JRM Picks Up Pair of Top-10 Finishes at Atlanta Motor Speedway

JR Motorsports | 3/19/2023

News

Josh Berry and Sam Mayer finished 7th and 9th, respectively to lead JRM at the Georgia track.

Race 5 of 33: Raptor 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway 
Track Specs: 1.54-mile quad oval / 163 laps                     
Race Winner: Austin Hill

Berry's Finish: 7th

Mayer's Finish: 9th

Jones' Finish: 19th

Allgaier's Finish: 29th


Josh Berry

Josh Berry rallied over the few laps to earn a wild seventh-place finish in Saturday's Raptor King of Tough 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at a chilly Atlanta Motor Speedway, making a lunge to the bottom of the track to avoid a crash among the leaders to gain two positions and log another top-10 finish in the No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet. The result was Berry's fourth in the top 10 in the season's first five races and fourth in a row. The result also saw Berry advance one spot to eighth in the driver standings.

Race Rundown

  • After rain washed out practice and qualifying for the event on Friday, Berry started from ninth position on the grid in his No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet after NASCAR applied its mathematical formula to determine the lineup.
  • The first stage of the race, scheduled for 40 laps, was filled with caution flags, which limited Berry's ability to move forward and to determine how the handling was on his Tire Pros Camaro. Given the inability to asses performance, the Tennessee native had a few scares in the opening laps, including a big wiggle off Turn 2 on the bottom lane amid a pack of cars.
  • As the stage progressed and Berry was mired in the middle of the pack, crew chief Taylor Moyer called his driver to pit road under yellow at lap 34, six laps before the end of the stage, for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to help tighten up Berry's handling. He exited in 28th position and made up six positions to 22nd before the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end the first segment.
  • Having pitted earlier, Moyer kept his driver on the track for the start of Stage Two, which advanced the Tire Pros Chevrolet to the eighth position. Berry kept his standing in the top 10 for the remainder of the 40-lap stage to finish seventh, good for four stage points to add to his total for the day. On the final lap before the stage ended, Berry was battling in the pack and got a stiff bump draft from behind off Turn 2, which turned the car to the inside of the track. At the same time, teammate Justin Allgaier was making a move to the middle from the bottom lane and the two collided, sending Allgaier's car into the outside wall. The contact did slight damage to the left front of Berry's car.
  • When the field was able to come down pit road, Moyer again called for four tires, fuel, more adjustments and a check of the front-end damage. It was minimal, and Berry exited the pits in 16th position for the final segment.
  • Choosing the preferred top lane for the restart, Berry soon found himself dropping through the field due to a loose condition. The Tire Pros Chevrolet went from the cusp of the top 10 to the middle of the pack over the next 25 laps.
  • Another caution—the 10th of the day—led to Moyer calling Berry to pit road again at lap 120 for tires, fuel to the end and a slew of adjustments designed to tighten the car up. Berry emerged from the pits in 17th position with 43 laps remaining in the event.
  • Upon his return to the track, Berry got to work, advancing to 14th in just seven laps and taking 13th a few laps later while navigating the constant ebb and flow of the top line and the bottom. At lap 140, Berry swept to 12th with a nifty run on the bottom lane, but got freight-trained and fell back to 19th just nine laps later.
  • With 12 laps remaining in the 163-lap event, Berry, with the help of spotter TJ Majors, climbed back in the top 15. In the next four laps, Berry and the Tire Pros Chevrolet charged all the way to 11th. The caution flag waved again—the 11th of 12 such flags during the event—came out at lap 156 for a crash on the front straightaway, resetting the field for a two-lap run to the checkered flag.
  • On the final restart at lap 162, Berry drove into ninth place and was still there as the field came down to the checkered. A multi-car crash among the leaders erupted in front of him, and a quick move to the inside got Berry past the carnage and into seventh position at the finish.
  • Berry, Moyer and the No. 8 Tire Pros team sit eighth in points after five races, 100 behind the leader.

Josh Berry, driver No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet team

"That was a good comeback for this Tire Pros Chevrolet team at JR Motorsports. With all the caution flags in the first stage, we really didn't know what we had with this No. 8 Camaro until Stage Two. It was really hard to tell what the car was going to do, but we stuck with it and Taylor (Moyer) and the rest of the team made a huge, kitchen-sink swing at it on the pit stop with 40 or so laps to go. We just kept driving forward, and at the end, we had a chance to make up ground and we did. That was wild coming to the checkered flag."


Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet, scored a solid top- 10 finish in Saturday night's NASCAR Xfinity Series main event at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After a night full of yellow flags, the Franklin Wis. native remained patient and drove to another consistent finish, taking the checkered flag in ninth and finding himself 6th in the points standings.

Race Rundown

  • After Friday's qualifying event was washed out by the wet Georgia weather, the No. 1 Chevrolet was set to start this weekend's race in the 10th position.
  • Just after the green flag dropped, a yellow fell shortly after on the second lap for the first caution of the day. Within that first lap, Mayer gained two spots to put himself 8th in line before the caution came out. The young driver reported he was feeling very light and super free in the right rear as crew chief Mardy Lindley chose to stay out.
  • The No. 1 Camaro restarted 8th in line as more cautions fell shortly after, stretching Stage One out. On the third caution of the cold evening, Lindley called Mayer down pit road for four tires and fuel, sending him out in 21st for the ensuing restart 21st with nine laps to go in the stage. Debris on the frontstretch called for another caution to fall, leading the young driver to finish Stage One in the 17th position.
  • The No. 1 team chose to stay out under the stage break which allowed Mayer to move into the top five for the start Stage Two. After a loss of momentum, the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevy fell back and settled into 13th by lap 51.
  • The yellow flag fell once again and Mayer was called down pit road for four tires, fuel and to give a quick check to the right-front nose of the No. 1 after some slight contact was made with the No. 11. Mayer also received a trackbar adjustment on the stop.
  • The young driver was battling back and forth trying to find the right line as riding the top found him super free and he stuck to the bottom for the remainder of Stage Two, coming in with a 12th-place stage finish.
  • Lindley called the young driver to pit road under the stage-ending caution for gas only and a trackbar adjustment to give him more security on entry. Mayer started the third and final stage fifth in line.
  • In the final stage, things started to settled down as the pack rolled into single file for the majority of the stage. With 47 to go, the yellow flag fell as Mayer reported "this car is perfect" to the No. 1 team. Mayer took his last set of four Goodyear tires and Sunoco fuel that led him to restart 14th.
  • After a long hard-fought battle, Mayer shuffled in the top-15 for the last few laps of the night, racing back into to the top 10 and up to ninth during a mad-dash to the checkered flag.

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

"I had a lot of fun tonight in the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevy. Considering how the day went, we knew the last few laps were going to be crazy and they were just that. On that last lap I just knew I had to be where the sparks were not and I am super happy to go home with a top-10 finish today. Excited to get back to a road course next week with COTA and hope to continue what we having going."


Brandon Jones

Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 9 Menards/Jeld-Wen Chevrolet, led 10 laps and raced inside the top-10 for most of Saturday evening's NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway before ultimately finishing in the 19th position. Jones earned eight valuable stage points in Stage Two and was in contention early on in the final stage before losing drafting help, ultimately sliding the Atlanta native back to the 19th position.

Race Rundown

  • Jones began the 250-mile event from the 21st position after qualifying was canceled due to rain on Friday afternoon, setting the lineup per the NASCAR rulebook. Suffering front-end damage on the initial start, Jones brought the Menards/Jeld-Wen Chevrolet to pit road during a lap-1 caution period. Losing bare bond during the following green flag, Jones once again came down pit road during a lap-12 caution period to add additional tape to the nose of the No. 9.
  • Restarting from the rear of the field, Jones began his ascent up the leaderboard as he raced into the 28th position before a lap-28 caution period bunched the field back together. Remaining on track, Jones took the green and gained nine additional spots before a lap-31 yellow slowed the field. The No. 9 raced into the 13th position as the green-and-white checkered flag to end Stage One on lap 40.
  • Remaining on track during the stage-break, Jones restarted from the outside of row two and raced into the runner-up position before the caution waved again on lap 55. Restarting on the inside of the front row, Jones battled for the lead but was scored second as another caution waved on lap 61. Once again restarting from the inside of the front row, Jones powered to the race-lead and remained through a lap-69 caution period.
  • Restarting from the bottom of the front row, Jones slipped back to the third position as the caution flag waved on lap 77, ultimately ending the stage under yellow on lap 80 to earn eight valuable stage points on the evening.  
  • Pitting for right side tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, Jones restarted the final stage from the inside of row two and fell to the 12th position before a caution slowed the field on lap 116. Remaining on track, Jones restarted from the inside of the front row as cars ahead used an alternate pit strategy late in the race. Jones slipped to the 15th position after losing drafting help on the bottom but was saved by a lap-155 caution.
  • Restarting behind teammates Josh Berry and Sam Mayer from the outside of the eighth row, Jones worked with his JRM teammates but was forced to check up for a multi-car incident at the checkered flag in order to avoid the carnage, ultimately crossing the line in the 19th position.

Brandon Jones, driver No. 9 Menards/Jeld-Wen Chevrolet team

"We definitely had a car capable of winning tonight but just couldn't quite get the help we needed to keep the lead in that final stage. Losing the drafting help from the people behind us really set us back late and with it being so hard to pass, we just couldn't make that ground up. We had a lot of speed in this Menards/Jeld-Wen Chevrolet though, so, we will move forward and head to COTA next week knowing we have been fast all year."


Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet, was fighting hard for stage points in the closing laps of Stage Two in Saturday evening's NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway when contact from behind sent the JR Motorsports driver hard into the outside retaining wall. The subsequent damage to both the front and rear of the battered and bruised Camaro proved to be too severe for Allgaier to continue, bringing an abrupt end to the Illinois native's night shy of the conclusion. In the end, Allgaier was ultimately scored in the 29th position.

Race Rundown

  • With persistent rain falling throughout the day on Friday, NASCAR was forced to cancel qualifying and line the field up per the rulebook. As a result, Allgaier took the green flag for the 163-lap event from the 19th position.
  • Although starting in the middle of the pack, the driver of the RaportTough.com Chevrolet patiently worked his way forward through a caution-filled opening stage, moving up to as high as 16th before the field was slowed for the fourth time in the opening 31 laps by the yellow flag.
  • While under caution, crew chief Jim Pohlman made the call to bring Allgaier to pit road for four fresh tires and a chassis adjustment, with the goal being to flip the stage and stay out for the start of Stage Two.
  • Returning to the track in 29th for the lap-37 restart, Allgaier was able to climb back up to 21st before the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed on lap 40.
  • Staying on track following the stage-ending caution, the driver of the RaporTough.com Chevrolet moved up to the fifth position for the start of the second stage on lap 47. Much like the opening stanza, Stage Two was also dominated by the yellow flag. Despite the start-and-stop action, Allgaier held steady and ran as high as fifth in the running order before the field was bunched back together for a lap-68 caution period.
  • Taking the lap-75 restart in fifth, Allgaier continued to fight inside the top five until contact midway down the backstretch in the closing laps of Stage Two sent the JRM driver hard into the outside wall, badly damaging both the front and rear-end of the RaptorTough.com Chevrolet.
  • When the car finally came to a rest at the entrance of the third corner, it was determined that the damage was too severe for Allgaier to continue.
  • In the end, Allgaier was relegated to a 29th-place finish.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 RaptorTough.com Chevrolet team

"I can't thank Jim (Pohlman, crew chief) and all the guys on the RaptorTough.com team enough for all of their hard work. It's really unfortunate that we ran into trouble for the second week in a row, but I know that this group is more than capable enough to shake this off and be ready to go in COTA. Hopefully the luck can be back on our side out there and we can come away with a solid run."

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • May 25 01:00 PM ET
    NXS Spring Race at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway
  • June 1 04:30 PM ET
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  • June 8 08:00 PM ET
    Sonoma 250Sonoma Raceway
  • June 15 03:30 PM ET
    NXS Race at IowaIowa Speedway
  • June 22 03:30 PM ET
    NXS Race at New HampshireNew Hampshire Motor Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

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