FORT WORTH, Texas — NASCAR’s new points format may be designed to reward winning over anything else, but apparently nobody has told Justin Allgaier this. The driver of JR Motorsports’ No. 7 machine in the Xfinity Series is still searching for his first win of the 2019 season, but after finishing sixth at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night, he sits in a decent position to advance to the Championship 4 with just ISM Raceway in Phoenix to go.
Allgaier’s latest top-10 effort — his 23rd of the season — came after having to start from the rear of the field after an engine change before the race.
Starting in the back didn’t faze him one bit. In fact, by the end of Stage 1 Allgaier had already knifed his way to ninth. He was a top-10 car the remainder of the evening.
“Our biggest challenge really, was the long run,” Allgaier explained. “We were really good on the short run and I really thought we would be in good shape and unfortunately I just got too tight on the long run.”
In the closing laps, Allgaier had a shot at an even better finish, but on a late-race restart Allgaier got his car hung in gear.
“I thought tonight on restarts we did really good until the one I needed to do good on,” Allgaier said. “I got hung between two gears. Luckily, Tyler [Reddick] hit me because it knocked me back out of two gears. That was a plus. Maximizing the night tonight was so important.”
For Allgaier, even though he didn’t win the race, a lot of his competitors for the championship found trouble. Allgaier doesn’t wish bad on others, but he was happy to capitalize on their bad nights.
“I hate anyone else having problems. I feel like that is worse case scenario. I feel like racing-wise we can race these guys and beat them without any issues. That being said, if you’re going to have a night where they have issues you’ve got to maximize them and I felt like we did a really good job with that.”
Allgaier heads into ISM Raceway in Phoenix with an 18-point advantage over Chase Briscoe for the final transfer spot into the Championship 4. If Allgaier can have another solid race, and a surprise driver outside the top-four in the standings doesn’t win, Allgaier should have a shot at the title in Homestead.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.