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Justin Allgaier Enters Top-10 in All-Time Xfinity Wins with Darlington Triumph

Photo Credit: Tyson Gifford, TobyChristie.com

Saturday at Darlington Raceway, Justin Allgaier has etched his name in the NASCAR Xfinity Series history books.

Scoring the victory in the Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200, the Riverton, Illinois-native’s 24th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Allgaier earned his 266th top-10 finish, breaking his tie with Kyle Busch for the most all-time.

A veteran of the second-tier series, Allgaier dominated Saturday’s 200-mile contest from Darlington Raceway, one of the toughest tracks on the NASCAR circuit, leading a race-high 119 laps to drive his No. 7 BRANDT Fresh Agriculture Chevrolet Camaro into Victory Lane.

“I just wanted Eddie [D’Hondt] to call white flag,” said Allgaier post-race before having to catch his moving racecar. “We’ve had such a heck of a year, we’ve led a ton of laps but we haven’t been able to do it, but the guys that are walking down pit road, a true testament to everyone back at the shop at JR Motorsports.

“I think having a little gray hair helped me out there, those long green-flag runs and kind of know what has worked in the past here.”

The victory on Saturday, matches the 37-year-old driver with Tommy Houston and team owner Dale Earnhardt, Jr. for 10th-place on the series’ all-time wins list, a mark special for the driver who re-launched his career with JR Motorsports in 2016.

“I didn’t know if the day would come that I’d be able to match Dale [Earnhardt] Jr,” added Allgaier. “Not only is he a great boss but a really good mentor, an unbelievable racecar driver, you fans know it, Dale, Jr. is incredible. So to come here and be able to tie him and take over the all-time top-10s, there’s nothing better than that.”

It’s the third victory for Allgaier at the 1.366-mile facility in Darlington, South Carolina, all of which have come in the last three seasons.

The field truly had nothing for the JR Motorsports driver on Saturday, but the only driver able to stay close to Allgaier throughout the afternoon was Austin Hill, who managed a runner-up finish, more than three seconds behind the eventual winner.

After inheriting the first-place starting spot for Saturday’s 200-mile contest, Cole Custer came home in third place, after climbing out of a major hole that was dug after a tumultuous trip to pit road during the race’s competition caution after Lap 20.

Sam Mayer had himself a quiet afternoon at Darlington, finishing in fourth place, while Aric Almirola rounded out the top five in his first Xfinity Series event since winning at Martinsville Speedway last month.

Parker Kligerman had a stellar run for Big Machine Racing, finishing in sixth place, after using an alternate strategy to utilize an extra set of sticker tires and drive through the pack, until a late-race caution foiled his shot at a victory.

Riley Herbst came home in seventh, while Jesse Love managed an eighth-place run on his first trip to Darlington Raceway. Sheldon Creed was ninth, and Brandon Jones rounded out the top-10, the third JR Motorsports driver to finish top-10.

William Byron was one of the pre-race favorites in the No. 17 for Hendrick Motorsports but pounded the outside wall early after a slow leak was discovered in a tire. However, the NASCAR Cup Series regular managed to take two free passes, and return to the lead lap, finishing 11th.

Hailie Deegan and Ryan Ellis were the only two drivers to retire from Saturday’s event. Deegan cut a left-rear tire and crashed in the race’s final stage, while Ellis and Alpha Prime Racing had major mechanical issues.

Leaving Darlington, Austin Hill jumps into the points lead in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, holding a three-point advantage over Cole Custer. Chandler Smith drops two spots into third. Jesse Love and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Next for the Xfinity Series is a trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway, after another off-weekend, where the series will tackle the 1.5-mile oval at the home base for many race teams.

Race Results: 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 at Darlington

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