JR Motorsports trio finish strong at Dover
By: John Haverlin
September 30, 2017
DOVER, Del.—At the start of the Drive Sober 200, it appeared William Byron’s No. 9 Chevrolet would be the car to beat on Saturday.
Byron started from the pole and led every lap in Stage 1, but ultimately finished third behind winner Ryan Blaney and JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier.
Allgaier, the top-finishing NASCAR Xfinity Series regular, has carried the flag for JRM in recent weeks, earning a victory at Chicagoland Speedway earlier this month and posting top-10s in six of the last seven races.
“Winning a race and getting those extra [bonus] points, even though you can’t use them until the next round, I think it’s different,” Allgaier said. “Last year, there were a lot more guys I think playing defense and just being more conservative.
“This year, it seems like you’re having to push a lot harder to try to get those stage points and bonus points and put yourself in a better position in the course of the race to finish it off.”
Byron earned a playoff point for his stage win, which will be counted when the postseason grid is reset after next weekend’s event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. He led 62 of 200 laps at the Monster Mile.
“Top-three is good, but definitely needed a few more restarts,” he said. “It was a second-place car. The 22 (Blaney) was a little bit better, but it felt like such a short race and couldn’t get many chances out of it.”
Elliott Sadler, who won the series’ regular season championship finished ninth. With two teammates finishing in the top-three, he was frustrated he couldn’t do the same.
“It’s definitely not where we want to finish,” he said. “We got to get a little better. At Kentucky, we weren’t where we wanted to be.”
But the veteran driver still has a large enough of a points gap above the cutoff line and will likely advance to the Round of 8 after Charlotte.
“My teammates were great,” Sadler said. “That’s one good thing about JR Motorsports is that we share a lot of information … we’ll get back to some mile-and-a-halves and see where we stack up.”
When asked by The Racing Experts if he felt Byron and Allgaier found something in their cars to give them an edge performance-wise, he abruptly uttered, “No.”
The trio sit atop the standings of the series, with Allgaier leading the points.
Austin McFadden/The Racing Experts