Race Weekend Central

Justin Allgaier Goes Cold in Final Laps of Texas Xfinity Race

Justin Allgaier was among the fastest drivers in Saturday’s (April 13) NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway, leading a race-high and season-high 117 laps.

Allgaier started sixth but quickly rocketed to the front of the field by lap 28. When Chandler Smith got behind thanks to a slow pit stop, it seemed like Allgaier would go unchallenged for the victory at Texas.

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That was before Riley Herbst and Brandon Jones had something to say about that.

Herbst and Jones, both winless in 2024, began to reel Allgaier in during the third stage. The No. 98 got to the back bumper of the No. 7, with Jones in tow, when the final cycle of green flag pit stops commenced. But Allgaier managed to pull away from the duo.

However, Herbst was able to fight his way back to Allgaier and was poised to strike on the No. 7 Brandt Chevrolet Camaro when it was held up by the No. 42 of Leland Honeyman.

Then Allgaier got loose underneath Honeyman, sending the No. 42 into the slick PJ1 compound and into the wall hard, bringing out the caution.

“Unfortunately, it was the big turning point for the whole thing,” Allgaier said. “I don’t know if we would’ve been able to hold the [No.] 98 off. […] When we got the big run off of [turn] 4, I thought we we’re going to be okay. And I drove it in there pretty good to try to make sure I was clear, and he drove it in as deep or deeper than I did.

“At that point, you’re just hanging on. These cars side-by-side is so difficult. I don’t think we ever made contact. […] I’m pretty confident we never touched obviously, he ended up getting the worse end of the deal.”

Herbst had a different take on the contact.

“I don’t know why we decided to dump a lap car when we needed a caution,” Herbst said.

However, the caution ended up hurting Allgaier.

The pit stops sent Allgaier down to fourth after Parker Kligerman stayed out, Jones took right-side tires and Austin Hill, who took right-side tires a few laps before the caution flew, took left-side tires and filled into the inside of row two.

That left Allgaier on the outside of him for the lap 180 restart. Allgaier slid to eighth and Herbst incurred a critical tire rub that knocked him out of contention. Herbst would finish 27th a lap down.

“It all started on the restart when we pitted and the [No.] 48 was on no tires and the [No.] 21 and the [No.] 9 were on two,” said Allgaier. “The [No.] 9 just didn’t get going in front of us, and it really jammed up that top lane. I got up and got out of the groove.

“And from there, I just never felt like I got the tires back once I got way up high.”

See also
Ryan Sieg Oh-So-Close, Yet Oh-So-Far from 1st Xfinity Win at Texas

Meanwhile, an additional caution for a multi-car incident brought about an 11-lap dash to the finish. Allgaier improved to third, behind the two drivers of Ryan Sieg and Sam Mayer, who flashed across the line .002 seconds apart with Mayer getting the best of Sieg.

Allgaier filled the final podium spot, .517 seconds behind the closest finish in the history of Texas amongst all racing series.

“Even those last couple of restarts, I’ve been fighting a tight condition all day, and I was anything but tight in that whole last run,” Allgaier said.

While JR Motorsports teammate Mayer brought the first win of the season to the organization, Allgaier, with 229 laps led on the year, had another chance at a win slip away.

“I’m going to put this one on myself and walk out of Texas really angry at myself and come back here next year and hopefully have a little bit better finish.”

About the author

Wyatt Watson has been an avid fan of NASCAR since 2007 at the age of 8. He joined Frontstretch in February 2023 after serving in the United States Navy for five years as an Electronic Technician Navigation working on submarines. Wyatt writes breaking NASCAR news and contributes to columns such as Friday Faceoff and 2-Headed Monster. Wyatt also contributes to Frontstretch's social media and serves as an at-track reporter.

Wyatt Watson can be found on Twitter @WyattGametime

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