Justin Allgaier Outruns Josh Berry To Win At Darlington Raceway In NASCAR Overtimeby Hunter Thomas May 8, 2021 1 comment
DARLINGTON, S.C. – Justin Allgaier bested his JR Motorsports teammate, Josh Berry on a NASCAR Overtime restart at Darlington Raceway on Saturday to win the Steakhouse Elite 200.
As the laps ticked away, it appeared that the battle for the win was going to come down between Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton, but a series of late-race caution shook the field up. JR Motorsports teammates, Allgaier and Berry raced in and out of the top-10 all day long, but they were there at the end and spoiled the race up front for Gragson and Harrison.
On the final restart of the afternoon, Berry started on the inside, and Allgaier started alongside of him. With a nose out front, Berry pushed the car as hard as it would go into Turn 1, and he lost grip and allowed Allgaier to fly by on the high side. Allgaier never looked back and captured his first win in 12 starts at Darlington Raceway and his second of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
“This place, the reason everybody wants to win here is because of how difficult is it,” Allgaier said. “This place is just truly special, and one of the things that I liked about the end of the race today was that I was battling two of my teammates, but we had four fantastic Camaros today that all had a shot at going to Victory Lane. That’s what this place is all about.”
Berry, who captured his first series win at Martinsville Speedway earlier this year, held on to finish second. Berry has raced once (2016) at Darlington, but he has competed regularly at nearby Florence Motor Speedway and Myrtle Beach Speedway throughout his career. Berry believes that his short track experience prepared him well for the tire wear falloff that Darlington is so notorious for; however, Berry gives credit to his JR Motorsports team for providing him with top contending equipment.
“Yeah, I definitely felt more comfortable just with how the tires wore and just allowing that little bit of an element into the racing,” Berry said. “That’s kind of what I’m used to racing at all of these short tracks Around here in North Carolina and South Carolina, and maybe that felt a little bit more normal, but really, we had a really fast car, and we’ve had a really fast car almost every race. We’ve been in position a lot of times, and we’ve just had mistakes really.”
Brandon Jones finished third, and Daniel Hemric rebounded from pitting for a tire issues to finish fourth. South Carolina’s Jeremy Clements finished fifth, earning his best Darlington finish. Rounding out the top-10 was Michael Annett, Brett Moffitt, Ryan Sieg, Alex Labbe and Harrison Burton.
Following the race, Gragson, who originally finished fourth was disqualified for failing post-race technical inspection. The team violated Rule 20.14.c in the NASCAR Rule Book, which says, “All suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension and/or drivetrain component beyond normal rotation or suspension and/or drivetrain travel.” Gragson’s Dash 4 Cash bonus was stripped and awarded to Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger.
There were 13 leads changes among seven drivers. Gragson led a race high of 40 laps.
The Steakhouse Elite 200 saw nine cautions for 43 laps.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will visit Dover International Speedway on Saturday, May 15 for the Drydene 200. Live coverage will broadcast on FS1 at 1:30 p.m.
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images