JRM Picks Up Pair of Top-Five Finishes at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course

JR Motorsports | 8/14/2021

Allstate Parts Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee Brandt Chase Elliott Indianapolis Justin Allgaier News Noah Gragson Sam Mayer TrueTimber

Chase Elliott finished fourth as he subbed for Michael Annett, who continues to recover from leg surgery. Gragson joined him in the top five.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

Race 21 of 33: Pennzoil 150 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course 
Track Specs: 2.44-mile road course / 62 laps
Weather: Fair; 82 degrees
Race Winner: Austin Cindric

Elliott's Finish: 4th

Gragson's Finish: 5th

Allgaier's Finish: 11th

Mayer's Finish: 27th 

 


Chase Elliott

Chase Elliott stepped in for Michael Annett on Saturday in the No. 1 Allstate Peterbilt Group 50th Anniversary Chevrolet, driving the red, white and black Camaro to a solid fourth-place finish in the Pennzoil 150 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Annett, who had surgery on his right leg following the Atlanta race earlier this season, is still recovering and was not able to start the event. With five races remaining in the regular season, Annett remains solidly in the playoff hunt, just 10 points behind the 12th and final playoff spot.

Stage One Finish: 9th     

Annett practiced the car on Friday, but did not feel well enough to start Saturday's race. Elliott, the reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion and first NXS champion for JR Motorsports in 2014, was recruited early Saturday morning when it was determined that Annett could not participate. Elliott qualified the No. 1 Allstate Peterbilt Group 50th Anniversary Camaro in 25th position, getting used to the NXS machine. It didn't take long for Elliott to begin moving forward, as he gained eight positions on the opening lap of the 62-lap event on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course at the historic speedway. On the opening lap, Elliott had to avoid debris after several cars hit one of the tall "turtle" curbs off Turn 6 after being forced wide. Elliott came on the radio under the caution to report that he had "hit something heavy" and felt it underneath his feet and the cockpit, but crew chief Mike Bumgarner told his driver the spotters reported no visible damage to his car.

Once the race restarted at lap 4, Elliott put his head down and began moving up the order, cresting the top 15 at lap 9. The Georgia native was running 12th at lap 16 when the caution waved again for debris, and he told Bumgarner that the car was "not bad when I drive it right, I still haven't put a single lap together to my liking." Bumgarner called Elliott to pit road under that caution for four tires and fuel, and the Allstate Peterbilt Group pit crew performed a speedy pit stop to pick up three positions for their driver. Several cars stayed out, and Elliott lined up in ninth for the two-lap run to the green-and-white checkered flag. Elliott maintained ninth position and finished there. Having already pitted and being reminded to save fuel when he could, Elliott remained on the track for the start of the 20-lap Stage Two.

Stage Two Finish: 21st      

On the restart, Elliott lined up in the sixth position and was soon in the middle of a three-wide run to the 90-degree Turn 1. After jostling his way through, Elliott was able to get a decent run toward Turn 7, only to spin off the nose of another car. Getting the No. 1 Chevrolet pointed in the right direction, Elliott rejoined the field and crossed the line in 21st position. Over the next three laps, Elliott made it back up to 15th before the caution flag waved yet again at lap 29. Under the yellow, Elliott radioed that he smelled smoke in the cockpit and thought it was from his first water bottle, which he'd tossed out of the car on pit road at the end of Stage One. He also reported that his Allstate Peterbilt Group 50th Anniversary Chevrolet was still good and that he was working on sorting out his braking zones. Staying on track during the caution flag, Elliott advanced to 13th for the restart and had worked his way to 11th on lap 37 when Bumgarner called him back to pit road for a scheduled green-flag stop. Taking on four more tires and fuel to the end, Elliott returned to the track in 21st position. A caution for a stalled car on the front straightaway waved on lap 38 and Stage Two would end under the yellow flag with Elliott still in 21st position. The remainder of the field made their pit stops under the stage break, which advanced Elliott up the running order. Under yellow, Elliott told Bumgarner that he was getting better and developing a better rhythm for the final 22-lap segment.

Final Stage:

After the field made its pit stops, Elliott found himself in fifth position for the restart to begin the final stage. Again under green, Elliott battled through the opening complex of corners and kept moving forward, taking fourth on lap 45. Five laps later, Elliott passed Ty Gibbs for third and maintained that spot until a closing Justin Haley swept past with just three laps remaining in the race. Elliott held off a charge from JRM teammate Noah Gragson over the closing laps to cross the finish line in fourth position. It was the second top-five finish for the No. 1 team on a road course this season, following Annett's strong third-place run at Road America last month.

By not being able to compete on Saturday, Annett dropped one position in the driver points to 12th, 10 markers behind Riley Herbst with five races remaining in the regular season.

Austin Cindric won the race, with AJ Allmendinger, Haley, Elliott and JRM teammate Gragson in the top five. Austin Dillon led the second five ahead of Myatt Snider, Herbst, Harrison Burton and road-course ace Andy Lally.

Chase Elliott, driver No. 1 Allstate Peterbilt Group 50th Anniversary Chevrolet team

"I felt like I made some gains. I was really bad to start the day, really slow in the Cup car and really slow in qualifying, so it was good to run up front today. I didn't have anything for Austin (Cindric), the 16 (Allmendinger) or the 11 (Haley), but I feel like I made a lot of gains everywhere from the start of the morning. It took me a while to put a good lap together, and at the end we had some good speed. I found out at 8 this morning that the No. 1 team needed a driver today, and I hope Michael (Annett) feels better soon. I appreciate everyone at JR Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to get some more laps in before Sunday."


Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson and the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee team battled to an impressive fifth-place finish in Saturday's Pennzoil 150 NASCAR Xfinity Series event on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course, posting his best road-course finish of the season for the second consecutive week and earning his third straight finish of ninth or better on road circuits so far this season. Gragson was ninth at Road America and seventh at Watkins Glen in the two previous road events. The finish was Gragson's seventh top-five result in 21 starts this season and his 12th in the top 10.

Stage One Finish: 6th

Gragson qualified his Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet in the seventh position on Saturday morning and told crew chief Dave Elenz he thought his car would race well on the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road circuit. On the initial start, Gragson made a couple of moves that got him up to fifth despite some contact in the pack. As the field made its way through the infield portion of the complex for the first time, several cars were pushed wide at the exit of Turn 6 and ran over a large "turtle" curb, doing significant damage and bringing out the caution flag. Once the field got back to green-flag racing, Gragson fell to seventh on the first lap and started to struggle in the right-hand corners. The Las Vegas native was still seventh at lap 16, when the second caution waved for debris on the front straightaway, saying his exits to the right-hand turns were getting increasingly worse as the run went on. Elenz called his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment to help that, and his Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee pit crew gained three positions for their driver on the exchange.

Gragson lined up in 10th position for the restart and raced up to seventh on the first lap of green-flag racing and took one more position to end the 20-lap Stage One in sixth place, adding five precious stage points to his total for the day. Having already been to pit road for service, Gragson remained on track for the beginning of Stage Two. Three cars ahead of him hit pit road, advancing the young driver to third for the restart. Under caution, Gragson told Elenz that the adjustments helped his handling in the right-hand corners.

Stage Two Finish: 3rd    

Lining up on the outside of the second row for the run to Turn 1, Gragson made a lunge over the curbs into the 90-degree bend to take over second position, where he would stay until the caution waved again at lap 29. Under yellow, Gragson told Elenz the changes made on the pit stop had made his car come alive. On the ensuing restart at lap 32, Gragson bolted from the outside of the front row to the lead in Turn 1, but was overhauled soon after by both AJ Allmendinger and Justin Haley. Settling into third position, Gragson ran there until a fast-closing Austin Cindric got past for position on lap 36. As cars began to peel off for pit road prior to the stage end, Gragson stayed out in third until the caution waved again just two laps from the end of it. Gragson finished Stage Two in third, which was worth an additional eight stage points and pushed his total for the day to 13. On pit road under caution, Gragson came down for four tires and fuel to the end of the 62-lap event, returning to the track in 14th position for the final segment.

Final Stage:

As the green flag waved to start the final stint, Gragson was on the move. He picked up two positions on the first lap under green and moved to ninth on the following circuit after cars ahead of him made contact. At lap 47, Gragson passed Harrison Burton for eighth and seven laps later picked off Austin Dillon to run seventh. One of the cars ahead pitted on lap 57, moving Gragson to sixth, and that set up a battle with Myatt Snider for fifth. Two laps from the finish, despite a brief off-course excursion, Gragson completed the pass and drove the rest of the way to a fifth-place result, his best on a road course so far this season. The finish kept Gragson solidly in eighth place in series points with five races remaining to the playoffs.

Austin Cindric won the race over Allmendinger, Haley, JR Motorsports teammate Chase Elliott and Gragson. Dillon led the second five, with Snider, Riley Herbst, Burton and road-course expert Andy Lally the remainder of the top 10.

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

"Our Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet was good today and I made up a lot of spots on the track. We started at the back there for the last stage and were able to maneuver our way up through the field for a fifth-place finish. I'll take it. We want to be up at the front, but the guys who finished ahead of us were really strong. We'll keep moving forward and try to get back to where this team normally runs, leading laps and competing for stage wins and race wins. We'll go get them next week at Michigan."


Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, was solidly scored inside the top five heading to the conclusion of the second stage in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR Xfinity Series event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course. However, a caution flag waved with just three laps remaining in the stage as Allgaier entered pit road, subjecting the JR Motorsports driver to a penalty for pitting while the pits were closed. The penalty sent Allgaier's Camaro to the tail end of the field for the start of the third stage. Undaunted by the task at hand, Allgaier charged back through the field, improving 11 positions to rally for an 11th-place finish. With the result, Allgaier has now finished 12th or better in the last eight NXS events dating back to Texas Motor Speedway in June.

Stage One Finish: 12th 

Allgaier took the green flag for the 62-lap event from the fourth position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. The driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet maintained his track position inside the top five throughout the opening 15 laps of the afternoon. Then, during a lap-15 caution period, crew chief Jason Burdett made the call to bring Allgaier to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment with the thought being to keep the JRM driver out on the track at the conclusion of Stage One on lap 20. Due to a variety of pit strategies among the front runners, Allgaier returned to the track for the two-lap shootout to end the stage in the 16th position. Despite restarting outside the top 15, Allgaier pressed forward, gaining four positions to take the green-and-white checkered flag in 12th.

Stage Two Finish: 17th 

Burdett's strategy call to have Allgaier pit prior to the end of Stage One proved fortuitous, as the driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet advanced to the eighth position as the majority of the race leaders came to pit road during the stage-ending caution. Lining up back inside the top 10 for the lap-23 restart, the Illinois native again marched forward, needing just one lap to rejoin the top five before advancing to fourth on lap 25. Allgaier remained steadily inside the top five through a lap-28 caution period, despite reporting that the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet needed more help at the entry to the heavy braking zones at the 2.439-mile road course. Allgaier continue to ride inside the top five on the ensuing restart, before Burdett looked to again make a strategy call as Stage Two started to draw to a close.

With just three laps remaining in the stage, Burdett called Allgaier in for four tires and fuel, but, as the JRM driver approached the commitment line at pit entry, the caution flag was displayed, closing pit road. After initial optimism that they beat the caution, NASCAR deemed that Allgaier was just short of the line prior to the caution coming out. As a result, Allgaier was sent from his 17th-running position to the end of the longest line following the conclusion of Stage Two.

Final Stage:

Despite having to start the third stage from the rear of the field, Allgaier charged forward, gaining five positions over the opening two laps of the final stanza. The driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet's ascent up the leaderboard continued from there, as Allgaier rejoined the top-15 on lap 47. From there, Allgaier pressed to get back into the top 10, working his way up to the 11th position and on the back bumper of 10th before ultimately running out of time.

In the end, Allgaier was scored with an 11th-place finish. 

With the result, Allgaier has now finished 12th or better in his last eight NXS starts dating back to Texas and remains third in the playoff grid with just five races remaining in the regular season.

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

"We had a great BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet today and I can't thank Jason (Burdett, crew chief) and everyone on this team enough. Jason made some great strategy calls and we were going to be in a really solid position to begin that last stage if we didn't get caught by the caution flag. I'm happy we were able to rally like we did. It wasn't the finish that we wanted but this team never gives up and I'm ready to get back after it next week in Michigan."


Sam Mayer

Making his first career start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course, Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, drove from his last-place starting position to inside of the top five in the latter stages of Saturday afternoon’s Pennzoil 150 NASCAR Xfinity Series event. Then, while battling for fourth, contact with another car sent Mayer onto an off-course excursion through the grass within Indianapolis' infield, badly damaging Mayer’s Chevrolet. The subsequent damage proved to be too severe for Mayer to continue, forcing the JR Motorsports driver to head behind the wall, relegating the young driver to a 27th-place finish.

Stage One Finish: 10th

Mayer qualified for his first NXS start at the 2.439-mile road course in the 24th position but had to start from the rear as the team made unapproved adjustments following their qualifying run. Once underway, the driver of No. 8 Chevrolet raced his way to 23rd before a lap-1 caution for a multi-car incident slowed the field. On the ensuing restart, Mayer began his climb as he raced into the 18th position on lap 8 and up to 15th prior to the yellow flag waving again on lap 15. Pitting under yellow for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to alleviate a loose-handling Camaro, Mayer exited the pits and restarted from the 19th position due to varying pit strategies. A short run to the end of Stage One saw Mayer cross under the green-and-white checkered flag in the 15th position on lap 20.

Stage Two Finish: 22nd

During the stage-ending caution, crew chief Taylor Moyer made the call to keep the driver of the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet on track as they had just pit prior to the end of Stage One. Restarting from the 11th position, Mayer wasted no time moving forward as he entered the top 10 on lap 23 and was in the sixth position when the yellow flag flew on lap 29. Remaining on track, Mayer restarted from the sixth position and kept moving forward, entering the top five immediately following the drop of the green flag. The JRM driver held strong there until Moyer made the strategy call to bring Mayer down pit road with only four laps remaining in Stage Two, relinquishing his top-five running position. Rejoining the race in the 22nd position, Mayer was set on saving tires until the end of the stage but a yellow flag flew on lap-39 and ended Stage Two as the No. 8 remained in 22nd .

Final Stage:

Prior to the start of the third and final stage, Moyer opted to keep the JR Motorsports Chevrolet on track to stay with their overall strategy. Restarting from the sixth position, Mayer raced his way into fourth following the restart and remained there until an evasive maneuver to avoid the turtle placed on the exit of Turn 6 following contact with another car sent the No. 8 barreling through the grass and into the tire barrier. The resulting damage from the contact proved too severe for Mayer to continue, forcing the young driver to go behind the wall and bring an abrupt end to his promising afternoon. Mayer was ultimately scored with a 27th-place finish.

Sam Mayer, driver No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet

"I hate it for everyone on this team and everyone back at JRM that helps build these cars. I tried to avoid the turtle coming out of Turn 6 and just couldn’t save the car which ended our day early. We had a lot of speed and ran inside of the top five which felt great, but the ending is not what anyone wanted or expected. We will regroup and head to Michigan next weekend."

Articles

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • August 20 03:00 PM ET
    NXS Race at WGIWatkins Glen International
  • August 26 07:30 PM ET
    Wawa 250Daytona International Speedway
  • September 3 03:00 PM ET
    Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200Darlington Raceway
  • September 10 03:00 PM ET
    Kansas Lottery 300Kansas Speedway
  • September 16 07:30 PM ET
    Food City 300Bristol Motor Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After New Holland 250

Michigan International Speedway | 8/6/2022
RankDriverPointsBehind
1AJ Allmendinger8350
2Justin Allgaier816-19
3Ty Gibbs807-28
4Noah Gragson748-87
5Josh Berry737-98
6Austin Hill #664-171
7Brandon Jones634-201
9Sam Mayer578-257