JR Motorsports Race Report
|September 21st, 2018|
|Race 27 of 33:||GoBowling 250 at Richmond Raceway|
|Track Specs:||0.75-mile D-shaped oval / 250 laps|
|Weather:||Cloudy; 64 degrees|
|Race Winner:||Christopher Bell|
Justin Allgaier and the BRANDT Professional Agriculture team led laps and spent much of Friday’s GoBowling 250 racing inside the top five at Richmond Raceway, but a late-race incident forced the team to retire early, resulting in a 32nd-place finish. The JR Motorsports driver now sits third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings with two races left in the Round of 12 for the playoffs.
Qualifying in the fifth position, Allgaier’s Chevrolet showed strength at the drop of the green flag, moving into the lead on lap 8. He continued to pace the field during the first stage and radioed to crew chief Jason Burdett on lap 27 that the BRANDT Camaro was plowing through center and was loose off. The No. 20 of Christopher Bell closed in on Allgaier and a battle ensued, but Allgaier was ultimately able to hold him off. Soon it was the vehicle of Daniel Hemric who challenged for the lead, taking the top spot away on lap 46. A long green-flag run caused the No. 7 Chevy’s tight-handling condition to worsen and Allgaier began to lose positions on the track. When the green-and-white checkered flag waved on lap 75 for the end of Stage One, the Illinois native was scored in the fifth position.
During the stage-ending caution, Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. He started Stage Two from the fourth position on lap 86 and worked his way into third. Holding steady in that spot, Allgaier reported on lap 96 that the BRANDT Chevy was still tight through the center of the turns, but was better on entry and exit. Again, the BRANDT Chevrolet’s handling began to fade as a long green-flag run unfolded and eventually Hemric passed him to take over the third-place running position. Allgaier was running in fifth when the caution came out on lap 147 for a wreck, forcing NASCAR to end Stage Two under yellow-flag conditions. Once pit road was open, the team made a stop for another track-bar adjustment plus four tires and fuel.
Allgaier took the green for the final stage in seventh on lap 159 and was up to sixth just 10 laps later. He continued to improve his position, advancing to fourth by lap 188. Allgaier again was plagued with a tight-handling condition and had dropped back to sixth when a caution came out on lap 219. Getting the opportunity to pit, the team called the Illinois native down for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Allgaier was battling for position after the lap-226 restart when contact from another car sent the No. 7 Chevrolet into the wall. He made it back to pit road but the damage was too severe, causing an early end to the race for the No. 7 BRANDT team. Allgaier was scored with a 32nd-place finish.
Bell won the first race of the 2018 NXS Playoffs and was followed by Ross Chastain, Hemric, JRM team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Matt Tifft to round out the top five.
Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team
“Man, I hate that our night ended that way. We were able to lead some laps there early and it looked as though we were going to be able to get a solid finish with our BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy, but it just didn’t work out that way. Now we just need to focus on having strong finishes these next two weeks so we can advance to the Round of 8.”
No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro
|Laps Completed (Led)||226 of 250 (37)|
|Points (Bonus)||17 (0)|
|Point Standings (from leader)||3rd (-34)|