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TC Daily Pit Stop: Allgaier Wins Xfinity Race on Bristol; Dale Jr. Has Fun Despite Fiery End; Hemric Promoted to Kaulig Cup Ride for 2024; Jones, Allgaier Returning to JRM; and More!
TC Daily Pit Stop: Saturday, September 16th, 2023
With 48 laps remaining in Friday’s Xfinity Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway, Justin Allgaier was the only one of the front-runners to come down pit road, doing so from the lead to take on fresh tires.
It was a bold strategy call by crew chief James Pohlman, but it ended up being the right one, as the Riverton, Illinois native drove back through the field for his third NASCAR Xfinity Series win of 2023.
Daniel Hemric would finish in the runner-up position. John Hunter Nemechek, Cole Custer, and Chandler Smith completed the top five at the end of 300 laps. Ryan Sieg was sixth, while Trevor Bayne came home in seventh. Riley Herbst, Sammy Smith, and Kaz Grala rounded out the top-10.
DRIVER / OWNER POINTS
VIDEO HIGHLIGHT - AUSTIN HILL CRASH
VIDEO HIGHLIGHT - BERRY, MAYER, JONES CRASH
After having a solid run, and competing for the victory in Friday’s Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, things got a little bit hot for Dale Earnhardt, Jr… literally.
In the race’s closing laps, Earnhardt radioed that he had a fire in the cockpit of his JR Motorsports machine. The shot at the win was over, and Earnhardt was credited with a less-than-stellar 30th-place finish on the night, but his performance was anything but.
“Oh yeah, yeah. I had a blast,” Earnhardt stated with a massive smile on his face. “Checked that box. Justin wins, BRANDT car wins. Great for Rick [Brandt] and his whole team. Thanks to all of the fans, we had a great crowd tonight, and the Hellmann’s car was fast, man. I never knew — we drove up there and led laps legitimately. I couldn’t believe it.
On Friday, NASCAR announced that the start time of Saturday’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway will be moved ahead an hour, as a result of inclement weather forecasted to hit the area on Saturday evening.
Saturday’s 500-lap contest was originally scheduled to begin at 7:30 PM ET, but will now see coverage begin at 6:30 PM ET. The broadcast networks will remain unchanged, with USA Network, PRN, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio having coverage of the event. The green flag for the final race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs ‘Round of 16’ is now scheduled to drop at 6:35 PM ET.
Christopher Bell has been unstoppable when it comes to qualifying in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, picking up his third consecutive pole position with a stellar lap in the final round of qualifying at Bristol Motor Speedway.
With a time of 15.109 seconds (126.998mph) in the final round of qualifying on Friday, Bell propelled his No. 20 Reser’s Fine Foods Toyota Camry TRD to the top of the time sheets, leading a front-row sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing.
Denny Hamlin, William Byron, Michael McDowell, and Martin Truex, Jr. completed the top-five. Brad Keselowski, Chase Elliott, Ty Gibbs, Bubba Wallace, and Corey LaJoie all advanced to the second round, as well, completing the top-10.
After getting bounced from the NASCAR Cup Series four years ago, 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric will get a second chance to compete full-time at NASCAR’s top level.
The 32-year-old driver will continue with Kaulig Racing in 2024 but will graduate to the organization’s NASCAR Cup Series program, where he’ll pilot the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro, replacing Justin Haley.
Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier will each return to their respective posts at JR Motorsports for the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
Jones will continue to drive the No. 9 Chevrolet with sponsorship from long-time partner Menards. Allgaier, will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet with the typical 20-race sponsorship from from BRANDT Fresh Agriculture.
The Food City 500 is back! On Friday, Bristol made fans happy (and potentially put a couple of laundromats out of business) by axing the Bristol Dirt Race. In 2024, both of the track’s NASCAR weekends (dates TBD) will return to the concrete.
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