Allgaier Overcomes Race Start Pass-Through Penalty to Win Daytona in Overtime

Justin Allgaier, driver of the #7 Hellmann's Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series Wawa 250 powered by Coca-Cola at Daytona International Speedway on August 25, 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

(DAYTONA BEACH, FL – AUG 25, 2023 – RIS) Justin Allgaier had to serve a pass-through penalty at the start of the Wawa 250 after the No. 7 Jr Motorsports car failed inspection before qualifying but that never dampened his optimism and he drove to the front, eventually winning the race in a pair of overtime restarts by just inches over Sheldon Creed. The top five finishers were Allgaier, Creed, Daniel Hemric, Parker Kligerman and Cole Custer, with Parker Retzlaff, Ryan Sieg, Anthony Alfredo, Gray Gaulding and Justin Haley rounding out the top ten.

Austin Hill led from the pole as the pack behind him strung out in two rows, Sammy Smith leading the inside row and briefly pulling almost even before dropping back then leading the inside line up and challenging for the lead again. Smith led three laps in the middle of the first stage before dropping out of the top ten, with Hill a couple of lengths ahead of Sheldon Creed at the end of the stage. Riley Herbst’s left-front tire came apart and demolished the fender on the final lap of the stage after he had reported a problem with the car’s steering earlier and he dropped three laps down before the restart. Later reports indicated that a bolt in the steering gearbox had somehow gotten loose 

Sheldon Creed used the inside line to take the lead from fellow RCR driver Hill then on lap 41, a crash started in mid-pack approaching the start/finish line, involving multiple cars, leading to a red flag for the cleanup. The three-wide pack fell apart when Anthony Alfredo and Brandon Jones touched, sending Jones caroming into the outside wall and triggering the incident. Alfredo continued with essentially no damage but most of the others involved were not so fortunate. The cars involved included: 38, 9, 24, 91, 53, 78, 39, 25, 4, 7, 10, and 26.

Sheldon Creed got back on track in the lead after pit stops, followed by Hill. The teammates both picked the outside line for the restart, with Parker Kligerman and John Hunter Nemechek the front two rows on the inside lane.

A push by Nemechek moved Kligerman into the lead briefly but then the oudside row surged back before the inside line re-formed and Kligerman got the lead until Trevor Bayne got the lead with help from a push by Chandler Smith. Creed and Hill dropped to the inside line and advanced to third and fourth before moving back to the outside lane then Creed dove to the inside and into the lead with Hill helping him, then Hill used a push from Chandlier Smith to take the lead again with two laps left in the stage. Creed used a side draft approaching the end of the stage to take the stage points over his teammate, with Custer third, Sammy Smith fourth and Daniel Hemric fifth.

Sam Mayer gained eight spots by only taking fuel in the caution, gaining the lead approaching the restart. Creed and Hill restarted on the inside and moved into the lead on the green flag, with Cole Custer moving to third. Sammy Smith took the lead with a push from Trevor Bayne, then Creed dove inside for the lead and Trevor Bayne edged into the lead briefly before Creed and Hill teamed up to challenge for the lead in the outside lane but Bayne and Nemechek kept their Toyotas in the lead until Kligerman retook second place. 

Sam Mayer and Justin Allgaier got around Bayne for the lead with Jeb Burton chasing the pair until Allgaier got the lead with an outside pane pass and Burton started to drop back. Bayne retook the lead with 13 laps left with a dive low around Allgaier with Sheldon Creed taking advantage of an aero push from Austin Hill to retake the lead as the two RCR cars teamed up on the inside lane with Bayne being pushed by Allgaier in the outside lane.

Jeb Burton had a spin on the front straight with eight laps left, lightly tapping the wall, and a multi-car spin resulted behind the No. 22. Ryan Ellis slammed into the inside wall when Justin Haley ran into the back of Caesar Bacarella and Ellis tried to dodge them. 

The restart with two laps remaining saw Bayne leading until Austin Hill moved high for a pass, with Bayne moving up to block, spinning out Mayer, Hill, Bayne and several other leaders, leaving Allgaier in the lead, followed by Kligerman, Retzlaff, Creed and Alfredo.

The overtime restart had Allgaier leading Creed with Kligerman in front of Hemric on the outside lane. And then Josh Williams, John Hunter Nemechek, Jeb Burton, Blaine Perkins Josh Berry and Jeremy Clements all got tangled at the end of the back straight as Perkins got a push from Jordan Anderson and got turned into Williams.

Allgaier and Hemric led and then Grala spun at the entrance to the pits approaching the whilte flag but stayed on pit road and the yellow didn’t come out. Creed and Allgaier battled side by side approaching the checkered flag with Allgaier edging ahead for a narrow win of five thousandths of a second ahead of Creed. The win is Allgaier’s first at Daytona after a pair of runner-up finishes and would have been Creed’s first series win.

“Did I win? I think I did!” quipped Allgaier. “I wanted to win here so bad and we’ve been so close,” said Allgaier in Victory Lane. “Eddie DeHondt, my spotter, was just fantastic. This is one of the iconic places in the world and I’m just so thankful to be here.”

“Honestly, we have some momentum finally. I thought we killed it tonight – not a scratch on it,” said Creed on TV. “It’s a good time to be heating up.”

Unofficial Finish, Wawa 250 Presented by Coca-Cola, Daytona International Speedway, Aug. 25, 2023
Pos, St, Driver, Car, Status, Laps, Laps Led, Points
1) 12, Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Hellmann's Chevrolet, Running, 110, 14, 40
2) 2, Sheldon Creed, No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet, Running, 110, 21, 54
3) 6, Daniel Hemric, No. 11 Cirkul Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 44
4) 5, Parker Kligerman, No. 48 Spiked Coolers Light Orange Chevrolet, Running, 110, 1, 36
5) 11, Cole Custer, No. 00 Haas Automation Ford, Running, 110, 1, 42
6) 38, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 Sci Aps Ford, Running, 110, 0, 31
7) 23, Parker Retzlaff, No. 31 FunkAway Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 30
8) 20, Anthony Alfredo, No. 78 DUDE Wipes Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 35
9) 33, Gray Gaulding, No. 08 Panini NFT Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 28
10) 9, Justin Haley, No. 10 Campers Inn RV Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 0
11) 27, Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 45 Ark Encounter Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 26
12) 10, Jeb Burton, No. 22 State Water Heaters/Puryear Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 25
13) 24, Kyle Sieg, No. 28 Night Owl Ford, Running, 110, 0, 24
14) 15, Joey Gase, No. 35 National Crime Prevention Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 23
15) 37, Jordan Anderson, No. 27 Capital City Towing Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 22
16) 36, Garrett Smithley, No. 6 Hoffman Group Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 21
17) 13, Josh Berry, No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Chevrolet, Running, 110, 0, 20
18) 22, Brett Moffitt, No. 25 Wawa Rechargers Ford, Running, 110, 0, 26
19) 14, Sam Mayer, No. 1 Tim McGraw: Standing Room Only Chevrolet, Running, 110, 6, 20
20) 18, Kaz Grala, No. 26 Island Coastal Lager Toyota, Running, 109, 0, 17
21) 3, Sammy Smith, No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota, Running, 109, 4, 23
22) 4, Chandler Smith, No. 16 Quick Tie Products Inc. Chevrolet, Running, 109, 1, 24
23) 1, Austin Hill, No. 21 Bennett/Realtree Chevrolet, Running, 109, 36, 33
24) 16, Riley Herbst, No. 98 Monster Energy Ford, Running, 108, 0, 13
25) 25, Blaine Perkins, No. 02 Chevrolet, Running, 108, 0, 12
26) 32, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 One Stop/All South Electric Chevrolet, Accident, 104, 0, 14
27) 21, Josh Williams, No. 92 Parking Guidance Systems Chevrolet, Accident, 103, 0, 10
28) 7, John H. Nemechek, No. 20 Yahoo Toyota, Accident, 103, 0, 14
29) 8, Trevor Bayne, No. 19 He Gets Us Toyota, Accident, 103, 26, 13
30) 34, Jj Yeley, No. 07 Wawa Rechargers Chevrolet, Accident, 98, 0, 7
31) 30, Caesar Bacarella, No. 44 Advanced Drainage Systems Chevrolet, Accident, 92, 0, 6
32) 28, Ryan Ellis, No. 43 AAGI Chevrolet, Accident, 91, 0, 5
33) 19, Kyle Weatherman, No. 4 Chevrolet, DVP, 45, 0, 4
34) 26, Joe Graf Jr, No. 38 Wawa Ford, DVP, 42, 0, 3
35) 35, Natalie Decker, No. 53 Wawa Rechargers Ford, Accident, 42, 0, 2
36) 17, Brandon Jones, No. 9 Menards/Fisher Nuts Chevrolet, Accident, 41, 0, 6
37) 29, Connor Mosack, No. 24 Toyota Racing Development Toyota, Accident, 41, 0, 1
38) 31, Alex Guenette, No. 91 EVIRUM/BKFC Chevrolet, Accident, 41, 0, 1

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2023, Issue 8, Posted 11:17 PM, 08.25.2023