By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
BRISTOL, Tenn. – It was a hard-fought battle for a top-five finish for Spencer Gallagher. The second year NASCAR Xfinity Series driver ran hard and was out of breath post-race.
On the final restart, Gallagher was running seventh in his No. 23 Allegiant Travel Chevrolet Camaro SS. After Brandon Jones’ used tires forced him backwards, holding up the outside line. Gallagher made quick work of Tyler Reddick before battling with Jones. The duo went back and forth for the fifth position until the caution finally waved on the last lap. When the dust settled, Gallagher found himself in the fifth position for the first time in his Xfinity Series career.
Gallagher’s race was relatively quiet. He always seemed to be ahead for far enough behind the action to avoid getting into trouble. Incidents on lap 59 and lap 102 made Gallagher take evasive action, but luckily no one slammed into him at “The World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” Other drivers, such as Justin Allgaier, weren’t so lucky as he spun off the nose of Jones in the lap 102 incident.
“It was a really good day for us at GMS Racing,” Gallagher said. “The Allegiant Travel Chevy had good speed off the truck, and I think we put a great day together. It’s an honor to be going into the first (Xfinity) Dash 4 Cash race for GMS Racing and get to wear that red splitter and red blade, that’s a big deal to me. The $100,000 is great, but I’m already clicking my heels just to be in the show and to be talked about is great. It was a fantastic day for GMS, this hasn’t been my strongest track historically.”
The fifth-place finish was the best career finish in Gallagher’s career. He remains eighth in the Championship Standings, 53-points behind point leader Elliott Sadler, and 45-points ahead of the Playoff cutoff held by Ross Chastain. Gallagher has now tripled his Xfinity Series career top-10s in a single season.
Now Gallagher and the entire GMS Racing team will get the opportunity to earn $100,000 for the first time in the organization’s history in the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway on April 20.