Justin Allgaier took the checkered flag in Saturday's Desert Diamond West Valley 200 at ISM Raceway and clinched his spot into the Championship 4.
The No. 7 Brandt Chevrolet took the green flag in the 5th position and battled for his spot in the playoffs throughout the evening. Christopher Bell started on the pole and dominated the first two stages of the race. Allgaier finished second in both stages.
Before the green flag waved to start stage 3, Bell was penalized for speeding on pit road, sending him to the rear of the field on the restart. Allgaier inherited the lead and maintained until the end. Cole Custer found speed as well, but ran out of time. He cut Allgaier's lead from three seconds to .810 of a second.
"I just came up a little bit short, but I think that was the best run we've ever had at Phoenix in a long time," Custer said.
Justin Allgaier snapped a 39-race winless streak after leading a total of 85 laps, including the final 66. This was his first trip to victory lane this season and the 11th of his racing career.
"Hats off to everybody at Chevrolet and JR Motorsports. We had a hot rod today, maybe we wouldn't beat the 20, but he made a mistake and it was our race."
Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, John Hunter Nemechek and Zane Smith rounded out the top five at ISM Raceway.
Joining Allgaier in the Championship 4 will be Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be back in action one last time on Saturday, November 16. A champion will be named at Homestead-Miami Speedway at 3:30 PM ET on NBCSN.
INDIANAPOLIS— As the NASCAR Xfinity Series runs a new package this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the Lilly Diabetes 250, many drivers saw a great unknown coming into the event. However, those unknowns have been minimized after two practice sessions on the infamous 2.5-mile speedway.
“I kinda had a head start on it. Testing in October, I kinda knew the direction they were going to go in. I wasn’t sure if they were going to pull the trigger. When they decided to make the change, I already knew what it was going to feel like,” said Blake Koch about his initial reaction to the package. “The track temperature here at Indy changes more than anywhere we go. When it was 65 degrees back in October, it was a totally different car.
For Justin Allgaier, the race will still provide some unknown for teams.
“I think there was a lot of unknowns. I think there still are some unknowns. I probably wasn’t as on board with it before we got here. Granted I have a fast race car. Of course, I am not disappointed in the package,” said Allgaier
The drivers and NASCAR have the same outlook on this package that it is for the fans that the sport puts on the best show the can.
My outlook on it is that for us we need to put on a great race for the fans. This racetrack, this area of the country, Indianapolis is a racing town. Indianapolis is built on that racing foundation. We need to put on the best race can. It doesn’t matter if we all drive pink race cars, we gotta put on the best race we can,” said Allgaier. “I applaud NASCAR for at least trying. At the end of the day, they spent a lot of money to make this happen. They put a lot of time, effort, and research into this. Will it fix it? I can’t tell you that will be the case. I tell you that the fans that come here, watch it on TV, if nothing else, it will be exciting,” said Allgaier.
Fans can watch qualifying for the Lilly Diabetes 250 at 12:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN. The race will be broadcasted on NBCSN and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network beginning at 3:30 p.m. EDT.
After a late race charge and a last lap, Brad Keselowski was the victor in the Pocono Green 250 from Pocono Raceway.
“Hell of a race. Really happy for the 22 team. It's been a while. I think it's been well documented that they haven't been in victory lane. Discount Tire has been a part of this program for a long time. They deserve it. Without them I probably wouldn't have a career in NASCAR. They're on the car today...SKF...proud of them guys. It's good for Ford and everybody. It feels good for me, the team. They deserve it,” said Keselowski post-race.
This is Keselowski’s first victory in 2017. This is his 35th career victory in 245 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts.
On the final restart with 17 laps to go, Keselowski was the race leader, but dropped all the way back to 12th after Elliott Sadler pushed his tires in the air. Keselowski dropped all the way to 12th. Once he regained the momentum, Keselowski worked his way back through the field. Keselowski was able to pass Kyle Larson in the first run on the last lap as Larson was battling tight conditions on corner exit. Keselowski went below Larson to gain the lead and the victory.
Allgaier was a dark horse through much of the race. However, pit strategy brought Allgaier towards the front of the field and ultimately to a second place finish after passing Larson when he lost momentum from the bump and run from Keselowski.
“We knew we had speed in out Chevy. We knew it was fast. We just needed track position. We got behind early, but when we made that call and able to cycle back through, a good restart helped, but fresh tires were what it was all about at the end. Unfortunately, we tried to make it interesting, but didn’t have the speed to pass the 22, but all in all, a good day,” said Allgaier post race.
Larson was the leader on the white flag lap, but lost momentum in the first turn to drop to third. Larson also used pit strategy to work his towards the front of the field to finish in the third position.
“I thought I was a third to fifth place car at best. The 22, by far, was better than anybody else. Disappointed I didnt get the win, but great day for everyone on the Enos team. They did a good job, good pit stops. They made the car better throughout the race. Just not good enough there at the end, but still a good run for us,” said Larson post race.
Sadler, Daniel Suarez, Brendan Gaughan Cole Custer, Ty Dillon, Daniel Hemric, and Matt Tiff rounded out the top-10.
Allgaier holds a one point lead over Sadler. Byron is third in points, 62 points behind Allgaier. Darrell Wallace Jr. sis fourth in points 88 points behind Allgaier. Hemric rounds out the top-five in points 95 points behind Allgaier.
The Xfinity Series will head to Michigan International Raceway on Saturday, June 7th. The race will be on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network shortly after 1:30 p.m. EDT.
CONCORD, N.C— Justin Allgaier will start from the pole in today’s Hisense 4K TV 300 from Charlotte Motor Speedway. This is his fifth career pole.
In the opening round, Cale Conley went for a spin through the grass coming off the fourth turn, but was able to drive away with minimal damage. Brad Keselowski will start in the rear of the field due to the team being unable to get through inspection five times during qualifying. Dakoda Armstrong was the other driver who did not post a time in qualifying. Cole Custer was fastest in the opening round at 182.457 mph. William Byron was second fastest at 181.330 mph. Christopher Bell was third fastest at 181.214 mph. Matt Tifft was fourth fastest at 180.439 mph. Ryan Blaney rounded out the top-five at 180.421 mph. Jeff Green and Jordan Anderson were the only two drivers unable to make the show.
In the second round of qualifying, there were two ties for position on the race track. The first tie came between Justin Allagier and Daniel Hemric, both posted a speed of 181.141 mph, but Allgaier took the position over Hemric due to his points position. The second tie came between Tyler Reddick and Kevin Harvick, both posted a speed of 180.542 mph, but Reddick received the advantage. Bell was fastest in this round at 181.360 mph. Elliott Sadler jumped to second in the final moments with his speed of 181.178 mph. Blaney was third fastest at 181.147 mph. Allgaier was fourth while Hemric rounded out the top-five with their speeds of 181.141 mph.
In the final round, Allgaier posted a speed of 182.488 mph to start from the pole. Austin Dillon will start second with his speed of 181.519 mph. Blaney will start third with his speed of 181.378 mph. Hemric will start from the fourth position with his speed of 181.324 mph. Harvick rounded out the top-five with his speed of 181.245 mph. Custer, Bell, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Reed, and Reddick round out the top-10.
The Hisense 4K TV 300 will go green shortly after 1:00 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1 and Performance Racing Network.
The Toyota Care 250 at Richmond International Raceway was calm and smooth until the final couple of restarts. The restarts that caused confusion amongst drivers, media, and fans.
The first incident happened on the lap 245 restart. Ty Dillon was the control car. Justin Allgaier line up second and Kyle Larson third. As the field was about to hit the restart zone, T. Dillon accelerated before the zone. NASCAR reviewed the restart and deemed that Dillon did in fact jump the start and was to start at the end of the field. When T. Dillon was relayed the message, he was hot.
Dillon started in the back of the field because shortly after the green flag waved again, the caution flag flew on lap 247 for an accident that involved six cars in the third turn. That caution also brought out the red flag for two minutes and 43 seconds.
Larson was deemed the leader after passing Allgaier on the first restart. The second caution would send the race in NASCAR Overtime. With NASCAR’s Overtime procedures, the race is deemed official when the leader crosses a pre-determined line on the first lap of overtime.
On the restart, Larson and Allgaier were battling for position and crossed the overtime line as three cars made contact towards the back of the field that would bring out the caution to end the race. Larson and Allgaier were in the third and fourth turn when the caution lights were illuminated.
However, as they were about to take the white flag, the caution flag was not waving. According to the NASCAR Rule Book, the race is deemed under caution when the lights are illuminated and/or the yellow flag is waving.
After the race, NASCAR would not allow anybody near T. Dillon to talk and Allgaier went up to a NASCAR Official to express his displeasure of how the race was handled in the end.
Once cooled down, Allgaier made comments to the media about the debacle in the closing laps.
“I wanted to punch and kick the side of the car once the race was over, but I felt like there were enough camera around that it might look goofy. I am frustrated, very frustrated actually. When you have these races, every scenario we could do something different and you could change the way you did it. You look back on it. It sucks. I just wish I could have done a few things differently. I wish other competitors would have done things differently. I think being that close to victory and having that dominant of a car with not really anything to show for it was probably the hardest part,” said Allgaier post-race.
While sitting under the red flag, Allgaier mentioned that his heart rate was 205 to 210 because of his frustration in the final laps.
Larson had a different approach and viewpoint to the final few laps in the race.
“I figured he (T. Dillon) would take off early. Ty got a little aggressive taking off too soon. This is kinda a tougher place to see where the zone starts because we are still turning when we get to the zone. It’s hard to see the zone start. He pushed early and definitely jumped a few feet and NASCAR made the right call,” said Larson of the restart that ultimately have him the victory.
After serving the penalty, T. Dillon ultimately finished in the 19th position.
Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the Sparks Energy 300 from Talladega Superspeedway.