JR MOTORSPORTS TEAM PREVIEW:
TRACK: Auto Club Speedway
RACE: Production Alliance Group 300 (150 laps / 300 miles)
DATE: Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020
Broadcast Information – TV: 4 p.m. ET on FS1 / Radio: 3:30 p.m. ET on MRN and Sirius XM Ch. 90
No. 1 Pilot Flying J / American Heart Association Chevrolet
• Fresh off of his first top-10 finish of the season, Michael Annett heads to Auto Club Speedway fourth in series points after two races.
• Annett’s best finish at Auto Club Speedway is sixth back in 2009. In nine NXS starts there, he has completed all but two of the 1,354 laps (99.9 percent) in those races.
• In 2019, Annett was in position for a victory after running in the top 10 all day long on the 2-mile D-shaped oval. Staying out on older tires with one set left in the pits, Annett had a chance to win but the hoped-for caution flag never waved and he finished 13th. The Iowa native led five laps on the day.
No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet
• Justin Allgaier has 11 NXS starts at Auto Club Speedway with a best effort of second in 2018. In his four races at the track since joining JRM, the 33-year-old driver hasn’t finished worse than 10th.
• The Illinois native leads active NXS drivers in top 10s over the last eight races on 2-mile tracks with seven. His solo finish outside the top 10 came in Michigan in 2017. His average finish during that span is 8.5.
• Two races into the 2020 season, Allgaier has already led 86 laps and won two stages, earning a total of two playoff points.
No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet
• Daniel Hemric returns for his second race behind the wheel of the No. 8 Chevrolet this weekend in Fontana.
• In two previous NXS starts at the 2-mile speedway, Hemric has an average start of 3.5 and a best finish of fifth. Hemric’s top-five effort came in 2018.
• In four starts on 2-mile tracks in the NXS, Hemric has earned two top fives and two top 10s.
• This weekend marks the first primary race of 2020 for Poppy Bank with the No. 8. Poppy Bank also partnered with Hemric during his 2018 NXS campaign and his 2019 Rookie of the Year campaign in the Cup Series.
No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet
• In Gragson’s lone NXS start in Fontana, the Las Vegas native started fifth and finished 12th while leading three laps.
• At tracks that are between 1-2 miles in length in the NXS, Gragson has an average finish of 9.4.
• Through the opening two races of the 2020 season, Gragson currently ranks second in the championship standings, just seven points shy of the series lead.
• Nationwide Children’s Hospital returns to the No. 9 Chevrolet for the first time this season.
“Our Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet has shown a lot of speed in the first two races and Auto Club Speedway is all about speed. We were in the hunt to win there last year, and if that caution flag had come when we needed it, we were the only car with tires on pit lane. I’ve been really happy with the car so far this year and we’re going back West looking for a victory.” – Michael Annett
“I love racing at Fontana. It’s just a fun track because it’s fast and slick. Our JR Motorsports Camaros have already showed a lot of speed this season, so I think if we can get our BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevy handling like we want it to during practice, we’ll be a force to be reckoned with come Saturday.” – Justin Allgaier
“Fontana should be a lot of fun this weekend. It’s such a big track that has a ton of character to it. It takes a little bit to get used to how slick and worn out it is through the corner but once you do, it’s a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do with our Poppy Bank Chevrolet. I ran pretty well here in the past so hopefully that previous knowledge can translate to a strong run this weekend.” – Daniel Hemric
“Fontana is always a fun place to race because you can run anywhere from the bottom to the top of the track and be competitive. As the race gets later, you’ll see guys start moving to the fence and that always puts on a good show for fans. Our last couple races at these types of tracks we have seen improvements and I think that will show when we unload a fast Nationwide Children’s Hospital Camaro from the hauler.” – Noah Gragson
• JRM at Fontana: JR Motorsports has scored one win, nine top fives and 24 top 10s in its 41 NXS starts at Auto Club Speedway. The organization’s solo victory at the track came in 2015 when Kevin Harvick led 100 of the 150 laps and drove the team’s No. 88 Chevrolet to Victory Lane.
• Allgaier, Hemric and Gragson NXS Autograph Session: Teammates Justin Allgaier, Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson will be participating in the NXS autograph session in the Auto Club Speedway Fan Zone on Friday, Feb. 28 from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. PST.
• Celebrating American Heart Month: This weekend is the third and final race for the No. 1 Chevrolet to run a special paint scheme in honor of American Heart Month. Pilot Flying J is proud to unite with its guests across the country to support the American Heart Association “Life is Why We Give™” campaign in their mission to be a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives by raising awareness and inspiring heart healthy lifestyles for our team members, guests and their loved ones.