JR Motorsports Race Report
|September 15th, 2018|
|Race 26 of 33:||DC Solar 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway|
|Track Specs:||1.5-mile tri-oval / 200 laps|
|Weather:||Sunny; 101 degrees|
|Race Winner:||Ross Chastain|
A strong year for Justin Allgaier and the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team continued on Saturday afternoon as they brought home the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season title along with a second-place finish in the DC Solar 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The runner-up effort was the team’s seventh top-three finish in the last eight races, including three wins. The JR Motorsports driver will enter the playoffs as the top seed when the series heads to Richmond next week.
Allgaier rolled off the grid from the eighth position and was running in that same spot when the first caution flag of the day waved on lap 5. He radioed to crew chief Jason Burdett that the BRANDT Chevy was a little bit tight and it was really easy to lose the back. Restarting in eighth on lap 13, he worked his way up to sixth and remained there until the closing laps of the first stage when he lost a position. He ended Stage One in seventh on lap 45, collecting four valuable stage points. Allgaier had relayed that the No. 7 Camaro was tight through the center of the turns and loose on entry and exit, so under the stage-ending caution Burdett called him to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
He took the green flag for Stage Two in seventh on lap 52 and was up to fifth when the caution flag came out on lap 65. Allgaier reported to the team that the adjustments had helped the handling of the BRANDT Chevy. Back under green-flag conditions, Allgaier was able to improve one position to fourth on lap 84, but was surpassed on lap 89 to end Stage Two in fifth. He claimed six more stage points, earning enough to clinch the regular-season championship. The Illinois native relayed to the team that his Chevrolet was much better that stage but needed it to cut a little better through the center still. The team made a fast stop for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.
The fourth position is where Allgaier started the final stage before quickly powering his way to third after getting a good run. He was still in third when a caution came out on lap 125. Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires and fuel and he restarted in third on lap 130. He worked his way into second and set his sights on leader Ross Chastain, temporarily getting passed him to lead lap 131. The two battled it out, but Allgaier took full control of the top spot on lap 135. He held point until Chastain surpassed him on lap 149 along with the No. 00 of Cole Custer. During that time, Allgaier reported to Burdett that the BRANDT Chevy had fired off way better, but was now really tight. Even so, he was able to get back by Custer to retake the second position on lap 161.
With the race turning into a long green-flag run, teams started making their plans for scheduled pit stops. Allgaier was about to come to pit road when the caution came out on lap 176 for a vicious wreck. Under the yellow flag, the team called Allgaier down for four tires and fuel during what would be the last stop of the race. He restarted in second on lap 181 and held on to that to that position through a series of cautions until the checkered flag waved for the 200-lap race.
Chastain won the inaugural DC Solar 300 and was followed by Allgaier, Custer, Christopher Bell and Elliott Sadler to round out the top five.
Allgaier and the No. 7 team ended the NXS regular season with five wins, 15 top fives and 21 top 10s.
Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team
“It’s really cool to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season championship. Obviously that was part of the goal and now the next is to make it to Homestead and win a championship there. Overall today was a good day, coming home second. We’ve had speed, especially over these last two or three months. This BRANDT Professional Agriculture team is just awesome. Hats off to them for how hard they work as well as everybody back at the shop. We’ll keep plugging away and go to Richmond next week and hopefully get these playoffs off to a good start.”
No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro
|Laps Completed (Led)||200 of 200 (16)|
|Points (Bonus)||45 (0)|
|Point Standings (from leader)||1st (+7)|