Allgaier's Podium Finish Leads the Way for JRM at COTA

5/23/2021

Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee Brandt Circuit of the Americas Justin Allgaier Michael Annett Miguel Paludo News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J Race Report TrueTimber XFINITY Series

Justin Allgaier brought home a top-three finish to lead Team JRM in NASCAR's historic debut at Circuit of the Americas.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

Race 11 of 33: Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of the Americas  

Track Specs: 3.410-mile road course / 46 laps

Weather: Mostly cloudy; 80 degrees

Race Winner: Kyle Busch
 

Allgaier's Finish: 3rd

Annett's Finish: 11th

Paludo's Finish: 34th 

Gragson's Finish: 36th

 

Justin Allgaier

 

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, scored the 100th top-five finish of his NASCAR Xfinity Series career in the inaugural event at the Circuit of the Americas on Saturday afternoon. Allgaier ran inside the top three throughout the day, leading for three laps and scoring valuable stage points at the conclusion of both Stage One and Two before taking the checkered flag in the third position. With the result, Allgaier has now finished inside the top three in three consecutive races dating back to his victory at Darlington Raceway earlier this month.

 

Stage One Finish: 6th 

Allgaier lined up for the 46-lap event at the Texas circuit from the ninth position after advancing into the final round of group qualifying amidst torrential downpours on Saturday morning. With the skies clearing and the sun appearing in the clouds, Allgaier charged forward once the green flag was dropped, improving five positions to fourth by the time the opening lap was completed. The JR Motorsports driver continued his ascent from there, as Allgaier raced into the third position by the completion of lap 3 and remained there until the first caution flag was displayed on lap 10 of the 14-lap opening stage. While under caution, crew chief Jason Burdett made the strategy call to bring the driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet to pit road prior to the end of the stage for four fresh tires and fuel with the hopes of keeping Allgaier out on the track for the start of Stage Two.

 

Due to a variety of pit strategies among the race leaders, Allgaier returned to the track following the stop in the 18th position for the one-lap-dash to end Stage One. Undeterred by the loss of track position, Allgaier rapidly marched forward, improving 12 positions over the course of the 20 distinct corners to take the green-and-white checkered flag in sixth. With the sixth-place stage-ending result, Allgaier scored five points to begin the day. 

 

Stage Two Finish: 7th

The strategy call to pit Allgaier prior to the end of Stage One paid off as Burdett had the driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet remain on the track as a handful of the leaders came to pit road. As a result of staying out, Allgaier catapulted into the race lead for the start of Stage Two. Holding on to the top spot for three laps, Allgaier battled with Kyle Busch and Austin Cindric before settling into the third position and remaining there through a lap-19 caution period. Lining up third for the lap-22 restart, the JRM driver charged back into second and held steady behind race leader Busch until the window opened for Burdett to again work with some strategy.

 

Utilizing the same plan as the end of Stage One, Burdett called the driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet to pit road under green on lap 27, just shy of the completion of Stage Two, for four fresh tires and an air pressure adjustment. Despite pitting under green, Allgaier was able to remain inside the top 10 to close out the second stage in seventh and earn four additional stage points, bringing the No. 7 team's total on the afternoon to nine.

 

Final Stage:

Choosing to again remain on the track following the stage-ending caution, Allgaier moved up to the second position for the start of the third and final stage on lap 32. After a feverish battle with AJ Allmendinger saw the pair swapping positions back-and-forth, Allgaier settled in to third and remained there throughout the caution-free final stage. In the closing laps, the Illinois native made a charge back up toward second, but unfortunately ran out of laps. 

 

In the end, Allgaier would take the checkered flag in third and secure the 100th top-five finish of his NXS career.

 

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet team

"We had a really fast BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet today. Jason (Burdett, crew chief) had a great strategy today and it feels great to come home with another strong finish. I can't say thank you enough to all the guys on this team and to everyone back at JR Motorsports for all of their hard work. We’re definitely ready to keep this positive momentum going when we get back to the track next weekend in Charlotte."

 


Michael Annett

 

 

Michael Annett drove the No. 1 Pilot Flying J My Rewards Plus Chevrolet to an 11th-place finish after starting 35th in Saturday's Pit Boss 250 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines on the majestic Circuit of the Americas. The Iowa native closed well in the final stage of the 46-lap event, the first NXS race held on the 3.410-mile road course just outside Texas' capital city. 

 

Stage One Finish: 18th     

After a qualifying run that took place in the rain early on race day, Annett started the event deep in the field from 35th position. Prior to the start, crew chief Mike Bumgarner reminded his driver that he could recover from starting in the back and to keep the team apprised of what he needed to move forward. Once the green flag waved, Annett immediately started forward, picking up seven positions to 28th on the first full-speed lap. In two more laps, Annett had risen to 25th while assessing his Pilot Flying J machine’s handling and getting used to the big road course. Following a caution flag, there was a one-lap shootout to end Stage One, and Annett used the restart to advance up to 18th at the green-and-white checkered flag as several drivers took advantage of the early stoppage to hit pit road. On the ensuing pit stop at the end of Stage One, Bumgarner gave his driver four fresh Goodyear tires and fuel and sent him back out in 10th place.

 

Stage Two Finish: 2nd     

When Stage Two got under way at lap 18, Annett found himself in the midst of a pack of cars battling for position. Into the uphill Turn 1, Annett got shuffled to the outside and lost three spots. Settling into the top 15 as the race reached its halfway point at lap 23, Bumgarner made a strategy call and kept his driver on the track for the final seven laps of Stage Two. Several of the cars ahead of Annett went to pit road before the end of the stage and Annett kept pushing as they did so. He cracked the top 10 in seventh at lap 27, three laps before the scheduled end of Stage Two, and wound up second when the green-and-white checkered flag flew to end it. The finish gained the Iowa native nine valuable stage points and gave him some momentum for the 16-lap final segment. On the stage break, Annett once again came down pit road for four tires and fuel, telling Bumgarner that he had a lot of play in his clutch pedal. After negotiating the stop without difficulty, Annett returned to the race in 17th position.

 

Final Stage:

Once the race was back under the green flag, Annett focused on getting back to the top 10. He gained two positions on the first full lap and climbed to 13th by lap 38, locked in a four-car battle that included Brett Moffitt, Myatt Snider and Riley Herbst. He passed Moffitt the next time by the flag stand, and passed Snider on lap 41 to get to 11th. Over the remaining laps, Annett fought to overtake a fading Jeb Burton for 10th, but fell short by the time the checkered flag waved. The 11th-place finish was a solid effort and bolstered his position in the points after 11 races.

 

Kyle Busch won the race, with AJ Allmendinger second and JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier a strong third. Kevin Harvick was fourth and Austin Cindric fifth. Harrison Burton was sixth, with Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, Justin Haley and Jeb Burton the rest of the top 10.

 

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

"We did a good job today as a group, and big thanks to this Pilot Flying J My Rewards Plus team. I really wanted a top-10 finish here today, but I used up my stuff late in the race trying to catch the 10 car (Burton). The pit crew did a great job on pit road, gaining us a lot of track position and the spotters did a great job keeping me aware of what was going on. It was a good day for us overall and in the points."

 


Miguel Paludo

 

Making his second start of 2021 for JR Motorsports, Miguel Paludo, driver of the No. 8 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, ran up front and fought inside the top five towards the end of Stage One and throughout the majority of Stage Two in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR Xfinity Series event at the Circuit of the Americas. Then, while battling for position inside the top five, Paludo's promising run came to an abrupt halt as he was forced to make an unscheduled pit stop before ultimately going to the garage with a mechanical failure on lap 25.  Unable to return to the track, Paludo was relegated to a 34th-place finish. 

 

Stage One Finish: 10th

Paludo lined up for the 46-lap event around the famed road course in 15th after the field was set via qualifying in the heavy rain on Saturday morning. Once underway the Nova Prata, Brazil native consistently rode around just outside of the top 10, in the 13th position, until a lap-10 yellow bunched the field together. Deciding to use a little strategy, the No. 8 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to alleviate a loose-handling condition through Turns 16, 17 and 18. Restarting from 21st due to varying pit strategies, Paludo set his sights forward as he raced up to the 10th position as the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end Stage One on lap 14, earning the No. 8 team one stage point in the process.

 

Stage Two Finish: 34th 

With Stage One in the books, Moyer made the call for Paludo to remain on the track while the race leaders came to pit road. As a result, the six-time Porsche Carrera Cup Champion took the green flag for the start of Stage Two in the fourth position on lap 16. The driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet continued to fight for position inside the top five until a mechanical failure forced the No. 8 Chevrolet behind the wall, ultimately ending his day on lap 25.

 

In the end, Paludo was scored with a 34th-place finish.

 

Miguel Paludo, driver No. 8 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet team

"I can’t thank everyone at JR Motorsports and BRANDT Professional Agriculture enough for this opportunity. We had a really strong run going in Stage Two and had a car that was capable of winning. Unfortunately, a piece on the car broke and that forced us behind the wall and ended our day early. I am looking forward to Mid-Ohio and hopefully we can put this No. 8 in Victory Lane."


Noah Gragson

 

Noah Gragson's hopes of a strong showing in the first NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas were dashed just 13 laps into the 46-lap event when the oil line on his No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Company came off while battling for position near the end of Stage One. The mishap relegated the young Nevada native to a 36th-place finish.

 

Stage One Finish: 34th

Starting the inaugural race on the Texas venue from 20th position after qualifying on a wet race track, Gragson immediately moved forward in the order. At the end of the first lap, Gragson had gained five positions and moved up to 14th as the field began to separate. Gragson told crew chief David Elenz that his No. 9 Chevrolet was tight in the left-hand turns and was handling differently than it did in practice. At lap 11, Gragson came to pit road for an early stop three laps from the end of the stage, taking four tires with a chassis adjustment. Re-entering the event in 27th position for a one-lap run to the stage flag, Gragson used the fresh rubber to blast up to 15th position, but reported that he felt something wrong under the hood, saying he wasn’t sure if he missed a shift or not. Soon thereafter, the oil line caught fire and came loose in Turn 14. Gragson could not get the engine to crank again and had to be towed to the pits. Elenz and the Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee crew looked it over, and the damage was too severe to continue. That left him with a 36th-place finish and a jolt in the point standings. As a result, Gragson dropped two positions to ninth after 11 races.

 

Kyle Busch won the race ahead of AJ Allmendinger, JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier, Kevin Harvick and Austin Cindric.

 

Noah Gragson, driver No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber®/Black Rifle Coffee Company Chevrolet team

"I don’t really know what happened. I didn’t hit any of the big tall curbs out there that would have done something like that. It’s disappointing for JR Motorsports and for Johnny Morris and the whole gang at Bass Pro Shops, for Rusty Sellars and TrueTimber® camouflage and all the guys at Black Rifle Coffee Company. It’s a bummer. We’re going to go back and reassess and go to Charlotte next weekend. It’s not the way we wanted to end our weekend."

 

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • September 25 07:30 PM ET
    Alsco Uniforms 302Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • October 2 04:30 PM ET
    Talladega Superspeedway
  • October 9 03:00 PM ET
    Drive for the Cure 250Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
  • October 16 03:00 PM ET
    Andy’s Frozen Custard 335Texas Motor Speedway
  • October 23 03:00 PM ET
    Kansas Lottery 300Kansas Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Food City 300

Bristol Motor Speedway | 9/17/2021
RankDriverPointsBehind
1AJ Allmendinger10430
2Austin Cindric1033-10
3Justin Allgaier924-119
4Daniel Hemric895-148
5Harrison Burton871-172
6Justin Haley864-179
7Noah Gragson863-180
14Michael Annett524-519
34Sam Mayer #186-857