On a day dominated by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regulars, Justin Allgaier was able to give the Xfinity Series regulars a good showing by coming away with a fourth-place finish in Saturday’s Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen.
Allgaier, who has run well on the road courses in the past, but had never finished higher than seventh at Watkins Glen, needed a change in his luck heading into the weekend as he had finished 20th or worse in four of the five races preceeding Saturday’s race and he got exactly what he needed.
Starting the day in seventh place, Allgaier would climb up to fifth place by the time the first stage ended at lap 20. He was able to keep his No. 7 Chevrolet in the top-10 throughout the duration of the second stage, being shown in sixth place when the green-checkered flag flew on lap 40.
The speed he had shown in the first two stages continued right into the final stage as it looked like he would finish in sixth place, but when the final caution flag flew with four laps to go, Allgaier and crew chief Jason Burdett took the opportunity to come down pit road for fresh tires and fuel to get an advantage on the final restart.
On the ensuing restart, Allgaier was able to drive from eighth place up to fourth by the finish, making him the top Xfinity Series regular, while the remainder of the top-eight was made up of Cup Series drivers.
“Honestly, we just got held up a little bit too much on that last restart,” said Allgaier. “Jason Burdett and the boys on this Brandt Professional Agriculture Chevy did a great job all day. We had speed. We weren’t quite as good as the Penske cars or Kyle (Busch), but I felt like we had a top-five car all day. That call at the end, as soon as he started talking about it, I was on board with it. Hats off to the pit crew, they did a great job today. This whole team, just absolutely flawless.”
“We’ve got another road course next week, so that’s good. Hopefully all the fans at home enjoyed watching on the Xfinity X1 service. We keep plugging along. We’ve had a bad month. We needed some points. We needed some good finishes, so hopefully this is the momentum we need.”
“We’re coming into playoff time and we need to make sure we’re firing on all eight cylinders. Today was a really good step in doing that.”