Tight Chevy and Multicar Incident Prevented Allgaier from a Top 10 Richmond Finish

Justin Allgaier and the Hellmann’s Real Ketchup team never gave up during Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond Raceway, overcoming adversity twice to battle back to a 14th-place finish. The Illinois native sits fifth in the NXS point standings, 48 markers back from the leader.

The Hellmann’s Real Ketchup team prepared Allgaier with a strong Chevrolet and it showed, as the JR Motorsports driver was second fastest in final practice and qualified seventh for the 250-lap event. At the drop of the green flag, Allgaier showed speed, driving his way to fourth within the first lap. He was running in third when the first caution flag of the race was shown on lap 20. He relayed to the team that the Hellmann’s Real Ketchup Chevy was tight through the center of the turns, but that he had good forward drive. Back under green, Allgaier was battling with the No. 21 of Daniel Hemric for fourth place on lap 34 when the two made contact, forcing Allgaier into the wall. As he began losing positions, he told the crew that the No. 7 Camaro was now plowing in the center of the corner after the contact with the wall. He was still able to hold on to finish Stage One in the 11th position on lap 75.

Under the stage-ending caution, the team called Allgaier to pit road for four tires, fuel and track bar and air pressure adjustments. They made one more stop to lift the hood to check for damage before sending the driver of the Hellmann’s Real Ketchup Chevrolet back out on the track to restart 27th on lap 89. Allgaier wasted no time passing his competitors, working his way up to 13th within 20 laps. He advanced one more position before the conclusion of Stage Two on lap 150 to finish 12th. During the caution, Allgaier reported that he was still really tight center, but had better forward drive. The Hellmann’s Real Ketchup team called the driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and multiple adjustments.

Firing off for the final stage in 14th on lap 163, Allgaier was up to 12th just two laps later when he was involved in a multicar incident that sent his No. 7 Hellmann’s Real Ketchup Chevy spinning. Avoiding any contact with the wall, he was able to continue on, and when pit road opened he came down for four fresh tires and fuel. Allgaier restarted in 19th on lap 171 and worked his way up inside the top 10 to the ninth position by lap 188. As the remainder of the race went caution free, the longer run took away the positive handling of the No. 7 Chevrolet. He battled for position down to the very end, taking the checkered flag in 14th place.

Christopher Bell won the race and was followed by Noah Gragson, Elliott Sadler and Matt Tift, with Austin Cindric rounding out the top five.

“Tonight was definitely not the night we wanted, but this Hellmann’s Real Ketchup team never gave up. I’m so proud of these guys. They keep bringing me fast Chevrolet Camaros every week and tonight we just had bad luck. It makes it that much more frustrating when you know how good of a car you had to start. We really wanted to finish strong tonight and be able to battle it out for that Xfinity Dash 4 Cash prize.” – Justin Allgaier