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Justin Allgaier mounts comeback, comes up short of win again

LAS VEGAS — For the third NASCAR Xfinity Series race in a row, Justin Allgaier fell short of capping off a comeback with a win.

Allgaier finished second after passing Chandler Smith late and coming up short of nipping Austin Hill for the win.

The JRM driver led nine laps early on and took the lead on Lap 79. Then, he dropped below the yellow/white lane before the start-finish line on the restart and served a drive-through penalty.

Allgaier was frustrated with the penalty and commented over the radio on the “restart games”. He clarified what he meant afterward.

“The speed of how you get into the [restart] box is supposed to be the speed you carry all the way through. Instead, we had ups and downs and speeding up and slowing down, kinda starting to lurch the car. As a driver, you’re trying to take every advantage you can,” Allgaier explained.

The extended restart zone has drawn some ire in the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series for how drivers are trying to take advantage of it.

Drivers like Allgaier have had to adapt their style to the new zone which he said led to the penalty.

“Ultimately, I just missed it on the first one and started figuring it out on the second. That’s what led to the penalty. I didn’t want to get bogged down by the 10 car and went down below the yellow line,” he explained.

After the penalty, Allgaier finished 26th in the second stage. Then, after a good pit stop and picking off some spots, he was in the top 10 by Lap 107.

Allgaier showed long-run strength and was second before the Lap 142 pit stop. Afterward, he fell to third, four seconds behind Chandler Smith, then chipped away at the lead with Hill.

However, he fell short to finish second.

“It was nice we could pass those cars but it would’ve been nice to have track position and clean air,” Allgaier commented. “I was moving around a little bit to see if something would be better, but I actually lost time and track positon was difficult with lap cars.”

Justin Allgaier is second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series points, 21 behind Austin Hill.

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