Justin Allgaier: ‘As disappointed as I’ve been in many years’ after runner-up Richmond finish

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CONCORD, N.C — In hindsight, Justin Allgaier knows he should have been “very happy.” Perhaps even elated.

The JR Motorsports driver had just finished second in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

That was in addition to Allgaier leading a career-high 157 laps on the way to winning his second $100,000 prize in the Dash 4 Cash competition.

“That was huge and we left as disappointed as I’ve been in many years,”Allgaier said Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Allgaier’s frustration stemmed from the ToyotaCare 250’s finish. In overtime, Allgaier was battling Kyle Larson for the lead when a three-car accident occurred on the backstretch.

By that time, Larson and Allgaier were in Turn 3 beyond the overtime line, meaning the race was effectively in the books. But while caution lights were flashing around the track, the flagman at the start-finish line was waving the white flag and not the caution flag.

A confused Larson and Allgaier then powered around the .75-mile track one more time. No matter the result, Larson was still the winner. A NASCAR executive later clarified that caution lights take precedent over what flag is displayed.

Afterward, an upset Allgaier approached a NASCAR official who happened to be standing near the front of his No. 7 Chevrolet in the post-race chaos and began speaking his mind.

“I’ll be honest with you, in post-race, looking back at the replay of the race, I unloaded on an official that really had no idea what I was even talking about,” Allgaier said. “He didn’t even know there was a caution at the end of the race I don’t think. His eyes were about the size of soft balls.

“To be honest with you, I didn’t really even care that he didn’t know what I was talking about. I just needed to say what I needed to say and get it off my chest.”

After a career performance, Allgaier felt he had been robbed of his second win of the season. That’s a feat he’s never accomplished in a NASCAR career that includes four Xfinity wins since 2010.

But it’s the circumstances of Allgaier’s career that also informed the reaction of the driver who sits second in the points standings after eight races.

Two years ago, the native of Riverton, Illinois, found himself without a NASCAR ride after two seasons in the Cup Series with HScott Motorsports, which left the sport after last year Those two seasons were filled with disappointment as Allgaier finished in the top 10 once (Bristol spring race in 2015) and placed 29th and 30th in the points.

“Coming off of the Cup Series and the situation and the hand that we were dealt, I wasn’t sure, to be honest with you, if I was ever going to race again after 2015,” Allgaier said. “The fact I had that opportunity at the end of 2015 was huge for me, trying to make the most of it. I spent last year really trying to just get my head back in the game. There was a lot of days there two years ago where I spent wondering why I was still coming to the race track every week.”

Allgaier found a life raft in the Xfinity Series with the team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Though he didn’t win in 2016, the 30-year-old Allgaier earned 13 top fives and made it to the championship four. He left Miami third in the standings, tying his career-best result from 2011.

This season, in addition to his Phoenix win, Allgaier has three top fives and led 242 laps. The laps led are already a career best in seven full-time Xfinity seasons.

“Last year, it took a lot of effort to get back into the game and to push myself to go to the race track every week and be competitive,” Allgaier said. “We’ve been fortunate to do that. We ended last season strong, we came into this season strong. It’s been really good.”

Good enough for Allgaier to get a little angry.

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Six cars to miss time in final Cup practice session

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KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Six Cup teams, including playoff contenders Chase Elliott and Jamie McMurray, will each miss 15 minutes of today’s final practice session at Kansas Speedway because of inspection issues, NASCAR announced.

Three teams were penalized 15 minutes in Saturday morning’s first practice – Derrike Cope, Landon Cassill and AJ Allmendinger. Each were penalized for being late to qualifying inspection Friday.

Teams penalized 15 minutes in final Cup practice will be Elliott, McMurray, Cope, Trevor Bayne, Paul Menard and Aric Almirola.

Bayne, Elliott and Almirola were penalized for failing qualifying/race inspection twice at Talladega.

Cope, McMurray and Menard were penalized for failing qualfiying qualifying inspection twice at Kansas.

Final Cup practice is scheduled from 1:30 – 2:20 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

Today’s Xfinity race at Kansas: Start time, weather, TV/radio info

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The Xfinity Series begins the second round of its playoffs with today’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.

Here is all the info you need for the race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Kansas Lt. Gov. Dr. Jeff Colyer will give the command to start engines at 2:56 p.m. Green flag is scheduled for 3:05 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is scheduled for 200 laps (300 miles) around the 1.5-mile oval.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 90.

PRERACE SCHEDULE: Qualifying is slated for 12:05 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:25 p.m.

NATIONAL ANTHEM: Mary Ann Hotaling will perform the anthem at 2:51 p.m..

TV/RADIO:  NBC will broadcast the race at 3 p.m. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. on NBCSN with Countdown to Green. Motor Racing Network will broadcast the race on radio and at mrn.com, starting with its pre-race show at 2:30 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.

FORECAST: The wunderground.com site predicts a temperature of 76 degrees and a 15 percent chance of rain at race time.

LAST TIME: Kyle Busch dominated this race last fall, leading 150 of 200 laps. Elliott Sadler finished second. Daniel Suarez was third.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying is at 12:05 p.m.

Saturday’s NASCAR Cup, Xfinity schedule at Kansas Speedway

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Today’s racing action at Kansas Speedway includes two NASCAR Cup practices, as well as Xfinity qualifying and race.

Today’s Xfinity race will be the first in the Round of 8, which will determine the four finalists for next month’s championship race.

Here is today’s schedule:

(All times are Eastern)

8 a.m. — Xfinity garage opens

9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. — Cup garage open

11 – 11:55 p.m. — Second Cup practice (NBC Sports App, MRN)

12:05 p.m. – Xfinity qualifying (multi-vehicle, three rounds) (NBCSN)

1:15 p.m. – Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting

1:30 – 2:20 p.m. – Final Cup practice (NBCSN, MRN)

2:30 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

3 p.m. – Kansas 300 Xfinity race (200 laps, 300 miles) (NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Ryan Blaney’s car fails inspection after qualifying

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KANSAS CITY, Kansas – Playoff contender Ryan Blaney’s car failed inspection after qualifying third Friday night at Kansas Speedway, NASCAR announced.

NASCAR stated that the car’s package tray did not maintain its original shape. That is the metal that holds the rear window in place.

Blaney will start last in the 40-car field and have the last pick of pit stalls this weekend and next weekend at Martinsville Speedway. There will be no further penalties.

Team co-owner Eddie Wood said:

“The rules are pushed to the max in every area, and today the NASCAR officials found something they didn’t like about our car. We’re not disputing their decision. We’ll own it and move on.

“We’ll work on our car in Saturday’s practice, line up in the back on Sunday and look forward to watching Ryan drive his way to the front.”

Blaney enters Sunday’s elimination race two points ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who holds the eighth final transfer spot for the next round. Kyle Busch is nine points behind Blaney and Matt Kenseth is 10th.

Four of the 12 playoff contenders will be eliminated after Sunday’s race.

By starting at the rear, Blaney will be challenged to be in the top 10 by Lap 80 to score stage points. If he doesn’t, he could fall behind Johnson and Busch after the first stage.

Below is Section 20.4.17.8 of the Cup Rule Book, which features a diagram of the package tray

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