Allgaier holds off Haley to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series Go Bowling 250 on Friday night at Richmond Raceway in Virginia.
The veteran Justin Allgaier gave a master class in perseverance and fast cars, Friday night winning the Go Bowling 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Richmond (Va.) Raceway. It was the 34-year old Allgaier’s first career win in 19 tries at the three-quarter-mile track, and he finished 0.604-seconds ahead of a hard-charging 21-year old Justin Haley.
The Rest of the Best
The Xfinity Series all-time winningest driver, reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch finished third, 2.5-seconds behind Allgaier. The current Xfinity Series championship leader Austin Cindric won a stage and finished fourth – nearly eight-seconds behind the winner.
Only nine cars finished on the lead lap. Polesitter Ross Chastain was fifth. Brett Moffitt, a NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series championship contender, was sixth. Allgaier’s JR Motorsports teammates Michael Annett and Noah Gragson were seventh and eighth with Kaz Grala and rookie Riley Herbst rounding out the top-ten. Annett’s finish has clinched him a spot in the playoffs on points.
Allgaier Holds Off Haley for Second Xfinity Series Win
Getting that second victory of 2020 goes a long way for Allgaier and his No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet team after an early season of heartbreak and inconsistency. So often, he is showing up for a race, and having bad luck derail his winning chances. He led 156 laps – more than half the race – at Bristol, Tenn. earlier this season only to crash out and finish 18th. At Texas, he led 98 laps, then settling for third.
Finally, the results are matching his efforts. Allgaier got his first win of the year at Dover, Del. five races ago, leading a race-best 120 of 200 laps. His 78 laps out front in his win Friday night at Richmond was also a race best.
“I feel like we’ve had so many [wins] get away here, just haven’t been able to seal the deal and it’s been so frustrating,” said Allgaier, who has 13 career Xfinity Series wins. “But I’m proud of these guys and proud of the effort. The pit stops were amazing. Everybody at JR Motorsports, they built a fantastic Camaro.”
“I’ve got to thank the man upstairs,” Allgaier continued, noting, “Tonight was definitely a push to the end but we just had the luck we needed. I say luck, but luck is opportunities meeting preparation. We were prepared and the opportunities came tonight.”
Justin Haley has Short Track Success
Although disappointed not to win, Haley was encouraged after the race hoping he may have proven himself a short track ace to those fans who consider him a speedway master only. He led 51 laps, and his charge to the front was impressive by any standard.
His No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet fell back to 25th place after making not one, but two pit stops during the Stage 1 caution period. In 40 laps, however, he’d rallied up to the fifth place. He took the lead on lap 174 and was finally passed by Allgaier, with 28 laps remaining.
“Allgaier was just a little bit better,” Haley said, adding with a smile, “I’m about tired of everyone on social media saying I can’t show up anywhere but superspeedways. So I finally showed up somewhere where talent matters.”
Cindric earned his series-best tenth stage victory in the first segment with Allgaier leading the way in the second stage, in what was a largely ‘clean’ race. There were only five caution flags (three mandated by NASCAR for a competition caution and the two breaks at the end of the segments) and no major incidents.
Xfinity Series Regular Season Winding Down
The Xfinity Series Playoff begins in two weeks, and the 12th and the last transfer spot is still up for grabs, between a pair of privateer family-owned teams and drivers Brandon Brown and Jeremy Clements. Brown came into the race with a 45-point advantage, and the two ran near each other much of the night.
Ultimately, Clements finished 17th, and Brown was on his heels in 18th-place. Brown now holds a 43-point advantage as they reset for Saturday’s second Richmond race.
The Team Penske driver Cindric takes a 67-point championship advantage over Chase Briscoe, who finished 11th at Richmond.
The series completes its Richmond Raceway doubleheader with the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 250 on Saturday (2 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Only two races remain to settle the Playoff field.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Go Bowling 250
Friday, September 11, 2020
1. (16) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 250.
2. (10) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 250.
3. (29) Kyle Busch(i), Toyota, 250.
4. (7) Austin Cindric, Ford, 250.
5. (1) Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 250.
6. (20) Brett Moffitt(i), Chevrolet, 250.
7. (9) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 250.
8. (4) Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 250.
9. (24) Kaz Grala, Chevrolet, 250.
10. (8) Riley Herbst #, Toyota, 249.
11. (5) Chase Briscoe, Ford, 249.
12. (6) Ryan Sieg, Chevrolet, 249.
13. (22) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 249.
14. (2) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 249.
15. (21) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 249.
16. (3) Harrison Burton #, Toyota, 249.
17. (19) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 248.
18. (13) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 248.
19. (23) Joe Graf Jr #, Chevrolet, 248.
20. (31) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 248.
21. (26) Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 248.
22. (12) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 247.
23. (15) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 247.
24. (17) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 247.
25. (14) Jesse Little #, Chevrolet, 247.
26. (36) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 247.
27. (25) Chad Finchum, Toyota, 246.
28. (30) Mason Massey, Toyota, 246.
29. (33) Kody Vanderwal #, Chevrolet, 246.
30. (32) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 245.
31. (34) Vinnie Miller, Toyota, 242.
32. (27) Dexter Bean, Chevrolet, 241.
33. (28) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 233.
34. (18) Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 220.
35. (35) Stephen Leicht, Toyota, Axle, 88.
36. (11) Myatt Snider #, Chevrolet, Accident, 46.
37. (37) Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, Vibration, 4.
The Go Bowling 250 Stats
Average Speed of Race Winner: 91.476 mph.
Time of Race: Two Hrs, Two Mins, 59 Secs. The Margin of Victory: 0.604 Seconds.
Caution Flags: Five for 31 laps.
Lead Changes: Ten among six drivers.
Lap Leaders: R. Chastain 1-38;J. Haley 39-41;R. Chastain 42;H. Burton # 43-53;C. Briscoe 54-59;A. Cindric 60-78;C. Briscoe 79;A. Cindric 80-124;J. Allgaier 125-173;J. Haley 174-221;J. Allgaier 222-250.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Justin Allgaier two times for 78 laps; Austin Cindric two times for 64 laps; Justin Haley two times for 51 laps; Ross Chastain two times for 39 laps; Harrison Burton # one time for 11 laps; Chase Briscoe two times for 7 laps.
Stage 1 Top-Ten: 22,98,10,11,7,1,21,54,02,51
Stage 2 Top-Ten: 7,10,11,54,21,22,02,9,8,1