When the NASCAR Cup Series ran the inaugural Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Race in 2021, Xfinity Series regular Justin Allgaier tweeted he would be “one disappointed driver” if his division did not join the 2022 weekend. While his wishes went unfulfilled, he will still get an opportunity to race at the temporary dirt short track.
On Monday, Spire Motorsports announced Allgaier will drive the #77 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in Sunday’s Food City Dirt Race. It will be his first time racing on dirt in NASCAR and his third start for the team. His Xfinity sponsor BRANDT Agriculture will also support his Cup effort.
Allgaier raced full-time in the Cup Series for the now defunct HScott Motorsports in 2014 and 2015 before returning to the Xfinity Series a year later, where he has been a perennial championship contender for JR Motorsports. However, he came back to the top level on four occasions in 2016, 2020, and 2021 as a substitute driver. He rejoined HScott at the 2016 Bristol Night Race after Michael Annett fell ill, while he replaced Jimmie Johnson in the #48 Hendrick Motorsports machine for the 2020 Indianapolis event following a positive COVID-19 test.
In 2021, he ran Pocono 2 in the Spire #77 after regular driver Justin Haley got hurt in a hard wreck in the Xfinity race. Another start for the team came later that year at Talladega when Haley was tabbed to drive for Kaulig Racing.
His lone Cup top ten was at Bristol, on its pavement configuration, in 2015.
“Since the NASCAR Xfinity Series has the weekend off, we decided to have a little fun over Easter and go mix it up at Bristol Motor Speedway,” commented Allgaier. “When BRANDT decided to come on board with Spire Motorsports for the Food City Dirt Race, it was really a no-brainer. It’s going to be a fun change of pace to play in the dirt with all the Cup Series regulars. Spire Motorsports and (crew chief) Kevin Bellicourt always bring a good piece to the race track so we’ll have a solid shot of putting together a good run.”
Eight races into the 2022 Xfinity season, his twelfth as a full-timer, Allgaier sits seventh in points with four top tens.
Spire’s #77 is primarily being driven by Josh Bilicki and Landon Cassill, the latter of whom holds the car’s best finish of 2022 with a fifteenth in the Daytona 500. Bilicki also recorded a top twenty when he placed sixteenth at Atlanta. After eight races, the #77 is thirty-third in owner points.
“When we have an opportunity to put someone in the seat, Justin Allgaier is always part of the conversation,” stated team co-owner T.J. Puchyr. “BRANDT and Justin have almost become synonymous with one another and they’ve both been part of the Spire family for many years. Justin is also a talented dirt racer so having him in the #77 this weekend is a great opportunity for everyone involved.”