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.
I want our teams to always be aggressive with the rule book and I always want @Nascar to be extremely strict in enforcing it. Sometimes those lines are gonna cross. Shake it off and get ready for the next one. https://t.co/hKsq9I8n8v
For Reddick, she was there to help put his No. 9 Chevrolet in the right place when the final of five overtime restarts began earlier in the day.
She was present in the form of the No. 1 Chevrolet driven by Elliott Sadler.
Due to a power problem stemming from the exhaust system on his car, Reddick had been unable to push or be pushed effectively in the draft most of the day.
That changed when an 18-car wreck broke out around Reddick on the backstretch on the first overtime restart, when he had restarted in the fourth row. Reddick was one of the few to make it through with minor to no damage.
“When there was not very many cars left and I was one of the few left to push, I guess they had no choice but to push me,” says Reddick.
On the final restart, Reddick restarted on the inside front row with Sadler behind him. Reed and Ryan Truex were on the outside.
The dueling set of drivers were nearly even for the first half lap. Then the push – similar to one Sadler was penalized for earlier in the race – came. It allowed Reddick to clear Reed heading into Turn 3. No one but Sadler would pull even with Reddick the rest of the way.
Thanks to Grandma Brown.
“That little extra push that we got, Elliott was her helping us, that’s how we looked at,” Reddick says
ONCE MORE, WITH FEELING
When the two cars leading the PowerShares QQQ 300 roared by pit stall 42 for the last time, David Elenz was pessimistic.
Sitting atop his pit box, the crew chief for Reddick and the No. 9 Chevrolet didn’t believe his car would win the drag race against Sadler to the checkered flag.
He had plenty of reasons to believe either way thanks to the race’s previous 142 laps, but specifically the last 22, which included all five overtime restarts.
The third one ended in a two-car wreck exiting Turn 4 with Reddick cleanly leading the field and preparing to take the white flag.
But the caution was issued moments before Reddick crossed the start-finish line.
“I was excited and I thought I had won, but I was like, ‘No, there’s no way. That was too easy. I’m sure that’s going to come back,”‘ says Reddick. “Sure enough, it did.”
As for Elenz, TV cameras had caught the 36-year-old crew chief celebrating his third Daytona win (Chase Elliott, 2016; William Byron, 2017). In the confusion of overtime, he’d forgotten NASCAR allowed unlimited restarts.
“It was pretty quick that Earl said on the radio that we were still under caution,” says Elenz, who quickly had to focus on his job. “It becomes factual at that point. … Thankfully, we had something we had to do. We had to work with the engineers and see where we’re at on fuel and see how much was in the box to make sure he could pick up on the apron or not. There was something for us to work on. I think if we had plenty of fuel and weren’t worried about it, I think it would be a little harder because you’d still be sitting there all pumped up and not focused on something you have to do. I think it helped that we were in a difficult situation.”
Two tries later, Reddick took the white flag and Elenz’s job was done.
Finally, mercifully, Reddick had enough fuel to also take the checkered flag.
After Reddick crossed the start-finish line, Elenz wasn’t going to get too excited.
“Heck, we’ll wait a little bit longer, because we didn’t wait long enough the first time,” Elenz thought.
Three days after his win over Sadler by 0.0004 seconds, Reddick’s voice is shot.
“Too much hootin’ and hollering and all that stuff,” he says.
In his first start in the No. 9 Chevrolet, with a new crew chief, new spotter, new everything, the native of Corning, California, won his second Daytona race. He was the victor of the 2016 Truck Series race.
Reddick’s two-for-six so far at the “World Center of Racing.”
“Some people try and go their whole careers just getting one win and I somehow got me two already,” says Reddick. “It obviously hasn’t sunk in because it hasn’t hit me in the face what we accomplished in our first outing as a team together.”
Reddick was still catching up on about 300 text messages and an avalanche of social media messages congratulating him on the win.
“You can see where obviously the race just ended,” says Reddick of the text messages, which included a message from his former owner Chip Ganassi. “Twitter blew up so bad that I can’t even scroll pass one day of feed or notifications, even if it’s just mentions.”
The time for celebrating will end soon with the Xfinity Series continuing its season Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
He’ll be doing it with Elenz, who won last year’s Xfinity title with Byron in his first year working with just one driver.
“I told him I’m going to make him mad a lot this year,” says Reddick. “Not because I mean to, I’m very frustrating to work with sometimes because I’m so black-and-white with how I break things down, being the dirt racer that I am. Nevertheless, I know we’re going to have fun this year.”
Reddick’s new owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. agrees.
“In the offseason he was texting me about how their tests were going,” Earnhardt said this week on the Dale Jr. Download. “He’s on his own shooting me text messages about how the day is going and I love that about him because he just wants to be engaging. We have great relationships with all our drivers but he’s fitting in so well to JR Motorsports.”
The branding space on Reddick’s No. 9 Chevrolet on Saturday was made possible through the support of one of JRM’s partners, which made a donation to Nationwide Children’s in memory of one of its founders, Carolyn Brown.
“Our relationship and commitment to Nationwide Children’s Hospital goes much deeper than this partnership,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports, in a press release. “The work they do is invaluable, and we are honored to partner alongside them and be continued advocates of their mission. Theirs is a cause that all of us at JR Motorsports, and our partners, are firmly supportive of.”
Reddick, a two-time winner in the Xfinity Series, is in his first year with JR Motorsports.
“I know how important Nationwide Children’s Hospital is to Dale and Amy (Earnhardt), Kelley and everyone at JR Motorsports,” said Reddick in a press release. “I’m proud to be supporting their cause and it’s been eye-opening to learn about the tremendous work they do for children and their families across the country. I’m looking forward to visiting the hospital and meeting their Patient Champions.”
Saturday’s Rinnai 250 begins at 2 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.
The 22-year-old driver is taking over for 2017 champion William Byron after he spent last season driving the No. 42 part-time for Chip Ganassi Racing. It was Reddick’s first time at Atlanta in a stock car after making two starts there in the Truck Series.
“This track’s definitely got one of the older surfaces on the schedule … so when you come here and test, that makes it difficult to get it going,” Reddick said in a team release. “Obviously, the track is going to wear the tires out really quickly.”
Atlanta’s surface hasn’t been repaved since the track was reconfigured in 1997, the year after Reddick was born.
“Tracks like these are a lot of fun; they kind of knock the dust back off in a sense and get your feet planted back where they need to be,” Reddick said. “This is a track that, even if your car is handling pretty good, it’s still going to be a handful. You have to really work for it as the tires fall away.”
The 23-year-old driver earned one win at Atlanta in the Truck Series. His victory last year in February was the first of five on the way to winning the Truck Series title for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
“I’ve run here at Atlanta twice and ran exceptionally well both times,” Bell said in a track press release. “It’s one of my favorite race tracks. This place is a blast and one of the most fun places we go to.”
The Xfinity season opens on Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway. Reddick, Bell and the rest of the Xfinity field will be back at Atlanta on Feb. 24 for the Rinnai 250.
“Just getting the jitters out (was the biggest goal at this test),” Bell said. “I was pretty nervous, and I think everybody is the first time they get in their cars since November. I’m glad today went smoothly.”
Sargeant, 19, made his first laps at Atlanta driving the No. 25 Chevrolet for GMS Racing.
The native of Boca Raton, Florida, has only six Truck starts since 2015. He placed second last year in the ARCA Racing Series.
“Hopefully I’m a quick learner, and we’ll see what we can do,” Sargeant said in the track press release. “We’ve been trying a bunch of different things on these trucks with the new motor and everything. It’s just a little bit different than what they were used to last year and years before, so we’re just out here testing as much as we can.”
Sargeant’s best finish in his six Truck starts was ninth at New Hampshire in 2015.
“It’s definitely a really cool place,” Sargeant said of Atlanta. “I’m looking forward to coming here and racing in February. I think it’s going to be a tough challenge. I know it’s going to be warmer then, so we might be slipping and sliding around a little bit more, but my first overall thoughts is that track is really awesome.”