Allgaier Leaves Dover with Playoff Point Lead to The Delight of Large Customer Turnout

One of the largest crowds Northeastern Supply has ever had for a Saturday race day hospitality event watched company-sponsored driver Justin Allgaier race to a strong, runner-up finish in the Use Your Melon, Drive Sober 200, NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway in Delaware. Justin's finish, combined with finishes of 4th and 3rd in the first two race segments, respectively, enabled Allgaier to head to next week's third and final race in the first phase of the 2017 Xfinity Series Playoffs with a 3-point lead.

Allgaier started the race in the 4th position and knew he had a strong race car. Three cautions occurred in the first 30 laps of the race but none affected Justin's position, and after racing resumed, the initial segment went caution-free the remaining 30 laps with Justin finishing in the same 4th spot.

Following his segment-break caution pit stop for four fresh Good Year tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment to give his race machine better grip on Dover's unique concrete racing surface, Justin rolled off 5th for the start of segment two on lap 68. At the outset, the #7 Textron Off Road/Northeastern Supply Chevrolet bobbled a bit with a loose condition, but once the car regained grip, it began moving towards the front.

By lap 97, the #7 Camaro was back up into 4th place and after a few battle laps, finally passed last year's Xfinity Series champion, Daniel Suarez, for 3rd from where Allgaier would finish stage number two.

Justin told Crew Chief Jason Burdett just prior to pitting during the end-of-segment caution that his car got tight in the early run and then got tight. During Allgaier's subsequent pit stop, the pit crew gave Justin fresh rubber, a full tank of fuel and a wedge adjustment with which to start the final, 72-lap segment. Justin would start the segment in 4th place.

Allgaier got a great re-start and promptly roared into 2nd place. With his car the strongest on long runs and the final segment running caution-free, Allgaier raced away from his competition and tried to run down eventual race winner Ryan Blaney who drove his Penske Racing Ford to a nearly 6-second triumph. Blaney led 138 of the race's 200 laps around the 1-mile Dover Monster Mile.

Justin took his checkered flag in the runner-up position almost a second better than 3rd place JR Motorsports teammate William Byron who was the pole sitter and led 62 laps before Allgaier took charge on the final segment re-start. Justin's 2nd place finish was his 3rd this season and 9th top five effort but it was also his 3rd straight top three finish at the most important time of the season.

With his runner-up performance and segment finishes, Allgaier has now moved into the point lead by three over Byron who scored the most points of the Xfinity Series playoff contenders in the race and jumped from 6th after last week's race to 2nd. Another JR Motorsports performer, veteran Elliott Sadler, was a 9th place Dover finisher but is still 3rd in points, 13 behind leader Allgaier.

Cole Custer (-14), Daniel Hemric (-17), Brennan Poole (-25), Matt Tifft (-40), Ryan Reed (-52), Brendan Gaughan (-54), JR Motorsports' Michael Annett (-59), Blake Koch (-64) and Jeremy Clements (-72) round out the Playoff performer point standings heading into Charlotte. Only the top eight drivers in points after the race next week at Charlotte Motor Speedway will advance to the 2nd round for the next Playoff phase of three races in determining the 2017 Xfinity Series champion.

Hemric (4th) and Poole (5th) rounded out the top five finishers in Dover as Xfinity Series regulars grabbed eight of the top 10 positions.

"It was a solid day for this race team," Allgaier said after the race.

"Starting off, we were lacking short-run speed on the re-starts, but we also knew our car was really good on the long runs," Justin continued. "On that final re-start, I was able to get to 2nd, but Ryan Blaney's car was really good on the short runs and got out and away from us. We made some good gains there on that last pit stop to make the car better, but unfortunately we still needed a little bit more on the short runs to get our car up towards the front and a little closer.

"All in all, though, it was a good day; a good points day, but I really wanted to pull off a victory for all those Northeastern Supply customers and employees that were here today rooting us on. It feels good, though, to be leading the points heading into Charlotte next week," Justin added.