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Allgaier to make 400th Xfinity career start at Talladega

Competing in his 12th full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Justin Allgaier is primed to achieve a milestone start. By competing in this weekend’s Playoff event at Talladega Superspeedway, the driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro will be making his 400th career start in the Xfinity circuit. 

A native of Riverton, Illinois, Allgaier was a full-time ARCA Menards Series competitor for his family owned team, Allgaier Motorsports, led by his father, Mike, when he made his inaugural presence in the Xfinity Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway in October 2008. Driving the No. 12 Dodge for Team Penske, Allgaier, who started 14th, finished 34th in his series debut after being involved in a multi-car wreck in the second half of the event. He returned for the final three races of the season, where his best on-track result during the stretch was an 11th-place run at Phoenix Raceway in November.

After winning the 2008 ARCA championship, Allgaier was promoted to a full-time racing role in the No. 12 Penske Dodge for the 2009 Xfinity season. Throughout the 35-race schedule, he recorded his first career pole at Memphis Motorsports Park in October. He also recorded a total of three top-five results (all fifth-place finishes), 12 top-10 results and an average result of 16.5 before settling in sixth place in the final standings. At the conclusion of the season, Allgaier was named the 2009 Xfinity Rookie of the Year.

Remaining with the Penske organization in 2010, Allgaier commenced the season on a strong note by finishing in fourth place in the season-opening event at Daytona. Three races later, he achieved his first Xfinity career win at Bristol Motor Speedway in March after fending off teammate Brad Keselowski and leading the final 27 laps. Allgaier went on to earn a total of two poles, eight top-five results, 20 top-10 results and an average result of 11.5 before finishing in fourth place in the final standings. His result made him the highest-finishing Xfinity regular competitor in the standings behind teammate Keselowski, Carl Edwards and Kyle Busch.

At the conclusion of the 2010 season, the No. 12 Penske team ceased operations due to sponsorship issues. In spite of losing his ride at Penske, Allgaier found a new team to call home for the 2011 season as he joined Turner Motorsports to drive the No. 31 Chevrolet Impala. After finishing as high as second place through the first 13 scheduled events, he claimed his first victory of the season at Chicagoland Speedway in June. The victory occurred in a thriller after he overtook Carl Edwards, who had run out of fuel, on the final lap before he too ran out of fuel, but had enough to coast and beat Edwards to the finish line by nearly two seconds. To go along with a total of six top-five results, 17 top-10 results and an average result of 11.8, Allgaier achieved a career-best third-place result in the final championship standings after spending nearly the entire season in the top five while contending for the title. At the conclusion of the 2011 season, Allgaier surpassed 100 career starts in the Xfinity circuit.

In 2012, Allgaier’s achieved his first and only victory of the season at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villeneuve in in August after he overtook Jacques Villeneuve, who was sputtering on fuel, on the final lap. Despite claiming his third Xfinity career win along with a total of six top-five results, 19 top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 12.0, Allgaier, settled in sixth place in the final standings behind Michael Annett. The following season marked Allgaier’s first winless season since his rookie campaign in 2009, but he finished one spot better in the championship standings than the previous season in fifth place in a season. During his fifth full-time campaign in the Xfinity circuit, he earned a pole, six top-five results, 16 top-10 results and an 11.2 average-finishing result.

Following the 2013 season, Allgaier moved up to the NASCAR Cup Series to drive for HScott Motorsports. Two years later, however, he returned to the Xfinity Series and teamed up with JR Motorsports to drive the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro on a full-time basis. In his return to the series, the Illinois native was consistent on the strength of three runner-up results, 11 top-five results and 21 top-10 results throughout the 26-race regular-season stretch to qualify for the inaugural Xfinity Playoffs. After finishing no lower than 14th throughout the Playoffs, Allgaier was able to transfer all the way to the Championship Round at Homestead-Miami Speedway and stand as one of four competitors to contend for the 2016 Xfinity title. During the finale, however, Allgaier finished sixth on the track and in third place in the final standings. Despite concluding the season winless and without the title, he recorded career-high stats in top fives (13) and top 10s (27) along with a personal-best 9.1 average-finishing result. By then, Allgaier surpassed 200 Xfinity career starts.

After finishing 30th during the first two scheduled Xfinity events of the 2017 season followed by a fourth-place run at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, Allgaier returned to Victory Lane in the Xfinity Series for the first time in five seasons after beating Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones to win at Phoenix Raceway in March. He went on to earn his second victory of the season at Chicagoland in September before entering in his second consecutive appearance in the Playoffs as a title contender. With four top-10 results throughout the Playoffs, Allgaier also transferred to the Championship Round at Homestead for a second consecutive season despite losing his crew chief Jason Burdett for the finale due to a L1-level penalty that was handed to Allgaier’s team for failing the post-race inspection process the week prior at Phoenix. By finishing in 12th place during the finale while having veterans Billy Wilburn and Chad Knaus calling the shots, he ended up in third place in the final standings for a second consecutive season. Overall, he recorded two victories, one pole, 10 top-five results, 17 top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 13.0 throughout the 33-race schedule.

The 2018 season was a career year for Allgaier, who achieved a career-high five wins (Dover International Speedway in May, Iowa Speedway in June, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Road America in August and Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September) and emerged as the 2018 Xfinity Series regular-season championship. He also earned a career-high 17 top-five results, 24 top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 10.6. Despite the momentum throughout the regular-season stretch and the 2018 Playoffs, respective finishes of 38th, fifth and 24th during the Round of 8 were not enough for the driver of the No. 7 team to transfer to the Championship Round finale at Homestead as he went on to finish in seventh place in the final standings.

The momentum from the previous season carried forth in the 2019 Xfinity opener at Daytona for Allgaier, who finished in the runner-up spot behind teammate Michael Annett and went on to record 16 results in the top 10 before qualifying for the Xfinity Playoffs for a fourth consecutive season. It was not until the penultimate event of the season at Phoenix in November where he won for the first time during the season. The Phoenix victory, however, was enough for Allgaier and the No. 7 team to secure a spot in the Championship Round at Homestead and receive another opportunity to contend for his first title. During the finale, Allgaier cut a tire late in the event and settled in 14th place on the track and in fourth place in the final standings. By then, he surpassed 300 Xfinity career starts in a season where he achieved a new personal-best average-finishing result of 9.0 along with 16 top-five results and 24 top-10 results throughout the 33-race schedule.

In 2020, Allgaier’s first victory of the season occurred during the first of a Dover Motor Speedway doubleheader feature in August. A month later, he swept both Richmond Raceway events in a doubleheader weekend to solidify his spot in the 2020 Xfinity Playoffs for a fifth consecutive season. Despite sustaining two DNFs and three results outside of the top 20 throughout the Playoffs, Allgaier accumulated enough points to transfer all the way to the Championship Round at Phoenix in November. During the finale, Allgaier was in prime position of achieving his first NASCAR Xfinity championship before being overtaken by Austin Cindric on the final lap and during an overtime attempt. He ended up in fifth place on the track and in a career-best runner-up result in the final standings after losing ground to Cindric on the final lap. While he fell one spot short of winning the title, he concluded the season with a career-high 1,008 laps led along with three victories, 11 top-five results, 19 top-10 results and an average-finishing result of 13.4.

This past season, Allgaier scratched two venues off of his bucket list after winning at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March followed by Darlington Raceway in May. The pair of victories along with a total of 10 top-five results throughout the 26-race regular-season stretch were enough for Allgaier to secure a spot in the Xfinity Playoffs for a sixth consecutive season. He then managed to finish no lower than ninth throughout the Playoffs, but he missed the top-four cutline to qualify for the Championship Round by a mere margin as he went on to finish in fifth place in the final standings.

Allgaier commenced the 2022 season with five results in the top 10 through the first 10-scheduled events before collecting his first victory of the season at Darlington in May. Throughout the summer stretch, he achieved his first victories at Nashville Superspeedway in June and at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in July. His three regular-season victories to go along with 18 top-10 results during the 26-race regular-season stretch were enough for him to qualify for his seventh consecutive appearance in the Playoffs. Despite recording a 29th-place result in his latest event at Texas Motor Speedway, which marked the first event of the 2022 Xfinity Playoffs, he is currently ranked in sixth place in the Playoff standings and is 20 points above the top-eight cutline to transfer to the Round of 8 while he continues his pursuit to win his first NASCAR national touring series championship.

Photo by John Knittel for SpeedwayMedia.com.

Through 399 previous Xfinity starts, Allgaier has achieved 19 victories, seven poles, 124 top-five results, 237 top-10 results, 4,696 laps led and an average-finishing result of 11.7.

Allgaier is set to make his 400th career start in the Xfinity Series at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, October 1, with the event’s coverage to occur at 4 p.m. ET on USA Network. 



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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