Allgaier Dominates Richmond Race But Loses in Overtime on Caution to Cup Driver Larsen

Justin Allgaier dominated Saturday's ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race in Richmond, VA; finishing second in the first race segment, winning the second and leading a race-high 157 laps only to lose to Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Kyle Larson in an overtime re-start.

Allgaier's red, #7 BRANDT Agriculture/Northeastern Supply Chevrolet was by far the race's dominant car and was seemingly headed to his second victory of the 2017 season in the final, 85-lap segment. Virtually assured of winning his 2nd Xfinity Dash for Cash $100,000 bonus by being the top finishing eligible Xfinity Series regular, Allgaier wanted the win more only to be snookered on one late re-start and then prevented from racing to the checkered flag with Larson because of the caution flag.

There were just 12 laps remaining in the scheduled, 250-lap test when a multi-car incident in turn two brought out the race's 6th yellow flag and gave the leaders an opportunity to either pit for fresh tires or stay out on the track. Allgaier was the race leader, having built up a lead at one time that reached more than three seconds.

Allgaier led the parade of cars down pit road for their final pit stops of the day with Justin's crack JR Motorsports pit crew giving the #7 four scuffed tires for the final run to the finish. Ty Dillon, however, assumed the lead for two laps by changing only two tires when the race re-started with just four laps remaining. Dillon started prematurely, however, and was eventually penalized for it, but it caught the 2nd place Allgaier by surprise. Larson, starting on the inside line, grabbed 2nd.

Another caution with only three laps left forced NASCAR to use its overtime, green-white-checker finish, and when the green flag fell, the Chevrolets of Larson and Allgaier battled side by side for the lead only to have Justin's car wash out a bit in the second turn to allow Larson to pull ahead by several car lengths. Justin fought back, however, getting back to Larson's bumper as the two cars approached the start-finish line for what would have been a one-lap charge for the win. Allgaier sought to move outside to mount that charge to re-take the top spot only to have an incident back in the field force NASCAR to throw the yellow flag again. That froze the field, foiling Allgaier's attempt to challenge Larson a final time and making the Chip Ganassi Racing driver the victor.

"This is very bittersweet. That's pretty much all that I can say," Allgaier told the TV reporter interviewing him after the race. "It's great to win another $100,000 Xfinity Dash for Cash bonus but the fastest car didn't win this race," an obviously disappointed Allgaier added.

Allgaier qualified a solid 5th for the race and never ran outside the top five. His BRANDT Agriculture/Northeastern Supply Camaro needed just 27 laps to take its first lead of the day during the first,75-lap segment only to lose that command after 10 laps to Cup driver Austin Dillon with 38 laps to go in the segment to finish 2nd. Allgaier told Crew Chief Jason Burdett that his car was a tick tight so a chassis adjustment accompanied the 4-tire change and fuel pit stop that Allgaier made during the segment break caution.

When the 2nd segment started on lap 87, Allgaier mounted a quick charge and sailed past Dillon's Chevrolet to regain the advantage that he easily held until the end of the segment to claim 10 bonus Championship Playoff points and set the stage for the final segment that Allgaier dominated only to lose it at the end on the yellow flag finish in OT.

"My guys worked really hard to give me a really fast race car and to put me in position to win the Dash for Cash bonus. That's what we came here to do. It's just tough and really bittersweet to dominate the race and not win the race," Allgaier added. Justin has now won two of the three Dash for Cash races this season good for $100,000 bonuses each time and will have a chance to make it three during the Labor Day weekend race at the infamous Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC.

With JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler also hurt by the overtime re-start after re-starting the previous one in 2nd place thanks to an exceptional, final segment charge, ended up finishing 7th enabling Allgaier to close to within 41 points of Sadler's command in the Championship Driver Points Standing. JR Motorsports teammate William Bryon had a rough afternoon in his first visit to the unique, 3/4-mile Richmond International Raceway tri-oval and took the checkered flag in a season-worst 30th place. It enabled Allgaier to bypass Byron for 2nd place in the point standings by three ahead of Bryon after the 2017 season's 9th race.

Rounding out the top five finishers behind winner Larson and Allgaier were rookie Daniel Hemric, last week's Xfinity Dash for Cash bonus winner at Bristol, Austin Dillon and Cup driver Ryan Blaney.