Justin Allgaier beats Martin Truex Jr. to win NASCAR Xfinity race at Atlanta

Justin Allgaier celebrates his win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series EchoPark 250 at Atlanta. Photo/Getty Images
Justin Allgaier celebrates his win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series EchoPark 250 at Atlanta. Photo/Getty Images

Justin Allgaier held off NASCAR Cup Series star Martin Truex Jr. Saturday to score one of the biggest wins of his career at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Justin Allgaier took control of the race after Truex made a mistake on pit road and held off a late rally by the former Cup Series champion. The win was the 15th career victory for Justin Allgaier.

"I've wanted to win at this place for a long time," said Justin Allgaier, who drives for Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s JR Motorsports.

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The win by Justin Allgaier capped a great day for JR Motorsports, which had gotten off to a tough start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Noah Gragson finished fourth, while Michael Annett finished seventh. Gragson got into a scuffle with Joe Gibbs Racing's Daniel Hemric on pit road after the race.

Justin Allgaier rallies from slow start

Allgiaer had also gotten off to a slow start with just one top-10 finish in the first five races of the season. His win in race number six, however, qualifies him for the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs.

"It didn't start like I wanted but the guys persevered," Justin Allgaier said. "Just proud of the effort they put in today. Martin had a great race car. He had the car to beat but we made great adjustments, and that was what it came down to."

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Truex dominated the first half of the race, winning Stage 1 and Stage 2. He suffered a major setback, however, when he was nabbed for speeding on pit road with 48 laps remaining.

The mistake dropped Truex to 20th in the running order on the restart with 40 laps to go. But Truex passed 11 cars in just two laps, charging into the top 10. In three more laps, he passed Noah Gragson for fifth.

When the leaders pitted under caution on with 31 laps remaining, Truex came off pit road fourth and restarted fifth on Lap 27. Truex passed Gragson for third with 22 laps remaining and began closing in on the leaders. He passed Harrsion Burton for second with 13 laps remaining but could not catch Allgaier.

"It was fun until I screwed it up," Truex said.

Edited by Jeff Owens
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