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JR Motorsports announces driver, crew chief lineup

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JR Motorsports announced Monday the driver, crew chief lineup for its four Xfinity Series entries this season, including two returning drivers.

The entries include the full-time efforts of veterans Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett, in addition to rookie driver Noah Gragson.

Alllgaier, the senior driver with the team at four years, will drive the No. 7 Chevrolet under the direction of crew chief Jason Burdett, who has led the team since 2015.

At 32, Allgaier is the oldest driver at JRM. He’s older than Annett by 18 days.

Annett is back in the No. 5 Chevrolet for his third season with the team. He is paired with crew chief Travis Mack, who took over crew chief duties on the No. 5 for 13 of the last 14 races in 2018.

Gragson makes the move to the Xfinity Series after two seasons in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Gragson will step into the No. 1 Chevrolet to replace Elliott Sadler who stepped away from full-time racing after 2018. Gragson will have crew chief Dave Elenz and the crew that worked with champion Tyler Reddick in 2018 on the No. 9 team.

The No. 9 team will be a multi-driver effort this season anchored by eight races with Zane Smith in the cockpit. The team will be led by first-time crew chief Taylor Moyer. Moyer joins JRM after four years with Hendrick Motorsports as a race engineer for Kasey Kahne and William Byron.

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Justin Allgaier no longer qualified for Xfinity playoffs after Dover penalty

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Justin Allgaier‘s win in last weekend’s Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway will not qualify him for the playoffs after a violation was found on his No. 7 Chevrolet after the race.

NASCAR stated in its penalty report Wednesday that the truck trailing arm spacers and pinion angle shims were not in complete contact with corresponding mating surface.

As a result, crew chief Jason Burdett has been fined $25,000 and suspended from the next two points races for the L1 infraction. Allgaier has also been docked 25 points and the team loses 25 owner points.

Allgaier was second in the season standings with 368 points. He is now tied with Daniel Hemric for fourth with 343 points.

NASCAR confirmed Allgaier will keep his $100,000 Dash 4 Cash earnings.

JR Motorsports will not appeal the penalty. Burdett’s replacement will be determined next week.

JRM released the following statement from General Manager Kelley Earnhardt Miller.

“As a highly competitive race team that challenges for wins each and every weekend, we’re deeply disappointed and frustrated in today’s ruling. We strive to produce race victories for JR Motorsports’ partners, fans and employees while adhering to the rulebook. To that end, the No. 7 team put on a winning performance in Saturday’s race and received damage on the last lap that we believe contributed to this infraction. We will never fault ourselves for that.”

Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 team was also hit with a penalty for the splitter on Jeb Burton‘s car not meeting specification during inspection Friday. Crew chief Nick Harrison has been fined $10,000 and car chief Michael Scearce has been suspended from the next points race for the L1 violation.

Burton finished 12th in the race.

In the Camping World Truck Series, Todd Gilliland‘s crew chief, Wes Ward, was fined $2,500 for one unsecured lug nut on the No. 4 Toyota.

NASCAR suspends crew chief for Justin Allgaier one race

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Jason Burdett, crew chief for Xfinity championship contender Justin Allgaier, has been suspended one race for an L1 infraction discovered after last weekend’s race at Phoenix Raceway, NASCAR announced Monday.

NASCAR suspended Burdett, fined him $10,000 and docked 10 driver and owner points because a brake cooling hose was found unattached. Allgaier’s 10th-place finish is encumbered.

The point penalty does not knock Allgaier out of Saturday’s championship round at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Allgaier is competing against JR Motorsports teammates William Byron and Elliott Sadler along with Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric for the series title.

Kelley Earnhardt Miller, co-owner of JR Motorsports, said Tuesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that the team will not appeal the penalty. The team will announce who will be in the role of crew chief later this week.

UPDATE: JR Motorsports announced Tuesday Billy Wilburn will serve as the crew chief on the No. 7. Wilburn has been the car chief on the No. 7 for the last four seasons.

Wilburn is a 33-year motorsports veteran. He has been in the crew chief role previously at Penske Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports and Robert Yates Racing.

His only win as a crew chief came in 2006 when David Gilliland won his only Xfinity Series race at Kentucky Speedway.

Justin Allgaier’s car fails post-race inspection, expected to lose crew chief for title race

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Justin Allgaier‘s No. 7 Chevrolet failed post-race inspection after he finished 10th at Phoenix Raceway and clinched a spot in next week’s championship race.

Allgaier’s car was found to have a brake cooling hose unattached. That is a L1 infraction. The minimum penalty for it would be a 10-point deduction and a one-race suspension for crew chief Jason Burdett. The points deduction would not impact Allgaier’s placement in the championship race.

NASCAR announced after the race that the No. 7 team would be given a L1 penalty and it is likely to be those minimum standards.

This would make two years in a row that a JR Motorsports team has been without a crew chief in the championship race. Elliott Sadler lost Kevin Meendering last year to a suspension for having two unsecured lug nuts after the Phoenix race.