Justin Allgaier and the No. 7 Chevrolet Accessories team came back from a late pit-road penalty to earn a seventh-place finish at historic Darlington Raceway on Saturday afternoon. His 12th straight top-10 finish allowed him to maintain his NASCAR Xfinity Series point lead by 16 points with only two races remaining in the regular season.
The Illinois native rolled off the grid 10th for the 147-lap NXS race and was all the way up to fifth by lap 12. On lap 22 he radioed to crew chief Jason Burdett that he was starting to lose rear-lateral grip as the run when on. He lost a position to the No. 98 of Kevin Harvick, but worked his way back to fifth by getting passed the No. 21 of Daniel Hemric on lap 33. He held on to the spot for the remainder of Stage One to claim six stage points at its conclusion on lap 45. Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier came to pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
Taking the green for Stage Two in sixth on lap 53, the 32-year-old driver once again began advancing his position. He was up to third by lap 55, but began losing positions as the run went on. Allgaier was running in fifth when the caution flag waved on lap 66 and came over the radio to report that the No. 7 Chevy was tighter at the ¾ mark and snappier late exit in the corners. He restarted in fifth on lap 71 and worked his way to fourth, where he remained until the green-and-white checkered flag waved for Stage Two. He came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment.
Allgaier started the final stage from the fourth spot on lap 97 and got a good run to take over third. He faded back to fifth on lap 99 and relayed to the team shortly after that the No. 7 Chevrolet Accessories Camaro was too tight to run up top. When a caution came out on lap 111, Burdett call Allgaier down pit road for fresh tires, fuel and adjustments. When the stop was complete and Allgaier left the stall, the adjustment wrench was still in the rear window, resulting in a penalty of having to start at the rear of the field. When the race was back underway on lap 117, Allgaier wasted no time working his way towards the front. He was up to 10th on lap 132 and ultimately took the checkered flag in seventh.
Brad Keselowski won the NXS race and was followed by Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, Denny Hamlin and Elliott Sadler to round out the top five.
Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Chevrolet Accessories team
“This No. 7 team did a great job on adjustments all day and getting the handling of our Chevrolet Accessories Camaro where we needed it to be. That showed there at the end when we were able to drive back up to seventh after getting that pit-road penalty. This team is awesome and that makes me excited to get to the track each week and run these fast Chevys. I can’t wait to get to Indy.”