JR Motorsports Race Report
|June 17th, 2018|
|Race 14 of 33:||Iowa 250 at Iowa Speedway|
|Track Specs:||.875-mile oval/250 laps|
|Weather:||Fair, 89 degrees|
|Race Winner:||Justin Allgaier|
Justin Allgaier swept the first two stages of Sunday’s Iowa 250 and held off Christopher Bell in the closing laps to grab his seventh career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory. The win also marked the 40th victory for JR Motorsports in NXS competition and it was the first for Allgaier at Iowa Speedway. The driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy is locked in to the NXS Playoffs, sits sixth in the NXS point standings and has a series-leading eight playoff points.
The Illinois native started the 250-lap race from the 11th position and was running in eighth when a caution came out on lap 5. He radioed to crew chief Jason Burdett that the balance on the BRANDT Chevy was pretty neutral. On the restart on lap 9, he worked his way up to fifth before the completion of the lap. Allgaier powered his way up to the second spot by lap 33 and set his sights on leader Austin Cindric. He squeezed past Cindric on lap 59 to take the win in Stage One, collecting a coveted playoff point. Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier came to pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment.
He took the green flag for Stage Two from the top spot on lap 70, choosing the outside line. Allgaier held point until Daniel Hemric closed in on him. The two battled back and forth for a few laps, but Allgaier was ultimately able to hold him off. On lap 93, he reported to the team that the No. 7 Camaro was tight through the center of the turns and free on exit. The driver of the BRANDT Chevy commanded the remainder of Stage Two to grab another stage win and collect one more playoff point. During the pit stop under the stage-ending caution, the team took four tires, fuel and made another adjustment.
Allgaier was scored in second when the field went back to green for the final stage on lap 130, but quickly retook the lead. The No. 20 of Christopher Bell was close enough to battle for the lead on lap 134, but was unable to complete the pass on Allgaier. Bell made multiple attempts as the final stage went on, with the two racing side by side multiple times, but Allgaier was the one out front when the caution came out for an incident in Turn 1 on lap 199. As the field came down pit road, the BRANDT team made a fast stop for four tires and fuel, allowing Allgaier to maintain the lead.
He again chose the outside lane for the lap-206 restart and won a three-wide battle to hold on to the top spot. Allgaier was still leading, with Bell close behind, when a caution came out on lap 234. Coming back to take the green with 12 laps to go, the JR Motorsports driver knew that the restart would be key. He was able to clear Bell and drive his way to his second victory of the season and the third for JR Motorsports at Iowa. Bell settled for second, with Hemric, Cole Custer and Brandon Jones rounding out the top five.
Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team
“We had a great BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy today, these guys did a fantastic job. Iowa is a great place and the fans here are incredible. It’s just one of those places you have to go to. We’re in the middle of corn fields -- how could you not enjoy this? Winning on Father’s Day, it was really cool having my daughter here. I’m so proud of these guys. We have a lot of momentum heading into Chicagoland and we got the win there last year, so hopefully we can do it again.”
No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro
|Laps Completed (Led)||250 or 250 (182)|
|Points (Bonus)||60 (7)|
|Point Standings (from leader)||6th (-51)|