JR Motorsports' Bid for a Championship Comes Up Just Short at Phoenix

JR Motorsports | 11/5/2023


Justin Allgiaer and Sam Mayer finished third and fifth, respectively, in their quest for an Xfinity Series title.

Race 33of 33: NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway
Track Specs: 1-mile oval / 200 laps
Race Winner: Cole Custer

Allgaier's finish: 3rd
Mayer's finish: 5th
Berry's finish: 6th
Jones' finish: 11th 

Justin Allgaier

Championship 4 contender Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, fought hard throughout the 200-lap NASCAR Xfinity Series season finale at Phoenix Raceway. Rallying back from an early spin, Allgaier battled his way back into contention for the win, racing wheel-to-wheel with fellow Championship 4 contenders Cole Custer, John Hunter Nemechek and JR Motorsports teammate Sam Mayer before crossing under the finish line for the final time in the third position. With tonight's top-three result, Allgaier concludes the 2023 NXS season second in the championship standings on the strength of four wins, 15 top fives and 20 top 10s.

Race Rundown

  • Allgaier took the green flag for the final event of the season from the eighth position following Saturday afternoon's qualifying session.
  • Looking to charge forward in the opening laps, Allgaier powered to the inside of Nemechek as the field entered the first corner, but with track space being a premium, the JRM driver ran out of room and went for a long slide through the center of Turns 1 and 2.
  • During the subsequent caution, crew chief Jim Pohlman brought the driver of the 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. Returning to the track in 36th following the stop, Allgaier went on the attack, as the Illinois native rapidly ascended up the leaderboard throughout the remainder of the opening stage to improve 29 positions and take the green-and-white checkered flag in seventh on lap 45.
  • While under the stage-ending caution, Pohlman called Allgaier back to pit road. However, during this stop, Pohlman opted to put the tires from the original start of the race back on the BRANDT Camaro in order to preserve a set of fresh tires for later in the race.
  • Lining up for the start of Stage Two in third, Allgaier did all he could to maintain his track position before settling in the ninth position as the fresher tires prevailed. Although sliding back to ninth, the strategy call to preserve a set of tires paid off as Allgaier held strong to take the green-and-white checkered flag to end the second stage in the top 10 on lap 90.
  • Prior to the start of the third and final stage of the season, Pohlman brought Allgaier back to pit road for a set of fresh tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Lining up for the lap-95 restart in ninth, Allgaier again went on the attack, as the driver of the 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet powered his way into the top five before the field was slowed by a lap-136 caution period.
  • During this caution, Pohlman called Allgaier back to pit road for four tires and fuel. A strong stop by the BRANDT crew sent the JRM driver back out for the lap-142 restart inside the top three. After initially sliding back to sixth in the mad scramble to Turn 1 following the restart, Allgaier methodically made his way back into the top three over the green flag run that followed.
  • Then, while closing the gap on the leaders, the caution flag was shown on lap 180, giving Pohlman one last opportunity to bring the driver of the 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel. Lining up in third for the ensuing restart, Allgaier remained inside the top three before a lap-195 caution set up NASCAR's version of overtime.
  • Taking the final restart of the season on the outside of the second row, Allgaier powered off the second corner in a three-wide battle for the race lead before sliding back to second behind Custer as the white flag waved.
  • Doing all he could to close on the final lap, Allgaier found himself trapped in a side-by-side fight with Sheldon Creed just behind the top spot as the trio entered the final corner.
  • In the end, Allgaier crossed under the checkered flag in the third position.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 70th Anniversary Platinum Edition BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet team

"Hats off to everyone at JR Motorsports and on this BRANDT Professional Agriculture team. Jim (Pohlman, crew chief) gave me a really strong car today. It's unfortunate that we couldn't have that long run play out there at the end, I really feel like we could've ran down the top two. But I just can't say enough about this No. 7 team. We had a great season and I am extremely proud of all that we accomplished. I know that we will come back even strong next season and hopefully can be that one spot better this time next year." 

Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer, driver of the No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet, fought hard in the NASCAR Xfinity Series season finale after battling back from starting 16th in line to run as high as second in Stage Two before rounding out the night just a few spots shy for a fifth-place finish. Mayer battled in the top-five the majority of his night and came out third in the NXS Championship point standings to end the 2023 season for JR Motorsports.

Race Rundown

  • Mayer set the Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet 16th in line to start the Saturday afternoon event after his qualifying run early Saturday afternoon. An early caution on the start allowed the young driver to cruise up to 11th and another shortly after gained him an additional two spots to ninth.
  • Mayer focused in and drove up through the field in Stage One and landed in fifth with five laps to go and held on to that spot for a fifth-place Stage One finish. The driver of the No. 1 Chevrolet came over the radio to report he is super happy with his car for that first stage. Crew chief Mardy Lindley guided to young driver down pit road for four tires and fuel as Mayer rolled off fourth in line.
  • Restarting Stage Two in fourth, Mayer made a pass for the third position and locked in there for the majority of the stage. A quiet second stage allowed the laps to roll by until a caution with nine laps to go while Mayer was battling the No. 20 for second arose. The caution led to the stage end and Mayer's fight for second took the upside as he ended up with a runner- up Stage Two finish.
  • The Franklin, Wis. native reported under yellow that his No. 1 Camaro was feeling pretty free in the center. Mayer pulled down pit road for four fresh tires, some Sunoco fuel and a slight adjustment. A quick pit stop by the crew allowed Mayer to stay even with spots and roll off pit road second to restart the final stage.
  • Mayer battled John Hunter Nemechek once again for the runner-up spot on the green-flag shuffle and ultimately ended up settling for third and fell back to fifth a few short laps later with 80 laps to go. A lap-64 caution saw the young driver a little snug firing off but he felt it would clear up on the long runs.
  • Under yellow, Mayer brought the No. 1 Chevrolet down pit road for four Goodyear tires and fuel. The young driver fired off pit road seventh with 60 laps to go in the championship event. Mayer quickly got to work and ascended back up to the top five as he was fourth with 35 laps to go until a lap-181 caution came out shortly after.
  • Crew chief Mardy Lindley called the young driver to come to pit road one last time for his last set of Goodyear tires and some Sunoco fuel. Mayer restarted in sixth with 12 laps to go and the field began to bunch up in the green-flag shuffle. Another yellow flag fell that pushed the event into NASCAR's version of overtime.
  • Mayer took the bottom to restart from the inside of row three and a battled for the lead between the Championship 4 contenders and saw Mayer wind up just a few spots short to cross the finish line in fifth at the checkered flag. The young driver finished the 2023 NXS season third in points and is ready to come back for more in 2024.

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

"I am super proud of all the hard work and progress this No. 1 JRM team has shown all year long. I had a break out season and even though it did not end the way we all had hoped, I could not be happier with my performance and all this team has given. I am ready for the off-season but even more ready to see what we can do in 2024."

Josh Berry

Josh Berry and the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats and ATVs team battled hard for a sixth-place finish in Saturday night's NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 200 at Phoenix Raceway. Berry, who was making his final start for JR Motorsports before entering full-time Cup Series competition next season, concluded the year with 11 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes, three poles, a playoff berth in the Round of 12 and, ultimately, an 11th-place effort in the championship point standings. Since joining JRM in 2010, Berry has accumulated more than 100 victories (including five at the NXS level) across the organization's late model and NXS programs.

Race Rundown

  • Starting 15th on the day, Berry had to endure a pair of early cautions in the opening laps of the race. But once the field settled in, Berry diagnosed a loose condition on the Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet but rode it out to finish Stage One in 11th.
  • Berry pitted with the field under the stage-ending caution for tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. Lining up for the Stage Two restart in ninth, Berry made a huge jump into the top five, finding the fourth spot in the opening laps. With a loose-in, tight-center condition, Berry drifted three spots before the end of Stage Two where he finished seventh.
  • Reporting that the No. 8 "took off better" after the last change, the team went for more of the same during the next pit stop, again taking tires, fuel and tweaking on the chassis.
  • Berry took the restart for the final stage in seventh but drifted to ninth as he had picked up debris on the car's grille. The debris eventually worked itself off in the turbulent air, and Berry started experimenting with various race lines from the 10th position, where he posted some of the fastest lap times in the field.
  • The Bass Pro Shops team pitted one final time with the bulk of the field under caution on lap 182 and lined up in eighth for the restart with 11 to go. With the drop of the green flag, Berry began a methodical move forward before the race's final caution set up an overtime finish, where he managed to spearhead two positions to sixth.

Josh Berry, driver No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats & ATVs Chevrolet team

"We struggled with the handling for most of the night. The speed was certainly there in our Bass Pro Shops Chevy, we just had trouble getting the car rotated in the center of the corner. But I'm proud of how we stuck with it and came out with a sixth-place finish.

"I want to thank everyone at JR Motorsports for an amazing journey since 2010. I'm so thankful for everyone who believed in me. I have so many great memories."

Brandon Jones

Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 9 Menards/Tuscany Sinks and Faucets Chevrolet, battled back to an 11th-place finish in Saturday's NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship event at Phoenix Raceway, after a speeding penalty forced the No. 9 to the rear of the field late in the 200-lap event. Gutting it out and utilizing his never-give-up attitude, Jones gained over 20 positions during the final 100 laps following the penalty to earn the hard-fought 11th-place finish.

Race Rundown

  • Jones started in the 20th position after qualifying Saturday morning set the lineup for Saturday afternoon's 200-lap event. The caution-filled Stage One allowed minimal opportunity for the No. 9 to move up the leaderboard, but Jones was able to race his way inside of the top 10 on lap 19 and up to eighth before the green-and-white checkered flag waved on lap 45.
  • Pitting for four tires, fuel and an adjustment to alleviate a loose condition on the exit of the turns, Jones restarted Stage Two from the seventh position. Cycling out to ninth following the restart, Jones once again began his ascent up the leaderboard as he raced into sixth on lap 70 and remained through a lap 85 caution period that ultimately ended the stage under yellow.
  • Pitting during the second stage break for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment, Jones restarted from the seventh position and fell to eighth before a lap-136 caution slowed the field. Pitting during the caution for four tires, fuel and another adjustment, Jones was caught speeding and had to start from the rear of the field.
  • Once back underway, Jones wasted little time as he raced back inside the top 20 on lap 154 and up to 15th before a lap-180 caution period allowed the No. 9 team to come back to pit road for four fresh tires and an air pressure adjustment for the short run to the finish.
  • Utilizing the fresh tires and better handling Menards/Tuscany Sinks and Faucets Chevrolet, Jones battled to a hard-fought 11th-place finish to end the 2023 season.

Brandon Jones, driver No. 9 Menards/Tuscany Sinks and Faucets Chevrolet team

"We had a really good car today, probably one of our best this season. I didn't think I was pushing that hard on pit road but that really set us back with the speeding penalty. We were almost able to work back inside of the top 10 but just ran out of time. I can't thank this entire team enough for what they have done for me all year. I'm looking forward to some time off, but can't wait to get back in the No. 9 again next season."







XFINITY Series Schedule

  • April 20 04:00 PM ET
    Ag-Pro 300Talladega Superspeedway
  • April 27 01:30 PM ET
    A-GAME 200Dover International Speedway
  • May 11 01:30 PM ET
    NXS Spring Race at DarlingtonDarlington Raceway
  • 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

XFINITY Series Standings

After Dead On Tools 250

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