By Joey Barnes, Editor-in-Chief
AVONDALE, Ariz. – Justin Allgaier continued to build on an already strong season Saturday following a fourth place finish in the Axalta Faster. Tougher. Brighter. 200 at Phoenix International Raceway.
Allgaier, 29, started tenth, but quickly became a factor as he marched towards the front, climbing as high as second in the middle part of the race.
It was the third consecutive top 10 finish for the JR Motorsports driver, who has progressively climbed up the championship standing and now sits fourth, 12 points behind leader Daniel Suarez.
With a tough trio of Toyotas at the top, led by eventual race winner Kyle Busch, coming home fourth was considered a good day by the NASCAR veteran.
“Yeah, definitely a good day for us,” said Allgaier. “Obviously we’d love to finish a little bit higher, but our BRANDT Fresh Agriculture Chevy was very good. We made some really great adjustments throughout the race that really helped us and it just came down to pit strategy.We took two tires on that first stop and it just kind of hurt us when we had to take the green flag pit stop.
“But a huge thank you to everybody, JR Motorsports back at the shop, they make great cars – all of our partners, just a fun day. Anytime you come to Phoenix and have a good, solid day, a top five, it’s always good. And to, like you said, have three (JR Motorsports cars) in the top eight. So we’ll look forward to next week and hopefully we can catch some momentum headed into this break.”
Having left everything out on the track that he and the team could have possibly left, Allgaier believes that strategy is what made the difference.
“Well you always have to think that you had a little bit more left in the tank, but the No. 7 BRADT Fresh Agriculture guys did a great job all day, and I think for us it just came down to strategy.
“We took two tires there early and needed to take four at the end, and I felt like we should’ve finished third. But all in all, a good, solid day. A good points day, and definitely had a car that we can build on moving forward. So to finish fourth and fifth (along with eighth) here with here with three good race cars, I think JR Motorsports definitely has a lot on the horizon.”
Image: Sean Gardner/Getty Images