• Sat. Apr 1st, 2023

AJ Allmendinger extends all-time Xfinity road course win lead at Indy

ByBrenden Martin

Jul 30, 2022
Allmendinger celebrates at Indianapolis


That is Kaulig Racing No. 16 AJ Allmendinger’s NASCAR Xfinity Series record on road courses. The veteran road course king defended his Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course victory in the Cup Series last year with his 13th career Xfinity win on Saturday.

“God I love this place,” Allmendinger said to NBC Sports. “Indy baby let’s go!”

His nine career Xfinity road course wins are nearly twice as many as the next drivers on that list. Marcos Ambrose and Austin Cindric are next with just five each.

The pole-sitter overcame a pair of slow pit stops with great restarts that flung him to the front of the field for the entire final stage.

The oddities that road courses bring to NASCAR came before the green flag even dropped. Our Motorsports No. 27 Jeb Burton had a broken trackbar that forced him to go to the garage as the field ran its opening pace laps.

Burton’s race ended before it even started, resulting in a dead last 38th-place result.

Allmendinger showed his road course prowess at the drop of the green flag, pulling away by multiple car lengths from Joe Gibbs Racing No, 54 Ty Gibbs by the end of Lap 1.

Drivers reported issues early on in Stage 1. DGM Racing No. 36 Alex Labbe had two major lockups while riding in the top 10, causing a flat spot in his tires.

Emerling Gase Motorsports No. 35 Parker Kligerman suffered brake issues from the very start. The recent NASCAR Truck Series winner at Mid-Ohio brought out the first caution on Lap 15 when he lost his brakes and careened into Alpha Prime Racing No. 44 Ryan Ellis at full speed.

Before the wreck, the No. 35 team had gone from taking a pit road penalty for too many men over the wall to removing the rev limiter chip in hopes the issue resolved. He was running three laps down when he caught Ellis as collateral.

The first pit road visit for the field was the first one with issues for Allmendinger. Trouble with the right rear sent the eventual winner from the lead down to 14th. With only two laps to go in Stage 1, Allmendinger moved his way back to ninth to earn two stage points.

JR Motorsports No. 9 Noah Gragson, last week’s winner at Pocono Raceway, and Jordan Anderson Racing No. 31 Myatt Snider were the only two to stay out before the end of the stage. The two held on to their spots to finish 1-2 with Gragson winning a stage for the second race in a row.

Gragson and Snider pitted before Stage 2, sending them to the back of the pack in return for the stage points.

Hendrick Motorsports No. 17 Alex Bowman started up front to begin Stage 2. One of a handful of Cup drivers in the field, Bowman looked to get extra laps under his belt for the Cup race on Sunday.

Gibbs, mired in the middle of the pack, got spun on Turn 1 by JR Motorsports No. 8 Josh Berry. Berry went ahead and spun the other Monster Energy car, Stewart Haas Racing No. 98 Riley Herbst, later that same lap.

The bumping and grinding itself didn’t bring out a caution, but debris on Turn 1 brought the yellow flag. Gragson got significant splitter damage in the skirmish. Originally going to stay out with the damage to preserve the track position he earned, NASCAR forced the No. 9 team to pit as the field went back green.

Pit strategy is always important at road courses and teams made sure they knew exactly when to pit. Richard Childress Racing No. 2 Sheldon Creed and Synder topped off on fuel the moment they knew they could make it to the end of the race.

Creed had slowly gotten back into the playoff race with back-to-back fifth-place finishes coming into this week and looked as if he could challenge for a postseason spot on points. He was once again battling in the top five when he was battling with JR Motorsports No. 7 Justin Allgaier.

Allgaier took some notable fender damage from Creed. Their battle allowed DGM Racing No. 92 Ross Chastain to catch up to Creed and spin him out while running on the rumble strips. Creed fell to 32nd.

Creed worked his way up to 23rd, putting him 50 points behind RSS Racing No. 39 Ryan Sieg for the last spot in the playoffs.

nbc nascar xfinity playoff graphic
Courtesy of NBC Sports
Chastain finished fourth as Allgaier passed him on the final lap. The finish is tied for the best result DGM Racing has had in the Xfinity Series, matching Alex Labbe’s fourth-place finish at a rainy Charlotte Roval in 2020.“I was running for everything I had,” Chastain said. “It’s incredible to be up there racing with those guys… I’m so sorry to Sheldon [Creed], that’s probably falling on deaf ears. I tried to give him more room than anybody and still got into him.”

Allmendinger and Bowman came down pit road as it closed with two laps to go in Stage 2, opening the door for Berry to take the Stage 2 win, joining his teammate Gragsin with a stage win and joining both Gragson and Allgaier as JRM cars with at least six stage wins this season.

Bowman beat Allmendinger off pit road before the stage end, giving him the lead on the final stage restart.

Allmendinger timed his restart on the front row perfectly as he passed Bowman on Lap 45 where he stayed for the rest of the race while the field went four-wide on Turn 1 behind them.

“I thought I could get him on the long run and just kind of ran out of time,” Bowman said to NBC Sports. “I probably was a little too nice on the last restart. I knew he was going to be better than us firing off.”

Allmendinger has now won his last two races at the Indy Road Course going back to his Cup win last year. He will look to defend that win and sweep the NASCAR road course weekend as he will operate the No. 16 car that he runs part-time on Sunday.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for the New Holland 250 on Saturday, August 6 at 3:30 ET in Brooklyn, Michigan.

The race can be viewed on USA Network and the NBC Sports App. It can also be listened to on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Race Results:

Points Standings:

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