JR Motorsports Race Report
|February 23rd, 2019|
|Race 2 of 33:||Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway|
|Track Specs:||1.54-mile quad-oval/ 163 laps|
|Weather:||Cloudy; 51 degrees|
|Race Winner:||Christopher Bell|
Justin Allgaier piloted the Cessna Chevrolet Camaro SS to a third-place finish in the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The No. 7 team’s second top-three finish in two races moved Allgaier from fifth up to third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.
After qualifying was canceled due to rain, the field was set by 2018 owner points. Allgaier started the race in seventh and drove up to fourth in a hurry. He relayed on lap 6 that the No. 7 Cessna Chevy was tight landing in Turns 1 and 2 and pretty good everywhere else. The Illinois native moved into third place on lap 8 and as the run went on, he reported he was loose on exit, but held on to the third spot through the rest of Stage One. At the stage’s conclusion, the team made a pit stop for four tires, fuel and adjustments.
He started the second stage in fourth on lap 48 and lost some positions after the car ahead of him spun his tires. A few laps into the run, Allgaier radioed that the changes during the last pit stop made the Cessna Camaro tighter and hurt the center. By the end of Stage Two on lap 80, Allgaier was in 11th. Under the stage-ending caution, the team opted to reverse the most recent changes and gave the No. 7 Chevy four tires and fuel.
Allgaier was in the eighth position when the green flag dropped for the final stage on lap 88 and he was up to fifth by the end of the lap. It didn’t take him long to let the team know that the handling of the Cessna Chevrolet was much better. He climbed into the fourth spot on lap 93 and remained there until he came down pit road on lap 121 for a scheduled green-flag stop for four tires, fuel and an adjustment.
When green flag stops cycled through, Allgaier was in the second position and fell back to third after battling with the No. 2 of Tyler Reddick. He was in that same spot when the caution flag waved on lap 156 for a car that spun. The field came to pit road for one last stop for tires and fuel. Allgaier restarted in third with three laps to go and he battled hard, but third is where he would ultimately finish the race.
Christopher Bell won the Rinnai 250 and was followed by Cole Custer and Allgaier, with Brandon Jones and Tyler Reddick rounding out the top five.
Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 Cessna team
“The weather made it a little bit tricky today. We were just a little bit too tight today with our Cessna Camaro. We struggled to get the balance exactly where we wanted it, but the guys did a fantastic job and made great pit stops. That last run there we got the inside and I thought we were going to be ok and I chose to go to the middle, thinking I could get the run down the back, and I let Cole (Custer) by me. It was a great race. Hats off to Christopher Bell. He had the best car today and we just came up a little bit short.”
No. 7 Cessna Camaro
|Laps Completed (Led)||163 of 163|
|Point Standings (from leader)||3rd (-18)|