Josh Berry Leads JRM With Top-10 Finish at Phoenix Raceway

JR Motorsports | 3/12/2023


Josh Berry finished a team-high eighth, while Justin Allgaier won both stages before being involved in a late caution.

Race 4 of 33: United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway 
Track Specs: 1-mile oval / 200 laps                     
Race Winner: Sammy Smith

Berry's Finish: 8th

Mayer's Finish: 11th

Jones' Finish: 23rd

Allgaier's Finish: 36th

Josh Berry

Josh Berry overcame two spins, a pit stop in which another car mistakenly stopped in his pit box and a wild restart late in Saturday’s United Rentals 200 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars at Phoenix Raceway to earn an eighth-place finish in the No. 8 JARRETT Chevrolet. The result is Berry’s third top-10 finish in four races this season.

Race Rundown

  • Berry qualified in the seventh position for the 200-lap event on the desert oval and kept the JARRETT Chevrolet in the top nine positions despite a persistent and fierce loose condition. The Tennessee native managed his tires and track position despite the handling woes, telling crew chief Taylor Moyer that he had no rear security on the tight 1-mile oval.
  • Working traffic with just seven laps remaining in the 45-lap Stage One, Berry got tapped from behind by another car and spun in Turn 3, falling from ninth to 36th in the order. Moyer called him to pit road to change tires and make chassis adjustments in hopes of flipping the stage, and the JARRETT crew got him back out in 30th position. Berry picked up four positions on the track over the final laps of the stage to finish 26th.
  • Having pitted before the stage break, Berry advanced to 13th for the start of the 45-lap Stage Two. Berry moved forward to ninth in one lap and was still there two laps later when another caution waved for contact between two other cars. Once the race restarted, Berry kept moving forward, assuming seventh position at lap 63, sixth a lap later and moved into the top five at lap 67.
  • As the laps wound down in Stage Two, Berry kept moving up the order, assuming fourth position on lap 80. Four laps later, and six laps from the end of Stage Two, Berry spun again off the nose of another car, sending him back down to 36th and robbing the JARRETT team of stage points for the second time.
  • Moyer again called his driver to pit road to short-pit the stage and when Berry arrived at his pit stall, another car was in it. Berry damaged the nose in trying to avoid the stopped car, which added damage-repair time to the pit stop for four tires and fuel. He got back on the track in 32nd position and finished there at the green-and-white checkered flag.
  • Having completed his service again before the end of the stage, Berry lined up 27th for the final stage and started over, picking off five positions over the next three laps to start his ascent up the order. Berry was 14th in line at lap 113 and ran there for the next 30 laps.
  • The caution waved again at lap 140 for a crash in Turn 1, and Moyer called his driver back to pit road for his final set of tires, adjustments to help the persistent loose condition and fuel to the end. The JARRETT pit crew gained their driver five positions on the exchange to ninth.
  • Berry was eighth in the order at lap 150 when another caution waved, and continued to excel on restarts, picking up three more spots on this one to run in the top five. He advanced to fourth at lap 161, just 39 laps from the finish.
  • Another caution saw Berry advance to third position with just 12 laps remaining in the 200-lap event. The restart would be pivotal to the outcome of the JARRETT team’s race.
  • Choosing the top lane, Berry got bogged down when the car ahead of him was slow to take off and dropped all the way to 10th over the next five laps before rallying to eighth at the finish. For Berry, it was his third top-10 finish in four races so far this season, and third in a row.
  • Berry, Moyer and the JARRETT team are now ninth in points after four races, 81 behind the leader.

Josh Berry, driver No. 8 JARRETT Chevrolet team

“What a day that was. We drove from the back to the front three times today in this JARRETT Chevrolet. I probably should have taken the bottom on that final restart. Kyle (Busch) didn’t get that great a restart. We rallied back after some misfortune, spinning twice and having a few odd things happen here at Phoenix, but this No. 8 team just keeps fighting. Taylor (crew chief Taylor Moyer) and T.J. (spotter T.J. Majors) kept me pumped up and we salvaged a top-10 on a day when I thought we’d be a lot farther back at the finish.”

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer, driver of the No.1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet, had a hard-fought run in Saturday’s United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway, resulting in an 11th-place finish. After a quiet Stage One and Stage Two, the final stage shook up the field and ultimately guided the young driver to a track-best finish at Phoenix that sits him now seventh in the standings.

Race Rundown

  • Mayer started out Saturday’s main event in the 13th position after a steady qualifying round Saturday morning.
  • The first yellow flag of the day dropped on lap 30 after debris from the No. 45 detached and slid across the track. Under the caution, the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet reported that he was really good on entry but did not have a whole lot of stability.
  • Mayer was called down pit road after the second caution was shown just 10 short laps later. Crew chief Mardy Lindley called for four tires and fuel, settling Mayer in 19th for the restart. The Franklin, Wis. native cruised into the top 10 from there and finished Stage One in eighth.
  • The No. 1 Chevrolet stayed out under the stage break which led him to restart the field in the top spot. With a caution on the restarting lap, Mayer remained in first on the restart once again, but dropped two spots in the green- flag shuffle.
  • On lap 85 the sixth caution on the day came out and Lindley called Mayer down pit road for four tires and fuel. The young driver fell 11th in line for the restart and ultimately finished Stage Two in the eighth position.
  • Mayer and the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet stayed out under the stage-ending caution and lined up fifth to start the third and final stage.
  • Through the majority of the stage, Mayer was quiet on the radio as he maintained position in the top five. Spotter Kevin Hamlin came over the radio and reported to Mayer “keep up the pace, don’t overdo it, done change a thing”.
  • The yellow flag fell yet again on lap 140 for the eighth time. Mayer cruised down pit road for his last set of fresh Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel. The young driver reported “balance is pretty good, snug in the center but pretty free on the throttle” as he restarted in the sixth spot.
  • Mayer shuffled in the top 15 as the laps passed and rallied to 11th as the checkered flag fell. 

Sam Mayer, driver No. 1 Accelerate Talent Group Chevrolet team

“Our No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet was really fast today and I am happy to score a track-best finish at Phoenix Raceway. We had so much speed and momentum but just ended up falling a little short today. Staying consistent is key but we have some work to do to get back up to the top five. We will pick our heads up and move on to Atlanta.”

Brandon Jones

Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 9 Menards/Barracuda Pumps Chevrolet, raced as high as the fifth position after starting from the 21st position in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Phoenix Raceway before ultimately crossing the finish line in the 23rd position. Jones was forced four-wide at the exit of Turn 4 late in the race and made contact on the left and right sides, causing a tire rub which forced the driver to limp the No. 9 home for the 14 laps that followed the contact.

Race Rundown

  • Brandon Jones began the 200-mile event from the 21st position after qualifying set the field first thing Saturday morning. Wasting no time, Jones drove the No. 9 into the 13th position before the first caution flew on lap 29.
  • Restarting from the bottom of row six, Jones was able to gain one additional position before the next caution bunched the field on lap 39 and allowed crew chief Jason Burdett to play a little strategy. Calling Jones to pit road, the team took on four fresh tires, an air-pressure adjustment and fuel. Restarting from row nine, Jones raced his way into the 15th position during the two-lap green flag stint that followed to end Stage One on lap 45.
  • Remaining on track during the stage-break, Jones restarted from the inside of row three but fell to the ninth position as the yellow was displayed once again on lap 69. Restarting from the inside of row five, Jones lost an additional three positions before starting his ascent back up the leaderboard.
  • A lap-84 caution bunched the field together as Jones ran in the seventh position, and this again allowed Burdett to play strategy. Bringing Jones to pit road for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, the driver of the No. 9 was able to race to the 16th position before the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed on lap 90.  
  • Once again staying on track during the stage-break, Jones restarted from the 13th position and remained until a lap-138 caution period allowed Jones to pit for his last remaining set of fresh tires, fuel, an air-pressure and chassis adjustment to help alleviate a tight-handling Chevrolet.
  • Restarting from the bottom of row six, Jones remained in the 12th position through two additional caution periods on lap 148 and 170, and was in the 14th position during a lap-178 caution. Utilizing the middle lane on lap 179, Jones was put four-wide and ended up having contact with the drivers on the inside and outside lanes. The caution quickly flew with Jones in the 16th position.
  • Limping the No. 9 Menards/Barracuda Pumps Chevrolet home for the remaining 15 laps that followed due to a right front tire rub, Jones was ultimately scored with a 23rd-place finish.

Brandon Jones, driver No. 9 Menards/Barracuda Pumps Chevrolet team

“This car had a lot of speed early on but we were fighting a bit of a loose condition. Once we moved up the track the car started moving to the tight side, but we still had a lot of speed. As the race went on it started to get tighter but Jason (Burdett, crew chief) and this Menards/Barracuda Pumps team never gave up and made some good adjustments to put us in a good position. Unfortunately, we had a tire rub after contact with about 20 to go and did all we could to finish the race.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 hellowater Chevrolet, looked poised to extend his top-five streak on Saturday afternoon in the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Phoenix Raceway, scoring his record-extending 42nd and 43rd stage wins and running inside the top five late in the race. Then, while racing three-wide for position with 22 laps remaining, Allgaier was knocked hard into the outside wall, badly damaging the right-front fender of his hellowater Chevrolet. After initially attempting to drive away from the incident, Allgaier reported that the damage was too severe to continue, ending the once promising day early for the JR Motorsports driver. In the end, Allgaier was relegated to a 36th-place finish.

Race Rundown

  • For the second consecutive week, Allgaier lined up from the outside of the front row for the 200-lap event following a strong qualifying effort on Saturday morning.
  • Once underway, the driver of the hellowater Chevrolet held steady inside the top two, before taking the race lead for the first time following a lap-35 restart.
  • A quick caution just one lap after moving into the top spot on lap 39 set crew chief Jim Pohlman up with a chance to play with some strategy. With a handful of lead lap cars opting to come to pit road, Pohlman made the call to keep Allgaier on the track for the final laps of the opening stage. The strategy call paid off, as Allgaier held on to the race lead through a two-lap shootout to secure the 42nd stage win of his NXS career and earn an extremely valuable playoff point in the process.
  • While under the stage-ending caution, Pohlman called Allgaier to pit road for the first time for a set of four fresh tires and fuel. However, as a result of staying out on track for the final laps of Stage One, the Illinois native found himself scored in the 22nd position for the start of the second stage on lap 55.
  • Undeterred by starting in the middle of the pack, Allgaier methodically worked his way forward, improving 10 positions to 12th over the green flag run that followed before a late caution with just seven laps remaining in the stage gave Pohlman and Allgaier another chance to work with some strategy.
  • The duo again decided to stay out as the leaders came to pit road, moving the driver of the hellowater Chevrolet back into the race lead for the two-lap sprint to end Stage Two. Holding on to the top spot for the final laps, Allgaier was able to take the green-and-white checkered flag in first on lap 90 and earn his record-extending 43rd stage win and his second playoff point of the afternoon.
  • Returning to pit road following the stage win for four tires and fuel, Allgaier again found himself behind the cars that had pitted in the closing laps of the second stage. Undaunted by the task at hand, the JRM driver utilized the green flag run that kicked off the third and final stage to again climb the leaderboard, gaining 18 positions to 12th before a lap-138 caution period brought the pack back together.
  • A strong four-tire stop by the hellowater crew during this caution saw Allgaier gain four positions to rejoin the top-10 in the eighth position.
  • Now back inside the top 10, Allgaier went on the attack, swapping positions with JRM teammates Brandon Jones and Josh Berry among others until the field was slowed by a lap-170 caution.
  • Lining up in eighth for the lap-176 restart, Allgaier battled hard, racing two and three wide for position before contact on the exit of Turn 4 on lap 178 sent the veteran driver hard into the outside retaining wall. The subsequent damage was deemed too severe for Allgaier to continue, bringing an abrupt halt to a promising afternoon.
  • In the end, Allgaier was scored with a 36th-place finish.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 hellowater Chevrolet team

“I hate that we ran into trouble at the end with our hellowater Chevrolet. Jim (Pohlman, crew chief) and all the guys on this JR Motorsports team gave me a great car today, it’s just unfortunate that we didn’t come away with the finish this group deserves. On a positive note, it is good that we were able to sweep both stages and get those two playoff points. Now we’ll regroup and move on from this and be ready to go next weekend in Atlanta.”



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