Justin Allgaier Joins the Championship 4 as JRM Picks Up Trio of Top 10s at Martinsville

JR Motorsports | 10/30/2022

Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee iRacing Josh Berry Justin Allgaier Martinsville Speedway News Noah Gragson Race Report Sam Mayer Tire Pros TrueTimber

In a chaotic race at the short track, Justin Allgaier pointed his way into the Championship 4, joining teammates Noah Gragson and Josh Berry.

Race 32 of 33: Dead On Tools 250 at Phoenix Raceway 
Track Specs: .526-mile oval / 250 laps                     
Race Winner: Ty Gibbs

Gragson's Finish: 4th

Allgaier's Finish: 5th

Mayer's Finish: 7th

Berry's Finish: 20th

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson finished fourth in an eventful Dead On Tools 250 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, battling three overtime restarts and a slugfest in front of him. The 24-year-old driver of the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet will head to the Championship 4 race next weekend at Phoenix Raceway as the top seed in the winner-take-all event.

Race Rundown

  • Gragson qualified in the fifth position for the 250-lap shootout on the tiny oval track and held steady in the top five for the first 36 laps, battling a tight condition in the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro. Crew chief Luke Lambert elected to bring his driver to pit road two laps later in an effort to help Gragson move up in the order.
  • On pit road, Gragson took four tires, fuel and chassis and air-pressure adjustments on the stop, falling to 27th position after being called for speeding on pit road. On the restart from deep in the field, Gragson wasted no time putting those changes to use, cracking the top 20 in just 16 laps on the famed oval. He advanced three more positions to 17th before the green-and-white-checkered flag waved to end Stage One on lap 60.
  • Staying out while the cars in front of him pitted for service, Gragson moved up to the lead for the start of the 60-lap Stage Two. Gragson would pace the field for the next 21 laps before surrendering the top spot at lap 88, eventually falling to fifth for a few laps before rallying to third following another caution at lap 107.
  • Staying out with just 13 laps remaining in Stage Two, Gragson ran to a fourth-place finish in in the stage, banking seven stage points to add to his total for the day. On pit road during the break, Lambert changed four tires, added fuel and made additional chassis and air-pressure adjustments, setting his driver up to challenge in the final segment.
  • Several drivers stayed out on the break, which put Gragson 15th for the restart. Again, Gragson needed just 21 laps to regain the top 10 and he would stay there the rest of the day. Experimenting with different lines, Gragson continued his charge up the order.
  • Gragson ran in eighth position at lap 163 when the caution flag waved yet again, and Lambert called him to pit road for four more tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment, planning for the end of the race. The Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee pit crew busted off a fast stop and gained four positions on the track for their driver.
  • Restarting with 81 laps left in regulation, Gragson maintained his position in the top five and was sitting in fourth place when the caution waved at lap 196. On the ensuing restart, Gragson advanced to third and drove into second place at lap 204.
  • Staying out again, Gragson maintained second place through another yellow before taking the lead on a restart at lap 218. The rest of the event featured six more cautions, and Gragson played strategy by choosing lanes that would help him maintain position.
  • On the final restart of the race, Gragson had chosen the outside line and led lap 267 before eventual race winner Ty Gibbs made his move for the top spot. Gragson was pinned to the top lane and lost three positions to fourth, which is where he was scored at the checkered flag.
  • When the teams arrive next week for the Championship 4 race at Phoenix, Gragson will be the top seed among the title contestants, having earned eight race victories so far this season. It will be his second attempt to bring home the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship following his appearance in the winner-take-all race last season.

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

"It was a lot of fun racing for the win here at Martinsville. I'm really excited that Justin (Allgaier) made it in, and that means we'll have three JR Motorsports cars in the race for the title. That's really big for our team and the organization as a whole. Thank you to Mr. Hendrick, the Hendrick Engine Shop and everyone at JR Motorsports. It's been such a fantastic season with so many great people involved. We had opportunities to win the race, we were on the front row, but we just didn't get it."

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 BRANDT / iRacing Chevrolet, advanced to the Championship 4 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs following a hard-fought fifth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday evening. Allgaier, who survived three overtime restarts to bring home the top-five result, has now qualified for the Championship 4 for the fifth time in his NXS career and is one of three JR Motorsports drivers vying for the title heading into next weekend's season finale at Phoenix Raceway. The veteran driver has twice visited Victory Lane at the 1-mile oval in the desert, including the fall event in 2019.

Race Rundown

  • Allgaier lined up for the final race in the Round of 8 in the sixth position following qualifying on Friday evening.
  • Starting from inside the top 10, Allgaier steadily marched forward with the BRANDT / iRacing Chevrolet, climbing into the top five for the first time on lap 42 before racing into the top three on lap 51. The JRM driver held strong inside the top three for the remaining nine laps of Stage One to take the green-and-white checkered in third on lap 60 and earn eight extremely valuable stage points to begin the day.
  • Coming to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel following the opening stage, Allgaier returned to the track for the start of Stage Two in sixth on lap 70. The Illinois native quickly climbed back into the top five and remained there until a lap-105 caution period bunched the field back together.
  • Crew chief Jason Burdett made the strategy call during this caution to keep the driver of the BRANDT / iRacing Chevrolet on the track, which proved fruitful as Allgaier advanced up to the second position for the lap-112 restart. Lining up on the outside line, Allgaier charged into the first corner and emerged with the race lead. The veteran driver held on to the top spot for the five laps that followed before settling into second by the time the second stage came to a close on lap 120. With the solid stage-ending result, Allgaier earned an additional nine stage points on the afternoon, bringing the No. 7 team's in-race total to 17.
  • Prior to the start of the third and final stage, Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment, after the JRM driver had reported that he was tight rolling through the center of the corner. Due to varying strategies playing out among the frontrunners, Allgaier took the lap-128 restart from the 14th position. Despite the loss of track position, Allgaier patiently worked his way back toward the front, rejoining the top-10 on lap 152 and remaining there until the caution flag was displayed once again on lap 161.
  • Choosing to restart as the fourth car on the outside line for the lap-169 restart, the driver of the BRANDT / iRacing Chevrolet wasted little time climbing the leaderboard, as Allgaier marched back up to fifth and maintained his track position until a lap-203 caution.
  • Restarting on the outside line for the ensuing restart, Allgaier continued to fight for track position as a flurry of cautions dominated the final 50 laps of the event.
  • Remaining on the playoff bubble throughout the closing laps, Allgaier was able to withstand three green-white-checkered attempts to take the checkered flag in fifth and earn his place in the Championship 4 heading into next weekend at Phoenix.
  • With the result, Allgaier has now advanced to the Championship 4 in five of the seven seasons since the playoffs were first introduced in 2016.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT / iRacing Chevrolet team

"What an unbelievable day. Jason (Burdett, crew chief) and everyone on this BRANDT / iRacing Chevrolet worked so hard this weekend and to be able to reward that with advancing on to Phoenix with a shot at the championship is all that you can ask for. We all know what the goal is now, and it is great that we have three JR Motorsports cars set to compete for the title. We just need to execute the same way we have been and hopefully we can be the one on top in the end. I can't wait to get there."

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer entered Saturday's Dead On Tools 250 for NASCAR Xfinity Series machines knowing it was likely a must-win scenario for him to advance to the Championship 4 next week at Phoenix Raceway. The 19-year-old driver raced hard all day long, chasing that elusive victory, and came up just a few spots short. Mayer's sixth-place finish in the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet sees him seventh in series points with one race remaining in the season.

Race Rundown

  • Mayer had work to do at the start of the 250-lap event on the tight .526-mile oval after qualifying in 22nd position, and he started to do it immediately. The young driver needed just 10 laps to advance six positions to 16th and was on the cusp of the top 10 by the time the first caution flag waved at lap 34.
  • Restarting from 11th, Mayer fell to 14th on the initial rush, leaving him more ground to make up. Once again, the young driver did so. Over the remaining 19 laps of the 60-lap Stage One, Mayer worked his way to the top 10 in just 11 circuits, briefly running eighth before settling into ninth for the remainder of the distance. That earned Mayer two valuable stage points and some momentum for Stage Two.
  • On the break, Mayer told crew chief Taylor Moyer that his No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet was free off the tight corners during the first stage. Moyer called for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment to help his handling.
  • Restarting the race from 12th position, Mayer again wasted no time moving forward, needing just five laps to regain the top 10. Along the way, Mayer and another car made contact, doing slight damage to the right front corner.
  • When the caution waved again at lap 105, Mayer told Moyer that his No. 1 Camaro was very tight despite holding the eighth position. Moyer called him down pit road for four tires, fuel and another adjustment. The stop pushed Mayer down to 16th in the order, and over the remaining laps in Stage Two, Mayer dropped two positions to finish 18th.
  • Staying on the track at the end of the stage, Mayer cycled up to eighth for the restart that would begin the final segment. Taking off, Mayer radioed that his car was still tight, but he was able to maintain his position in the top 10 by moving up the track into the second lane.
  • When the caution waved again at lap 161, Mayer called to Moyer to loosen up his handling for the remaining laps. Moyer responded with four tires, fuel and major adjustments to both air pressure and chassis.
  • Returning to the track in 14th position and lap 169, Mayer was quiet on the radio and worked his way to 11th at lap 190. The caution waved four laps later, and Mayer reported that his handling was better in the center.
  • After a couple of caution flags, Mayer was seventh with 33 laps remaining in regulation and moved into the top five on a restart at lap 210. The high line was working well for the Accelerate Professional Talent Solution Chevrolet, allowing Mayer to roll past his rival into fourth.
  • Needing to win to advance to the Championship 4, Mayer kept driving hard and was in the top five at lap 229. Over the remaining laps, Mayer maintained his grip on a top-10 position and was scored eighth for the final restart.
  • Over the final two laps of the green-white-checkered that ended the race, Mayer fell to ninth on the first lap but clawed his way back to sixth at the checkered flag.
  • With the finish, Mayer remained seventh in the driver point standings with one race yet to run next week at Phoenix Raceway.

Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team

"It was an uphill battle all day, definitely a struggle. We fought hard, Taylor and the Accelerate Talent team made great adjustments and we were definitely moving on the top line for most of the day. We just didn't have the time to get it done and came up a little short. It was a good day for JR Motorsports all around, with three cars advancing to the Championship 4. We'll go to Phoenix and run hard again next weekend."

Josh Berry

Josh Berry, driver of the No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet, scored a hard-fought 20th-place finish in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Martinsville Speedway, after trying a different pit strategy towards the end of the 250-lap event. After surrendering the race lead following a yellow with under 90 laps remaining, the team had nothing to lose and pit during a yellow with less than 30 laps remaining in the hopes they could drive back forward through a slew of caution periods they knew were yet to come. Unfortunately, contact with other drivers sent the No. 8 spinning, forcing Berry to pit road for new left-side tires and to fix damage, ultimately pushing the Tire Pros Chevrolet back to the 20th position, where he crossed under the checkered flag.

Race Rundown

  • Berry and the No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet team qualified in the 13th position during Friday evening's qualifying session. Berry set his sights forward and began his ascent up the leaderboard immediately as he raced into the top 10 on lap 18 and up to the fourth position on lap 55. Berry remained in fourth to earn seven stage points to begin the afternoon.
  • Pitting for four tires, fuel and a small chassis adjustment during the stage break, Berry restarted from the eighth position. Determined to move back forward, Berry raced his way into third on lap 94 and remained until a lap-105 caution period allowed the team to play with some strategy.
  • Pitting for four tires and fuel during the yellow, Berry restarted from the 13th position due to varying strategies. Using the four fresh tires to his advantage, Berry drove up to the sixth position before the green-and-white checkered flag waved on lap 120 to end Stage Two and earn five additional stage points to bring his total to 12.
  • Remaining on track during the stage break, Berry and the Tire Pros Chevrolet restarted from the race lead and remained there until a lap-161 caution period. Pitting for four tires and fuel, Berry exited the pits in the runner-up position and fell to the third position before the caution waved again on lap 194.
  • A rash of yellows began to fall as the race closed in on the scheduled distance and Berry fell to the seventh position before coming to pit road during a lap-219 caution period for four tires, fuel and a slight chassis adjustment. Returning to the track in the 20th position, Berry raced his way to the 10th position before being involved in a multi-car incident that forced the No. 8 to pit road for left side tires and to fix slight damage.
  • Berry restarted NASCAR's version of overtime from the 20th position and remained until the checkered flag flew after a green-white-checkered finish.

Josh Berry, driver No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet team

"We had a really good Tire Pros Chevrolet today and the guys made all the right adjustments throughout the night to keep us towards the front. We decided to try something towards the end and we were able to make up all the track position we lost from the pit stop until we got turned around. It's all part of short track racing and fighting for a chance to get to Phoenix. I can't wait to race for a championship with this group next week."



XFINITY Series Schedule

XFINITY Series Standings

After Dead On Tools 250

Martinsville Speedway | 10/29/2022
1Noah Gragson (P)40000
2Ty Gibbs (P)40000
3Josh Berry (P)40000
4Justin Allgaier (P)40000
5AJ Allmendinger (P)2297-1703
6Austin Hill # (P)2245-1755
7Sam Mayer (P)2231-1769