Justin Allgaier’s 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season didn’t start out the way he had hoped. In five races, the driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet had only one top-10 finish. Allgaier had been involved in various on-track incidents and started the season at Daytona International Speedway by starting second and finishing 28th. But he turned that all around at Atlanta Motor Speedway last weekend by winning the race and taking home his first victory of the season all while punching his ticket to the Playoffs.
The win marked the 15th victory of Allgaier’s career. Now the veteran driver has an extra two weeks to enjoy the spoils of the win and regroup for the next event at Martinsville Speedway on April 9. A track he made his series debut at last season and finished second.
Next Race: Cook Out 250
The Place: Martinsville Speedway
The Date: Friday, April 9
The Time: 8 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 131.5 miles (250 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 250)
Atlanta didn’t disappoint
Last Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway was two hours, 10 minutes and 50 seconds long with an average speed of 115.117 mph that culminated in JR Motorsport’s driver Justin Allgaier beating second-place finisher and 2017 NASCAR Cup Series champion Martin Truex Jr. by 1.449 seconds. Truex won both stages in his first race in the Xfinity Series since 2010and he led a race-high 103 laps, but it wasn’t enough to hold off Justin Allgaier.
Harrison Burton, Noah Gragson and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top five. Burton, Gragson, Allmendinger, along with Allgaier, all became Dash 4 Cash qualifiers as the four highest-finishing fulltime drivers in the race.
The Xfinity Series has a break this weekend as the Cup Series and Camping World Truck Series head to the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt track. The next weekend the sport is off in observance of the Easter holiday so the series has quite a break to get everything in order.
The Cook Out 250 at Martinsville Speedway will take place at 8 p.m. ET on Friday, April 9.
Dash 4 Cash information
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program was designed to add elements of unpredictability and drama leading up to and during four designated races, increase on-track competition, engage fans and reward / recognize NASCAR Xfinity Series regular competitors.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash will take place at four tracks in 2021:
- Martinsville Speedway (April 9)
- Drivers competing in Dash 4 Cash will be Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet), Harrison Burton (No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota), Noah Gragson (No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet), AJ Allmendinger (No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet)
- Talladega Superspeedway (April 24)
- Darlington Raceway (May 8)
- Dover International Speedway (May 15)
The March 20 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway will be the initial qualifier for 2021 Dash 4 Cash program. The top four full-time finishers in the Atlanta race will qualify for the first round of the Dash 4 Cash at Martinsville Speedway on April 9.
The first of the four Dash 4 Cash competitors to finish at Martinsville Speedway will win the $100,000 bonus.
The Dash 4 Cash winner and next three highest finishing full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers will then qualify for the next round of the Dash 4 Cash program at Talladega. That format will continue to Darlington and Dover.
Playing In The Dirt: Xfinity drivers racing this weekend at Bristol
Despite the NASCAR Xfinity Series having the weekend off, three series drivers – Myatt Snider, Ty Dillon and Cody Ware – with their championship eligibility selected for the Xfinity Series this season are entered this weekend to take on the high-banks of the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt track.
Richard Childress Racing’s Myatt Snider is having a breakout year in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career having posted his first win and clinched a spot in the Playoffs already this season. He sits seventh in the Xfinity driver standings 98 points behind Austin Cindric in the series standings lead. This weekend, Snider will be competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race, the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt for Reaume Brothers Racing in the No. 33 Chevrolet. Snider is no stranger to racing on dirt in the Truck Series he has one start at Eldora Speedway in 2018 where he started 15th and finished 20th.
Then on Sunday keep an eye out for Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Dillon and Rick Ware Racing’s Cody Ware as both drivers will attempt to compete in the NASCAR Cup Series race at the Bristol Dirt track. Though both drivers are running part-time schedules in the Xfinity Series both have selected to run for a title in the series. Dillon has made three starts this season for Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series posting a best finish of 14th in the season-opener at Daytona. Dillon is currently 36th in the series driver standings. This weekend Dillon will pilot the No. 96 Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota. Dillon has quite a bit of experience on dirt. He made five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at Eldora Speedway posting one top five and two top 10s.
Much like Dillon, Ware has made just three starts this season for Rick Ware Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series posting a best finish of 23rd last weekend at Atlanta. Ware is currently 43rd in the Xfinity driver standings. This weekend, Ware will once again be driving for Petty Ware Racing in the No. 51 Chevrolet. This weekend will be Ware’s first time competing in a NASCAR national series race on Dirt.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Atlanta-1:
|Rank||Driver||Points||Wins||Stage Wins||Playoff Pts||Pts From Cutoff|
|1||Austin Cindric||277||2||4||14||In On Wins|
With five different race winners so far in 2021 and four drivers already locked in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, there are a lot of shakeups each week in the Playoff picture.
Justin Allgaier took the fourth Playoff spot with his win at Atlanta over the weekend, joining Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger and Myatt Snider on the list of winners going to the postseason.
Daniel Hemric has stayed consistent and keeps the highest Playoff spot without a win. He’s 97 points above the cutline and has two stage wins and two Playoff points.
In terms of biggest surprises in the Playoff outlook so far, two drivers are standing out. Jeremy Clements has been in the top 12 for most of the season and has shown speed all year. For a small, one-car team (Jeremy Clements Racing), this is a big deal to them. Clements is currently 31 points above the Playoff cutline.
The same goes for Brandonbilt Motorsport’s driver Brandon Brown, who is having a career season and got a career-best finish of third at Phoenix Raceway. In total, Brown has made six starts this season posting one top-five and three top-10 finishes. He is currently eight points above the Playoff cutline.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year update
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs is still leading the charge in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He’s won two awards and has 88 points. He’s made two starts in 2021, including the first Xfinity Series start of his career and walked away with a win at the Daytona Road Course. His second start was at Phoenix Raceway, where he finished second from the 27th starting position.
Josh Berry is second in the rookie standings with 79 points and one award. Berry has made five starts for JR Motorsports this season and has a best finish of seventh at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Unfortunately, Berry has been the victim of some on-track incidents resulting in a 38th-place finish last week at Atlanta and a 36th-place finish at Phoenix the week prior. Of his five starts, he has three DNFs.
Ryan Vargas is third in the rookie standings with 60 points and three awards. Vargas has run in all six races so far this season and has a best finish of 18th in the season-opener at Daytona.
Jordan Anderson and Sam Mayer, who both have declared for rookie points for 2021, have not yet made a start so they are currently fourth and fifth in the rookie standings.
Chevrolet is leading the manufacturers championship standings right now with three wins and 221 points. Myatt Snider, AJ Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier got Chevrolet their three wins.
Ford is second in the manufacturer standings with two wins and 211 points. Ford’s two wins came from Austin Cindric in the season-opener and at Phoenix Raceway.
Toyota is in third with one win and 214 points. Their win came from Ty Gibbs at the Daytona Road Course.