AVONDALE, Ariz. — After what seemed like an eternity, Justin Allgaier breaks an 81 race win-less streak and storms to victory lane in grand style, winning the DC Solar 200 at Phoenix International Raceway on Saturday afternoon.
To add onto the already hefty bonus of winning the race and locking the JR Motorsports driver into the XFINITY playoffs come the fall, he also collects a cool $100,000 bonus for winning the Dash4Cash competition.
“Last year was tough.” Allgaier said. “We had really good runs all year and we were never able to get to victory lane. These guys fought hard, we have the same group of guys that we had last year and to do it here at Phoenix. Obviously, the first XFINITY Dash4Cash, so thank you to them and everything they do for our sport. A huge thank you to everybody back at the shop. This is a team effort, we had four really good JR Motorsports hot rods today and how cool is it to get a Camaro in victory lane here in Phoenix.”
“I knew we were going to have to get it on the short run. I was really disappointed at the end of the first stage, I knew we had a better car than where we finished in that first stage. These guys didn’t give up, the pit crew did awesome, they gave me great pit stops. I knew it was going to come down to the short run at the end and I knew we had the car, we just needed a good restart and we got that. It’s so hard to know how hard to go in the last couple of laps, it’s just so cool to get here in victory lane.”
As the race was nearing the conclusion, contact between the No.00 of Cole Custer and the No.2 of Austin Dillon brought out the seventh and final caution of the afternoon. Dillon, unhappy with Custer, pulled back out in front of the Stewart-Haas Racing rookie and put him in the wall. NASCAR then parked the Richard Childress Racing driver for the remainder of the event.
Those festivities set up a four lap run to the checkers that saw Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney and Allgaier battle it out for the win. As the trio went into turn 1, the JRM driver proved to be too much for the field and pulled away from the pack, leaving Jones and Blaney to fight for second.
Finishing in the second position was the No.22 of Ryan Blaney, who started the race at the rear of the field due to pre-qualifying inspection failure. He drove his Mustang up to the front in a hurry and won the second stage of the afternoon, but the short run speed of Allgaier at races end, proved to be too much to overcome to get himself a victory.
“We we’re really good on long runs, unfortunately we didn’t get any of those at the end.” Blaney said” That No.7 was spectacular on short runs. So, it kind of played into his hands. We had a shot at it, just not quite enough. I think this team is getting close.”
Finishing in third was Erik Jones, who had a car to contend with the win all race long. Jones showed his pace early as he won the opening Stage of the afternoon.
Rounding out the top five are a pair of JRM teammates, rookie and pole sitter William Byron and Elliott Sadler. Both Byron and Sadler were also Dash4Cash eligible come the conclusion of the race, but ran out of time.
Darrell Wallace Jr., finishes in the sixth position, with NXS rookie Daniel Hemric in seventh, Brennan Poole finishes in eighth with Michael Annett and Ty Dillon rounding out the top 10.
The next NASCAR XFINITY Series race continues next Saturday at Auto Club Speedway for the XFINITY 300, March 25, 2017.