Allgaier comes up short in 5th Championship 4 bid at Phoenix, his thoughts – Race Review Online

AVONDALE, AZ — Justin Allgaier came into Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series season finale with more Championship 4 appearances by himself than the other three combined. This was his 5th foray into the final round with Ty Gibbs and Josh Berry approaching their first. For Noah Gragson, this was his second.

Unfortunately for Allgaier, experience didn’t pay off.

He fought his No. 7 Chevrolet all day and ultimately came up short with a third-place finish in the end. It was a tough one to swallow but one that he says he’ll still sleep well tonight because there’s nothing else you can do. He just didn’t have the car nor the speed to top Ty Gibbs in a championship deciding winner-take-all event.

“I think tonight was a difficult one, but Ty (Gibbs) had the best car,” Allgaier said. “They executed all night. They made good adjustments. They beat us on pit road. They did all the right things. I was pretty disappointed we got the lead there, and there was some things I would do over if we got it back.

“We made good adjustments on our car, we just — at the end there we just — as the sun went down, we just got a little too free. I was hanging on for all I had. I ran into the fence three or four times. Not sure that the motor isn’t blowing up. I mean, we were puffing out; I could see it, I could smell it. I’m pretty sure I broke some parts going across the apron a couple of times.

“Wasn’t the ideal race for us, for sure, but we led a bunch of laps.

“And I think probably the hardest part for me, and I just told Dale this on pit road, the fact that none of us from JR Motorsports went to Victory Lane.

“I look at every man and woman that works at our shop, and the passion — I mean, Noah talked about it with relationships. The passion for our team is so incredible in all four of our teams, the late model shop, Wyatt’s go-kart and micro stuff. It runs deep all the way through. I wanted it for everybody that works there.

“I know Noah did, as well. Same with Josh. We all wanted to win for our team tonight.

“I lost my voice. I was yelling at myself because I let the 54 get to my outside at one point there at the end. And I don’t know that that was the difference maker, but it was definitely frustrating to not be able to pull it off tonight.

“Proud of our team. We’ll come back next year, and we’ve got an opportunity to do it again. But we’re going to probably be a little salty for a few days and then go right back at it.”

The Illinois native said his dash went out on his car on the pace lap, his car was smoking throughout the course of the race and then became just too tight to mount a charge in the end to score the walkoff win.

Allgaier was third in the first stage, second in the next one and was in the lead on Lap 95. After Gibbs dominated early, it was Allgaier and JR Motorsports’ turn. Gibbs would get by Allgaier on Lap 99 but Gragson got him on Lap 116. Then Allgaier got Gragson on Lap 148.

A caution would then fly on Lap 154. It was the money stop. One more stop to decide the outcome of this race. Allgaier entered first, Gragson in second and Gibbs in third.

Gibbs beat them both out. Allgaier was second, Gragson had a problem and lost eight spots while Josh Berry was fourth.

Allgaier and Gibbs would have an intense fight for the lead over the next several laps which in turn allowed Gragson who charged quickly from 8th to 3rd to close the gap to the pair. Then, Gragson got by Allgaier and the rest was history.

Still, Allgaier ends the year with 23 top-5 finishes on the season including 4 top-5 finishes over the final 5 weeks.

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