The part-time Cup Series team announced on September 29 that JR Motorsports driver Justin Allgaier will take over the No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro for the YellaWood 500. He will make his second start of the 2022 Cup Series season. His first was at the Bristol Motor Speedway dirt race while driving for Spire Motorsports.
Allgaier has made 80 Cup Series starts in his career with one top-10 finish. He finished eighth at Bristol Motor Speedway during the 2015 season. Now he will try to turn in a solid performance for Beard Motorsports in what will be his sixth start at Talladega Superspeedway.
None of Allgaier’s past five starts at Talladega Superspeedway have resulted in a top-20 finish for various reasons. His best run was a 23rd-place finish during the 2015 season. Allgaier’s last two starts, in particular, resulted in 42nd and 40th-place finishes due to an engine failure and a crash.
Allgaier’s Will Make a ‘Cold’ Start in the No. 62
Allgaier will not have any time to learn about how the Next Gen cars handle on superspeedways. None of the national NASCAR series will take part in practice sessions, a change that the sanctioning body made for the 2022 season. Allgaier will just head out in the No. 62 Chevrolet and qualify on October 1 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Following the qualifying session, Allgaier will take on the Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway on October 1 (4 p.m. ET, USA Network) as he fights for a spot in the Round of Eight. He will then cap off the weekend on October 2 with the YellaWood 500 Cup Series race at 2 p.m. ET (NBC).
Allgaier will not drive the standard white, black, and blue Beard Oil Chevrolet as he makes his first superspeedway start of the Next Gen era. Instead, he will climb into a stock car with a special scheme. Beard Motorsports will switch out all of the blue numbers and text for pink versions for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
A Surprising Announcement Set Up the Driver Change
The driver change was unexpected for members of the racing industry. They expected Gragson to pull double-duty while making the Cup Series start for Beard Motorsports, his second of the year at Talladega Superspeedway. However, the situation changed on September 29.
Alex Bowman released a statement ahead of Talladega weekend and said that he would not drive the No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro after undergoing evaluation for concussion-like symptoms. He said that he would follow all of the medical guidelines to ensure that he could return to competition.
With Bowman out of the lineup, HMS needed to turn to Gragson. The JR Motorsports driver had actually signed a contract to serve as the replacement driver for the four-car lineup during the 2022 Cup Series season. Now he will take on that role while Allgaier replaces him in the No. 62 Chevrolet Camaro.