Josh Berry beats teammate Allgaier in JRM sweep at Las Vegas

(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

LAS VEGAS (AP) Josh Berry moved teammate Justin Allgaier out of the way with 42 laps remaining Saturday night to win the Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

It was the opener of the seven-race Xfinity Series playoffs and Allgaier, who started the race ranked third, could have used the win to strengthen his championship chances. Instead, the victory went to his JR Motorsports teammate.

It was tough, me and Justin have raced a lot this year and most of them he's gotten the better of me," Berry said. "It's cool we were able to get one."

The victory didn't carry the same weight for Berry, who is running a partial schedule this year for JRM. But he earned his first career win.

He thanked Annett for allowing him to drive his car the pasty earlier this year at Martinsville to spark a funding push that has earned Berry a promotion to full-time next year.

At Las Vegas, he earned his second career Xfinity Series victory while filling in for injured teammate Michael Annett. He thanked Annett for letting him drive the No. 1 Chevrolet for three races so far as Annett recovers from a leg injury.

Allgaier finished second and although disappointed to lose to a teammate, he understood.

"This is a big deal for them," said Allgaier, who wanted the win to eliminate nerves headed into upcoming wild card races at Talladega and The Roval at Charlotte the next two weeks.

"That's part of the disappointment, not being able to check that box (winning) before going into the Roval and Talladega," Allgaier said. "Would have been nice to get a win, but we've got two more shots."

Allgaier was followed by Noah Gragson for a 1-2-3 podium sweep by the Chevrolets owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his sister. Allgaier led a race-high 90 laps.

Austin Cindric, the reigning Xfinity Series champion, finished fourth in a Ford for Team Penske. Daniel Hemric, who was announced earlier Saturday as next year's Xfinity driver for Kaulig Racing, was fifth in a Toyota.

AJ Allmendinger, the top seed and regular season champion, was seventh.

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Updated September 25, 2021

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