Race Report: Phoenix II

JR Motorsports Race Report

November 10th, 2018
Race 32 of 33: Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 at ISM Raceway
Track Specs: 1-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather: Sunny; 77 degrees
Race Winner: Christopher Bell
Allgaier's Finish: 24th

Justin Allgaier and the No. 7 team had a fast BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at ISM Raceway, sweeping the first two stages and leading 69 laps. However, right-front damage sustained during the final stage and subsequent brake issues forced the team to a 24th-place finish, putting an end to their bid for a spot in the Championship 4 for the NXS Playoffs.

Entering Saturday, the No. 7 team was 12 points below the cutoff line for the final round of the NXS Playoffs and they knew that they needed a near-perfect race in order to advance. The day started off on the right track with Allgaier qualifying fourth for the 200-lap race. With the race underway, Allgaier was running in second on lap 7 when he reported that the No. 7 Chevy was a little free. Still, he continued his surge forward, taking over the lead on lap 21 from the No. 42 of John Hunter Nemechek. He remained there to win Stage One on lap 45. Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier relayed that the BRANDT Chevy was tight through the center and loose on entry. The team called the JRM driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and an air-pressure adjustment.

Taking the green for Stage Two on lap 54 from the second position, Allgaier wasted no time retaking the lead. He continued to pace the field for the remainder of the caution-free Stage Two to claim his second stage win of the day. Allgaier had relayed during the run that the BRANDT Camaro was free into Turn 3, tight through the center of the turns and lacking grip off of Turn 2, so crew chief Jason Burdett called him to pit road for four tires, fuel and an adjustment.

Allgaier started the final stage in fifth on lap 98 and was up to third by lap 127. He reported to the team that he was starting to lose overall grip and was running in fourth when the caution flag waved on lap 136. Allgaier came down pit road for four tires and fuel, but the sun made it hard for the driver to see and he had trouble sliding into his pit box. The incident caused him to lose spots on pit road and he restarted in eighth on lap 143. He was working his way towards the front when the No. 42 slid sideways across the track, making contact with the BRANDT Camaro and causing heavy damage to the right front.

Under the caution, Burdett called Allgaier to pit road for repairs. He restarted in 21st on lap 150, but charged his way back inside the top 10 in a hurry. He was up to ninth when another caution came out on lap 155 and reported that his brakes were starting to fade after the damage to the right front. Back under green, he continued to gain positions, but the condition started to worsen on the No. 7 Chevrolet as the run went on and Allgaier began to drop back. Burdett told Allgaier to do what he could to hold on to it in the closing laps and the driver of the No. 7 ultimately took the checkered flag in 24th.

Christopher Bell won the race, clinching a spot in the Championship 4. He was followed by Daniel Hemric, Matt Tifft, Austin Cindric and Ryan Preece to round out the top five.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture team

“It’s extremely disappointing (to miss the Championship 4), but we did everything we could do in the first two stages. We had a really fast BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro. We had a lot of trouble today seeing our pit stall. It was really difficult to see where we were at and navigate that and I lost us some spots on pit road. Ultimately, that put ourselves in a bad position. We got some damage and we lost the brakes there at the end. At that point it was just about survival, finishing the race and getting as many points as we could gain.”

No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro

Start 4th
Finish 24th
Laps Completed (Led) 199 of 200 (69)
Points (Bonus) 33
Point Standings (from leader) 7th (-1791)
Status Running

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