Allgaier Gets ‘Special’ Victory

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 9 2021

Justin Allgaier crosses the finish line to win at Darlington. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

DARLINGTON S.C. – All drivers possess a bucket list of tracks where they want to own a victory and Justin Allgaier checked off Darlington Raceway with his win in Saturday’s Steakhouse Elite 200.

“This place is truly special,” Allgaier said about the historic 1.366-mile track. “This race track embodies what I feel like our race shop at JR Motorsports is all about. Having a boss like Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kelley Earnhardt Miller, those two love this sport and they love what this sport embodies. This place is really where this sport came from. There is nothing like this place. It has its own atmosphere and it’s really special. This (Throwback) weekend embodies understanding where the history of the sport is and really paying homage to that.” 

With Saturday’s narrow overtime NASCAR Xfinity Series victory over JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry, Allgaier became only the second driver in nine races this season to post two wins. The other is series champion and current standings leader Austin Cindric. 

Initially, it appeared the NASCAR Xfinity Series race would be one of the best performances by JR Motorsports this season. Three of the organization’s four drivers finished in the top five and Noah Gragson claimed the $100,000 bonus for the third time this season in the Dash4Cash. However, Gragson failed post-race inspection and was disqualified. That shifted the lucrative bonus to A.J. Allmendinger and removed Gragson from Dash4Cash contention in this year’s final event. 

In announcing Gragson’s disqualification, NASCAR Xfinity Series managing director Wayne Auton said the car violated the rule stating all of a car’s “suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension and /or drivetrain component beyond normal rotation or suspension and/or drivetrain travel.” 

Even though Gragson lost his fourth-place finishing position, he was still the race’s top lap leader, setting the pace on three occasions for 40 laps. Allgaier led twice for 10 laps in gaining his 16th-career victory, while Berry led twice for eight laps en route to his runner-up finish. 

“That last restart, when Josh and I went into turn one, I wasn’t sure we were going to make it through,” Allgaier said. “We both knew clean air would be so important and that’s ultimately what got us to victory lane.” 

With practice and qualifying only occurring at a few tracks this season, Allgaier said the unknowns each race weekend were numerous. 

“If you hit it (setup) right, there are 12 guys that could battle for the win every week,” Allgaier said. “We didn’t start the season off like we wanted. We didn’t execute week-in and week-out. The last few weeks we’ve been able to execute. You can’t afford to be off the slightest bit anymore because there are too many other guys that will be right there to pounce.”

With a Darlington trophy now in Allgaier’s possession, the Illinois native has set his site on the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, in two weeks. He also admits he would like to acquire a Charlotte victory. 

“I was around a lot of these race tracks growing up,” Allgaier said. “My dad was the Hoosier distributor that sold tires to the ARCA series. Back then ARCA was running with Cup on a regular basis. In the ‘80s and ‘90s I was going to a lot of these events watching drivers that have gone on to be my idols and my heroes. To come back and race at a race track like this, that’s what made it a bucket item.”


NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 2nd Annual Steakhouse Elite 200

Darlington Raceway

Darlington, South Carolina

Saturday, May 8, 2021

  1. (16)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 148.
  2. (24)  Josh Berry #, Chevrolet, 148.
  3. (22)  Brandon Jones, Toyota, 148.
  4. (5)  Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 148.
  5. (7)  Daniel Hemric, Toyota, 148.
  6. (12)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 148.
  7. (20)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 148.
  8. (13)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 148.
  9. (11)  Ryan Sieg, Ford, 148.
  10. (23)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 148.
  11. (8)  Harrison Burton, Toyota, 148.
  12. (19)  Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 148.
  13. (1)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 148.
  14. (4)  Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 148.
  15. (14)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 148.
  16. (33)  Ryan Ellis, Toyota, 148.
  17. (17)  David Starr, Toyota, 148.
  18. (29)  Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, 148.
  19. (10)  Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 148.
  20. (3)  Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 148.
  21. (36)  Tanner Berryhill, Chevrolet, 148.
  22. (35)  JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 148.
  23. (15)  Timmy Hill(i), Ford, 148.
  24. (9)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 148.
  25. (39)  Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 148.
  26. (38)  BJ McLeod(i), Chevrolet, 148.
  27. (34)  Ryan Vargas #, Chevrolet, 148.
  28. (6)  Riley Herbst, Ford, 148.
  29. (25)  Colby Howard, Chevrolet, Accident, 147.
  30. (2)  Austin Cindric, Ford, Accident, 147.
  31. (28)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 146.
  32. (31)  Jesse Little, Chevrolet, 146.
  33. (26)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 142.
  34. (40)  Matt Jaskol, Toyota, 142.
  35. (18)  Jade Buford, Chevrolet, 140.
  36. (27)  Brandon Gdovic, Toyota, 140.
  37. (30)  Joe Graf Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 132.
  38. (37)  Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, Accident, 107.
  39. (21)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, Suspension, 48.
  40. (32)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, Accident, 44.

Average Speed of Race Winner:  98.739 mph.

Time of Race:  2 Hrs, 2 Mins, 51 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.422 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  9 for 43 laps.

Lead Changes:  13 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Allmendinger 1-3;A. Cindric 4-15;N. Gragson 16-25;A. Cindric 26-47;N. Gragson 48;D.

Hemric 49-86;A. Allmendinger 87-89;H. Burton 90-99;N. Gragson 100-128;H. Burton 129-130;J. Berry # 131-

137;J. Allgaier 138-145;J. Berry # 146;J. Allgaier 147-148.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Noah Gragson 3 times for 40 laps; Daniel Hemric 1 time

for 38 laps; Austin Cindric 2 times for 34 laps; Harrison Burton 2 times for 12 laps; Justin Allgaier 2

times for 10 laps; Josh Berry # 2 times for 8 laps; AJ Allmendinger 2 times for 6 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 22,9,20,18,44,16,2,7,54,1

Stage #2 Top Ten: 20,9,16,8,39,10,1,7,22,02



| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 9 2021
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