JR Motorsports Race Report
|August 4th, 2018|
|Race 20 of 33:||Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International|
|Track Specs:||2.45-mile road course|
|Weather:||Partly Cloudy; 79 degrees|
|Race Winner:||Joey Logano|
Justin Allgaier and the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team earned their second consecutive top-three finish on Saturday afternoon, placing third in the Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen International. Earning valuable stage points throughout the race, Allgaier is now just 37 markers from the top spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings and remains in the fifth position overall.
The Illinois native rolled off the grid in 10th for the 82-lap event and methodically started working his way further inside the top 10 once the race was under way. By lap 2, he was up to the eighth position and radioed to crew chief Jason Burdett that the BRANDT Chevy was tight on entry and free on exit everywhere. Allgaier continued advancing his position, finding himself in sixth on lap 11. Just a few laps later, some teams called their drivers to pit road under green as part of strategy. The No. 7 team opted to remain on track to finish Stage One in the fourth position on lap 20. Under the stage-ending caution, Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.
When the green flag dropped for Stage Two on lap 24, Allgaier was quick to move back inside the top 10. He was running in sixth when the caution came out on lap 27 for an on-track incident. While under caution, a quick rain shower engulfed the track, forcing teams to come to pit road for rain tires. Restarting in sixth on lap 31, Allgaier wasted no time racing towards the front on the rain-soaked road course, cruising to second by lap 34. He remained there to earn the runner-up spot for Stage Two. During the caution, Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for fuel and four slick tires, as the track had dried. While trying to leave the stall at the completion of the stop, Allgaier was forced to wait as the No. 76 was entering the pit stall ahead of him.
The lengthy time on pit road caused Allgaier to start the final stage further back in the field, from the 19th position. He was back up to 10th on lap 50 and just a couple laps later came to pit road, along with several other teams, for a scheduled stop for fuel-only as part of their strategy. Allgaier had worked his way up to seventh before a caution came out on lap 67. The team opted to come to pit road for four tires and fuel. Allgaier restarted in 11th on lap 70 and advanced to eighth before another yellow flag waved just two laps later. He restarted in eighth on lap 75 and set his sights toward the front of the field, passing cars until he found himself in second with just a few laps remaining. On the last lap, the No. 23 of A.J. Allmendinger caught up to Allgaier and the two battled it out, but Allmendinger was able to make the pass. Allgaier ultimately took the checkered flag in third, earning his 10th top-five finish of the season.
Joey Logano claimed the victory and was followed by Allmendinger, Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Aric Almirola to round out the top five.
Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team
“Jason Burdett (crew chief) and the guys did an awesome job with our BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro and really gave us a car that we could battle with. I think that was the most important piece for us. We were battling all day. We lost a little track position there, but I felt like at the end our strategy was the right one. We had fresh tires at the end. I got into a battle with A.J. (Allmendinger) coming to the checkered flag. I probably could have done some things a little bit differently to fend him off. It was a great points day for us, so there was no need to crash both of us coming to the checkered, so we gave up a spot. All-in-all though it was a solid top three and great race.”
No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro
|Laps Completed||82 of 82|
|Points (Bonus)||50 (0)|