HOMESTEAD, Fla – Justin Allgaier had all the momentum as he headed to the Championship 4 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. He hit the equivalent of a walk off home run in a NL or ALCS to reach the finals by virtue of his victory at the ISM Raceway in Phoenix. That was his first victory in well over a year.
Allgaier’s last win came at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Sept. 2018. 14 months later, he finally found victory lane again. That win propelled him into the Championship 4 for the 2019 season.
See why that was go big?
The confidence was back. He felt like he could beat the “Big 3” despite them having won 20 of the 32 races run this year. I mean, a night earlier Matt Crafton won the Truck Series championship despite not having won since 2017. That was his only win in his lat 86 starts.
Unfortunately, his No. 7 Chevrolet just didn’t have enough in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300. The Illinois native struggled with the handling of his car from the get go. He’d finish 13th in the first stage.
He did make some gains in the second stage as he finished third. But, that was short lived. When the others rose, he quickly fell again. Allgaier, was a fifth to seventh place car all day and in the end when he had to push, he pushed too hard.
The JR Motorsports driver got into the wall while trying to find more speed and would nearly crash due to a flat tire after. He had to make an unscheduled pit spot with 11 laps remaining in the season and finish 14th, one lap down.
This was his first race since Daytona on July 6 that he failed to score a top 10 finish. The streak of 16 straight top 10 finishes comes to an end. Among those 16 top 10’s was eight top five results over his last nine starts to the year. His only finish outside the top five in the playoffs was a sixth place run at Texas.
While it was a nice charge to close out the year, his car failed him. Plus, Allgaier isn’t typically at his best at Homestead anyways. His sixth place finish in 2016 and seventh place run last year are his only two career top 10 results on the 1.5-mile track.