If you don’t think Justin Allgaier loves Richmond Raceway now, he never will after taking the XFINITY Racing Lovers 250
The XFINITY Racing Lovers 250 was the next to last regular-season race and the fourth and final doubleheader of a crazy mixed-up coronavirus season. By the time the checkered flag waved, many things were settled. You might say Justin Allgaier loves Richmond Raceway because he came away with the XFINITY Racing Lovers 250 win.
The weekend sweep is just the second in XFINITY Series history with Austin Cindric turning that trick at Kentucky. The win was Allgaier’s third of the year, and he is a solid third seed, seven playoff points up on Noah Gragson. On Friday, he won driving a blue No. 7 Camaro; he followed that up with a red one Saturday.
Cindric also had a day to remember. Even though he finished a disappointing tenth, it was enough for him to wear the crown as the regular-season champion.
“I am trying to get over it,” he said about where he ended up. “I had a very frustrating day, and I wish we would have been able to do more with our PPG Ford Mustang today. We sat down as a team at the beginning of the year, and we all wrote down our top-three goals. I am not a big proponent of setting goals, but we put something on paper, and my number one was the regular-season championship. From the outside looking in, that was maybe a lofty goal, but we have a lot of speed and a lot of fight, and I am really proud of that effort. We can’t have days like today, especially if we get to make it to the Championship Four. A lot of emotions right now, but at the end of the day, it is mission accomplished for sure.”
MORE PLAYOFF ACTION
Two more playoff spots were claimed, with Michael Annett grabbing tenth with a P7 finish, and Riley Herbst, despite a lousy finish, had enough points to land the next to last opening. That means there will be a fight to the finish to get No. 12.
Brandon Brown will enter Bristol Motor Speedway with a 49 point advantage over Jeremy Clements, and 89 ahead of Myatt Snyder. Alex Labbe (-99) and Josh Williams (-102) will likely need a win to make it.
The second-place finish by Jeb Burton was his best of the year, and with Noah Gragson ending up P5, it gave JR Motorsports three of the top five finishers.
RACING LOVERS 250 PRERACE NOTES
-> Cars to the back: Chad Finchum (No. 61 Supra – engine change), Myatt Snider (No. 93 Camaro – backup car). Finchum was also disqualified from his Friday result after his car failed to meet minimum height requirements in post-race inspection. He finished 27th but is now placed last (37th).
-> The original plan was to run the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 250 without a competition caution but decided there would be one at Lap 40.
LAP 1 (of 250): Tommy Joe Martins (pole – No. 44 Camaro) and Brandon Jones (No. 19 Supra) led the field to the green flag at 2:16 p.m. Jones shoots out to the lead. Chase Briscoe (No. 98 Mustang) to P2 by Lap 2.
LAP 17: Briscoe to the lead. Jones, Kaz Grala (No, 21 Camaro), Noah Gragson (No. 9 Camaro), and Austin Cindric No. 22 Mustang), the top-five. Pole sitter Martins falls out of the top-20. Gragson out front at Lap 30.
LAP 40: Competition caution. Top-ten: Gragson, Justin Allgaier (No. 7 Camaro), Justin Haley (No. 11 Camaro, Briscoe, Grala, Cindric, Michael Annett (No. 1 Camaro), Chastain, Riley Herbst (No. 18 Supra), Harrison Burton (No. 20 Supra). None of the leaders pitted. Twenty-nine cars on the lead lap. Josh Williams (No. 92 Camaro) claims the first Lucky Dog. Restart Lap 46. Allgaier takes command.
LAP 75: End Stage 1. Allgaier, who won Friday night, is making a bid to sweep the XFINITY Series doubleheader and won his tenth stage of the season. Race off pit row: Allgaier first out. Winners were Cindric (+5), Jones (+3), and J Burton (+2). Williams gets a second free pass. Restart Lap 83. Chastain out front.
RACING LOVERS 250 STAGE 2
LAP 128: Allgaier passes Chastain for the top spot. Chastain had just one stage win entering the race. H Burton, Gragson, and Haley round out the top-five.
LAP 139: Colby Howard takes a hard lick into the outside wall bringing out the first race-related yellow flag. Four of the leaders, H Burton, Herbst, Haley, and J Burton pit. Allgaier, Gragson, Grala, Annett, and Clements stay out. Brett Moffitt (No. 02 Camaro) gets the free pass. B Jones caught speeding. Restart with five to go.
LAP 150: End Stage 2. Chastain holds off Haley for his second overall stage win. Cars that skipped the pits on the Lap 139 caution came to pit row for service. Ryan Sieg (No 39 Camaro) back on the lead lap with the free pass. Restart Lap 158 with Chastain maintaining his lead.
RACING LOVERS 250 STAGE 3
LAP 172: The back and forth continues as Allgaier moves to the front again for the ninth lead change of the day so far. J Burton, Chastain, Gragson, and Cindric round out the top-five. The No. 7 opened up a three-plus second lead with sixty to go. Twenty more laps had clicked off, and Allgaier had stretched it out to seven. There would be only two scenarios at this point, a race to the checkers, or a caution that could change everything. And ….
LAP 228: In recent races across all three NASCAR series, a car that is on its way to victory land with a large lead seems to have late-race cautions. Once again, Allgaier had a 9.415-second lead when Herbst came down and clipped the nose of Brandon Brown, sending him into the wall. With less than 20 to go, it was game on after pit stops where all the leaders will restart on fresh tires. Allgaier came out first, followed by teammate J Burton, then Chastain, Haley, and H Burton. Restart with 17 cars on the lead lap. 13 to go. Allgaier on point.
Lap 250: The end. Justin Allgaier loves Richmond Raceway.
STAGE 1-2 TOP 10 FINISHERS – LAPS 75 / 150
1 – Justin Allgaier, Gragson, Haley, Chastain, H Burton, Annett, Herbst, J Burton, Sieg, Grala
2 – Chastain, Haley, J Burton, Briscoe, H Burton, Cindric, Herbst, Justin Allgaier, Gragson, Grala
Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan partner for a new NASCAR team to start in...
Chip Ganassi Racing taps Ross Chastain to drive the No. 42 Chevrolet full-time in...