For the second time in as many days, NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran Justin Allgaier pulled away for the victory, as he beat teammate Jeb Burton to win the Virginia Is for Racing Lovers 250 at Richmond Raceway (Richmond). Allgaier picked up his first career victory at America’s Premier Short Track on Friday night.
“I don’t know that it isn’t the biggest accomplishment of my career,” Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 for JR Motorsports, said of his Richmond Sweep. “I think a lot of times in this sport you’re only as good as your last race. And it’s really, really easy to have success and have a good race and not following it up with a good race. … To be able to get these guys what they deserve, it made today more special than I think I’ve ever had.”
To download images of Justin Allgaier’s post-race celebration, click here.
Green-flag runs and slick daytime conditions tested teams and drivers, who used the same cars they did on Friday night. As fast as the No. 7 was on Friday “under the lights,” it was even better during the day on Saturday.
The 34-year-old Allgaier was on cruise control with a nearly nine-second lead as the circuits dwindled, but a caution with 22 laps to go brought all lead-lap cars to pit road. Quick work by his crew got him out ahead of the pack, and after the final green flag flew with 13 to go, Allgaier sped away.
Allgaier now has two victories in 20 career Xfinity Series starts at Richmond. It’s his 14th career victory in 331 Xfinity Series races and third this season. This is the fifth victory for JR Motorsports at Richmond in the Xfinity Series (2014, 2015, 2016, 2020 sweep).
Burton, driver of the No. 8 for JR Motorsports, picked up his career-best Xfinity Series finish with his second-place effort. He was followed by Ross Chastain, driver of the No. 10 for Kaulig Racing. Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 20 for Joe Gibbs Racing and Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 9 for JR Motorsports rounded out the top-5.
Austin Cindric, driver of the No. 22 for Penske Racing, clinched the Xfinity Series regular season championship with one race remaining until the series’ Playoffs begin.
Allgaier led a race-high 135 of 250 laps, coming from his 14th-place starting position. The top-14 finishing cars in Friday night’s race were inverted to start Saturday’s event. He drove to the lead in just 46 laps and won Stage 1.
A split in teams’ pit strategy after a caution late in Stage 2 left Allgaier in the lead on older tires, and he faded to 8th as Chastain won the stage. After pitting between the second and final stage, Allgaier would take the lead for good from teammate Burton with 172 laps to go.
“I knew how good our car was all day,” Allgaier said. “I knew at the end there, I knew we had speed. I knew when we needed to go we could. I just didn’t know how fast.”
Allgaier joins Harry Gant (1991), Mark Martin (1993), Jimmy Spencer (2001), Kevin Harvick (2006), Brad Keselowski (2013) and Christopher Bell (2018) as drivers to sweep Xfinity Series seasons at Richmond.
Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, and Ryan Sieg, driver of the No. 39 for RSS Racing, clinched spots in the Xfinity Series 12-driver Playoffs.
After finishing 11th, Brandon Brown, driver of the No. 68 for Brandonbilt Motorsports, holds a 49-point advantage over Jeremy Clements, driver of the No. 51 for Clements Racing, going into the regular season finale at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday.
The road to the 2020 NASCAR Cup Series championship will lead through Richmond as America’s Premier Short Track hosts the second race of the first round of the Playoffs for the ninth annual Federated Auto Parts 400 on tonight at 7:30 p.m. The fall Cup Series race at Richmond has run “under the lights” since 1991.
Richmond Raceway PR