DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 8, 2021) – In a dramatic two-lap overtime shootout, Justin Allgaier squeezed past JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry and held on to win Saturday’s Steakhouse Elite 200 NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Darlington Raceway.
Allgaier chose the outside lane for the final restart and had to fend off Berry, who edged ahead entering Turn 1. But Allgaier shot the gap to the outside off Turn 2 and pulled away to win by .422 seconds over his teammate.
Allgaier had wrestled the lead from Berry from the bottom lane on the previous restart on Lap 138 and appeared a likely winner before Ryan Vargas’ spin on Lap 142 forced the final restart and sent the race to overtime.
“Our car wasn’t as good as we wanted all day, but the guys down in the pits, they just kept fighting,” said Allgaier, who added his first Darlington win to his maiden win this season at Atlanta. “To check off Atlanta and Darlington, I couldn’t be more appreciative of this race team … We’re going to celebrate this one for a while.”
The victory was the 16th of Allgaier’s career.
To download images of Justin Allgaier’s victory in the Steakhouse Elite 200, click here.
Berry will cede his part-time ride in the No. 8 JRM Chevrolet to Sam Mayer in the second half of the season.
“I’m mad,” Berry said. “I want to win. I’m racing for my life out here, man. We need to find a sponsor or something so I can run this thing full-time. But it’s hard to be mad, coming here, running second, no practice, first time with these guys — that’s pretty incredible.”
Brandon Jones ran third followed by Daniel Hemric in fourth who led 38 laps — second only to Noah Gragson’s 40.
Gragson passed Harrison Burton for the lead on Lap 100 of a scheduled 147 and held it until Gray Gaulding spun off the bumper of Joe Graf Jr.’s Chevrolet on Lap 126. Both Harrison Burton and Berry beat Gragson off pit road, a sequence of events Gragson felt was decisive.
“Got beat on pit road there. I’ve got to go back and look and see if I could have done a better job on my speeds,” Gragson said.
Noah Gragson, who originally finished fourth, was disqualified under Rule 20.14.c in post-race inspection. With the DQ, AJ Allmendinger won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus for finishing highest among the remaining eligible drivers.
Jeremy Clements, Michael Annett, Brett Moffitt, Ryan Sieg, Alex Labbe and Harrison Burton completed the top 10.
Series leader Austin Cindric was out front for 34 laps and won the first stage but crashed on the frontstretch coming to the checkered flag. He finished 30th and saw his points advantage over second-place Hemric shrink from 59 to 39.
Harrison Burton won Stage 2, but the decision to pit for tires before the final two-lap shootout proved unproductive. Burton, who led 12 laps, finished 11th.
The race featured nine cautions for 43 laps.
Prior to the green flag for the Steakhouse Elite 200, Dale Earnhardt Jr., 2021 NASCAR Hall of Famer, drove his father’s restored No. 8 Chevrolet Nova for parade laps.
To download images of Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 1971 Nova at Darlington Raceway, click here.
Dale Earnhardt Sr. was a three-time Darlington Raceway winner in the Xfinity Series, and twice drove a GM Goodwrench-sponsored No. 8 to Victory Lane at the Lady in Black. To learn more about the restored No. 8, click here.
2021 NASCAR Season
The Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR concludes with the Goodyear 400 NASCAR Cup Series race on Sunday, May 9 at 3:30 p.m. For Mother’s Day, NASCAR and Darlington Raceway will hand out flowers to welcome mothers attending the Goodyear 400. The flowers will be distributed to the first 1,000 mothers who enter the gates for the Cup Series race at the Lady in Black.
The Tradition Continues as the famed Cook Out Southern 500® will launch the NASCAR Playoffs for the second consecutive year as part of a Labor Day weekend of racing on Sept. 4-5. The Xfinity Series will compete in the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200 on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m. The Cook Out Southern 500® NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race will once again compete at night on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 6:00 p.m.
About Darlington Raceway
Darlington Raceway, nicknamed The Lady in Black and the track Too Tough To Tame, is home to the award-winning Official Throwback Weekend of NASCAR and annually hosts two NASCAR Cup Series race weekends, along with the NASCAR Xfinity Series and/or NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Opening in 1950, Darlington Raceway is “A NASCAR Tradition” and NASCAR’s original superspeedway with its famed 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval, challenging the sports best in one of the most iconic NASCAR races, the Southern 500®. For more information about Darlington Raceway, visit darlingtonraceway.com.
The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR consists of three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series™), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour), one local grassroots series and three international series. The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races in more than 30 U.S. states, Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).
About Steakhouse Elite
Steakhouse Elite is an industry leader in the craft burger movement. From its signature Kobe-Crafted™ burger, with the distinct and buttery flavor of American-style Kobe beef from Wagyu cattle, to its grass-fed and classic Angus lines, Steakhouse Elite turns any backyard cookout into a special occasion. Shopper are invited to taste the difference by buying Steakhouse Elite burgers at their local grocery store. To learn more about Steakhouse Elite’s premium products and a list of retail outlets available to purchase, visit www.steakhouseelite.com.