NASCAR Xfinity Series

Justin Allgaier rocks Nashville in Tennessee Lottery 250

4 Mins read
Credit: Logan Riely/Getty Images

On Saturday, Justin Allgaier put up the best performance by a #7 in Nashville since Billy Volek’s 426-yard, four-touchdown performance at the nearby Nissan Stadium on 13 December 2004 as he won both stages and led 134 of 188 laps to take the NASCAR Xfinity SeriesTennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway.

The win is Allgaier’s second of 2022 and his first at Nashville, which returned to the schedule in 2021 (where he placed runner-up to Kyle Busch) after he had made six starts between 2009 and 2011. He described his #7 JR Motorsports car on Saturday as one of the best he had driven, arguing he did not “think ever” that he had a better machine.

“What a heck of a race,” he continued. “We’ve been coming here for a long time, and I love this race track. Been trying to get a win so bad and hadn’t been able to do it.

“Today was like a dirt race. It was slick, it was hot, we were sliding around. I’ve got a guitar to take home, and we’re going to enjoy it.”

While Allgaier stomped the field, Sheldon Creed, Joe Graf Jr., and Jeb Burton got stomped in a crash on lap 124. Other incidents included Josh Berry who spun with contact from Ryan Preece and Sam Mayer and Ty Gibbs‘ beef returning as they collided, though all but Berry would finish in the top ten.

“[Mayer] just packed air on my left rear and I got out there and he drove into me,” Gibbs said. “It’s just part of it. Hopefully, we learned from it and we don’t have to go through that again. I’ve done that mistake too with the #39 (Ryan Sieg) at the beginning of the year (at Las Vegas). It’s just part of it, part of the learning experience.

“[…] We’re both the same age so we’ll see what happens.”

Trevor Bayne finished a distant second after having to overcome a pit penalty for two tyres rolling into the neighbouring pit stall of pole winner Riley Herbst.

“It’s really hard to win a race when you go to the back twice,” Bayne remarked. We drove to second twice, from the back. The second stage, we came in with Riley and hit a pit crew member—not intentionally, but it can happen, then fell back to fifteenth and drove back to second. Then we had a loose wheel and had to go to the very back and drove back and was catching Allgaier. He’s my buddy, Gator, congrats to him. Happy for him, but man, I wanted to win that guitar and win here at Nashville.

“I feel like we did everything right on the car and feel like I did everything right behind the wheel. We have to clean up the mistakes and we’re going to win because it takes every piece of this deal. But thankful to be here, but it’s perspective. I used to be mad and I’m still mad, but with perspective, being happy to be here.”

Credit: Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

Herbst apologised to Bayne’s crew and said, “I had no intention of doing that. […] I just got in there hot. I locked up the left-front and just a bummer deal. We both lost spots, so by no means was I trying to do that.”

Despite the pit road struggles, Herbst was able to finish third for his third top five of the season, tying his total from 2021. Gibbs placed behind him to cap off a strong day for Monster Energy drivers. It was the fourth time that both drivers finished in the top five (third in 2022) and fifth with top tens for both.

“I don’t think the whole field had anything for the #7, I think he was on cruise control all day,” commented Herbst. “But our Monster Energy Ford Mustang was really good. I’m just proud of us as a group. Way to execute. I messed up on pit road a few times myself and the team, so we’ve got to clean up a little stuff there but, all in all, it was a good day. We got a pole and good points. This is what we need to keep doing, just knock on the door and eventually it will open.”

“We got the pole and we wanted to lead some laps, but unfortunately we didn’t lead any laps. We got quite a bit of stage points, which is what we needed. It’s just a really good day for everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing, myself included. I’m proud of all these guys on the #98 team. If just keep doing these runs we’ll eventually get there and if we just keep knocking on the door, eventually it will open.”

Among the one-offs, B.J. McLeod finished twenty-eighth as a substitute in the #08 SS-Green Light Racing car for an ill David Starr. Dillon Bassett, whose team has struggled with qualifying for races or being locked out of those without it, made his first start since the 2020 Charlotte race and was thirtieth.

Race results

157Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet188Running
2318Trevor BayneJoe Gibbs RacingToyota188Running
3198Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord188Running
41454Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota188Running
5211Sam MayerJR MotorsportsChevrolet188Running
6275Ryan Preece*B.J. McLeod MotorsportsFord188Running
71126Jeffrey EarnhardtSam Hunt RacingToyota188Running
8421Austin HillRichard Childress RacingChevrolet188Running
92439Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord188Running
101502Brett MoffittOur MotorsportsChevrolet188Running
111768Brandon BrownBrandonbilt MotorsportsChevrolet188Running
122528Parker RetzlaffRSS RacingFord188Running
1369Noah GragsonJR MotorsportsChevrolet187Running
14819Brandon JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota187Running
152345Stefan Parsons*Alpha Prime RacingChevrolet187Running
16216A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet187Running
171011Daniel HemricKaulig RacingChevrolet187Running
181210Landon CassillKaulig RacingChevrolet187Running
19296Ryan VargasJD MotorsportsChevrolet187Running
202623Anthony AlfredoOur MotorsportsChevrolet187Running
211848Tyler Reddick*Big Machine Racing TeamChevrolet186Running
222251Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet186Running
233136Alex LabbéDGM RacingChevrolet186Running
242044Ryan EllisAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet185Running
252838Kyle SiegRSS RacingFord185Running
263835Patrick EmerlingEmerling-Gase MotorsportsChevrolet185Running
273531Myatt SniderJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet185Running
283408B.J. McLeodSS-Green Light RacingFord185Running
2998Josh BerryJR MotorsportsChevrolet184Running
303077Dillon BassettBassett RacingChevrolet182Running
31364Bayley CurreyJD MotorsportsChevrolet181Running
323766Natalie DeckerMBM MotorsportsToyota181Running
333313J.J. YeleyMBM MotorsportsToyota157Running
343278Josh WilliamsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet136Electrical
35727Jeb BurtonOur MotorsportsChevrolet126Accident
36192Sheldon CreedRichard Childress RacingChevrolet124Accident
371307Joe Graf Jr.SS-Green Light RacingFord123Accident
381634Kyle WeathermanJesse Iwuji MotorsportsChevrolet118Power
DNQ91Mason MasseyDGM RacingChevrolet
DNQ47Brennan Poole*Mike Harmon RacingChevrolet
DNQ99Matt Mills*B.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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About author
Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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