Dominant Day Produces Mixed Results for JRM at Pocono Raceway

JR Motorsports | 7/23/2023

Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Brandon Jones Josh Berry Justin Allgaier Menards News Pocono Race Report Sam Mayer Tire Pros Unilever XFINITY Series

JRM was the class of the field all day long at Pocono Raceway, but late-race contact took away the team's chances at victory with Sam Mayer and Brandon Jones earning top-10 finishes.

Race 19 of 33: Explore The Pocono Mountains 225 at Pocono Raceway
Track Specs: 2.5-mile triangular-oval / 90 laps
Race Winner: Austin Hill

Mayer's finish: 2nd
Jones' finish: 7th 
Allgaier's finish: 23rd 
Berry's finish: 24th 

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet, scored a hard-fought second-place finish at Pocono Raceway after a slight tire rub on the No. 1 that the team battled through for the majority of the night. With the strong result today, Mayer hold steady inside the top-10 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings, settling in ninth with seven races remaining in the regular season.

Race Rundown

  • A solid qualifying run set the young driver to start the race in eighth between teammates Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier. With a slight incident on the opening lap, Mayer cruised away with no damage and carried through the top-10 as the laps rolled by. With 8 laps to go in the stage, Mayer held the seventh position but reported he was feeling a little snug after the hit. Mayer held in that position to catch a seventh-place Stage One finish.
  • Crew chief Mardy Lindley called the Franklin, Wis. native down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and a slight air pressure adjustment. Mayer rolled off to start Stage Two in the 10th position. After battling for position on the green-flag shuffle, the driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet captured the eighth spot in line and held tight as the stage came to a close. Mayer finished the second stage in seventh, gaining another four valuable stage points.
  • Mayer reported under caution "we are still a little edgy but I am super happy with the car". The young driver came down pit road for four fresh tires and some Sunoco fuel to restart the final stage in 12th.
  • A caution on the restart sent Mayer to the bottom to avoid an on-track incident that took place in front of the No. 1 Chevrolet. The young driver reported he had smoke coming through the car and felt he had a tire rub on the right rear. Lindley called the No. 1 down pit road for damage repair before the restart. This sent Mayer to the tail end of the field restarting in the 27th position.
  • It did not take Mayer long to regain speed and position as he flew through the field and the laps dwindled down. With 30 laps to go, the driver of the No. 1 broke the top-10 and two laps later he settled in the sixth position. As more cautions arose on the closing laps, Mayer was saving all the fuel he could as they were cutting it close but chose to stay out and fight till the end.
  • On the final restart of the night, Mayer chose the top and lined up next to teammate Josh Berry on the front row. After a hard-fought battled on the restart, the driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevy rallied to a runner-up finish at Pocono Raceway.

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

"Super proud of how this No. 1 team handled our day today. We fought through a lot of challenges and managed to pull of a finish just one spot shy of the win. I continue to learn more and more each weekend and I know we can capitalize on everything and capture that top spot soon. Keeping our heads held high and we will see what we can do in Road America next weekend."  

Brandon Jones

Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 9 Menards/Pelonis Chevrolet ran inside the top five for most of Saturday evening's NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Pocono Raceway, before a caution following the white flag hindered the run while Jones was in the seventh position. With today's finish, Jones now has four top-10 finishes and is only 54 points below the playoff cutline with seven races remaining in the regular season.

Race Rundown

  • Jones started the 90-lap event from the seventh position after qualifying Friday set the lineup for Saturday's event. Jones remained seventh through the opening laps before advancing up the leaderboard into sixth on lap 10. Jones remained sixth through the final 10 laps of Stage One to earn five critical stage points to begin the evening.
  • Pitting for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment during the stage break, Jones exited the pits fourth and restarted from the inside of row two. Making a power move, Jones raced into the third position following the restart and remained until falling to fourth with less than five laps remaining in the stage. Jones crossed under the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 40 in fourth to earn an additional seven stage points to bring his total to 12 on the day.
  • Pitting during the stage ending caution for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, Jones restarted the final stage from the bottom of row four and raced into sixth before the first natural caution of the event flew immediately following the restart.
  • Restarting from the bottom of row three, Jones fell to the 11th position as the high line prevailed following the drop of the green flag. Racing back inside the top 10 on lap 55, Jones wound up taking the race-lead during green flag pit stops and remained until a lap 79 caution period.
  • Pitting from the race lead for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment, Jones restarted from the bottom of row four and raced into seventh before a caution with four laps remaining took the field into NASCAR's version of overtime.
  • Taking the green in overtime from the bottom of row three, Jones avoided a slew of incidents in the closing laps to finish in the seventh position and earn his fourth top-10 finish of the 2023 season.
  • Jones now sits 54 points below the playoff cutline with seven races remaining in the regular season.

Brandon Jones, driver No. 9 Menards/Pelons Chevrolet team

"We had a lot of speed this weekend and it really showed with how well we ran the entire race. Jason (Burdett, crew chief) and this entire team made the right adjustments all day and had us in contention towards the end. It felt really good to run how we did and I can't thank these guys enough for bringing this good of a car."

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 Reese's Ice Cream Chevrolet, scored valuable stage points in both Stage One and Two and appeared poised to contend for the victory in the waning laps of Saturday evening's NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Pocono Raceway. However, Allgaier's quest for victory came to an abrupt halt following two multi-car incidents that relegated the JR Motorsports driver to a 23rd-place finish. Despite the result, Allgaier did cut into the point deficit in the NXS standings and now trails the top spot by just 55 points with seven races remaining in the regular season.

Race Rundown

  • Allgaier took the green flag for the 90-lap event around the triangular track from the ninth position following Friday evening's qualifying session.
  • The driver of the Reese's Ice Cream Chevrolet held steady inside the top 10 throughout the caution-free opening stage, battling for position with JRM teammates Brandon Jones and Sam Mayer before taking the green-and-white checkered flag in eighth on lap 20. The top-10 stage result also earned Allgaier three stage points to kick off the evening.
  • While under the stage-ending caution, crew chief Jim Pohlman called the Illinois native to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. Taking the lap-25 restart from 10th following the stop, Allgaier wasted little time marching forward, improving five positions to fifth on lap 26 before powering to second on lap 28. Once in the runner-up position, Allgaier methodically closed the gap to race leader and teammate Josh Berry, but ran out of time before the green-and-white checkered waved to end Stage Two on lap 40. With the second-place stage result, Allgaier earned an additional nine stage points to bring the No. 7 team's race total to 12.
  • Prior to the start of the third and final stage, Pohlman made the call to play with some strategy and, with the help of some clever references to partner Reese's Ice Cream, told Allgaier to remain on track while the leaders came to pit road. As a result, the JRM driver inherited the race lead ahead of the lap-42 restart.
  • Allgaier battled for the race lead over the 15 laps that followed, pacing the field for a total of eight laps, before coming to pit road for a scheduled green flag stop on lap 57. Exiting pit lane with four fresh tires and fuel, it seemed destined to be a duel between Allgaier and Berry for the victory when the green-flag pit stop cycle completed. However, as the pair made their way around slower traffic on lap 79, Allgaier sustained contact to his right-front fender that ultimately led to the caution flag being displayed.
  • As a result of the contact, Allgaier's right-front tire went down, forcing Pohlman to bring the Reese's Ice Cream Chevrolet to pit road for four fresh tires and repairs.
  • Lining up for the lap-84 restart in 22nd, Allgaier quickly worked his way back up to 17th before a caution just one lap later set up NASCAR's version of overtime.
  • Taking the overtime restart from 17th, the JRM driver again went on the charge, as Allgaier raced his way onto the precipice of the top-10 as the field prepared to take the white flag. However, as Allgaier exited the third corner, he was sent hard into the outside retaining wall, resulting in heavy damage to the right-side of his Reese's Ice Cream Chevrolet.
  • Although badly wounded, Allgaier soldiered on through the final lap to take the checkered flag in the 23rd position.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Reese's Ice Cream Chevrolet team

"We had such a fast Reese's Ice Cream Chevrolet today. Jim (Pohlman, crew chief) and all the guys on this No. 7 team built a phenomenal car. All of JRM was strong today. It's just unfortunate that things didn't go our way and we ran into some trouble over the final laps. We'll rebound from today and be ready to go next week in Road America." 

Josh Berry

Josh Berry's No. 8 Tire Pros Love the Drive Chevrolet was the class of the NASCAR Xfinity Series field all day long at Pocono Raceway, but contact on a late-race restart cost the Tennessee native and the No. 8 team a victory on Saturday. Battling for the lead, Berry made contact with another car off Turn One on a green-white-checkered restart and eventually cut a tire, sending him into the wall at Turn 2 and to a 24th-place finish in the Explore the Pocono Mountains 225. Despite the disappointing finish, Berry remains sixth in series points, 174 off the leader and 110 above the cut line for the NXS Playoffs.

Race Rundown

  • Berry flexed his muscle in qualifying for the 90-lap event, putting the Tire Pros Chevrolet atop the time charts and winning the pole for the first time this season. At the green flag, Berry immediately raced away from the rest of the field. Within five laps, Berry had forged a lead of more than a second and kept building his advantage.
  • By lap 14, six laps before the end of the 20-lap Stage One, Berry's lead had ballooned to better than two seconds and he held it to the end of the stage, earning 10 bonus points for his second stage win of the season. On pit road at the end of the stage, crew chief Taylor Moyer called his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and a slight air-pressure adjustment to fine-tune a slight loose condition. Berry exited pit road in second place.
  • As the 20-lap Stage Two got under way, so did Berry, out-dragging Cole Custer under the green flag and resuming his lead. He would rebuild his advantage to nearly two seconds before increasing pressure from teammate Justin Allgaier. The two JRM cars ran at the front of the field for the rest of the stage, with Berry winning the race to the line by a few car lengths and adding another 10 points to his race total.
  • With five laps remaining in Stage Two, Berry told Moyer that his Tire Pros Camaro was building to the loose side as the run went. On pit road, Moyer added four tires, fuel and a slight adjustment to help his driver and sent him back out in seventh place as differing fuel strategies began to play out.
  • On the restart, Berry was up to sixth when the caution waved for a multi-car crash on the front straightaway. Once action resumed, so again did the Tire Pros Chevrolet's march to the front. Restarting fourth, Berry was third at lap 51, second on the following circuit and back in the lead at lap 55.
  • Six laps later, Moyer made the call to pit road for tires and fuel to get inside the fuel window to the end of the race. Returning to the track in 24th position, Berry began to work his way up the ladder again.
  • The Tennessee native cracked the top 20 at lap 65, 25 laps shy of the finish, and was back in the top 15 five laps later. At lap 72, Berry got back into the top 10 with a head of steam. Just seven circuits after that, Berry was back in the top five and had plenty of fuel left for the run to the finish.
  • A caution for a crash at lap 81, just nine laps from the scheduled distance, made for an important decision for Moyer on whether to pit or not. Deciding against coming for scuffed tires, Moyer kept his driver on the track with an advantage on fuel and still-solid tires.
  • Restarting from fourth, Berry wasted little time getting back to the lead, taking the top spot again on lap 85. Two laps later, another crash slowed the field and put the race into overtime. That left Berry with just a green-white-checkered restart between him and his first victory of the 2023 season.
  • On that final restart, Berry lined up on the outside line with teammate Sam Mayer on the bottom and Austin Hill pushing him into Turn 1. Hill kept pushing and Berry got deep into Turn 1, losing momentum. Battling back, Berry and Mayer moved to jockey for position and made contact. Berry's car suffered a cut tire and slammed the wall in the Tunnel Turn, ending his race in 24th position.
  • Despite missing out on the victory, Berry led 51 of the 92 laps and won both stages, which helped him in the season-long NXS point standings. While still sixth, Berry gained 10 points in his quest for the Playoffs.

Josh Berry, driver No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet team

"That was a wild restart. The 21 (Austin Hill) lined up behind me and we launched together and he gave me a really good push down to Turn 1. He pushed me a little longer and harder than I wanted and I got loose and up into the marbles. I was able to kind of build some momentum and fight back there and race with him. I was trying to time the run and got there a little quicker than I thought in the center and got into him. I knew Sam (Mayer) was coming with a huge run and I tried to cover it to get next to the 21 and he moved left and I moved right. It was just a racing deal. We didn't get the finish we deserved today, but man, what a really, really fast Tire Pros Chevrolet we had today. Taylor (crew chief Taylor Moyer) and the team did a really good job and I'm proud of the car we brought today. If we can continue to have that kind of speed, we'll win plenty of races. Hats off to those guys and Chevrolet and our Hendrick Motorsports engine was phenomenal today. It was a tough way to end, but we had a lot of positives today and I could have done some things better there at the end."




XFINITY Series Schedule

  • May 25 01:00 PM ET
    NXS Spring Race at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway
  • June 1 04:30 PM ET
    Pacific Office Automation 147Portland International Raceway
  • 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

After Dead On Tools 250

Martinsville Speedway | 10/28/2023
Results are not available.