It’s not often that a late-race pass for fifth is good for $100,000 in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, but such was the case in Saturday’s Lilly Diabetes 250 as Justin Allgaier worked his way around Elliott Sadler to claim the final round of the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash.
“To have to race a teammate for the Dash 4 Cash was challenging and nerve-racking to the end, but it definitely feels good to bring this check home,” Allgaier said.
Starting sixth and ninth, respectively, JR Motorsports teammates Allgaier and Sadler found themselves out of contention for much of the 60-lap feature at Indianapolis Motor Speedway after qualifying for the prize in earlier 20-lap heat races.
The favorite to take the money going into the event was Erik Jones, who dominated his heat race to win by over eight seconds over runner-up Kevin Harvick. Jones was running second during the middle section of the feature when his No. 20 suffered a flat right-rear tire. The Michigander returned to the racing surface on the lead lap, but his day was chances were ruined for good when another right-rear issue forced a spin on lap 42.
Jones’ issues appeared to give the edge to teammate Daniel Suarez, but Suarez was trapped on old tires after everyone but he and leader Busch pitted during the caution for Jones’ spin. Suarez attempted to maintain his position, but dropped back to 10th after contact with Brennan Poole on lap 54.
That set up the JRM teammates for a duel to the finish, and Allgaier ultimately prevailed with a fifth-place result. Sadler followed in sixth, with Suarez rallying to finish seventh. Jones was relegated to a 22nd-place result.
After the win, Allgaier isn’t sure how much of the prize money he’ll see, but the 30-year-old knows what he plans to do with the big check.
“This is going to go on the wall for sure,” Allgaier said. “It’s something that means a lot to be able to take home. The little check, if I get it all or get a dollar, doesn’t matter. I know that sounds really dumb, but this right here is definitely something that means a lot to me.”
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