Season in Review: Allgaier, No. 7 Team Contend Again for NXS Crown

Ron Lemasters | 12/1/2022

Brandt Hellmann's Justin Allgaier News XFINITY Series

Justin Allgaier once again made it to the final race of the NXS Playoffs in 2022, the fifth time in seven seasons that he and BRANDT had the chance to take home the title.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Dec. 1, 2022) – Some things just go together. 
 
Justin Allgaier and the Championship 4 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series are two such things.
 
Allgaier once again made it to the final race of the NXS Playoffs in 2022, the fifth time in seven seasons that he, Jason Burdett and primary sponsors BRANDT Professional Agriculture, Hellmann’s and Unilever’s Adopt-a-Soldier Platoon have had the chance to take home the title with the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.
 
At Phoenix Raceway, one of Allgaier’s best and most favorite tracks, the 36-year-old Illinois native fell just short, finishing third in the race and in the final standings, just six points away from the championship.
 
Speed and consistency, long the stock in trade for Allgaier and the No. 7 team, showed well again in 2022, his seventh season as driver and Burdett’s seventh as his crew chief. Allgaier won three times—pushing his JRM-best total to 16 and 19 for his career. Along the way, he logged 16 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes.
 
“It was a pretty solid year as far as the whole season went,” Burdett said. “Three wins, made the Championship 4…all the things that you set out to do. Obviously, we hoped to have more than three wins, make the Championship 4 and win it, but none of that really worked in our favor in Phoenix. It’s a little disappointing that you go to Phoenix and don’t come home the winner, but all in all, it was a solid year.”
 
The victories came in the spring at Darlington Raceway and in the summer at Nashville Superspeedway and New Hampshire Motor Speedway during a midseason surge. The latter triumph at NHMS also doubled as the first at the Magic Mile for JRM.
 
Prior to that, however, it was a bit of a struggle according to Burdett.
 
“For us, from start to finish, it was a steady season,” Burdett said. “There wasn’t a point in the year that we were way high and went down and then back up. It was a fairly consistent year. Early in the season, we had a couple of bad weeks, like at Atlanta and Circuit of the Americas. We crashed at Atlanta and lost a transmission early at COTA. We just didn’t run well.”
 
That turned around quickly, though, and the veteran JRM team was back in the swing soon after.
 
“Dover was a good race for us in general, finished second to Josh (Berry) there, and we won at Darlington and started building momentum,” Burdett said. “We had great cars at Charlotte and raced for the win there. We should have been at least second, but we ended up seventh. That last part of March and April was hard for us to get momentum. We were kind of struggling to get things together, but we got stronger and better from there.”
 
The win at Darlington gave Allgaier and the No. 7 team two straight triumphs in the spring race on NASCAR’s first superspeedway and was the first of two with Hellmann’s paint schemes. The other came at Nashville. At New Hampshire, Allgaier led 47 of the final 49 laps in a contentious event, outdueling Landon Cassill for the win.
 
Speaking of leading laps, Allgaier did a lot of that in 2022. 
 
He paced the field for 763 laps during the season, the second-highest total of his career. His 1,008 laps led in 2020 was the team record, but JRM teammate Noah Gragson eclipsed that by two circuits this season to reset the standard. As a JRM driver, Allgaier has led 4,116 laps over his tenure, an average of 588 per season.
 
Having clinched a spot in the playoffs with his victory at Darlington, Allgaier and Burdett spent the summer prepping for the final seven races. When the playoffs arrived, Allgaier exited the opener at Texas early after being involved in a crash in the final stage, ultimately being scored 29th.
 
That put him sixth in the standings heading to Talladega Superspeedway, where he posted a solid 15th-place effort. In the cutoff race for the Round of 12, Allgaier earned a fifth-place finish at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval to jump to fourth in points and easily advance.
In the three-race Round of 8, Allgaier was his usual fast, consistent self, finishing third in the opener at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and 10th at Homestead-Miami Speedway, setting the stage for a Championship 4 berth at Martinsville Speedway a week later. In that race, Allgaier battled through the chaos of the closing laps to earn a fifth-place finish and clinch the final berth in the winner-take-all event at Phoenix the following week.
 
In the finale, Allgaier was in the thick of the lead battle, with teammate Gragson and eventual winner Ty Gibbs, but fell just short of his elusive first NXS championship. He ended the season third in the standings.
 
Following the conclusion of the season finale at Phoenix, the No. 7 team was part of an organizational shakeup at JRM.
Heading into 2023, Burdett will now be with Brandon Jones on the No. 9 team, while Allgaier will have Jim Pohlman atop the pit box of the No. 7.
 
“All of that is going to be different,” Burdett mused. “It will be good in a lot of ways, from a team standpoint, but it will be different. It will be good as a whole for everyone. Both of us will exceed our expectations and we will still work together and do what we can to make each other even better.”
 
The relationship between Burdett and Allgaier—which produced 16 wins, 99 top-five and 157 top-10 finishes along with five Championship 4 appearances since 2016--will continue, though down a different path, according to Burdett.
 
“Our relationship was like this: you could always count on him to do everything he could during the race,” Burdett said of Allgaier. “Whatever it was, he was giving you 100 percent. I think he felt the same way about all the other stuff, the cars, the setup, we were all in it, working together to make it as good as we can. He believed that, I believed that, there was no point in time where I didn’t think he was trying as hard as he should be or could do better. He was always giving us everything he could. 
 
“Obviously, there’s a personal side to that as well. We have a good friendship, we both enjoyed the racing outside of JRM, and all that was great. That’s the hardest part of the whole thing. It’s going to be a little different. It will be different to have a new voice on the radio, both driver and spotter. I feel like it’s a new challenge.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • February 18 05:00 PM ET
    Beef. It's What's For Dinner. 300Daytona International Speedway
  • February 25 05:00 PM ET
    Production Alliance 300Auto Club Speedway
  • March 4 04:30 PM ET
    Alsco Uniforms 300Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • March 11 04:30 PM ET
    United Rentals 200Phoenix Raceway
  • March 18 05:00 PM ET
    RAPTOR 250Atlanta Motor Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Dead On Tools 250

Martinsville Speedway | 10/29/2022
RankDriverPointsBehind
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