JR Motorsports Emerging as Championship Favorites
JR Motorsports picked up the win and placed all four cars in the top-10 Saturday night at Iowa Speedway, marking the second time this season that the organization has accomplished this feat.
William Byron, winning his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series race, led the charge for JRM and affirmed their position as the title favorites.
Justin Allgaier‘s victory at Phoenix marked the first event of the season when all four cars came home with top-10 finishes.
With no NASCAR Cup Series drivers in the American Ethanol E15 250 field, the series regulars were able to compete head-to-head for the first time this season and JRM’s strength was showcased throughout the event.
The team has had an impressive start to the year and continues to occupy the top three positions in the driver’s standings with Elliott Sadler leading the way followed by Allgaier and Byron with an 89 point gap back to fourth-place Daniel Hemric. Michael Annett also currently sits in a playoff spot in 10th.
While the season has yet to cross the halfway mark, Iowa offered a glimpse of how the post-season may play out.
JRM placed two cars in the Championship 4 last year but ultimately came up short of the title at Homestead-Miami.
Now with both Daniel Suarez and Erik Jones competing full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series after battling Sadler and Allgaier for the title last November, JRM’s experience in making it to the season finale may provide the upper hand throughout the playoffs.
Hemric, Ryan Reed, and Brennan Poole sit fourth through sixth in the standings, and all struggled at Iowa, placing outside the top-15 with Reed finishing highest in 19th after being involved in two incidents. They will all need a rebound in the coming weeks and begin to score more playoff points if they hope to challenge JRM this fall.
Other than Reed who picked up five playoff points with his Daytona victory, Sadler, Allgaier, and Byron are the only other drivers in the series with more than one playoff point.
If the organization can carry this strength and speed into the post-season and use the playoff points to their advantage, it will be difficult for the competition to top them in the championship fight.
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