AVONDALE, Ariz.-- Justin Allgaier held off a charge from Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones on a late race restart to win the DC Solar 200 from Phoenix Raceway snapping an 80-race winless streak. Allgaier also wins the $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus. All four of JR Motorsports entries finished in the top-10.
“It’s hard work and perseverance. Last year was tough. We had really good runs all year, weren’t able to get to victory lane. These guys fought hard. Same group of guys we had last year here at Phoenix. This is a team effort,” said Allgaier post-race to FOX.
On the Dash4Cash victory, Allgaier told FOX, “To finish first, you must first finish. We gotten the first thing out of the way, we got three more to do. These guys (XFINITY) what they do for our series, the sport of NASCAR. We have the best fans in the world. This is what this series is all about.”
Allgaier started the race from the fifth position. In the first stage, Allgaier had a car strong on the short runs. Allgaier remained towards the front of the field for the whole stage. On the 20th lap, Allgaier gained the lead from Erik Jones. . Allgaier and E. Jones battled for numerous laps before Allgaier took the advantage. As Allgaier was in the lead, his car turned from well handling to an ill-handling machine. Allgaier went on to lead nine laps in that stint. Allgaier began to fall back. Allgaier was one position from clinching a spot in the Dash4Cash in this stage. E. Jones won the first stage, Austin Dillon was second, William Byron was third, Ryan Blaney was fourth, and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five. Allgaier finished sixth in this stage. Byron and Sadler clinched the first two Dash4Cash spots.
The second stage saw Allgaier start behind A. Dillon on the outside lane. E. Jones was unable to get a good restart moving Allgaier up to the second position. Off the backstrerch on lap 82, Allgaier was able to gain the lead. The caution flew for contact between Brendan Gaughan and Matt Tifft. On the restart, Allgaier gained the advantage. However, Blaney began to reel in Allgaier as he began to hit lapped traffic. Blaney grabbed the lead with 11 laps remaining to win the second stage. Allgaier finished second, A. Dillon finished third, Sadler was fourth, and E. Jones rounded out the top-five. Allgaier and Tyler Reddick were the final two drivers to compete in the Dash4Cash.
At the start of the final stage, A. Dillon restarted the race from the lead. However, Blaney and Allgaier continued to pressure Dillon for that lead. Allgaier was trying for the lead but the caution flew for an accident. Allgaier restarted on the inside lane for the restart, but A. Dillon took the advantage. Allgaier gained the lead at lap 139 to lead the next 21 laps. Allgaier lost the lead on put stops as he was the first driver to take four tires while everyone ahead of him took two tires in what would be the last pit stop of the day. Allgaier quickly jumped up towards the front of the field with four fresh tires to gain the lead on lap 165. The caution then flew for a spin by Drew Herring. On the restart, Allgaier made the decision to start on the bottom, a decision he quickly regretted. Allgaier lost the lead for for nine laps, but gained the lead coming into the third turn. As the laps began to wind down, cautions continued to breed caution. The caution flew again for a spin by Blake Koch. Allgaier learned from his mistake on the last restart. Allgaier restarted from the high line, but as quickly as he was clear for the lead, the caution flew for an accident involving A. Dillon, Ryan Sieg, and Cole Custer. That accident brought out the red flag. On the final restart, Allgaier gained an early jump on the field and set sail for his first victory of 2017. Blaney finished second, E. Jones finished third, Byron finished fourth, and Sadler rounded out the top-five.
There were 13 different lead changes among five different drivers. The caution flew nine times for 55 laps.
Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the 300-miler event from Auto Club Speedway. Motor Racing Network and Fox Sports 1 will have race coverage on March 25th at 4:00 p.m. EST.