back to pit road for left-side tires and fuel, sending Berry back out for the beginning of Stage Two in the 15th position. With the green flag back in the air Berry wasted little time ascending back up the leaderboard, taking advantage of the outside line to draft back into the top 10 and up to seventh by the completion of lap 42. The 2020 NASCAR Weekly Series National Champion maintained his top-10 track position throughout the caution-free second stage, fending off challengers from both the inside and outside lane to take the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 60 in the 10th position and earn an extremely valuable stage point in the process.

Final Stage:

A quick two-tire change by the FilterTime crew following Stage Two sent Berry back out in the fifth position for the start of the third and final stage on lap 65. Drafting with JRM teammate Noah Gragson following the restart, Berry continued to jockey for track position before settling into 11th as the field prepared for the lone round of green-flag pit stops. Then, as Berry slowed on the exit of Turn 4 in preparation for his entry onto pit road on lap 75, a multi-car incident broke out. With cars sliding all around him, Berry was able to navigate his way through trouble and narrowly avoid any damage to the FilterTime Chevrolet.

Moyer decided to bring Berry back to pit road during the caution period that followed for fuel only, sending the JRM driver back out in 11th for the lap-83 restart. Once back under way Berry again pressed forward, utilizing the outside line to improve six positions and rejoin the top five on lap 88. Now back inside the top five, the driver of the FilterTime Chevrolet remained in lockstep formation, biding his time as the field remained single file around the top of the 2.5-mile superspeedway, until a lap-99 caution period halted the orderly conduct among the front runners.

Lining up fifth for the ensuing restart, Berry fought hard on the inside line, trying to continue his climb toward the front. Then, as the field entered the third corner on lap 104, a multi-car incident occurred directly in front of Berry that left the JRM driver with nowhere to go and sent the FilterTime Chevrolet hard into the outside retaining wall. The damage that followed proved too severe to continue, bringing an end to Berry’s evening shy of the finish.

Berry was ultimately scored with a 27th-place result.

Josh Berry, driver No. 8 FIlterTime Chevrolet team

“That’s a tough end to a solid night. We had a really fast FilterTime Chevrolet tonight and I feel like I learned a lot out there. All of these guys on this JR Motorsports crew gave it their all this weekend and it’s unfortunate that we weren’t able to get the solid result to back it up. But I can’t thank these guys enough for building some safe, fast racecars. We’ll be ready to go for the next one in Homestead. There’s more to come from this group.”


 

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, was putting together a strong run in the season-opening NASCAR Xfinity Series event on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway when he was caught up in a multi-car incident with less than 20 laps remaining. The No. 7 Camaro sustained too much damage to continue and Allgaier was scored with a 28th-place finish. The veteran driver will return to Daytona once again next weekend as the series prepares for the first road-course race of the season.

Stage One Finish: 7th

Allgaier rolled off the grid in second after qualifying was rained out and the field was set by the rule book. From the drop of the green flag, the No. 7 Camaro showed speed as Allgaier raced inside the top five and drove to the lead right before the first caution flag of the evening waved on lap 4. Restarting in the top spot, Allgaier continued to battle near the front of the field for the remainder of the caution-filled first stage, ultimately taking the green-and-white checkered flag in the seventh position.

Under the stage-ending caution, crew chief Jason Burdett called Allgaier in for a pit stop of four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.

Stage Two Finish: 11th

The JR Motorsports driver took the green flag for Stage Two on lap 36 from the 19th position and methodically started working his way forward using the draft. By lap 43, Allgaier was back up to the 10th position as a majority of the field ran single-file. Less than 10 laps later, Allgaier was shuffled back several positions before eventually moving to the bottom to try to get the inside line working. As the laps wound down in the second stage, the pack of cars he was working with began gaining momentum and Allgaier was able to move up to 11th before an eventful end to the stage that subsequently brought out the red flag.

Prior to pitting at the stage break, Allgaier relayed to Burdett that the BRANDT Camaro was a little more aero loose than in the first stage but was still fast. Once the red flag was lifted, the team opted to pit for two tires and fuel.

Final Stage:

Firing off for the final stage from fourth on lap 65, Allgaier continued to battle inside the top three until the fuel window opened for teams to come to pit road. Allgaier was preparing to make his scheduled green-flag stop when a multi-car incident brought out the caution on lap 75. The Illinois native was able to avoid the melee and came to pit road under the yellow flag once it opened to pack his Camaro full of fuel.

Allgaier lined up 13th for the lap-83 restart and was back up to seventh when another caution flag waved on lap 100. Choosing to stay out, Allgaier was in the seventh position when the field went back to green with less than 20 laps remaining. Not long after cars were up to speed, chaos broke out ahead of Allgaier and he had nowhere to go. The BRANDT Camaro sustained heavy damage and Allgaier was unable to drive it back to pit road for repairs. He was scored with a 28th-place finish.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet

“Guys were just being overly aggressive, especially with that many laps to go. We knew business was going to pick up, but it’s a shame. Our BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro was pretty good. Our car was one of the stronger ones at the beginning. We’ll regroup and come back next week at the road course and try to put it in Victory Lane, just like we were trying to do today.”


 

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson’s night was cut short on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway after sustaining damage while attempting to get to pit road during the race’s only attempt at green flag pit stops in the season-opening event for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. The driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro raced from the back to the front on two different occasions as the team utilized a different pit strategy and was able to score points in both Stage One and Stage Two before the incident entering pit road relegated Gragson to a 32nd-place finish in the 300-mile event.

Stage One Finish: 5th

Gragson fired off in fifth for the 120-lap event and tried working his way to the front before being shuffled back to the 14th position after being stuck with no drafting help in the opening laps.  Then, a lap 4 yellow slowed the field for the first time on the day and Gragson brought the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro to pit road for left-side tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment to alleviate a loose-handling Chevrolet.

Two additional caution periods slowed the field on lap 10 and lap 19 as Gragson held steady in the ninth position for each before pitting during the latter yellow for left-side tires and fuel. Gragson restarted the 10-lap shootout to end Stage One from the 23rd position and quickly worked his way to the front, improving 18 positions over the final laps to cross under the green-and-white checkered in the fifth position and earn six stage points to start the evening.

Stage Two Finish: 9th

Lining up in the eighth position after pitting for fuel only during the stage break, Gragson attempted to work his way to the front before fading to 17th. Now towards the back of the lead pack, Gragson opted to remain there and patiently ride with the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro. As Stage Two began to draw to a close, Gragson worked the bottom line and avoided a late wreck to move into the ninth position and earn two additional stage points when the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed on lap 60.

Final Stage:

Crew chief Dave Elenz brought Gragson back to pit road at the stage break for right-side tires and fuel. The driver of the No. 9 Camaro restarted from the third position and remained there until the first and only round of green flag pit stops got underway on lap 75. As the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro turned to the apron to head to pit road, an incident erupted from behind. Unbeknownst to Gragson as he looked to return to the track and not come to pit road, a damaged car was coming from behind and was unable to avoid the No. 9, slamming into the rear bumper of Gragson’s Chevrolet. Sitting on pit road following the incident, it was determined that the Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet was too damaged to continue, ending Gragson’s race 45 laps early and relegating the 22-year-old with a 32nd-place finish to start the 2021 season.

Noah Gragson, driver of the No.9 Bass Pro Shops, TrueTimber, Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet

“Obviously, that is not how we wanted to start off the 2021 season but I can’t thank the No. 9 guys enough for bringing me a fast Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro. I wish we could have been there at the end contending for a win, but we will come back to Daytona next week for the road course and try again.


Michael Annett

 

Michael Annett’s first ride with new crew chief Mike Bumgarner was on a decided upturn on lap 75 when his night went sideways in the season-opening Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars at Daytona International Speedway. Headed to pit road in the middle of the final stage, Annett’s Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet got hit from behind by another car, sending him across the track and into the outside wall. The damage sustained was enough to end his quest for another Daytona victory and dropped Annett from 13th at the time of the crash to 36th at the finish.

Stage One Finish: 11th   

After qualifying was rained out on Saturday morning, Annett started the first race of 2021 from 10th place in the 40-car field. As the race began, Annett experimented with different lines and felt out his No. 1 Chevrolet’s handling over the first 21 laps, using a caution flag on lap 12 to duck onto pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment. By the time the third caution of the first stage had waved, Annett was up to seventh place, telling Bumgarner that his Chevrolet was pretty good at that time and running in the top 10. Once the race restarted, the Iowa native climbed to sixth only to get hung out in the draft a couple of laps later and drop to 14th. Over the final two laps of the 30-lap opening stage, Annett recovered and finished 11th. Under the caution, Annett told Bumgarner that he needed more rear security for Stage Two because he was loose in the corners. Under caution, Bumgarner responded with tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment and sent his driver back out for Stage Two.

Stage Two Finish: 22nd   

Rolling off 16th for Stage Two, Annett went to the bottom in an effort to make up positions and he stayed there for much of the stage. The top line had most of the field in it, but Annett made it work on the yellow line throughout the run. As the laps wound down, the racing picked up and Annett moved from 27th on lap 56 to 21st at the green-and-white checkered flag signifying the end of Stage Two at lap 60. While under the ensuing caution period, Bumgarner called for four tires and fuel with another chassis adjustment. Annett would line up 19th for the final stage.

Final Stage:

Annett stayed put in the pack for the first several laps before making the jump from 18th to 13th, putting him up with JR Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier in the bottom lane before the call went out to pit on lap 75. As the bottom lane began to slow down to make the turn onto pit road exiting Turn 4, Annett’s car was hit from behind, triggering the crash that ended his night.

Austin Cindric won the event, followed by Brett Moffitt, Harrison Burton, Jeb Burton and AJ Allmendinger.

Michael Annett, driver No. 1 Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet team

“I can’t get my hand out the window any farther. I waved him (Finchum) off down the backstretch and even checked up a little bit trying to slow the rate of speed down into Turn 3. It’s unfortunate. We were playing the game we had planned out and it tore up a really good Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet. These guys worked their tails off all offseason and I felt like we were doing everything we needed to do, but it wasn’t our night. That was a big one, and really unfortunate. We’ll go back to the shop, regroup and get better.” 

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • August 7 04:00 PM ET
    Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200Watkins Glen International
  • August 14 04:00 PM ET
    Pennzoil 150Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course
  • August 21 03:00 PM ET
    New Holland 250Michigan International Speedway
  • August 27 07:30 PM ET
    Wawa 250Daytona International Speedway
  • September 4 03:30 PM ET
    Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200Darlington Raceway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Ambetter Get Vaccinated 200

New Hampshire Motor Speedway | 7/17/2021
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Austin Cindric7970
2AJ Allmendinger715-82
3Daniel Hemric684-113
4Justin Allgaier653-144
5Harrison Burton615-182
6Jeb Burton589-208
7Justin Haley577-220
8Noah Gragson544-253
11Michael Annett450-347