Justin Allgaier Wins At Chicagoland Speedway, And His JR Motorsports Teammate Elliott Sadler Wins The Regular Seasonby Hunter Thomas September 17, 2017
JOLIET, Ill. – Justin Allgaier led the final 15 laps en route to winning TheHouse.com 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday. Allgaier’s JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler, won the NASCAR XFINITY Series regular season championship on Saturday as well.
On a restart with just 15 laps to go, Allgaier pulled off a bold three-wide move heading into Turn 1 to take over the race lead. As the field exited Turn 2, Ryan Blaney hit the outside wall after contact with Erik Jones. Cole Custer, who had a strong car all afternoon, also hit the wall.
Allgaier survived one final caution on lap 190 when Ryan Reed spun down the backstretch. After holding off the field, Allgaier went on to capture his second victory of the season in his No. 7 BRANDT/Celebrating the Future of AG Chevrolet.
“Just an awesome weekend,” Allgaier said. “You know obviously coming home, this is my home racetrack. A racetrack that I’ve loved dearly for a number of years and was fortunate to get a win here before.”
Allgaier continued and said, “The whole connection of being from Illinois, to go to Victory Lane was incredible. Obviously this is the last race before the Playoffs, and for us, those bonus points are huge. You know that puts us into a great spot going into these first three races of the Playoffs.”
Kyle Larson led 22 laps throughout the afternoon and finished second in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 ENEOS Chevrolet. Early in the race, he battled Cole Custer hard for the lead. The two drivers swapped the lead on five occasions between laps 131 and 153. In 10 series races this season, Larson has now finished inside the top-three in eight of the events.
“I was really loose all day long, and I couldn’t run the top like I wanted to, and the times that I did go up there, I’d get really loose in, and I hit the wall once, you know, pretty hard and a second time late in the race,” Larson said. “I was too loose to keep pace.”
Regular season champion, Elliott Sadler, finished third. Although he hasn’t won a race this year, his five stage wins and performance this season catapults him into the NASCAR Playoffs. He will be seeded third behind Allgaier and point leader,William Byron.
“Well, it’s definitely very humbling to me, guys,” Sadler said. “To be the first-ever regular season champion for the XFINITY Series means a lot to me and my family. We were able to win the very first-ever XFINITY Playoff race last year at Kentucky and then the first one again to be the regular season champion.”
Sadler continued and said, “Being such a small town boy from southern Virginia, it means a lot to me. Wish I could take all of the credit, but I can’t. My team gives me really good race cars week in and week out and very consistent to where we can come and compete every single week.”
Daniel Hemric was the highest finishing rookie on Saturday as he crossed the finish line in fourth. Austin Dillon completed the top-five.
Rounding out the top-10 was Matt Tifft, Cole Custer, Ty Dillon, Blake Koch and Darrell Wallace Jr.
There were five cautions during TheHouse.com 300 but none of them were for multi-car accidents. Among the five different leaders, there were 11 lead changes. Erik Jones led a race high of 94 laps.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff field has been set. In order of seeding, the 12 drivers competing for this year’s championship include William Byron (+2), Justin Allgaier (-2), Elliott Sadler (-5), Daniel Hemric (-16), Brennan Poole (-19), Ryan Reed (-20), Jeremy Clements (-20), Cole Custer (-20), Blake Koch (-20), Matt Tifft (-21), Brendan Gaughan (-22) and Michael Annett (-24).
The Playoffs will get underway on Saturday, September 23 at Kentucky Speedway. The VisitMyrtleBeach.com will broadcast live on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 8 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images