Gragson, Allgaier Score Top 5s at Texas to Lead JRM

JR Motorsports | 10/16/2021

Allstate Parts Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee Hellmann's Justin Allgaier Michael Annett News Noah Gragson QPS Sam Mayer Sam's Club TrueTimber Unilever XFINITY Series

Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier picked up top-five finishes to begin the Round of 8 while Michael Annett and Sam Mayer finished ninth and 13th, respectively.

Race Results | Xfinity Series Points

Race 30 of 33: Andy's Frozen Custard 335 at Texas Motor Speedway 
Track Specs: 1.5-mile quad oval / 200 laps                       
Weather: Sunny; 72 degrees
Race Winner: John Hunter Nemechek

Gragson's Finish: 3rd

Allgaier's Finish: 4th

Annett's Finish: 9th

Mayer's Finish: 13th 

 


Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson opened the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs with a third-place finish in Saturday’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 335, driving his Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber® Camo/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet to the front in the late going and maintaining his position in the NXS point standings with just two races remaining before the winner-take-all championship race. Gragson overcame damage to the body on his Camaro and raced among the leaders when it counted. As a result, Gragson enters next week’s event at Kansas Speedway fourth on the playoff grid, two points above the cutline for the Championship 4.

Stage One Finish: 2nd    

Starting from fifth position after the application of NASCAR’s mathematical formula earlier in the week, Gragson was immediately on the move when the green flag waved for the 45-lap Stage One, taking third place in the opening laps and sorting out his Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet. At the lap-20 competition caution, Gragson told crew chief Dave Elenz that his car was tight in the center of the corners and on exit. During the caution period, Gragson was told the top lane, which had been treated with resin to help with grip, would come in soon. When the race resumed with 20 laps remaining in the stage, Gragson dropped to fourth in a battle with AJ Allmendinger. Later in the run, Allmendinger slipped to the high side and slowed down, which caught Gragson, who was already committed to the top lane, by surprise and contact was made with Allmendinger’s rear bumper. Gragson maintained fourth position until lap 41, when the caution waved again. Several of the cars around Gragson came to pit road, but Elenz elected to keep Gragson on the track for the one-lap conclusion to Stage One in order to collect stage points. Gragson crossed the line in second place when the green-and-white checkered flag waved over the field. In the process, Gragson earned nine valuable stage points. Gragson said his car was still tight in the center of the corners and on exit, so Elenz added four tires and made a chassis adjustment to help his driver when he came to pit road at the end of the stage. By virtue of several cars pitting early, Gragson returned to the track in 16th position for Stage Two.

Stage Two Finish: 9th      

On the second lap of Stage Two, Gragson went high into Turns 1 and 2 and dropped all the way to 23rd position when his car got loose in the third groove. Gathering his car up, Gragson reset and made his way back to 17th before the caution waved for debris at lap 55. Once the green flag was displayed, Gragson kept moving forward, getting to 14th in the first three laps of competition. He was 12th once the field settled out and was back in the top 10 at lap 79. He would eventually end Stage Two on lap 90 in ninth position, adding two more stage points to bring his total for the day to 11. On the stage break, the Nevada native told Elenz that his Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet started out loose but was building tighter. On pit road, Gragson took four fresh tires and fuel with a smaller chassis adjustment as well. The team held Gragson on pit lane to fix some damage to the right front bodywork and sent their driver back out in 24th position. On the out lap, Gragson reported a vibration and Elenz brought him back down pit road to tighten the lug nuts. He rejoined the field in 28th position.

Final Stage:

At the green flag to start the final segment, Gragson immediately moved forward, taking 24th at lap 101 when the caution came out for a crash in Turn 2. Lining up 21st on the inside line, Gragson passed five cars on the first lap of green-flag racing to run 16th. A few laps later, at lap 115, Gragson was back in the top 10 and he kept coming, sweeping to eighth on lap 118 and seventh on lap 125. Quiet on the radio, Gragson moved the Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet to sixth place six laps later. Elenz asked Gragson about his water pressure gauge after in-car camera shots showed water on the windshield of the car behind him, but it proved to be nothing to worry about. Several laps later, Gragson reported that his car was building tighter and tighter on the long green-flag run. Under caution at lap 144, Gragson hit pit road again for four tires and fuel, maintaining his track position in the process. A car ahead of him was called for a pit-road violation, which advanced Gragson into the top five. Choosing the top line for the restart, Gragson settled into fourth position and soon moved up to the third at lap 165 by passing Austin Cindric.

Gragson was still third with 26 laps remaining when the final caution flag of the race came out, and he told Elenz that his car was building tighter again as the run went on. After some conversation, Elenz brought his driver to pit road for their final set of sticker tires for the run to the finish, along with fuel and a little more of the adjustment from the last pit stop. Gragson started the final stint from the inside of the third row and ran fifth for several laps. With 13 laps remaining, Gragson moved up to fourth place and took third with 11 laps left in the 200-lap event. He would finish there at the checkered flag.

John Hunter Nemechek won the race, with Daniel Hemric second ahead of Gragson, JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier and Cindric. Allmendinger was sixth, with Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, JRM’s Michael Annett and Brandon Jones the remainder of the top 10.

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

“It was a good rebound. I made a mistake, hitting a car getting onto pit road when they all stacked up. It did some damage to the nose, which we repaired on the pit stop. It was a good recovery for our Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee team. The engine was awesome today; thanks to the guys at the Hendrick Engines shop. They had a lot of steam under the hood today. We needed to make a little bit bigger swing on our adjustment on the last pit stop, but we’re close. I’ll take a third-place finish and go on to Kansas. We want to win, and we’ll keep fighting for a championship.”


Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 Sam’s Club #MakeOverMyBackyard Chevrolet, secured his ninth consecutive top-10 finish on Saturday afternoon in the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Texas Motor Speedway, taking the checkered flag in the fourth position. The result marks the fifth time in the last six races that Allgaier has finished inside the top five. Additionally, with today’s top-five result, the JR Motorsports driver remains third in the NXS Playoff Grid, four points above the cutline with two races remaining in the Round of 8. 

Stage One Finish: 4th

Allgaier lined up for the 200-lap event from the sixth position after the field was set via NASCAR’s mathematical formula earlier in the week. From the drop of the green flag Allgaier held steady, maintaining his track position inside the top 10 until the competition caution was displayed on lap 20. While under caution, Allgaier reported to crew chief Jason Burdett that the Sam’s Club Chevrolet was building tight while rolling through the corner. Although not handling to his liking, Allgaier continued to battle inside the top 10 once back under way, running as high as seventh before a caution with just six laps remaining in the opening stage provided Burdett an opportunity to work with some strategy. With a handful of the race leaders opting to come to pit road, Burdett made the call for Allgaier to stay out, moving the JRM driver up three positions and into the top five for the one-lap sprint to conclude Stage One.

Taking the green as the second car on the outside row, Allgaier traded positions with AJ Allmendinger and JRM teammate Michael Annett before taking the green-and-white checkered flag in the fourth position and earning seven extremely valuable stage points to begin the day.

Stage Two Finish: 8th  

During the stage-ending caution, Burdett called the driver of the Sam’s Club Chevrolet to pit road for four tires and an air-pressure adjustment. However, due to varying pit strategies, Allgaier returned to the track for the start of Stage Two in the 22nd position. Undeterred by the loss of track position, the Illinois native charged forward, improving nine positions to 13th in just three laps before a lap-54 caution period bunched the pack back together. Taking the lap-61 restart as the seventh car in the outside line, Allgaier quickly gained an additional three positions to 11th before the field was slowed once again by the caution flag on lap 63. The driver of the Sam’s Club Chevrolet continued his ascent up the leaderboard on the restart that followed, marching back into the top 10 over the green-flag run that followed to take the green-and-white checkered flag in the eighth position on lap 90. With the stage result, Allgaier earned an additional three valuable stage points to bring the No. 7 team’s total to 10 on the afternoon.

Final Stage:

While under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier reported to Burdett that he needed help with the front turn on his Sam’s Club Chevrolet. As a result, Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires and another round of adjustments. A strong stop by the Sam’s Club crew gained Allgaier three positions in the running order, sending the JRM driver back out for the start of the third and final stage on lap 97 in fifth. Holding the fifth position through a quick lap-99 caution period, Allgaier set his sights forward following the lap-108 restart, making a daring three-wide move down the back straightaway to power into the third position.

Now inside the top three, Allgaier remained steadfast, matching lap times with the top two throughout the 33-lap run that followed before the caution flag was displayed once again on lap 141. While under caution, Burdett called the driver of the Sam’s Club Chevrolet back to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. Another strong stop sent the JRM driver back onto the track in the second position for the lap-149 restart. Firing off in second, Allgaier fended off a challenge from the inside line before settling into the runner-up position. Then, while narrowing the gap to the race leader through lapped traffic, an incident exiting Turn 2 forced NASCAR to again throw the caution flag on lap 172. As a result of the caution, Burdett made the call to bring Allgaier to pit road for the final set of fresh tires and fuel. However, with one car opting to stay out and an additional machine choosing to take just two tires, Allgaier returned to the track following the stop in fourth.

Taking the green flag from the second row on lap 180, Allgaier found himself mired in an intense battle for position with JRM teammate Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton and Austin Cindric. Trading positions with the trio for several laps, Allgaier was able to remain inside the top five throughout the closing laps to take the checkered flag in fourth.

The fourth-place result marks the fifth time in the previous six races that Allgaier has finished inside the top five and the 15th time in the last 17 races that he has placed in the top 10.

Additionally, today’s top-five finish keeps the JRM driver third in the NXS Playoff grid, four points above the cutline with two races remaining in the Round of 8.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Sam’s Club #MakeOverMyBackyard Chevrolet team

“Today was a solid day for our Sam’s Club #MakeOverMyBackyard Chevrolet. We kept fighting all day long and were able to come away with another top-five finish and remain inside that top four in points. We know what we need to do from here as we get ready for next week in Kansas. Hopefully we can have another smooth day there and get ourselves one step closer to moving on to Phoenix.”   


Michael Annett

Michael Annett turned in another solid performance on Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway, scoring points in both stages and earning a ninth-place finish in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars on the 1.5-mile quad-oval. The finish in the No. 1 Allstate Peterbilt Group 50th Anniversary Chevrolet was Annett’s ninth top-10 finish of the 2021 season and first since his return to the cockpit last week at the Charlotte Roval. The finish also helped the No. 1 team gain in the owner’s championship, cutting 14 points off the team’s deficit to the cutline for the Championship 4. With two races remaining until the field in the owner’s championship is narrowed to four, the team is eighth in the standings, 19 points shy of fourth.

Stage One Finish: 5th      

Annett rolled off from ninth position after application of NASCAR’s mathematical formula to determine the starting lineup.. Over the opening laps, the No. 1 Allstate Peterbilt Group 50th Anniversary Chevrolet stayed tight in the top 10.. When the yellow waved at lap 20 for the competition caution, Annett told crew chief Mike Bumgarner that his Camaro was very neutral on entry and that once he moved up to the top lane around the 1.5-mile layout, the handling got better. When the green flag was shown again, Annett continued in the top 10 until the caution waved at lap 41 for a stalled car. Some of the cars ahead of him hit pit road, moving him up to fifth in the running order. When the green flag waved to begin the final lap of the 45-lap Stage One, Annett held his spot and finished there, earning six valuable stage points in the process. Heading toward Turn 3 on that final lap, Harrison Burton tagged the left front fender of Annett’s car in a battle for position, knocking the fender in a little. On pit road, Annett took four tires, fuel and an adjustment to help a developing tight condition. In addition, the crew popped the affected fender back out and sent Annett back into the race in 25th position, behind the cars which had pitted earlier.

Stage Two Finish: 7th         

Beginning the run in heavy traffic, Annett made short work of the cars ahead when the green flag waved to begin Stage Two. The Iowa driver gained five positions on the first lap of green-flag racing and five more over the next three circuits to run 14th. A caution flag waved for debris at lap 55, but on the ensuing green flag, Annett continued to march forward, picking up two positions on the first lap of green-flag action and getting back into the top 10 the next time under the flag stand. Annett continued to move forward, getting to eighth before another caution waved at lap 64. Annett assumed seventh position at lap 72 and ran down the pack of front-runners ahead of him over the next several laps, but could advance no further. Annett brought the Allstate Peterbilt Group 50th Anniversary Chevrolet home in seventh at lap 90, adding four more stage points to his total for the day, bringing it to 10. Under the yellow, Annett told Bumgarner that his car had gotten tight at about the same time in Stage Two as it did in Stage One, and that aerodynamics had hindered his ability to gain positions over the final run to the stage flag. Bumgarner brought his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and a little more of the same adjustment made on the Stage One stop, sending Annett back out for the final segment in 10th position.

Final Stage:

When the green flag waved to start the final 110-lap segment, Annett gained one position to ninth before another caution flag stopped the action. When it resumed on lap 109, Annett took another two positions to seventh and moved to sixth at lap 112. Riding there for several laps, Annett tracked down the next car in line and swept into the top five on lap 122. Annett kept the pressure on, staying in fifth for the next 20 laps until the caution flag waved again. Bumgarner called him back down pit road at that time for four tires and fuel. The pit crew held serve and got their driver back on the track without losing a position. When green-flag racing resumed at lap 149, Annett held fourth position for a lap before the field began to battle in earnest. Annett slipped to sixth in the midst of the battle in the front with 47 laps remaining and stayed there until the caution flag waved again at lap 173. Annett’s Allstate Peterbilt 50th Anniversary Chevrolet had been building tight as the laps wound down, and Bumgarner called him back to pit road for his final set of sticker tires and fuel, and once again the pit crew held Annett’s spot in the order.

On the ensuing restart, Annett held position as before, but as he entered Turn 4 five laps into the run, he ran over a bump that upset his car, losing two positions to ninth. He would recover without losing any more positions and ran the rest of the race in ninth position.

John Hunter Nemechek won the race, with Daniel Hemric, JR Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson and Justin Allgaier and Austin Cindric the top five. AJ Allmendinger led the second five with Justin Haley, Burton, Annett and Brandon Jones the rest of the top 10.

Michael Annett, driver No. 1 Allstate Peterbilt Group 50th Anniversary Chevrolet team

“Our Allstate Peterbilt 50th Anniversary Chevrolet was really good today and we could have finished a few spots better if I didn’t hit the bump there late. That caused me to lose the track position we had gained at the time. Our No. 1 pit crew did a great job on pit road all day, gained a lot of positions. It was a good day for us too in the owner’s points, and we’ll take that to Kansas with us next week.”


Sam Mayer

Making his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Texas Motor Speedway, Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 8 QPS Employment Group Chevrolet, drove from his 11th-place starting position to inside of the top five in the early stages of Saturday afternoon’s Andy’s Frozen Custard 335 NXS event. Then, midway through the opening stage, contact with another car forced the JR Motorsports driver to make an unscheduled pit stop, shuffling Mayer back outside of the top 30. Undaunted by the task at hand, Mayer battled back over the remainder of the event, earning stage points following Stage Two and running working his way inside the top 10 during the final stage before ultimately taking the checkered flag in the 13th position.

Stage One Finish: 17th

Mayer lined up for his first race at Texas in the 11th position after the field was set through NASCAR’s mathematical formula. From the drop of the green flag Mayer moved forward, needing only two laps to drive inside of the top 10. Racing in the 10th position as the competition caution waved on lap 20, Mayer reported that his No. 8 QPS Employment Group Chevrolet was loose off throttle. Restarting from the inside of row five for the ensuing restart, Mayer checked up to avoid a slower car but contact from behind caused a tire rub on the left rear fender. An immediate yellow saved Mayer as crew chief Taylor Moyer called the No. 8 down pit road to fix the damage and replace the two left side tires in the process. Restarting from the rear of the field Mayer set his eyes forward as he raced his way up to 25th before the next caution waved on lap 39. Pitting for right side tires during the caution, Mayer lined up for the restart from the 17th position. With a one-lap-dash to end Stage One, Mayer remained in the 17th position as he crossed under the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 45.

Stage Two Finish: 3rd

During the stage-ending caution, Moyer made the call to keep the driver of the No. 8 QPS Employment Group Chevrolet on track as they had just taken tires one lap prior. Restarting from the third position, Mayer settled in just behind the front two running cars until a lap-54 caution bunched the leaders back together. Restarting from third, Mayer raced into the runner-up position before a lap-64 yellow slowed the field once again. Starting from the outside of the front row, Mayer fell to third and settled in until the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed on lap 90 to end Stage Two. Mayer earned eight stage points for the result.

Final Stage:

Prior to the start of the third and final stage, Moyer made the call to bring the QPS Employment Group Chevrolet to pit road for another set of four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Restarting from the inside of row two, Mayer held steady in the third position when a lap-99 caution was displayed. Restarting from third once again, Mayer battled an ill-handling Camaro that proved arduous to drive as he dropped down to the 11th position. Reporting the car was way too loose, he raced around the 12th position until a lap-141 caution gave Moyer an opportunity to work on the QPS Employment Group Chevrolet. Pitting during the yellow for four tires, fuel and to fix some slight damage sustained, Mayer came out of the pits in the 14th position. Restarting from the top of row six, Mayer utilized the high-side to gain one position before the final caution was displayed on lap 172. The JR Motorsports driver brought his No. 8 Camaro to pit road for the final time for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment to alleviate a loose-handling Camaro. Restarting from 14th with less than 20 laps remaining, Mayer pressed on and battled his way to a 13th-place finish.

Sam Mayer, driver No.  8 QPS Employment Group Chevrolet Team

“We struggled to find the balance on the No. 8 QPS Employment Group Chevrolet during the latter parts of the race and just couldn’t make up any ground. It felt good to run towards the front in Stage Two and put an entire race together after getting a little damage early on. We will press on to Kansas next week and hopefully be near the front again.”

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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