Coming off his late surge and dominating win on Friday night in Richmond, Virginia, while recording a milestone win for JR Motorsports, Justin Allgaier backed it up by winning the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 250 at Richmond Raceway on Saturday afternoon, September 12, for his third NASCAR Xfinity Series win of the season and in the past six races as he also claimed his second victory of the weekend. The win was Allgaier’s 14th of his Xfinity career and 11th while driving JRM’s No. 7 car as JR Motorsports recorded its 51st NASCAR Xfinity career victory.
The starting lineup was based on the results from Friday night’s race at Richmond, where the top-14 finishers were inverted. With that, Tommy Joe Martins started on pole position and was joined on the front row with Brandon Jones. Chad Finchum started at the rear of the field due to an engine change. Rookie Myatt Snider also started at the rear of the field in a backup car.
When the green flag waved and the race started, Martins and Jones battled dead even for the lead before Jones was able to prevail through Turns 3 and 4 and lead the first lap. Behind, Chase Briscoe and Ryan Sieg made a three-wide move on Martins entering Turn 1 before both moved up to second and third behind Jones. Not long after, Kaz Grala also moved up into fourth followed by Michael Annett while Martins continued to fade and lose spots on the track.
By the fifth lap, Jones was ahead by nearly three-tenths of a second over Briscoe with Sieg trailing by half a second. Five laps later, on Lap 10, Jones stabilized his advantage to nearly three-tenths of a second over Briscoe. Behind, Grala moved into third place over Sieg while Noah Gragson joined the battle. Austin Cindric was in sixth followed by Annett, Justin Haley, teammate Ross Chastain and rookie Riley Herbst. Justin Allgaier, winner of Friday night’s Xfinity race at Richmond, was in 11th ahead of cousins Harrison and Jeb Burton while Tommy Joe Martins fell back to 20th.
On Lap 17, Briscoe emerged with the lead after passing Jones on the inside lane the previous lap in Turn 1. Behind him. Grala moved into second place followed by Gragson while Jones settled in fourth place ahead of Haley and Cindric. Four laps later, Haley, who finished in second place on Friday night behind Allgaier, continued his march to the front after passing Jones for fourth place. By then, Allgaier cracked the top 10.
By Lap 25, the top-three competitors on the track led by Briscoe and followed by Grala and Gragson were ahead of fourth-place Haley by a second with Cindric trailing by more than a second and Annett by more than two seconds. Shortly after, Gragson moved into second place over Grala.
Thirty laps into the event and with the leaders approaching lapped traffic, Gragson emerged with the lead after passing Briscoe the previous lap in Turn 1. Briscoe maintained second place over Grala while Haley and Cindric stabilized themselves inside the top five. Behind, Allgaier moved up to sixth place and Ross Chastain moved up to eighth place while Jones fell back to 11th behind teammates Herbst and Harrison Burton.
While Gragson slowly extended his advantage, Grala and Briscoe battled for second place with Haley joining the party and heavy lapped traffic in front of them. On Lap 37, Haley, Briscoe and Grala went three wide for second place amid the lapped traffic for nearly a full circuit before Haley prevailed and took the spot. Behind, Allgaier rocketed his way into third place while Briscoe and Grala settled in the top five ahead of Cindric. Shortly after, Allgaier moved into second place.
With the battling for positions settling down, Gragson was able to maintain the lead just as the competition caution flew on Lap 40. Under caution, few that included Joey Gase and Tommy Joe Martins made a pit stop while the rest remained on track.
The race resumed under green on Lap 45 as teammates Gragson and Allgaier battled for the lead while Briscoe made a three-wide move to move up to third place. At the front, Allgaier emerged with the lead entering Turn 2 and after restarting on the inside lane. Behind, Haley passed Briscoe for third place while teammate Chastain overtook Annett into fifth place in pursuit of more on the track.
Fifty-five laps into the event, Allgaier was ahead by three-tenths of a second over teammate Gragson while Kaulig Racing teammates Haley and Chastain trailed behind. Annett, teammates to Allgaier and Gragson at JR Motorsports, was back in fifth place while Joe Gibbs Racing’s Herbst and Burton battled with Stewart-Haas Racing’s Briscoe for sixth and seventh. Penske’s Cindric was in ninth while RSS Racing’s Ryan Sieg was in 10th. Richard Childress Racing’s Grala was back in 12th behind Sieg.
Five laps later, on Lap 60, Allgaier continued to lead by half a second over Gragson with Haley trailing by seven-tenths of a second and Chastain trailing by more than a second. Jones was back in 14th while Martins was back in 27th. In addition, Grala overtook Cindric for 10th place.
When the first stage concluded on Lap 75, Allgaier emerged at the front of the field as he claimed his 10th stage victory of the season. Gragson settled in second place behind his teammate followed by Haley, Chastain and Harrison Burton while Annett, Herbst, Jeb Burton, Sieg and Grala settled in the top 10. By then, Briscoe and his No. 98 Go Bowling Ford Mustang dropped back to 11th place ahead of Brandon Jones while Cindric and his No. 22 PPG Ford Mustang also fell back to 15th place.
Under the stage break, the leaders pitted and Allgaier retained the lead following his pit stop ahead of teammate Gragson, Chastain, Haley, Harrison Burton and Jeb Burton. Following the pit stops, Sieg was sent to the rear of the field for speeding on pit road.
The second stage commenced on Lap 82 and Chastain made a bold three-wide move beneath Allgaier and Gragson in Turn 1 to take the lead. Eight laps later, on Lap 90, Chastain stabilized his advantage to a second over teammates Allgaier and Gragson while Jeb Burton moved up to fourth place in front of Haley and Harrison Burton. Behind, Cindric rallied from his late issues near the end of the first stage to run in seventh place followed by Herbst, Briscoe and Brett Moffitt. Annett, Jeremy Clements, Brandon Jones, Brandon Brown and Grala were running in the top 15.
Another 10 laps later, on Lap 100, Chastain stabilized his advantage to seven-tenths of a second over Allgaier, whose car slowly came to life and with speed on long runs like the first stage, with Gragson trailing by more than a second. Behind, Jeb Burton continued to maintain fourth place over Haley.
By Lap 110, Allgaier cut his deficit to three-tenths of a second over Chastain as the leaders started to approach heavy lapped traffic. Both Chastain and Allgaier were ahead of third-place Gragson by more than two seconds with Haley in fourth. Behind by more than four seconds were cousins Harrison and Jeb Burton, both battling for fifth place, with Herbst joining the party. Cindric was back in eighth place ahead of Briscoe and Annett.
Ten laps later, on Lap 120, Allgaier started to pressure Chastain for the lead as they cleared the lapped traffic. He then attempted to gain a run and set up a pass on the outside lane, but Chastain was able to stabilize his narrow lead.
When the race reached its halfway point on Lap 125, Chastain was still ahead with the lead as Allgaier settled right behind the rear bumper of Chastain’s No. 10 Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet Camaro. Three laps later, Allgaier and his No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet Camaro moved back into the lead after fending off a challenge by Chastain, who refused to back out of the gas.
Behind, Harrison Burton made his way to third place after passing Gragson while Herbst moved up to fifth place after passing Haley. Jeb Burton settled in seventh place in front of Cindric, Jones and Briscoe. Shortly after, Herbst muscled his No. 18 Monster Energy Toyota Supra into fourth place.
With 10 laps remaining in the second stage, the caution flew for an incident involving in Turn 3 involving Colby Howard. By then, Allgaier was leading by more than a second over Chastain with Harrison Burton trailing by less than four seconds. Under caution, some like Chastain, Haley, Harrison Burton, Herbst, Cindric, Jeb Burton, Brandon Jones and Briscoe pitted while the rest led by Allgaier remained on track. Following the pit stops, Jones was sent to the rear for speeding on pit road.
With five laps remaining, the short dash to the conclusion of the second stage started under green and with Allgaier and Grala restarting on the front row followed by teammates Gragson and Annett. At the start, Allgaier retained the lead while Chastain rocketed his way on the outside lane to move all the way up to second place in two laps and on fresh tires than Allgaier. All this occurred as the field scrambled for positions between those on fresh tires versus those on old tires.
A lap later, teammates Chastain and Haley made a three-wide move on Allgaier for the lead with Chastain reassuming the lead while Allgaier was overtaken by a handful of cars on fresh tires and dropped back to the top 10. By the time the second stage concluded on Lap 150 and with the scrambling for positions still ongoing through every turn and straightaway, Chastain emerged out in front and claimed his second stage victory of the season. Teammate Haley and his No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet Camaro settled in second followed by Jeb Burton, Briscoe and Harrison Burton while Cindric, Herbst, Allgaier, Gragson and Grala settled in the top 10.
Under the stage break, some like Allgaier, Gragson, Jeb Burton, Grala, Clements and Brandon Brown pitted while the rest led by teammates Chastain and Haley remained on track.
The final stage commenced under green with 93 laps remaining and with Chastain and Haley on the front row. At the start, Chastain took off with the lead followed by Briscoe and Jeb Burton while Haley got shuffled out of the top five entering Turn 2. In one lap, Allgaier moved up to sixth place on fresh tires.
At the front, Jeb Burton made a move beneath Chastain to take the lead with 90 laps remaining. Shortly after, Allgaier rocketed into third place after passing Cindric while Briscoe settled in fifth place in front of Harrison Burton.
With 87 laps remaining, Allgaier overtook Chastain for second place as Jeb Burton continued to lead by a second. Seven laps later, with 80 laps remaining, Allgaier cut his deficit to Jeb Burton down to less than three-tenths of a second. Behind, Chastain trailed by two seconds in third place followed by Gragson and Cindric while Harrison Burton and Haley battled for sixth place.
Two laps later, Allgaier made his way back into the lead after passing teammate Jeb Burton. Another five laps later, with 73 laps remaining, Allgaier extended his advantage to more than a second over Jeb Burton’s No. 8 LS Tractor Chevrolet Camaro.
As the green-flag run progressed and with Allgaier ahead by more than two seconds, Chastain took second place over Jeb Burton with Gragson and Haley in the top five. Cindric was in sixth place followed by Harrison Burton, Annett, Grala and Herbst while Briscoe was back in 12th place in front of Jones, Clements and Brown.
With 60 laps remaining, Allgaier stabilized his lead to three seconds over Chastain. Ten laps later, with 50 laps remaining, Allgaier extended his advantage to more than five seconds over Chastain with Jeb Burton trailing by less than six seconds.
Another 10 laps later and with 40 laps remaining, Allgaier continued to extend his advantage by seven seconds over Chastain with Jeb Burton trailing by more than eight seconds. Fourth-place Haley was trailing by 10 seconds while Gragson and Harrison Burton trailed by more than 12 seconds. By then, names like Ryan Sieg, Brett Moffitt and Chase Briscoe were lapped.
Under 30 laps remaining, Allgaier’s lead expanded to eight seconds over Chastain with Jeb Burton trailing by nine seconds, Haley by less than 11 seconds and Harrison Burton by less than 15 seconds. Gragson retained sixth place ahead of teammate Annett and Grala while Cindric and Jones were scored in the top 10. Behind, Alex Labbe was in 11th place ahead of Herbst, Clements, Brandon Brown and Matt Mills. Jeffrey Earnhardt was in 16th place, a lap down, while Sieg and Briscoe were back in 17th and 19th.
With approximately 20 laps remaining, the caution flew after contact from Brandon Brown sent Herbst hard into the Turn 1 outside wall and with significant damage sustained to the rear end of Herbst’s No. 18 Toyota that knocked Herbst out of contention in the closing laps of the race. The caution erased a nearly nine-second advantage for Allgaier. Under caution, the leaders pitted and Allgaier retained the lead after exiting pit road first ahead of Jeb Burton and Chastain.
The race restarted under green with 13 laps remaining and with teammates Allgaier and Burton on the front row while Chastain and Harrison Burton lined up on the second row. At the start, Allgaier withstood a challenge from Jeb Burton to retain the lead,
With 10 laps remaining, Allgaier stabilized his advantage to nearly four-tenths of a second over teammate Jeb Burton with Chastain trailing behind and the pack behind jostling for late positions. Two laps later, Allgaier extended his advantage to six-tenths of a second.
With five laps remaining and Allgaier leading by more than a second, Jeb Burton continued to maintain second place ahead of Chastain and Harrison Burton with Haley in fifth place ahead of Gragson.
With the leaders encountering lapped traffic, Chastain started to challenge Jeb Burton for second place followed by Harrison Burton and his No. 20 Dex Imaging Toyota Supra. Despite encountering lapped traffic in front of him, Allgaier was able to stabilize his advantage and navigate his way through one final circuit and come back around to win by two seconds and for his second checkered flag of the weekend.
Through the first 19 regular-season races of this year, Allgaier had yet to fill in the win column to his stats in 2020. Since recording his first victory at Dover International Speedway in August, Allgaier’s pair of victories this weekend at Richmond allowed him to join Cindric, Briscoe and Brandon Jones as the lone Xfinity competitors to achieve three or more victories throughout the regular-season stretch. In addition, Allgaier joined Cindric as the lone Xfinity competitors to achieve two victories in a doubleheader weekend at a track, when Cindric made his accomplishment at Kentucky Speedway in July.
“I knew how good our car was all day,” Allgaier said in Victory Lane on NBCSN. “It seems like lately, we haven’t been able to get [BRANDT] to Victory Lane. It wasn’t for lack of effort. 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. My teammate, Jeb Burton, did a fantastic job today on that last restart. I’m just so proud of these guys.”
In addition, Allgaier, who won on Friday night at Richmond, spent time afterwards working with his crew to install a new front nose on his No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro prior to Saturday afternoon’s race, where he went on to win.
“I have to thank the Man upstairs,” Allgaier added. “Tonight was definitely a push to the end, but we just had the luck we needed. I say luck, but luck is opportunities and preparation. We were prepared and the opportunities came tonight and we did a good job. I’m really proud of these guys.”
Behind, Jeb Burton settled in a career-best second place in his 40th series start followed by Chastain, who racked up his 12th top-five result of this season. Harrison Burton rallied from a 16th-place result on Friday night to finish in fourth place while Haley recorded a fifth-place run for his second top-five result in two days and for his eighth top-five finish of this season. Gragson finished in sixth place while Annett, Brandon Jones, Grala and Cindric rounded out the top 10. By finishing in 10th place, Cindric clinched this year’s regular-season championship and he will be awarded 15 bonus points for this year’s Playoffs.
By finishing 15th and 34th, Ryan Sieg and Riley Herbst clinched their spots for this year’s Xfinity Playoffs, thus joining Austin Cindric, Chase Briscoe, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Ross Chastain and Michael Annett for this year’s championship battle.
Brandon Brown finished in 11th place and he holds sole possession of the 12th and final transfer spot to the Playoffs by 49 points over Clements, who finished 17th, and 88 over Snider, who finished 31st, as the series makes its way to the regular-season finale next Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.
There were nine lead changes for six different leaders. The race featured five cautions for 29 laps.
1. Justin Allgaier, 135 laps led, Stage 1 winner
2. Jeb Burton, 12 laps led
3. Ross Chastain, 58 laps led, Stage 2 winner
4. Harrison Burton
5. Noah Gragson, 16 laps led
6. Justin Haley
7. Michael Annett
8. Brandon Jones, 16 laps led
9. Kaz Grala
10. Austin Cindric
11. Brandon Brown
12. Alex Labbe
13. Matt Mills
14. Jeffrey Earnhardt
15. Ryan Sieg, one lap down
16. Chase Briscoe, one lap down, 13 laps led
17. Jeremy Clements, one lap down
18. Brett Moffitt, one lap down
19. Bayley Currey, one lap down
20. Kyle Weatherman, two laps down
21. Mason Massey, two laps down
22. Stephen Leicht, three laps down
23. Joey Gase, three laps down
24. B.J. McLeod, three laps down
25. Josh Williams, three laps down
26. Tommy Joe Martins, three laps down
27. Joe Graf Jr., three laps down
28. Chad Finchum, four laps down
29. Kody Vanderwal, four laps down
30. Dexter Bean, four laps down
31. Myatt Snider, four laps down
32. Vinnie Miller, five laps down
33. Jesse Little, six laps down
34. Riley Herbst – OUT, Accident
35. Colby Howard – OUT, Accident
36. Timmy Hill – OUT, Fuel pump
The NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season finale will occur at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Food City 300, which will occur on Friday, September 18, at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN.