Dover Dash 4 Cash battle could’ve been even more heated between Allgaier, Sadler

DOVER, Del. – If eventual race winner Justin Allgaier hadn’t been his JR Motorsports teammate, runner-up finisher Elliott Sadler said the outcome of Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway would have been “totally different.”

“Just (would have) bumped him going into Turn 3, that’s all,” said Sadler, who battled with Allgaier for the lead in the final laps. “It would have been a totally different outcome. I mean, I might have wrecked with him, but running for $100,000 in my sponsor’s race close to my sponsor’s headquarters with 7,000 people here watching … But Justin and I have way too much respect and work way too well as teammates.”

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Racing for a win is motivation enough, but the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize that Allgaier and Sadler were also battling for tacks on an extra reason to cross the start-finish line first. Saturday’s event marked the fourth and final Dash 4 Cash event, with Allgaier taking home his first $100,000 check of the season above Elliott, Brandon Jones (10th place) and Ryan Sieg (17th place).

“You’ve got to make the most out of the opportunities you’re given,” Allgaier said. “And they always say that luck is an opportunity with preparation. And I know we’ve been prepared; we’ve been prepared all year as best we can, we just needed the opportunity. Today, I knew Elliott was going to be fast, I knew that Brandon (Jones) was really strong early in the race. I think that Ryan (Sieg) got a penalty there toward the end; he had a strong day going …

“I hated that the four of us couldn’t battle it out — all four of us — but just an absolutely epic race.”

The final-laps battle with Sadler was particularly spirited, as the two teammates raced each other competitively but with great respect. Sadler, whose runner-up result at the Monster Mile marked his 10th top-10 finish in the season’s 10 races, won Dash 4 Cash at Richmond and Talladega and was going for his third prize.

“To be able to beat Elliott, to come to the line and get the Dash 4 Cash was awesome,” Allgaier said. “He’s won two in a row though, so he can’t really be mad at me for winning one of them.”

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At a glance, Saturday’s win and prize would appear to be about the driver Allgaier, who held onto the lead for his first win of the season. But for the No. 7 wheelman, it’s about the team.

So that’s where the Dash 4 Cash money will go.

“This money goes back and goes into these race cars and makes sure these cars are even better than they are currently,” Allgaier said. “That’s a big deal to us, making sure that we can put ourselves in position … To have three (JR Motorsports) cars last year in the final four at Homestead I think that just shows the strengths of our team. We’ve come out of the box this year firing strong; we want to keep that up … It’s really easy for programs to go up and down, it’s like a roller coaster …

“This money obviously is huge. It goes a long way … especially in today’s day and age when budgets are as tight as they are, any extra dollar that comes through the door – whether that be from a sponsor or the Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash – it makes a big difference.”