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XFINITY

Allgaier Earns First Top Five of 2017 at Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS — After finishing 30th in the first two races of the NASCAR XFINITY Series season, JR Motorsports’ Justin Allgaier earned his first top five of 2017.

Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 Chevrolet, finished fourth in Saturday’s Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and scored the most points out of all XFINITY regulars.

He also earned his first stage points under NASCAR’s new format. He scored six points in Stage 1 (finished fifth), eight points in Stage 2 (finished third) and totaled 47 points on the day.

“We got points all day, and we were a fourth-place car, and we finished fourth place, so no disappointment at all in that regard,” Allgaier said. “The pit crew was phenomenal all day, and that’s what it takes when you’re running up against these guys. But you have to have a perfect race.”

He didn’t have a stellar qualifying effort (started 13th) and made one mistake when he slid about two feet past his pit stall during a cycle of green-flag stops with 53 laps to go, but a few late cautions helped him climb back into contention for the win.

“Unfortunately, I put myself behind the eight ball and slid through the pit box there under a green-flag pit stop,” Allgaier said. “… We had a fast enough car, and we were able to rally back there.”

At Daytona, Allgaier was part of a 12-car wreck on Lap 29 and failed to finish Stage 1. In Atlanta, he made contact with the outside wall to avoid a sliding Ty Dillon on the second lap of the race but lost grip as he avoided the spin in Turn 2, damaging his racecar’s right side.

“We knew the first two races were just bad luck,” he said. “We knew we could run up front and we did that all day. That gives us momentum going into these next few West Coast races.”

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John Haverlin

John Haverlin is currently studying Communication at Arizona State University. He has been a reporter at Phoenix International Raceway for three years and has written news stories for the track's official site. Born and raised in Long Island, N.Y., Haverlin has lived in Arizona the past three years.