Justin Allgaier isn’t sure if experience is a plus or minus

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 03: Justin Allgaier, driver of the #7 BRANDT Chevrolet, walks the grid during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 03, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran and perennial championship contender Justin Allgaier said Tuesday that sometimes being that experienced competitor works against him. Ranked third in the Playoff Standings with wins at Charlotte and Daytona (2), the 37-year-old driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet likes his title chances, but warned that having a lot of experience doesn’t necessarily translate into a season trophy.

“I think as a veteran and somebody that’s got experience, you sometimes come in a little more tentatively, maybe you don’t put yourself in positions you would even in the regular season to try to win races because you know that maybe sometimes being safe is a better route,” said Allgaier, whose best title run was runner-up in 2020.

“But winning races is also really ultra important. If you can win a race each round and lock your way into Phoenix, it’s a lot easier than it is to point your way in. I think sometimes with experience comes reservation. I’ve got plenty of gray hair here to prove that I’ve done my fair share of crashing. I think you just race differently than you would if you’re kinda young and tenacious and have a little bit of a different outlook on what it takes to be successful.

“I also don’t know how many more opportunities I’ll have,” Allgaier continued. “You never know when that next opportunity is going to come to have a shot to go for a championship, so you try to almost hold it in close and not let it go and sometimes I think, maybe throwing caution to the wind would be a better approach.”

Quick Notes: JR Motorsports announced this week it has re-signed driver Sam Mayer for a third season. The 20-year-old will be competing in his second NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs this year and was optimistic about an extended future with a championship team. “It really has become a home for me, and we’ve obviously had a lot of success together as an organization.” Mayer earned his first two career series wins this year and conceded with a smile “winning solves everything”. … Mayer’s JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry will be making his second NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff run in the No. 8 JRM Chevrolet before moving to the Stewart-Haas Racing NASCAR Cup Series team next year seceding retiring driver Kevin Harvick in the team’s No. 4 SHR Ford. Berry said he definitely thinks about his decade-long tenure with JRM driving late models and in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. “I’m still trying to process that. At this point, I’m trying to enjoy it a little bit and not worry so much about the last seven races and reflect on the past decade. No matter what happens this last Playoff run, I’m extremely grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had at JR Motorsports. They changed my life. Dale changed my life and Kelly and everybody there had an influence on me.”