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Race report

Justin Allgaier holds off Truex for Atlanta Xfinity win

Justin Allgaier’s fended off the fastest car in the race just long enough to claim his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of the 2021 season.

Allgaier had to hold off veteran Martin Truex Jr. – who had dominated most of the race – over the final 11 laps but held on to win Saturday’s EchoPark 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

It had been a tough start to the season for Allgaier, who had wrecked out of a pair of races and only collected his first top-10 finish last weekend at Phoenix.

The win all-but locks Allgaier into this year’s playoffs, basically giving him a reboot to his season.

Once his exited his JR Motorsports No. 7 Chevrolet, Allgaier immediately dedicated the win to William “Rowdy” Harrell, a well-known Hendrick Motorsports and JRM crew member who tragically died in an automobile accident last November.

Allgaier said he was well aware he was going to have to hold off Truex – who got shuffled to the rear of the field late in the race due to a pit road speeding penalty – to have a shot at the win.

“I knew Martin was going to be coming at the end of the race there. I didn’t know if I needed to do anything different. I didn’t know if there were any options that I needed to change my line (around the track),” Allgaier said.

“It’s really special. We’ve not been to Victory Lane since we lost Rowdy. It’s been an emotional time as much as anything. We put ourselves in the right spot and ultimately it worked out for us.

“This sport is so humbling. It’s so hard to get to Victory Lane. This team does an incredible job. We have not fired off at the beginning of the season like we wanted to.

“The effort really has been great; pit stops have been fantastic.”

While Allgaier was celebrating his win with a burnout on the frontstretch, drivers Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric got into a fight on pit road over an incident that happened earlier in the race during pit stops.

Harrison Burton finished third, Gragson fourth and A.J. Allmendinger rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Riley Herbst, Michael Annett, Justin Haley, Hemric and Ryan Sieg.

Saturday’s race was also the qualifier for the four drivers who will compete for the $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus in three weeks at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. They are Allgaier, Harrison Burton, Gragson and Allmendinger.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 Truex continued to lead the field with Allgaier running second and Harrison Burton third.

With 60 laps to go in the race, Truex held a 1.3-second lead over Allgaier. Harrison Burton was third, Haley fourth and Jeremy Clements remained fifth.

On Lap 113, Mason Massey spun off Turn 2 and down the backstretch to bring out a caution. The lead-lap cars all pit with Truex the first off pit road.

Truex was penalized for speeding during his stop and Hemric was penalized for having a crew member over the wall too soon, requiring both to restart from the rear of the field.

On the restart on Lap 118, Allgaier led the way followed by Harrison Burton, Clements, Herbst and Haley. Truex restarted 23rd.

As the field raced into Turn 1, Clements appeared slow on the restart and made contact with Jeb Burton, doing considerable damage to both cars and placing the race back under caution.

When the race returned to green with 40 laps remaining, Allgaier led the way followed by Harrison Burton and Herbst. Truex lined up 19th.

With 36 laps remaining, Truex had already made his way back into the top-five. With 33 to go, Gragson got around Truex to claim a spot in the top-five.

On Lap 132, Sieg got into Josh Berry, sending Berry’s No. 8 Chevrolet into the frontstretch grass, which ripped apart the part of Berry’s car.


Most lead-lap cars pit but Colby Howard and Jesse Little stayed on the track. When the race returned to green on Lap 138, Allgaier quickly moved into the lead.

With 20 laps remaining, Allgaier maintained a small lead over Harrison Burton as Truex had rebounded to third and Gragson ran fourth.

Truex got around Harrison Burton on Lap 152 to move into the second spot, just under a second behind Allgaier.

Stage 2

Truex held off Allgaier to complete a sweep of the race’s first two stages.

Haley was third, Harrison Burton fourth and Clements rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, most of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Truex the first off pit road.

Brandon Jones was penalized two laps for having too many men over the wall while under the damaged vehicle policy and Clements was penalized for removing equipment during his stop. Landon Cassill and Berry were also penalized for improper fueling.

The race returned to green on Lap 51 with Brown in the lead – he stayed out – followed by Myatt Snider, Sieg, Tommy Joe Martins and Truex.

Truex, on new tires, quickly powered back to the lead by Turn 3 after the restart.

With 20 laps to go in the second stage, Truex built up a more than 1-second lead over Snider as Haley ran third and Harrison Burton fourth.

Stage 1

Truex captured the Stage 1 win under caution as several cars wrecked in Turn 3 during the one-lap dash to the end of the 40-lap segment,

Harrison Burton ended up second, Allgaier third, Haley fourth and Annett rounded out the top-five.

Among the cars suffering damage on the last-lap incident were Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Gragson, Brandon Jones and Brett Moffitt.


Cindric, who started on the pole, led the first six laps until Truex got around him to take the lead for the first time in the race.

On Lap 21, NASCAR displayed a competition caution to allow teams to check tire wear. The lead-lap cars remained on the track.

When the race returned to green on Lap 25, Truex led the way followed by Harrison Burton, Moffitt, Haley and Cindric.

With 10 laps remaining in the first stage, Truex maintained a small but steady lead over Harrison Burton with Moffitt running third.

Dexter Bean spun off Turn 1 and down the backstretch to bring out the first caution of the race. A handful of cars elected to pit but Truex and others remained on the track. When the race returned to green on Lap 40.

Allmendinger had to start the race from the rear of the field after his No. 16 Chevrolet suffered multiple failures in pre-race inspection.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 7 United States Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 163 2:10'50.084     47
2 54 United States Martin Truex Jr. Toyota 163 2:10'51.533 1.449 1.449 103
3 20 United States Harrison Burton Toyota 163 2:10'53.455 3.371 1.922  
4 9 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet 163 2:10'54.123 4.039 0.668  
5 16 United States A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 163 2:10'55.767 5.683 1.644  
6 98 Riley Herbst Ford 163 2:10'55.935 5.851 0.168  
7 1 United States Michael Annett Chevrolet 163 2:11'00.002 9.918 4.067  
8 11 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 163 2:11'01.412 11.328 1.410  
9 18 United States Daniel Hemric Toyota 163 2:11'02.290 12.206 0.878  
10 39 United States Ryan Sieg Chevrolet 163 2:11'03.150 13.066 0.860  
11 2 United States Myatt Snider Chevrolet 163 2:11'04.096 14.012 0.946  
12 51 United States Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 163 2:11'04.335 14.251 0.239  
13 22 United States Austin Cindric Ford 163 2:11'09.504 19.420 5.169 6
14 4 United States Landon Cassill Chevrolet 163 2:11'09.902 19.818 0.398  
15 26 United States Santino Ferrucci Toyota 163 2:11'11.319 21.235 1.417  
16 92 United States Josh Williams Chevrolet 163 2:11'12.219 22.135 0.900  
17 36 Canada Alex Labbé Chevrolet 163 2:11'12.664 22.580 0.445  
18 44 United States Tommy Joe Martins Chevrolet 163 2:11'14.849 24.765 2.185  
19 0 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 163 2:11'15.405 25.321 0.556  
20 66 United States Carl Long Toyota 163 2:11'19.175 29.091 3.770  
21 15 Colby Howard Chevrolet 163 2:11'20.172 30.088 0.997 3
22 78 United States Jesse Little Chevrolet 162 2:10'55.134 1 Lap 1 Lap  
23 17 United States Cody Ware Chevrolet 162 2:11'02.267 1 Lap 7.133  
24 74 United States Bayley Currey Chevrolet 162 2:11'13.861 1 Lap 11.594  
25 10 United States Jeb Burton Chevrolet 162 2:11'50.091 1 Lap 36.230  
26 48 United States Jade Buford Chevrolet 161 2:10'54.258 2 Laps 1 Lap  
27 61 United States David Starr Toyota 161 2:11'02.486 2 Laps 8.228  
28 47 United States Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet 161 2:11'22.492 2 Laps 20.006  
29 07 Joe Jr. Chevrolet 161 2:11'22.821 2 Laps 0.329  
30 23 Blaine Perkins Chevrolet 160 2:10'51.874 3 Laps 1 Lap  
31 6 United States Ryan Vargas Chevrolet 160 2:10'53.084 3 Laps 1.210  
32 99 Mason Massey Toyota 160 2:10'59.756 3 Laps 6.672  
33 68 United States Brandon Brown Chevrolet 160 2:11'08.504 3 Laps 8.748 4
34 5 United States Matt Mills Chevrolet 156 2:11'01.383 7 Laps 4 Laps  
35 90 Dexter Bean Chevrolet 156 2:11'23.814 7 Laps 22.431  
36 52 United States Gray Gaulding Chevrolet 150 2:11'03.451 13 Laps 6 Laps  
37 19 United States Brandon Jones Toyota 132 2:11'04.165 31 Laps 18 Laps  
38 8 Josh Berry Chevrolet 130 1:47'19.234 33 Laps 2 Laps  
39 13 United States Chad Finchum Toyota 59 50'49.378 104 Laps 71 Laps  
40 02 United States Brett Moffitt Chevrolet 39 28'41.506 124 Laps 20 Laps  

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Previous article Austin Cindric takes Phoenix Xfinity win after wild restart
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