Allgaier rallies from flat tire to finish third at Kentucky

by Tucker White On Sun, Sep. 24, 2017

Justin Allgaier runs out the remaining laps of the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoff-opening 300, on his way to a third-place finish at Kentucky Speedway. Photo: Tucker White/

SPARTA, Ky. — Justin Allgaier leaves the Bluegrass State as the points leader, but doing so required rallying from an early flat tire and falling two laps down.

Allgaier started losing pace on Lap 14 due to a tire rub on the right-front tire. The right-front went flat the following lap and he was forced onto pit road for four tires. He rejoined the race in 39th, two laps down. Per NBC, Allgaier spent 27 total laps being down two laps.

Opting to take the wave-around under the first stage break, he climbed up to 21st and took over as the first car a lap down on Lap 54. Angela Ruch’s spin in Turn 4 on Lap 75 came at the perfect time for Allgaier, as he earned his way back onto the lead lap via the lucky dog.

Ending the second stage in 11th, crew chief Jason Burdett opted for a fuel-only stop.

Allgaier restarted third on Lap 97 and fell to fifth by the time he pitted for the final time on Lap 138. When the green flag pit cycle was complete, he came out sixth.

With a strong long run car, he worked his way around Cole Custer and teammate Elliott Sadler for fourth with 20 laps to go. He spent the next 10 chipping away the gap to third, took it from Ryan Preece and brought his car home to a podium finish.

“My team at JR Motorsports obviously does a great job,” Allgaier said. “We talked about not beating ourselves in the first playoff race. You know, it was unfortunate there getting a flat tire. It wasn’t in our control. We did what we had to do and persevered through it and we did a great job on pit calls and pit stops. I thought we had a car that maybe could win the race. After the race, I told my team we might not have won the playoffs tonight but we definitely salvaged what we needed to tonight to move ourselves forward.”

Allgaier leaves Kentucky, tied with Custer, with a two-point lead over Sadler.

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