A.J. Allmendinger Scores an Xfinity Win in Vegas

Photo:  Chase Stevens/AP

LAS VEGAS, NV – RIS – A.J. Allmendinger won the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday afternoon.  It was the first win in his comeback season after spending some years in television commentary recently. 

Allmendinger this year agreed to his first fulltime season since 2018 in a deal with Kaulig Racing. He’s friends with team owner Matt Kaulig and has slowly been lured back into NASCAR as a favor to the team. Allmendinger ran last year in 11 races he was entered solely to win for the team. Kaulig then convinced Allmendinger to run for the Xfinity Series championship while also helping the organization move to Cup next season.

The victory was the sixth in the Xfinity Series for Allmendinger, who retired at the end of the 2018 season rather than drive for an uncompetitive team.

“It’s emotional, hell, you don’t know when you are going to do this again,” Allmendinger said. “You never know if this is the last one. Matt Kaulig, I love you man.”

Allmendinger led 44 laps, including the final 13 after passing Daniel Hemric on the restart.  Hemric finished second and led a race-high 74 laps in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Brandon Jones, his JGR teammate, was third.  Austin Cindric was fourth in a Ford for Team Penske and Noah Gragson, the Las Vegas native, was fifth in a Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.

Gragson was followed across the finish line by teammates Michael Annett and Josh Berry in three top-10s for JRM. Annett is mourning the unexpected death of his father earlier this week.  IndyCar driver Santino Ferrucci, in his second NASCAR race, finished 13th.

Ty Dillon has had a terrible run through three races with Joe Gibbs Racing. A broken radiator ended his race last week at Homestead and he crashed with 20 laps remaining Saturday when the battery in his spotter’s radio died.

Stewart Hass Racing driver Riley Herbst‘s race ended after Ty Dillon lost control of his car and hit Herbst. Herbst finished last in the 40-car field. In the season’s first four races, he’s placed 26th, 39th, 11th and 40th.

“It just sucks,” Herbst said. “People spin in front of you. It’s happened probably the last three weeks where people have started wrecking in front of me and there’s no place for me to go, so something has got to change.”

Ryan Sieg finished 38th after he spun and had the front of his car damaged when he went through the grass. He’s finished 27th or worse in three of the season’s first four races.

Reigning series champion Austin Cindric is the only driver to finish in the top five in all four Xfinity races this season.

Unofficial Results: 25th Annual Alsco Uniforms 300: March 6, 2021, Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1)         10, AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Ellsworth Advisors Chevrolet, 200, 4, 2, 3, 44, 5, 56, Running
2)         3, Daniel Hemric, No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota, 200, 3, 1, 8, 74, 1, 53, Running
3)         4, Brandon Jones, No. 19 Menards/Turtle Wax Toyota, 200, 5, 4, 4, 28, , 47, Running
4)         2, Austin Cindric, No. 22 Carquest Auto Parts Ford, 200, 1, 10, 2, 43, 1, 44, Running
5)         34, Noah Gragson, No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, 200, 8, 7, , , , 39, Running
6)         13, Michael Annett, No. 1 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet, 200, 6, 6, , , , 41, Running
7)         9, Josh Berry #, No. 8 FilterTime Chevrolet, 200, , , , , , 30, Running
8)         6, Justin Haley, No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 200, 2, , 1, 5, , 38, Running
9)         22, Harrison Burton, No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota, 200, , 8, , , , 31, Running
10)       5, Jeb Burton, No. 10 Alsco Uniforms Chevrolet, 200, , , , , , 27, Running
11)       25, Brandon Brown, No. 68 GreenTech Energy Chevrolet, 200, , 9, , , , 28, Running
12)       40, Tyler Reddick(i), No. 23 Quartz Hill Records Chevrolet, 200, , , , , , 0, Running
13)       23, Santino Ferrucci, No. 26 HydraVes Technologies Toyota, 200, , , , , , 24, Running
14)       37, Justin Allgaier, No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet, 200, 7, 3, 4, 4, , 35, Running
15)       21, Tommy Joe Martins, No. 44 Discover Denton Texas Chevrolet, 200, , , , , , 22, Running
16)       24, Josh Williams, No. 92 Silverton Casino & Hotel Chevrolet, 200, , , , , , 21, Running
17)       8, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 First Pacific Funding Chevrolet, 199, , , , , , 20, Running
18)       26, Joe Graf Jr., No. 07 Bucked Up Energy Chevrolet, 199, , , , , , 19, Running
19)       30, Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 0 KSDT CPA Chevrolet, 199, , , , , , 18, Running
20)       38, Colby Howard, No. 15 Project Hope Foundation Chevrolet, 199, , , , , , 17, Running
21)       14, Landon Cassill, No. 4 TeamJDMotorsports.com Chevrolet, 199, , , , , , 16, Running
22)       39, Bayley Currey, No. 74 Lerner & Rowe Chevrolet, 199, , , , , , 15, Running
23)       35, Ryan Vargas #, No. 6 KSDT CPA Chevrolet, 199, , , , , , 14, Running
24)       15, Garrett Smithley, No. 17 Trophy Tractor Chevrolet, 199, , , , , , 13, Running
25)       16, Dexter Bean, No. 90 Badger Environmental Chevrolet, 198, , , , , , 12, Running
26)       32, Jesse Little, No. 78 Skuttle Tight Toyota, 198, , , , , , 11, Running
27)       36, Gray Gaulding, No. 52 SVS Vision Chevrolet, 198, , , , , , 10, Running
28)       29, Chad Finchum, No. 61 LasVegas.net Toyota, 198, , , , , , 9, Running
29)       28, David Starr, No. 13  Ford, 198, , , , , , 8, Running
30)       27, Jade Buford, No. 48 Big Machine Spiked Coolers Chevrolet, 196, , , , , , 7, Running
31)       20, Ty Dillon, No. 54 Toyota Service Centers/Mobil 1 Toyota, 195, 10, , 1, 2, , 7, Running
32)       1, Myatt Snider, No. 2 TaxSlayer Chevrolet, 191, , , , , , 5, Running
33)       19, Kyle Weatherman, No. 47 PORAC Chevrolet, 184, , , , , , 4, Running
34)       7, Brett Moffitt(i), No. 02  Chevrolet, 181, , 5, , , , 0, Accident
35)       17, Alex Labbe, No. 36 Prolon/rousseau/Silver Wax Chevrolet, 181, , , , , , 2, Accident
36)       33, Stefan Parsons, No. 99 Springrates Toyota, 137, , , , , , 1, Fuel Line
37)       18, Timmy Hill, No. 66 CrashClaimsR.Us Toyota, 100, , , , , , 1, Engine
38)       11, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 CMR Construction and Roofing Ford, 73, , , , , , 1, Accident
39)       31, Matt Mills, No. 5 J.F. Electric Chevrolet, 72, , , , , , 1, Electrical
40)       12, Riley Herbst, No. 98 South Point Ford, 56, 9, , , , , 3, Accident
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

Time: 2 Hrs, 38 Mins, 10 Secs.
Race Length: 200 Laps, 300. Miles
Average Speed: 113.804 MPH
Margin of Victory: .978 Seconds

Stage 1 Top 10: 22, 11, 18, 16, 19, 1, 7, 9, 98, 54
Stage 2 Top 10: 18, 16, 7, 19, 02, 1, 9, 20, 68, 22

Comments: AJ Allmendinger has won the Alsco Uniforms 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his sixth victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field for the reasons indicated: No. 0 (unapproved adjustments), No. 17 (driver change).

Failed to Qualify: (3) 77 Ronnie Bassett Jr., 31 Jordan Anderson #, 03 Andy Lally.

Caution Flags: 8 for 45 laps;
Laps: 18-25 (No. 99 Spin Turn 4 / Competition [None]);
47-52 (Stage 1 Conclusion [99]);
57-62 (No. 1, 54, 98 Incident Turn 2 [22]);
66-69 (No. 39 Incident Frontstretch [74]);
73-76 (No. 11, 8 Incident Turn 3 [74]);
92-97 (Stage 2 Conclusion [99]);
175-179 (No. 20, 22 Incident Frontstretch [26]);
182-187 (No. 54, 02, 36, 17, 13 Incident Backstretch [10]).

Lead Changes: 23 among 7 drivers;
M. Snider 0;
D. Hemric 1;
A. Cindric 2-25;
D. Hemric 26-28;
A. Cindric 29-47;
B. Jones 48;
D. Hemric 49-62;
J. Allgaier 63;
D. Hemric 64-68;
J. Allgaier 69;
D. Hemric 70-75;
J. Allgaier 76;
D. Hemric 77-92;
J. Allgaier 93;
B. Jones 94-118;
D. Hemric 119-138;
A. Allmendinger 139-148;
B. Jones 149;
J. Haley 150-154;
A. Allmendinger 155-175;
B. Jones 176;
T. Dillon 177-178;
D. Hemric 179-187;
A. Allmendinger 188-200.

Mobil 1 Driver of the Race:  AJ Allmendinger, No. 16

Sunoco Rookie of the Race:  Josh Berry, No. 8

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2021, Issue 3, Posted 8:51 PM, 03.06.2021