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Justin Allgaier kicks off Xfinity playoffs with Bristol win

JR Motorsports has had better nights than Friday but at least one of their drivers and owner left in a good mood, even if the latter’s night literally went down in flames. All of Justin Allgaier‘s team-mates retired from Friday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff opener at Bristol Motor Speedway including his boss Dale Earnhardt Jr., while Allgaier led the final thirteen laps to begin the postseason on a strong note.

The win was his first at Bristol since 2010. To make the victory even sweeter, Allgaier announced he had signed a contract extension with JRM for 2024 following the race.

Allgaier’s #7 team played their cards to perfection. After a caution came out for Josh Bilicki‘s spin on lap 248, Allgaier was told to pit while everyone else stayed out. While a risky move as it dropped him down the order, the newer tyres and added fuel gave him the advantage that he used to the fullest to catch Daniel Hemric—who had his own 2024 announcement earlier in the day—with thirteen to go.

“This team has done an amazing job at this race track since I started at JR Motorsports,” said Allgaier. “We led a lot of laps, and the monkey was definitely on our back. The pit strategy there, coming down pit road by myself was nerve wracking, right?”

While Allgaier celebrated with Earnhardt in Victory Lane, it was a bittersweet night for the latter. All three of JRM’s other drivers Sam Mayer, Josh Berry, and Brandon Jones crashed out together coming to the end of Stage #2, which also collected Ryan Sieg. Earnhardt himself was knocked out by a fire in the cockpit on lap 271 that burned the leg on his firesuit. He will try to bounce back in his second scheduled start at Homestead in October.

“Tough night. RF went down,” explained Berry. “I’ve worked for @JRMotorsports since 2010 if anyone thinks I just went in and piled 3 of our cars in the wall for the hell of it in the playoffs because we may have banged doors then can’t help ya.”

The JRM debacle was not the only case of accidental friendly fire. Fellow Chevrolet team Richard Childress Racing saw regular season champion Austin Hill get spun out by his partner Sheldon Creed on lap 217, forcing him to retire.

While Hill is still above the cut line due to his regular season success, the JRM crash dropped Berry and Mayer below it. Parker Kligerman was already the lowest seed entering the postseason but Friday did him no favours as a mechanical issue forced him to the garage for fifty-three laps and he finished thirty-first.

Race results

1107Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet300Running
2510Daniel Hemric^Kaulig RacingChevrolet300Running
3320John Hunter NemechekJoe Gibbs RacingToyota300Running
4100Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord300Running
5416Chandler SmithKaulig RacingChevrolet300Running
6739Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord300Running
71219Trevor Bayne^Joe Gibbs RacingToyota300Running
81698Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord300Running
9618Sammy SmithJoe Gibbs RacingToyota300Running
103126Kaz GralaSam Hunt RacingToyota300Running
11212Sheldon CreedRichard Childress RacingChevrolet300Running
121811Derek KrausKaulig RacingChevrolet300Running
133827Jeb BurtonJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet300Running
142924Connor MosackSam Hunt RacingToyota300Running
151431Parker RetzlaffJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet299Running
163625Brett MoffittAM RacingFord299Running
172544Rajah Caruth*Alpha Prime RacingChevrolet298Running
182243Ryan EllisAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet298Running
193507Stefan ParsonsSS-Green Light RacingChevrolet298Running
202092Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet298Running
212728Kyle SiegRSS RacingFord298Running
22286Brennan PooleJD MotorsportsChevrolet297Running
23304Kyle WeathermanJD MotorsportsChevrolet297Running
24951Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet297Running
253278Anthony AlfredoB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet296Running
261938Joe Graf Jr.RSS RacingFord295Running
272491Josh BilickiDGM RacingChevrolet294Running
283302Blaine PerkinsOur MotorsportsChevrolet294Running
292308Chad FinchumSS-Green Light RacingFord276Running
301588Dale Earnhardt JrJR MotorsportsChevrolet271Ignition
311348Parker KligermanBig Macing Racing TeamChevrolet246Running
321745Jeffrey EarnhardtAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet229Brakes
332621Austin HillRichard Childress RacingChevrolet217DVP
3489Brandon JonesJR MotorsportsChevrolet178Suspension
35111Sam MayerJR MotorsportsChevrolet166Accident
3628Josh BerryJR MotorsportsChevrolet166Accident
373735B.J. McLeodEmerling-Gase MotorsportsChevrolet117Power
383466Timmy Hill*MBM MotorsportsToyota81Rear Gear
Bold – Currently in playoffs
^ – Currently in owner playoffs
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points


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