Allgaier Hatches Bristol Xfinity Win for JRM
(BRISTOL, TN – SEPT 15, 2023 – RIS) Justin Allgaier finally won a Bristol race, leading 110 laps on his way to a third 2023 victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Allgaier’s team owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr, led 47 laps and Cole Custer matched Allgaier’s total, dominating the early stages of the race.
Junior Nation came out in force for the Friday night NASCAR Xfinity Food City 300. Dale Earnhardt Jr made a rare appearance behind the wheel of an Xfinity car, racing the No. 88 Chevy after qualifying fifteenth. Cole Custer and Josh Berry headed the pack and Custer moved out to the lead as Berry got loose on the top pane and dropped back to seventh after only five laps.
Custer began lapping cars in under 25 laps, consistently running the fastest lap times on the track. After 60 laps, twentieth position Josh Williams was only a couple of tenths ahead of Custer before falling a lap down before Custer set out in pursuit of Sheldon Creed, passing him without drama. Jeb Burton was the first racer to move into the higher lane consistently and in spite of running twentieth, was one of the fastest cars on the track.
The record-setting first stage ended with Custer, Allgaier, Brandon Jones, John Hunter Nemechek and Trevor Bayne the top five. The record set was the first time an entire first stage has been run at Bristol without a caution. Chandler Smith, Parker Kligerman, Sam Mayer, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Sammy Smith filled out the rest of the top ten positions at the green and white checkered flag that ended the stage. Custer, Allgaier, Jones, Nemechek and ‘Junior’ were the first five out of the pits. At the choose, only twenty cars were being scored on the lead lap, with Jeb Burton reporting to his crew that the top lane was starting to work in.
Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier got together when Allgaier slipped, resulting in a slight tire rub from the left rear fender damage. Allgaier’s radio report indicated that the car bottomed out on the splitter. Allgaier and Custer battled for the lead, with Allgaier on the inside and taking the lead on lap 110 after Custer led everything up to that point. Custer kept running almost even with Allgaier for five laps and Earnhardt Jr took advantage of the battle for the lead to move into a challenging position for second place.
Brandon Jones got around into third place, with Nemechek trying to challenge for fourth.
Joe Graf Jr spun after getting tapped by Connor Mosack, bringing out the first incident yellow of the race just before the midpoint of the race. Allgaier, Custer, Nemechek, Austin Hill and Sammy Smith were the top five at the restart with Earnhardt Jr grabbing fifth almost on the flag before getting around Nemechek, who fell back to seventh as Trevor Bayne got around to fourth overall approaching ten laps remaining in the second stage.
With four laps left in the stage, Josh Berry and Sam Mayer wrecked with Brandon Jones getting damaged in the incident. Berry slid down the track to the pit wall where the car stopped with a fire under the hood which went out almost immediately. Berry reported that he definitely had a cut tire.
Earnhardt Jr and Chandler Smith led at the restart with Earnhardt opening a lead of nearly half a second over Trevor Bayne, who moved around into second place. Jeremy Clements spun off the second turn and caused a quick caution.
On the restart, Earnhardt powered ahead of Allgaier in the outside line with Trevor Bayne flanking Allgaier and moving around for second place but Cole Custer took advantage of a miscue with Nemechek and Allgaier to take second place.
Austin Hill spun after touching Sheldon Creed, bouncing off the indside pit wall then the outside wall for the second intrateam incident of the race. This one between two Richard Childress cars, the earlier one between Junior Motorsports cars. “Who needs enemies when you have teammates?” was Hill’s angry comment on the team radio. “I didn’t mean to do that” was Creed’s comment.
Allgaier, Hemric, Earnhardt Jr and Nemechek were racing almost nose-to-tail when Josh Bilicki spun on the front straight to bring out the sixth caution of the race.
Nemechek and Hemric led to the green with Hemric taking the lead and Nemechek trying to get around while Earnhardt Jr and ran third, with Cole Custer and Chandler Smith racing for fourth position.
Allgaier had pitted for tires and used them to drive through the field to challenge for the lead but Earnhardt Jr pulled into the pits with smoke in the car from a fire at the shifter boot that burned the top layer of his firesuit leg, stopping in front of Nemechek’s crew who responded with an extinguisher and helped the driver clamber out of the car
Allgaier finally managed to pass Hemric for the lead, opening up a lead of around a second while Hemric was a second and a half ahead
of third place Nemechek.
Allgaier went on to take his 22nd career win and his first at Bristol, leading 110 laps, matching Custer’s total led. Earnhardt led a total of 47 laps before pulling off with a minor car fire. Allgaier, one of the smaller drivers in the field, exited his car through the roof escape hatch before the front straight celebration.
“Just cannot say enough for the team. This team has done such an amazing job” said Allgaier after giving his father and team owner (Dale Earnhardt Jr) a ride to the elevated Victory Lane in the winning car.
Creed commented about the contact with hill: He’s going to be extremely frustrated, which he ought to be – it’s on me really. If he feels like he needs to get me back, then…”
UnofficialResults for the Food City 300 - Friday, September 15, 2023 - Bristol Motor Speedway
Fin, St, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 10, Justin Allgaier (P), No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet, 300, 2, 1, 3, 110, 6, 59, Running
2) 5, Daniel Hemric (P), No. 10 Cirkul Chevrolet, 300, , 7, 2, 33, , 39, Running
3) 3, John Hunter Nemechek (P), No. 20 Pye Barker Fire & Safety Toyota, 300, 4, 6, 1, 1, , 46, Running
4) 1, Cole Custer (P), No. 00 Mobil 1 Ford, 300, 1, 2, 2, 109, 1, 52, Running
5) 4, Chandler Smith # (P), No. 16 Barger Precast/Quick Tie Products Inc. Chevrolet, 300, 6, 9, , , , 39, Running
6) 7, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 Sci Aps Ford, 300, , , , , , 31, Running
7) 12, Trevor Bayne (P), No. 19 He Gets Us Toyota, 300, 5, 5, , , , 42, Running
8) 16, Riley Herbst, No. 98 Monster Energy Ford, 300, , 8, , , , 32, Running
9) 6, Sammy Smith # (P), No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota, 300, 10, , , , , 29, Running
10) 31, Kaz Grala, No. 26 CRUSH Tropical Punch Toyota, 300, , , , , , 27, Running
11) 21, Sheldon Creed (P), No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet, 300, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 18, Derek Kraus, No. 11 Crav'n Flavor/Hardscape Construction Chevrolet, 300, , , , , , 25, Running
13) 38, Jeb Burton (P), No. 27 Alsco Uniforms Chevrolet, 300, , , , , , 24, Running
14) 29, Connor Mosack, No. 24 Toyota Racing Development Toyota, 300, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 14, Parker Retzlaff #, No. 31 FUNKAWAY Chevrolet, 299, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 36, Brett Moffitt, No. 25 AM Technical Solutions Ford, 299, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 25, Rajah Caruth(i), No. 44 Gilreath Farms/AAN Adjusters Chevrolet, 298, , , , , , 0, Running
18) 22, Ryan Ellis, No. 43 Diamond Doors Assa Abloy Chevrolet, 298, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 35, Stefan Parsons, No. 07 Sokal/Nelson's Green Brier Chevrolet, 298, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 20, Josh Williams, No. 92 Alloy Employer/DAN-O'S Chevrolet, 298, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 27, Kyle Sieg, No. 28 Cooks Comfort Ford, 298, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 28, Brennan Poole, No. 6 Macc Door Systems Chevrolet, 297, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 30, Kyle Weatherman, No. 4 TeamJDMotorsports.com Chevrolet, 297, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 9, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 All South Electric Chevrolet, 297, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 32, Anthony Alfredo, No. 78 Dude Wipes Chevrolet, 296, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 19, Joe Graf Jr., No. 38 Food City/Bucked Up Ford, 295, , , , , , 11, Running
27) 24, Josh Bilicki, No. 91 Insurance King/ROCK'N VODKA Chevrolet, 294, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 33, Blaine Perkins #, No. 02 Gratis Chevrolet, 294, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 23, Chad Finchum, No. 08 Elite Petroleum Ford, 276, , , , , , 8, Running
30) 15, Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Hellmann's Chevrolet, 271, 9, 4, 1, 47, , 16, Ignition
31) 13, Parker Kligerman (P), No. 48 Spiked Light Coolers Chevrolet, 246, 7, , , , , 10, Running
32) 17, Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 45 K9Grass Chevrolet, 229, , 10, , , , 6, Brakes
33) 26, Austin Hill (P), No. 21 Bennett Transportation Chevrolet, 217, , 3, , , , 12, DVP
34) 8, Brandon Jones, No. 9 Menards/Patriot Lighting Chevrolet, 178, 3, , , , , 11, Suspension
35) 11, Sam Mayer (P), No. 1 Huck's Market Chevrolet, 166, 8, , , , , 5, Accident
36) 2, Josh Berry (P), No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Chevrolet, 166, , , , , , 1, Accident
37) 37, BJ McLeod, No. 35 Sci Aps Chevrolet, 117, , , , , , 1, Power
38) 34, Timmy Hill(i), No. 66 Coble Enterprises Toyota, 81, , , , , , 0, Rear Gear
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie, (P) Playoffs
Total Race Length: 300 Laps, 159.9 Miles
Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 52 Mins, 11 Secs.
Average Speed: 85.521 MPH
Margin of Victory: 1.695 Seconds
Stage 1 Top 10: 00, 7, 9, 20, 19, 16, 48, 1, 88, 18
Stage 2 Top 10: 7, 00, 21, 88, 19, 20, 10, 98, 16, 45
Comments: Justin Allgaier has won the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, his 22nd career victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reason(s) indicated: Nos. 11, 78 and 98 (Unapproved adjustments), Nos. 27 and 35 (Back-up cars).
Cautions: 6 for 48 laps;
Laps: 87-95 (Stage 1 Conclusion );
148-153 (Nos. 38 & 24 Incident Turn 1 );
168-179 (Nos. 8, 1 & 9 Incident Turn 1 and Stage 2 Conclusion );
185-190 (Nos. 51 & 38 Incident Turn 1 );
218-224 (Nos. 21 & 2 Incident Frontstretch );
249-256 (No. 91 & 44 Incident Frontstretch ).
Lead Changes: 8 among 5 drivers;
C. Custer (P) 1-108;
J. Allgaier (P) 109-173;
D. Earnhardt Jr. 174-220;
C. Custer (P) 221;
J. Allgaier (P) 222-253;
D. Hemric (P) 254-256;
J. Nemechek (P) 257;
D. Hemric (P) 258-287;
J. Allgaier (P) 288-300.
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.