Saturday June 12th, 2021 7:49PM

Late pass lands Justin Allgaier Darlington Xfinity win

By Brandon Reed Reporter
  Contact Editor

Justin Allgaier edged out his JR Motorsports teammate, Josh Berry, on an overtime restart to score the victory in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway.

“First of all, ya’ll are awesome,” said Allgaier, pointing to the fans in the grandstands for the annual NASCAR Throwback weekend. “Fans being back in the grandstands, this is special. Ya’ll don’t realize how much energy you feed into what we do. I’ll be honest with you, there’s a guy right over here with a navy blue shirt, and he gave me the middle finger with both hands on that last caution and gave me a lot of motivation to win that one.”

It marks the second win of the season for the Riverton, Illinois racer, who also won earlier this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and the 16th of his series career.

The opportunity for Allgaier to win opened shortly after then leader Harrison Burton spun his tires on a restart on lap 131, allowing Berry to take the lead with Allgaier moving to second. Moments later, the caution flew for a hard crash by Joe Graf, Jr. in turn four.

On the restart, Allgaier moved his No. 7 Chevrolet past Berry with a move on the inside in turn one, and began working to gap the field. He would see that advantage evaporate when the final caution of the day flew with four laps remaining for a spin by Ryan Vargas in turn 2.

That set the race into overtime, and when the final green flag flew, Allgaier held off a challenge from Berry on the outside in turn 1 to hold the lead, and went on to record the win.

“The guys down in the pits, they just kept fighting,” said Allgaier. “I think the end of the race proved it, to have all those JR Motorsports Chevys up there battling for a win, it really was special. I know Josh (Berry) and Noah (Gragson) both would have wanted that one right there.

“But to check off Atlanta and Darlington, I couldn’t be more appreciative of this race team.”

Berry, who is running a partial schedule in the No. 8 Chevy this year, finished in second, but was close to claiming his second career series win.

“I’m mad. I want to win. I’m racing for my life out here, man,” said Berry. “We need to find a sponsor or something so I can run this thing full-time. But it’s hard to be mad, coming here, running second, no practice, first time with these guys. That’s pretty incredible.”

Atlanta, Georgia’s Brandon Jones finished in third.

Noah Gragson crossed the finish line in fourth place, but saw that and the $100,000 “Dash 4 Cash” bonus go away when he was disqualified in post-race technical inspection.

The  No. 9 Chevy failed tech inspection due to an issue with suspension mounts.

The $100,000 bonus instead goes to A.J. Allmendinger, who finished in 12th. It also means Gragson will not be available to compete for the final “Dash 4 Cash” bonus next weekend at Dover.

Daniel Hemric finished in fourth, with Jeremy Clements in fifth.

Michael Annett, Brett Moffitt, Tucker, Georgia’s Ryan Sieg, Alex Labbe and Harrison Burton rounded out the top 10.

Series points leader Austin Cindric was fighting for position on the final lap when contact with another car while racing off turn four turned his No. 22 Ford head on into the wall, leaving him with heavy damage. He would be credited with a 29th place finish on the day.

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Darlington Raceway – Darlington, SC
Steakhouse Elite 200 – May 8, 2021

1. (16) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 148.
2. (24) Josh Berry #, Chevrolet, 148.
3. (22) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 148.
4. (7) Daniel Hemric, Toyota, 148.
5. (12) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 148.
6. (20) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 148.
7. (13) Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 148.
8. (11) Ryan Sieg, Ford, 148.
9. (23) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 148.
10. (8) Harrison Burton, Toyota, 148.
11. (19) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 148.
12. (1) A.J. Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 148.
13. (4) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 148.
14. (14) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 148.
15. (33) Ryan Ellis, Toyota, 148.
16. (17) David Starr, Toyota, 148.
17. (29) Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, 148.
18. (10) Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 148.
19. (3) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 148.
20. (36) Tanner Berryhill, Chevrolet, 148.
21. (35) J.J. Yeley, Chevrolet, 148.
22. (15) Timmy Hill(i), Ford, 148.
23. (9) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 148.
24. (39) Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 148.
25. (38) B.J. McLeod(i), Chevrolet, 148.
26. (34) Ryan Vargas #, Chevrolet, 148.
27. (6) Riley Herbst, Ford, 148.
28. (25) Colby Howard, Chevrolet, Accident, 147.
29. (2) Austin Cindric, Ford, Accident, 147.
30. (28) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 146.
31. (31) Jesse Little, Chevrolet, 146.
32. (26) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 142.
33. (40) Matt Jaskol, Toyota, 142.
34. (18) Jade Buford, Chevrolet, 140.
35. (27) Brandon Gdovic, Toyota, 140.
36. (30) Joe Graf, Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 132.
37. (37) Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, Accident, 107.
38. (21) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, Suspension, 48.
39. (32) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, Accident, 44.
DQ: (5) Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 148.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 98.739 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 2 Mins, 51 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.422 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 9 for 43 laps.

Lead Changes: 13 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders: A. Allmendinger 1-3;A. Cindric 4-15;N. Gragson 16-25;A. Cindric 26-47;N. Gragson 48;D. Hemric 49-86;A. Allmendinger 87-89;H. Burton 90-99;N. Gragson 100-128;H. Burton 129-130;J. Berry # 131-137;J. Allgaier 138-145;J. Berry # 146;J. Allgaier 147-148.

Leaders Summary: (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led) Noah Gragson 3 times for 40 laps; Daniel Hemric 1 time for 38 laps; Austin Cindric 2 times for 34 laps; Harrison Burton 2 times for 12 laps; Justin Allgaier 2times for 10 laps; Josh Berry # 2 times for 8 laps; AJ Allmendinger 2 times for 6 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 22,20,18,44,16,2,7,54,1,19

Stage #2 Top Ten: 20,16,8,39,10,1,7,22,02,98

Playoff Standings: 1. Austin Cindric – 388 (2 Wins) (Points Leader); 2. Justin Allgaier – 265 (2 Wins); 3. A.J. Allmendinger – 297 (1 Win); 4. Jeb Burton – 294 (1 Win); 5. Myatt Snider – 263 (1 Win); 6. Daniel Hemric – 349; 7. Harrison Burton – 321; 8. Justin Haley – 293; 9. Jeremy Clements – 253; 10. Brandon Jones – 233; 11. Noah Gragson – 218; 12. Michael Annett – 213.

  • Associated Categories: Sports, NASCAR News, Xfinity Series
  • Associated Tags: nascar, motorsports, xfinity series, Auto Racing, Stock Car, Asphalt, Motorsports Live On WDUN, Darlington
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