By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
While the race win in Saturday’s Roseanne 300 at Auto Club Speedway went to a Cup Series driver for the fourth time this season, the NASCAR Xfinity Series regulars were well represented in the top-five as JR Motorsports drivers Justin Allgaier and Elliott Sadler brought home finishes of second and third, respectively.
After winning the championship last season, JR Motorsports has been leading the way through the early part of the 2018 season and Saturday’s race was just another example of their position as the team to beat thus far this season.
Allgaier would start the day in sixth and made his way to the lead for a two-lap stint on lap 122 after electing to stay out on older tires while Joey Logano, who dominated the race, was one of the few leaders that made their way to pit road.
Sadler, his JR Motorsports teammate, would take over the lead at lap 124, but neither were a match for Logano, who powered his way back to the front four laps later and never looked back.
Over the remaining laps, both Allgaier and Sadler would put on a show as they battled for position, with Allgaier taking the high lane and Sadler electing the lower lane. When the checkered flag flew, it was Allgaier that had the advantage, bringing home his best finish of the season with a runner-up result.
“We had a really, really fast Hellmann’s Camaro today,” said Allgaier. “Disappointed at the start of the run when we just couldn’t get off the corner like we wanted to. That last run, I struggled just a little bit off of Turn 2. Really proud of JR Motorsports, though. We had four great race cars today. All four of us were battling at some point during the race. It’s great to battle with a teammate.
“This team did a great job. They kept up with the adjustments. Jason Burdett made great pit calls. That last stop, we had a little bit of a problem. I know the jackman fell, but I told the guys we win these things as a team and we lose them as a team and it was something we had to get through. We were able to do that and obviously bring home a solid day for us.”
As for Sadler, he continued his consistent march through the first handful of races this season, adding another top-five to his season tally with his best career finish at Auto Club Speedway. The finish also allows Sadler to hold onto the points lead, marking the 37th straight week that a JR Motorsports driver has been in control of the points lead in the Xfinity Series.
“I think that’s four top-fives in the first five races for our team,” said Sadler. “Thanks to everybody at JR Motorsports. Our Cessna Chevy was good today. Better on longer runs at the beginning, so Kevin () did a really good job to make it to where we could go on the short runs there at the end and I could compete with these guys.
“Good clean racing, we gave each other plenty of room, but we did race each other hard. That’s what it’s all about. All in all, a great weekend for us, and I’m glad to get back on some East Coast time here next week.”