JRM Picks Up a Trio of Top-10 Finishes at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

JR Motorsports | 3/6/2021

Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee Brandt FilterTime Josh Berry Justin Allgaier Las Vegas Motor Speedway Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J Race Report TrueTimber XFINITY Series

Gragson, Annett and Berry finished fifth, sixth and seventh, respectively, as JRM had a strong showing out west.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

 

Race 4 of 33: Alsco Uniforms 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 200 laps 

Weather: Sunny; 77 degrees

Race Winner: AJ Allmendinger

 

Gragson's Finish: 5th

Annett's Finish: 6th 

Berry's Finish: 7th 

Allgaier's Finish: 14th 

 


Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet, scored his first top-five finish of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, utilizing a late-race yellow and four fresh tires to drive to fifth with under 15 laps remaining in the Alsco Uniforms 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Gragson overcame an ill-handling car throughout each stage as the No. 9 Camaro lost rear grip late in the run to score stage points in both stages en route to the fifth-place result in the 200-lap event.

Stage One Finish: 8th

Gragson fired off from the 34th position after the starting lineup was set via NASCAR’s mathematical formula and wasted little time moving forward, driving inside of the top 20 by the completion of lap 1 and inside the top 10 by the time the first yellow waved on lap 17. Staying on track during this caution, Gragson chose to restart on the bottom of row four for the lap-25 restart. The 22-year-old drove to sixth following the restart but reported that he believed his rear tires were corded, affecting the rear grip of his Camaro over the closing laps of the opening Stage. Gragson ultimately crossed under the green-and-white checkered on lap 45 in eighth, earning three valuable stage points in the process.

Stage Two Finish: 7th

The No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro came to pit road following the stage-break for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to tighten the car up for this run. When the race went back green, Gragson restarted from the inside of row three and held pace until the caution waved on lap 56. Remaining on track during the yellow, Gragson chose to once again restart from the inside of row three. Two additional cautions slowed the field on laps 65 and 73 as Gragson ran in the ninth and seventh positions, respectively. Gragson restarted from the inside of row three on lap 76 and moved up to fifth by the completion of lap 78. Battling with JR Motorsports teammate Michael Annett, Gragson ultimately fell to seventh at the stage-end on lap 90. The stage result netted Gragson and the No. 9 team  an additional four stage points.

Final Stage:   

During the final stage-break, Gragson came into the pits for four tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment to alleviate a loose-handling Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro. Coming out of the pits in sixth and restarting from the top of row four on lap 97, Gragson fell to eighth as the handling on his JRM Camaro had fallen off. Despite not handling to his liking, Gragson held strong until he was able to bring the Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro to pit road for the lone green-flag pit stop on lap 147 for four tires, fuel and an additional trackbar adjustment. As the green flag stops cycled out, Gragson found himself back in the eighth position until a lap-174 yellow brought the field back together.

Crew chief Dave Elenz opted to take advantage of this caution to bring Gragson to pit road for their last set of four fresh tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment. The driver of the Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet restarted from the outside of row four on lap-179 and quickly charged forward, racing up to the fifth position by the time the final caution flag of the day was displayed on lap 181. Restarting from the inside of row two for the ensuing restart on lap-187, Gragson mounted a charge forward, racing wheel-to-wheel with Austin Cindric over the closing laps before ultimately crossing the finish line in the fifth position to earn his first top-five finish of the 2021 season.

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

“I really struggled to find the handling on the car all day but we were able to come home with our first top five of the year and hopefully this kickstarts our momentum for the year. We couldn’t quite figure out how to give the car a little more rear grip throughout the runs and that set us back but I can’t thank Dave (Elenz, crew chief) and the entire No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee team enough for never giving up. Our pit crew guys gave us great track position throughout and that really helped us at the end of the day.”


 

Michael Annett

Michael Annett and the Pilot Flying J team put together a complete race on Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, earning stage points in both of the first two segments and closing out the Alsco Uniforms 300 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars with a season-best sixth-place finish. It was the first top-10 effort for the Iowa native this season and his best finish since a fourth-place effort in the 2020 season finale at Phoenix Raceway last November.

Stage One Finish: 6th     

Starting 13th by virtue of NASCAR’s mathematical formula, Annett’s plan for the 200-lap event on the 1.5-mile desert oval was simple: stay ahead of the track and the changes and race every lap. As has been his habit so far this season, Annett moved forward at the green flag, gaining two spots on the first lap to 11th and another two laps later to crack the top 10. On lap 15, Annett advanced to eighth place and was moving on seventh when the caution flag waved for a spin in Turn 4 on lap 18, two laps before the scheduled competition caution was to wave. Annett told crew chief Mike Bumgarner that the handling of his Pilot Flying J Chevrolet was good all the way around the track. On the ensuing restart at lap 26, Annett resumed his chase for the top five, biding his time as the 45-lap Stage One continued to unwind. With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Annett passed Riley Herbst for seventh and chased down JRM teammate Noah Gragson for sixth five laps later. The Iowa native held that position to the end of Stage One, banking five important points in the process. Once pit lane opened, Annett came to the attention of the Pilot Flying J pit crew, who fitted his Chevrolet with four new tires and filled it with fuel for Stage Two. He would leave pit road in eighth place.

Stage Two Finish: 6th    

Stage Two got under way at lap 53, and once again Annett started quickly. Rolling under the green flag in eighth position, Annett was battling for sixth when the caution waved for contact between Ty Dillon and Herbst. In the aftermath, Dillon’s car banged the side of Annett’s No. 1 but did no damage. Shortly after the race restarted, Annett was battling with Ryan Sieg for position when the latter had a flat tire off Turn 4 and spun into the infield. Annett was seventh at that point, and he stayed there for most of the rest of the stage. With five laps remaining, Annett won a battle with Gragson to take sixth place again and finished there for the second straight segment, adding five more stage points to his total for the day. When pit road opened, Bumgarner called him to the pits for four more tires and fuel, and the Pilot Flying J crew executed a quick stop to gain one position to fifth entering the final stage.

Final Stage:

With the longest stint of the day ahead, Annett got right down to business when the green flag replaced the yellow on lap 97. Annett made up ground as the field swirled through the first few laps, finally ascending to fourth position at lap 100. Over the next 27 laps, Annett kept the No. 1 in the top five, battling with Harrison Burton and Justin Haley for position. As the so-far caution-free segment continued, the handling started to go away and Annett slipped to seventh at lap 135. Green-flag pit stops began over the next several laps, and Bumgarner called his driver to pit road at lap 148 for four tires and fuel. Losing a lap to the leaders, Annett returned to the fray in 15th position. As the rest of the lead pack came to pit road, Annett began to move back up the board, rejoining the top 10 on lap 151 and the lead serial on lap 154 when Haley finally came down for his stop. Sitting seventh at that point, Annett took sixth place at lap 156, setting the stage for the run to the finish.

Hanging on to Burton’s rear deck, Annett chased the young driver until Austin Cindric split the duo. Entering Turn 1, Cindric tapped Burton’s rear bumper and sent the young driver spinning. Annett quickly turned to the high side to miss the incident and moved into the top five once again. The ensuing yellow flag allowed Annett to pit for his last set of fresh tires at lap 176. Lining up for the restart, Dillon was the leader on old tires and Annett chose the opposite line to avoid a slow restart. It worked, as Dillon’s line stalled and Annett was able to move to fourth in the order. Dillon was involved in a crash and brought out the yellow again, setting up the final restart of the race with 13 laps remaining. Annett chose the top line and fired off sixth, passing Cindric for fifth the next time by but losing the spot on the following lap. Annett was unable to get back around and finished the race in sixth position. The top-10 result boosted Annett another six positions in driver points to 11th after four races.

AJ Allmendinger won the race, with Daniel Hemric, Brandon Jones, Cindric and Gragson in the top five. Annett headed the second five, over JRM’s Josh Berry, Haley, Harrison Burton and Jeb Burton.

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

“It was a good solid run today for the Pilot Flying J Chevrolet, and a good day in the points for us after the bad luck we’ve had in that regard this season. We doubled up in stage points today, and that’s what we need to do, maximize the weekends. On the last restart, I should have taken the bottom, and I kind of feel like I gave away a top-five finish. It was a solid day all day, and Mike (crew chief Mike Bumgarner) says we can do this every week. We can do it every week. Thanks to the Pilot Flying J pit crew today, because they had great stops every time.”


 

Josh Berry

Josh Berry, driver of the No. 8 FilterTime Chevrolet, matched his career-best finish in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Taking advantage of a late-race restart, Berry charged from the 10th position in the closing laps to earn a hard-fought seventh-place finish. The result is the second consecutive finish inside the top 10 for Berry and the fourth of his NXS career in 10 series starts. 

Stage One Finish: 29th

Berry took the green flag for the 200-lap event from the ninth position after the field was set via NASCAR’s mathematical formula earlier in the week. After initially maintaining his track position inside the top 10 during the opening laps, Berry reported to crew chief Taylor Moyer that the FilterTime Chevrolet had gone to the loose side rolling through the corner. This loose-handling condition ultimately shuffled Berry back to 17th by the time the first caution flag of the day was displayed on lap 17. During this caution period, Moyer made the call to bring the JR Motorsports driver to pit road for a chassis adjustment in the hopes of tightening the car up.

With the majority of the field opting to remain on the track during this caution, Berry lined up for the lap-25 restart in the 32nd position. Methodically working his way forward in the closing laps of Stage One, Berry took the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 45 in the 29th position despite reporting that the loose-handling condition remained, especially in Turns 3 and 4.

Stage Two Finish: 11th

The driver of the FilterTime Chevrolet returned to pit road following Stage One for four tires and another round of adjustments. Taking the green for the start of Stage Two in 23rd, Berry pressed forward, needing just three laps to march up to the 15th position before the field was slowed by another caution on lap 55. The Hendersonville, Tenn. native continued his climb toward the front on the ensuing restart, taking advantage of a three-wide move to rejoin the top 10 as the caution flag was displayed once again on lap 64.

Choosing the outside line for the lap-69 restart that followed, Berry again battled three- and four-wide for position, moving up to as high as seventh before yet another appearance by the yellow flag on lap 72. The driver of the FilterTime Chevrolet held steady inside the top 10 once the race got back under way, but developed a tight-handling condition as the green flag run progressed. This handling condition worsened as the laps wound down in Stage Two and unfortunately shuffled Berry back to the 11th position as the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed to end the stage on lap 90.”

Final Stage:

During the stage-ending caution, Moyer made the call to bring Berry back to pit road for four tires and another round of wedge and track-bar adjustments in the hopes of finding the best balance for the FilterTime Chevrolet. A strong stop sent Berry back onto the track for the start of the third and final stage in the eighth position. However, after battling for several laps with Justin Haley and JRM teammates Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson, Berry settled in to the 11th position as the driver of the FilterTime Chevrolet reported that the loose-handling condition had returned. That handling condition proved to be problematic over the course of the long run as Berry slid back to as far as 18th before the lone round of green-flag pit stops got underway on lap 145.

Hitting pit road for four tires and adjustments, Berry cycled back out following the stop in the 13th position and would remain inside the top 15 until a lap-173 caution period provided Moyer with another chance to make adjustments to the FilterTime Chevrolet. Lining up 11th for the lap-179 restart that followed, Berry needed just one lap to race back into the top 10, moving up to the eighth position before the field was slowed for final time on the afternoon on lap 180.

The 2020 NASCAR Weekly Series National Champion again chose the outside line for the lap-187 restart, taking the green flag in the 10th position. Once back under way Berry again ascended up the leaderboard, utilizing the outside of the 1.5-mile speedway over the course of the final laps to take the checkered flag in the seventh position.

With the result, Berry has now matched his career-best result in the NXS and has finished inside the top 10 in two of his three starts to date in 2021.

Josh Berry, driver No. 8 FilterTime Chevrolet team

“We made a lot of gains over the course of the day with our FilterTime Chevrolet and I can’t thank Taylor (Moyer) and all the guys on this JR Motorsports team enough for their hard work. We never gave up all day long and it feels good to come away with another solid finish. We are continuing to learn each week out here and I can’t wait to get back after it again next week in Phoenix.”


 

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro, earned valuable points in the first two stages and led laps before ultimately battling through a tough-handling condition late in the race, resulting in a 14th-place finish in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Stage One Finish: 7th

Rolling off the grid from the 37th position, Allgaier steadily worked his way through the field once the green flag dropped. By lap 15 he had entered the top 20 and reported to the crew just two laps later under a caution flag that the BRANDT Camaro was lacking rear security. Restarting 15th on lap 25, he continued his climb forward, racing his way up inside the top 10 and into the seventh spot before the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end Stage One on lap 45.

Stage Two Finish: 3rd

After Allgaier reported that the BRANDT Chevy got freer as the run went on, the team opted to bring him to pit road during the stage break for four tires, fuel and a trackbar adjustment. Lining up fourth for the start of the second stage on lap 52, he advanced his position to second before a quick caution came out just a few laps later. Under the caution, he reported that he was happy with the adjustments made during the last stop.

Restarting from the second position on lap 62, Allgaier battled for the lead, taking over the top spot before sliding back into second. He continued to race inside the top three throughout the caution-filled remainder of Stage Two, earning a third-place finish when the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed on lap 90.

Final Stage:

Allgaier relayed that the BRANDT Chevy cycled tighter during the second stage, so crew chief Jason Burdett called the driver of the No. 7 in for fresh tires, fuel and adjustments. Taking the green flag for the final stage from the fourth spot, he continued to race inside the top 10 after reporting that the BRANDT Camaro was really free to fire off. Allgaier was running in the 10th position during a long green-flag run when Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments. Sending him back out in the 26th spot, Allgaier was back up to the seventh position once pit stops cycled through. He was in that same position when the yellow flag waved on lap 174. Under the caution, the JR Motorsports driver reported that the BRANDT Camaro went back to the tight side, so the team made their final stop of the night for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.

Allgaier restarted inside the t on lap 179 and was up to sixth before another quick caution came out on lap 181. Staying out under the yellow, he lined up in the fifth position and battled hard through a tough-handling condition in the final laps, ultimately coming home in the 14th position.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet

“We definitely did not get the finish we wanted tonight, but it felt good to battle for the lead and get some good stage points. We’ll continue gaining momentum from here. I’m looking forward to getting to Phoenix. It’s a great track for us and I know we’ll have a fast BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

XFINITY Series Standings

After NXS Championship

Phoenix Raceway | 11/6/2021
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Daniel Hemric (P)40400
2Austin Cindric (P)4035-5
3Noah Gragson (P)4025-15
4AJ Allmendinger (P)4023-17
5Justin Allgaier2300-1740
6Justin Haley2244-1796
7Brandon Jones2239-1801
15Michael Annett638-3402
25Sam Mayer #338-3702