By Brian Eberly, Contributing Writer
SPARTA, Ky. – Justin Allgaier enters the inaugural NASCAR XFINITY Series Chase in the fifth position in the championship standings as he seeks the title in his sixth season in the series. Allgaier competed full-time in the XFINITY Series for five seasons before making the jump to the Sprint Cup level with HScott Motorsports in 2014. The two-year stint at the top level of NASCAR competition yielded just one top-10 result – an eight-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway.
For the 2016 season, Allgaier returned to the XFINITY Series and the opportunity to drive the No. 7 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports has resulted in season bests in both top-five and top-10 finishes in his career with seven races remaining. Allgaier has 11 top-five and 21 top-ten results in 26 races. Aside from mechanical failures or crashes, Allgaier only has two finishes outside the top-10.
“The one thing about the Sprint Cup Chase is that every time they’ve had a Chase format, every year seems to be different,” Allgaier said on Friday afternoon at Kentucky Speedway. “There’s always that one story and that one thing that people don’t expect. The XFINITY Series Chase is going to be no different.
“Expect the unexpected. When you have a tire go down, when you have a bad pit stop, when you have a speeding penalty, don’t let that define you’re Chase. Usually that first mistake is surrounded by a second one, so it’s not making that second mistake and keeping yourself in position to move forward.”
The first round, called the Round of 12, consists of the races at Kentucky, Dover and Charlotte. In eight starts at the 1.5-mile track in Sparta, Allgaier has four top-10s and an average finish of 13.3.
“I don’t know if you’re going to have to win a race to make the second round. Consistency is going to be the key. I don’t think you’re going to be able to afford to have a bad race. If you have a really bad race and finish in 30th (or worse), you’re going to have to win a race.”