By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Despite scorching hot conditions, Justin Allgaier earned a top-10 finish in the Overton’s 300. Allgaier worse a ‘cool suit’ for the first time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and at the same time, had the air hose that provides cooler air to his helmet failed.
In the final run to the finish, Allgaier ran inside the top-10 at Chicagoland Speedway in the No. 7 Brandt Celebrating the Famer Chevrolet Camaro SS. In the relatively calm race, the JR Motorsports driver was one of the few drivers to hang on the lead lap as the laps clicked off. Allgaier battled handling issues, as well as teammate Elliott Sadler and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Paul Menard. When the checkered flag waved, he crossed the line in seventh.
“Well, unfortunately, the balance just shifts so much from one adjustment to the next,” Allgaier said. “Actually, on the last stop, we didn’t even make an adjustment. We went from really tight to really loose. Proud of the guys, everyone back at JR Motorsports. Our Brandt Celebrating the Farmer Chevrolet was good today, but we just needed a little bit more. This place is so tricky as hot and slick as it was.”
“My helmet hose, I actually split my helmet hose to a chest cooler,” Allgaier commented. “Unfortunately, I took too much away from my head. We’ll have to work on that before we go next week to Daytona. All in all, it was just a solid day.”
Allgaier ran with a thermometer mounted to the side of his seat, and an NBC Sports in-car camera trained on it. During the pre-race pace laps, the thermometer read a blistering 124 degrees. The temperature climbed rapidly inside Allgaier’s car, reaching 145 degrees laps later. By the end of Stage 1, the temperature simply displayed ‘Hi.’ Many drivers, including Allgaier, received IV fluids from medical personnel post-race.
“It felt (hot),” Allgaier admitted. “It was cool to be able to carry that.”
The seventh-place finish was the 10thtop-10 finish for Allgaier this season. It also allowed him to remain sixth in the Championship Points Standings. Allgaier is now 51-points behind Championship Points Leader Cole Custer.
Allgaier is locked into the Playoffs via his win at Iowa Speedway earlier this season. He leads the Series in Playoff Points, with eight, only one more Playoff Point than Christopher Bell.
Now Allgaier and his JR Motorsports team will prepare to continue their streak at Daytona International Speedway, where two of its’ drivers have won the last two races.