CONCORD, N.C. — With 12 NASCAR Xfinity Series races in the books, it may come as a surprise to hear that JR Motorsports has yet to visit victory lane.
And it’s not like the four-car team hasn’t had a shot at it.
JRM’s Chevrolet drivers are Justin Allgaier (No. 7), Sam Mayer (No. 1), Josh Berry (No. 8) and Brandon Jones (No. 9) — they’ve recorded four runner-up results and 13 top-five finishes.
But a win has eluded the powerhouse Xfinity Series operation, which had three drivers finish in the Championship Four last year and collected 15 total wins. Allgaier explained the absence of a win does not reflect a lack of effort for JRM.
“You don’t work any less to run bad,” Allgaier noted. “It just seems like every time we get close, something happens … We’re one caution away or we’re one pit stop away, just things haven’t worked out in our favor.”
The No. 7 driver is also insistent that he’s “not sad” about his performance by any means. Allgaier has finished inside the top three at six races this season and is proud of his efforts.
His self-admitted Achilles heel has been speeding on pit road. But on Friday afternoon, Allgaier was cautiously optimistic about avoiding the same mistake during Saturday’s Alsco Uniforms 200 at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
“There are no corners on pit road here, so I feel like I’m in pretty good shape,” Allgaier joked. “But if I could just not speed on pit road, I feel like there’s two or three instances where we significantly changed the landscape of the race.”
To add to Allgaier’s enthusiasm, he’ll be starting from pole for the first time this season — an accomplishment that feels like a small, but vital, accomplishment.
However, it doesn’t change the fact that JRM is getting impatient.
“It goes all the way to the top. Dale (Earnhardt Jr.), Kelley (Earnhardt-Miller), L.W. (Miller) and Joe Mattis. Our whole organization wants to get back to where we were at. I think we had like 15 wins last year total between our group,” Allgaier said.
“We have meetings on meetings and preparations on preparations to make sure we’re ready to go for these weekends. I think that’s what will be the difference maker for our team,” he continued.
With 15 races left until the start of the playoffs, JRM’s strategy is primarily focused on peaking at the right time. Allgaier is aware that any bonus points he can pick up in the regular season will be key for a potential playoff run this fall.
“If it doesn’t happen this week and we don’t win, it’s not the end of the world for us. We still have a lot of races to go,” Allgaier said. “But we want to make sure that, when the playoffs start, we put ourselves in a good position.”
Allgaier will lead the 38-car Xfinity Series field to the green at Charlotte Motor Speedway, while Jones will start fifth, Mayer eighth and Berry 14th.