Justin Allgaier survived a series of late cautions and carnage and stormed to the front during the final 50 laps, pulling away during a 21-lap dash to the finish to win the Crayon 200 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 16.
The 36-year-old veteran from Riverton, Illinois, led twice for 47 of 200 laps, including the final 19, as he withstood a late battle against Landon Cassill before beating Trevor Bayne by nearly four seconds for his third NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of the 2022 season. Ironically, Allgaier rallied from being involved in an early incident involving newcomer Julia Landauer, where the driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro sustained right-front fender damage, to preserve his tires and charge to his late victory.
With on-track qualifying that determined the starting lineup occurring on Friday, Josh Berry initially qualified on pole position after posting a pole-qualifying lap at 127.163 mph in 29.952 seconds. He, however, dropped to the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments to his car after he slapped the outside wall in Turn 2 during his qualifying session. With that, Daniel Hemric, who clocked in a fast qualifying lap at 126.930 mph in 30.007 seconds led the field to the start. Joining him on the front row was Justin Allgaier, who posted his best qualifying lap at 126.829 mph in 30.031 seconds.
Prior to the event, names like Akinori Ogata, Alex Labbe, Howie Disavino III, Joe Graf Jr. and David Starr joined Berry at the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments to their respective cars. Jeremy Clements also dropped to the rear of the field for a tire change along with JJ Yeley, who changed an engine.
When the green flag waved and the race started amid a stacked start from the field, Hemric managed to clear the field entering the first two turns as he went on to lead the first lap while Ty Gibbs challenged and overtook Allgaier for the runner-up spot. Shortly after, Allgaier was locked in a three-wide battle with Trevor Bayne and Landon Cassill for position as Bayne moved up to third while the field behind jostled early for positions. Meanwhile, Brandon Jones, who was up in sixth, got shuffled back to 11th.
Then on the fifth lap, Gibbs, who attempted to make a move on Hemric for the lead entering Turn 3, got loose as his No. 54 He Gets Us Toyota Supra made slight contact against Hemric’s No. 11 AG1 Chevrolet Camaro. This allowed Bayne to move his No. 18 Devotion Nutrition Toyota Supra into the lead while Hemric and Gibbs recovered and settled in second and fourth.
Through the first 10 scheduled laps, Bayne was leading by nearly a second over both Hemric and Gibbs while Allgaier and William Byron occupied the top five. Cassill was in sixth ahead of teammate AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, Sam Mayer and Ryan Sieg while Riley Herbst, Brandon Jones, rookie Sheldon Creed, Brett Moffitt, Derek Griffith, rookie Austin Hill, Ty Dillon, Anthony Alfredo, Brandon Brown and Myatt Snider were in the top 20. Meanwhile, Josh Berry was mired in 27th behind Alex Labbe.
Ten laps later, Bayne’s advantage decreased to two-tenths of a second as teammate Gibbs caught and started to challenge Bayne for the lead. Behind, Allgaier was in third place, trailing the leaders by more than two seconds, while Byron was up in fourth ahead of Hemric, Cassill and Allmendinger.
Then another two laps later, Gibbs challenged and overtook teammate Bayne for the lead entering the first turn.
Just past the Lap 30 mark, an initial two-car battle for the lead between teammates Gibbs and Bayne became a four-car battle as JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier and William Byron joined the battle, with Allgaier overtaking Bayne for the runner-up spot as he pursued Gibbs for the lead.
Then on Lap 35, the first caution flew when Allgaier, who was trying to pursue Gibbs for the lead while also trying to both fend off teammate Byron and overtake the lapped car of newcomer Julia Landauer, made contact and turned Landauer on the frontstretch as she backed her No. 45 Garage XYZ Chevrolet Camaro against the inside wall while Allgaier proceeded despite sustaining right-front fender damage.
During the caution period, names like Ryan Sieg, Anthony Alfredo, Brandon Brown, Myatt Snider, Jeremy Clements, Bailey Currey, Mason Massey, JJ Yeley and Joe Graf Jr. remained on the track while the rest of the field led by Gibbs pitted. During the pit stops, Byron lost several spots on pit road after he got blocked by Creed in front of his pit stall.
With four laps remaining in the first stage, the event restarted under green. At the start, Sieg took off with the lead followed by Brown and Alfredo as the field stacked up and fanned out through the first two turns between the competitors with fresh tires and those with none.
When the first stage concluded on Lap 45, Sieg managed to fend off a hard-charging Gibbs to claim his first stage victory of the season. Allmendinger and Byron managed to carve their way up to third and fourth while Brown edged Bayne to conclude the first stage in fifth. Rounding out the top 10 were Alfredo, Cassill, Gragson and Hemric. By then, Berry was up in 13th.
Under the stage break, some led by Sieg pitted while the rest led by Gibbs remained on the track.
The second stage started on Lap 52 as Gibbs and AJ Allmendinger occupied the front row. At the start, Gibbs launched ahead on the outside lane with the lead while Byron challenged and overtook Allmendinger for the runner-up spot through the backstretch. With Byron succeeding in his brief battle against Allmendinger, Bayne challenged Cassill for fourth place as Hemric, Gragson, Allgaier, Creed, Riley Herbst and Berry battled for spots in the top 10.
Through the first 60 scheduled laps, Gibbs was leading by nine-tenths of a second over Byron while Allmendinger, Cassill and Bayne occupied the top five. Hemric was in sixth ahead of Herbst, Gragson, Creed and Berry while Allgaier, Ty Dillon, Hill, Sieg, Brandon Jones, Mayer, Jeb Burton, Brown, Alex Labbe and Myatt Snider were in the top 20.
At the Lap 75 mark, Gibbs continued to lead by more than a second over Byron while Cassill was up in third ahead of teammate Allmendinger and Bayne. Meanwhile, Allgaier was mired back in ninth behind teammates Gragson and Berry.
Six laps later and with the leaders mired in lapped traffic, Byron moved his No. 88 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet Camaro into the lead over Gibbs. Cassill, Allmendinger and Bayne remained in the top five while Gragson started to pressure Hemric for sixth place.
When the second stage concluded on Lap 90, Byron captured the stage victory by nearly three seconds over Cassill while Gibbs, Allmendinger, Bayne, Hemric, Allgaier, Berry, Herbst and Sieg were scored in the top 10. Just as the stage concluded, Gragson, who was battling Hemric for sixth place, got bumped and turned by Hemric entering Turn 3 as he spun and dropped to 17th.
Under the stage break, the leaders led by Byron pitted and Byron retained the lead followed by Cassill, Allmendinger, Hemric, Berry and Bayne. During the pit stops, Gibbs lost a few laps to the leaders due to a mechanical issue with his car.
With 103 laps remaining, the final stage started as Byron and Cassill occupied the front row. During the start, however, the caution quickly returned for a two-car wreck involving Matt Mills and Julia Landauer in Turn 1. The wreck was enough to terminate Landauer’s Xfinity debut in the garage and with a wrecked race car.
Six laps later, the race proceeded under green. At the start, Byron briefly retained the lead until he went wide and fell off the pace due to suffering a flat tire. With Byron pitting under green and losing a lap to the leaders, Cassill moved into the lead followed by teammate Allmendinger, Berry, Allgaier and Hemric while Creed, Ty Dillon, Bayne, Gragson and Herbst were in the top 10.
Shortly after, the caution returned when Hemric lost a left-rear tire, spun and wrecked hard against the Turn 3 outside wall as his strong run came to an end.
With 89 laps remaining, the race restarted under green as Berry, who started at the rear of the field despite recording the pole, assumed the lead over Cassill while Creed battled and overtook Allmendinger for third place in front of Gragson. Behind, Ty Dillon and Allgaier battled for sixth ahead of Bayne, Sieg and Herbst.
Then with 85 laps remaining, the caution flew when Derek Griffith spun in Turn 4. During the caution period, some like Austin Hill pitted while the rest led by Berry remained on the track.
With 79 laps remaining, the event proceeded under green. At the start and as the field stacked up when Ty Dillon missed a shift, Berry and Cassill duked dead even for the lead as Gragson muscled his way into third place ahead of Allmendinger and Creed. During the following lap, Cassill cleared Berry to take the lead while Gragson challenged teammate Berry for the top spot.
Then with 76 laps remaining, the caution returned when Creed tapped and spun Berry’s No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet Camaro in the backstretch. Berry’s incident, which occurred in the middle of the backstretch, ignited a chain reaction, a stack-up and a multi-car wreck involving Mayer, Brandon Jones, Herbst, Myatt Snider, Sieg and Jeb Burton, who lifted Sieg’s rear tires off the ground as he briefly went into the air before coming back down as Burton’s front nose was left demolished. The wreck was enough for the event to be red-flagged for more than seven minutes.
When the red flag lifted and the field proceeded at a cautious pace, names like Brandon Brown, Alfredo, Kyle Weatherman, Labbe, Austin Hill, Brandon Jones and Bayley Currey remained on the track while the rest led by Cassill pitted.
Following an extensive caution period, the event proceeded under green with 63 laps remaining. At the start, Brown rocketed with the lead as the field fanned out through the first two turns. Then through the backstretch, Creed, who was racing on fresh tires, pulled a bold four-wide move on teammate Hill, Labbe and Alfredo to assume the runner-up spot as Alfredo got loose and smacked the outside wall in Turn 3. With the race remaining under green, Creed moved his No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet Camaro into the lead during the following lap as Cassill cycled his way into third place.
With 58 laps remaining, Allmendinger and Labbe made contact against one another as Allmendinger, who received miscommunication from his spotter, sent Labbe into the outside wall on the frontstretch. In the midst of the carnage, Brandon Jones, who was trying to avoid the incident, was hit by Brett Moffitt as his No. 19 Menards Toyota Supra spun and pounded the inside wall head-on as his event came to an end, and with the caution returning.
With nearly 50 laps remaining, the event restarted under green as Creed and Cassill battled for the lead. Behind, Allgaier utilized the outside lane to muscle his No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet Camaro into third place through the backstretch. During the following lap, Cassill cleared Creed to assume the lead while Allgaier rocketed into the runner-up spot. Behind, teammates Hill and Creed battled for third in front of Byron, who recovered from falling a lap behind in the early laps of the final stage.
Then with 48 laps remaining, Allgaier peaked ahead as he took the lead despite having Cassill close to his rear bumper. While Allgaier and Cassill battled for the lead, Creed and Byron duked for third while Gragson and Bayne overtook Hill for fifth and sixth.
With 40 laps remaining, Allgaier was leading by six-tenths of a second over Cassill while Byron, Bayne and Creed were scored in the top five. Gragson settled in sixth ahead of Hill while Moffitt, Ty Dillon and Brandon Brown occupied the top 10.
Shortly after, disaster struck again for Byron, who fell off the pace while running in third place and pitted under green for a second time due to a mechanical issue with his No. 88 entry. In comparison to his previous issue at the start of the final stage, this issue cost Byron multiple laps and the opportunity to win.
Down to the final 30 laps of the event, Allgaier continued to lead by four-tenths of a second over Cassill while Bayne trailed in third place by more than three seconds. Meanwhile, Creed and Gragson battled for fourth while Hill, Ty Dillon, Moffitt, Brown and Bayley Currey were scored in the top 10.
Then with 26 laps remaining, the caution flew when smoke billowed out of the No. 13 entry piloted by Akinori Ogata entering the backstretch as the Japanese competitor limped his car back to the garage.
Down to the final 21 laps of the event, the race proceeded under green. At the start, Allgaier and Cassill battled for the lead through the first two turns until Cassill utilized the inside lane to his advantage as he moved his No. 10 Carnomaly Chevrolet Camaro back into the lead. With the field jostling for late positions, Cassill and Allgaier battled for the lead once again as both Gragson and Bayne settled in third and fourth.
Then with 18 laps remaining, Allgaier reassumed the lead through the backstretch. As Cassill tried to draw himself alongside Allgaier through the following two turns, Gragson issued his challenge on Cassill for the runner-up spot with Bayne settling in fourth. Meanwhile, Brandon Brown, racing on four fresh tires, overtook Creed to move into the top five.
With less than 15 laps remaining, Allgaier was ahead by eight-tenths of a second over Cassill followed by a three-car battle for third place between Bayne, Gragson and Brown.
Down to the final 10 laps of the event, Allgaier extended his advantage to more than a second over Cassill, who had Bayne close in on him for the runner-up spot. Meanwhile, Gragson and Brown battled for fourth while Creed, Ty Dillon, Hill, Clements and Kyle Weatherman were in the top 10.
With five laps remaining, Allgaier remained as the leader by more than two seconds over both Cassill and Bayne, with both competitors dueling hard for the runner-up spot in front of Gragson.
When the white flag waved and the final lap started, Allgaier was leading by more than four seconds over Bayne, who withstood his late, furious battle against Cassill. Having a clear race track in front of him while preserving his tires to perfection, Allgaier was able to cruise his way back to the frontstretch as he captured his third checkered flag of the season.
With the victory, Allgaier achieved his first victory at the Magic Mile as he became the second Xfinity regular to achieve three-plus victories this season along with recording his 19th career win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. In addition, Allgaier’s victory at New Hampshire snapped a six-year winning streak for Toyota at the Magic Mile with Chevrolet achieving its first win at New Hampshire since 2007 and it was the eighth of the season for JR Motorsports.
“We finished second last year to [a Toyota driver],” Allgaier said on USA Network. “I told these guys [that] I really wanted to win here. This place has been so much fun over the years. First of all, it’s my wife’s birthday today. If I came here with my wife on her birthday, the best way to do it is to take home a trophy to her. Just proud of our team. I didn’t do a good job early on in the race. I apologize to Julia [Landauer] and the No. 45 team. I got into her. I still don’t know what happened, but I just feel bad no matter the case was. [I] Just felt like all day, I wasn’t doing a good job and the guys kept me calm with great pit stops all day. [Spotter] Eddie D’Hondt’s awesome up on the spotter stand. Just really proud of this team. God’s good and you fans, thank you for coming out. This place never disappoints. Love coming to New Hampshire.”
Finishing in the runner-up spot for the second time of the year and to Allgaier was Bayne, who also posted his fourth top-five result in his part-time campaign with Joe Gibbs Racing. Bayne’s next scheduled Xfinity event is at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in October.
“First of all, I never knew what it was like to be frustrated with second place so much,” Bayne said. “Now, watching Dale’s [Earnhardt Jr.] car out there, the No. 7 gets smaller in my windshield two races in a row, has not been fun. We got to figure out how to beat these guys, how to win races. I know we’re close, but what did I need? I think it was just short-run speed. To fight back to finish second was a good day, but I really wanted to see my kids hold a lobster in Victory Lane. I don’t know what it’s gonna take. Thankful to be here. Thankful for Devotion [Nutrition] for allowing me to [race]. I wanna do it more. That’s for sure.”
Cassill, who led 17 laps, settled in third place for his fourth top-five result of the season while Gragson and Brown finished in the top five.
“[This run] just says a lot [about this team],” Cassill said. “I’m really proud of these guys. We worked really hard in the sim and they made a lot of improvements on this car. Fast as Xfinity Internet, right? I just didn’t have any right-rear tire left for Justin [Allgaier] at the end there. [I] Gave it all I had on that restart, but I just can’t thank Kaulig Racing enough for having me in their car. We’ll get that win soon.”
Following the event, however, Cassill and Gragson were disqualified from their top-five results after their respective cars were found to be low during the post-race inspection process. With that, Brown was promoted to third place followed by Jeremy Clements and Creed. Completing the top 10 were Ty Dillon, Hill, Weatherman, Mason Massey and Bayley Currey.
There were 15 lead changes for 10 different leaders. The race featured nine cautions for 56 laps.
With eight races remaining in the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season stretch, AJ Allmendinger continues to lead the regular season standings by 16 points over Justin Allgaier, 28 over Ty Gibbs, 87 over Josh Berry and 99 over Noah Gragson.
Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, rookie Austin Hill and Brandon Jones are currently guaranteed spots for the 2022 Xfinity Playoffs based on winning once throughout the regular season stretch while Sam Mayer, Riley Herbst, Daniel Hemric, Ryan Sieg and Landon Cassill occupy the remaining vacant spots to the Playoffs based on points. Brandon Brown trails the top-12 cutline to make the Playoffs by 61 points, rookie Sheldon Creed trails by 63, Anthony Alfredo trails by 69, Brett Moffitt trails by 79, Jeb Burton trails by 98, Jeremy Clements trails by 122, Myatt Snider trails by 138 and Alex Labbe trails by 143 points.
1. Justin Allgaier, 47 laps led
2. Trevor Bayne, 17 laps led
3. Brandon Brown, 12 laps led
4. Jeremy Clements
5. Sheldon Creed, 10 laps led
6. Ty Dillon
7. Austin Hill
8. Kyle Weatherman
9. Mason Massey
10. Bayley Currey
11. David Starr
12. Joe Graf Jr.
13. CJ McLaughlin
14. Brett Moffitt
15. Sam Mayer
16. Patrick Emerling
17. Howie Disavino III
18. Derek Griffith
19. Ryan Vargas
20. AJ Allmendinger
21. Ty Gibbs, four laps down, 49 laps led
22. Matt Mills, eight laps down
23. JJ Yeley, 10 laps down
24. Josh Williams – OUT, Electrical
25. Akinori Ogata – OUT, Engine
26. William Byron – OUT, Electrical, 22 laps led, Stage 2 winner
27. Alex Labbe – OUT, Accident
28. Brandon Jones – OUT, Accident
29. Anthony Alfredo – OUT, Accident
30. Riley Herbst – OUT, Accident
31. Josh Berry – OUT, Accident, 11 laps led
32. Ryan Sieg – OUT, Accident, 10 laps led, Stage 1 winner
33. Jeb Burton – OUT, Accident
34. Myatt Snider – OUT, Accident
35. Daniel Hemric – OUT, Accident, five laps led
36. Julia Landauer – OUT, Accident
37. Landon Cassill – Disqualified, 17 laps led
38. Noah Gragson – Disqualified
Next on the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the series’ lone visit of the season to Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. The event is scheduled to occur on Saturday, July 23, at 5 p.m. ET on USA Network.