Allgaiers Solid Bristol Run Thwarted by Late-Race Altercation with Teammate

According to Justin Allgaier, he had a very fast Cheney Brothers/Northeastern Supply Chevrolet Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway during the running of the Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300, NASCAR Xfinity Series race and with a possible top five finish ahead. In Justin’s mindset was winning a second straight, Xfinity Dash for Cash $100,000 award for being the top running Xfinity Series regular at racer’s end.

All that positivity, however, went out of the window with less than 10 laps remaining when Justin’s car and that of JR Motorsports teammate rookie William Bryon came together in turn three spinning both cars and collecting other race cars in the process. The end result was damage to both race cars that eliminated any chance at even a top ten finish and Allgaier’s Dash for Cash chances and forced to run the remaining laps fast enough just to finish on the lead lap. Bryon ended up 12th while Allgaier took the checkers in the 14th position.

Allgaier’s #7 Chevy qualified a strong 5th and ran within the top ten and often in the top five most of the day. Justin finished the first segment in 8th place good for three bonus points and putting the #7 into the second segment Dash competition. In stage two, Allgaier started in 7th place and worked his way up to 6th in just four laps. The race was halted just four laps from the conclusion of the second segment on lap 162 for rain and with Allgaier still holding the 6th spot. When racing resumed an hour and a half later, many of the leaders including Justin decided not to wait until the end of segment caution and pitted early. The #7 took on four fresh tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment to help free the car up.

Several cars remained on the race track during this caution, putting the #7 in the 11th position for the re-start and only two laps of racing before the end-of-segment yellow caution flag waved. Justin lost one position during the 2-lap run and was 12th and out of the bonus points for this segment.

But Justin remained in solid shape for the Dash for Cash money and a top 10 finish with his stiffest competition for both coming from rookie Daniel Hemric who along with Brendan Gaughan and Blake Koch were the only other drivers with a chance at copping the $100,000 bonus during the final segment with Allgaier.

The furthest the #7 would fall in the field over the first 120 laps of the final, 130-lap segment was 9th and that was early in the run. Allgaier’s race machine remained strong, though unable to challenge the race’s early pacesetter in Kyle Larson’s Chevrolet. During the latter stages of the race, marred by six cautions and a red flag, Allgaier had navigated his Chevy to as high as 5th and racing for spots with eventual race winner Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Daniel Suarez and both Ty and Austin Dillon, all Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars. Allgaier was 6th on lap 290 when he and Bryon, who struggled most of the day but expertly stayed out of trouble and found his way into the top ten, were vying for position with their JRM Chevys.

That’s when Allgaier’s car got a little loose coming out of the third turn giving Bryon a small shot to drive underneath the #7 and gain the spot. But Justin closed that opening too quickly for Bryon to react and his car clipped Allgaier’s in the left rear sending both cars spinning. Hemric, who was running ahead of Allgaier at the time in their Dash for Cash battle, managed to stay clean the remaining laps to finish a very respectable 5th. It earned Hemric and his Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team the $100,000 bonus.

“Man. We had a really fast Chevrolet Camaro this weekend,” Allgaier said. “It was awesome to get to compete for that $100,000 prize again (Allgaier won the first such prize at Phoenix when he also won the race), but unfortunately the late-race wreck took us out of contention. I hate that it ruined our day and William Bryon’s, and I also hate it for my crew. They worked hard all weekend long and I really thought we had a shot at making it three Xfinity Dash for Cash wins in a row.

“We’ll get back after it next week and hopefully take home the prize at Richmond,” Allgaier added alluding to Richmond being the fourth and final Dash for Cash race of the 2017 campaign.

Despite the sad ending to Saturday’s Bristol race, Allgaier was able to climb two spots in the Championship Drivers Point Standing to 3rd, 60 behind teammate Elliott Sadler who finished 4th with a very strong final segment run. Teammate Bryon is 2nd in the standings giving JR Motorsports the top three spots after the 2017 season’s first seven races.