Allmendinger Wins Michigan Xfinity Race after Three Overtimes
BROOKYN, MI – RIS - AJ Allmendinger won his second straight Xfinity Series race in a triple overtime win at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. Allmendinger held off Brandon Jones, who finished runner-up after multiple overtimes due to cautions toward the end of the event.
“The outside was the place to be, you just hoped to be pushed — so Brandon Jones thank you for that” Allmendinger said
Allmendinger starter the race on the pole and though he drove out to a two-second margin.. Austin Cindric won the stage when everyone pitted during the stage break. When Cindric pitted, he found his No. 22 Ford back in the pack. Cindric found that problematic as the second stage. began in chaos as cars got stacked, which started with contact between Myatt Snider and Ty Gibbs, who Snider blamed for the chain reaction, which saw seven cars involved, including Bubba Wallace, Cindric, Daniel Hemric and Justin Haley.
“We just got collected in a wreck by the cars that decided to stay out” without pitting after the first stage, Cindric said. “Unfortunately, that is something you see often in this series. It is enough that I am not going to complain about it, you just have to understand it is possible. We had some guys get loose and spin out and I couldn’t miss them. I thought we had the fastest car out there today. In some ways,
“I feel like that is a bold statement coming from me but our guys did an amazing job on this Ford Mustang, and I wish we could have contended for the rest of the race because I think we would have had a shot.”
After the chaos, everything resumed to normal. Jeb Burton led most of the stage’s remaining laps until Allmendinger took the lead from Burton to win the second stage. This was Allmendinger’s eighth stage win of the season after coming into the 2021 season with four.
The final stage saw the top lane be the dominant lane once again as Allmendinger drove away from the field. As Allmendinger led, Justin Allgaier and Josh Berry were closing the gap, and Berry made a wild three-wide pass around the two as they approached lapped traffic and weaved his Chevy between two lapped cars to take the top spot and drove away over by two seconds once again
Allmendinger took the lead from Berry (who was driving in place of injured Michael Annett) on a restart with five laps to go when a caution sent the race into overtime.
Two more yellow flags before the white flag kept the pressure on the No. 16 Chevrolet, but Allmendinger held the lead for his eighth career victory in Xfinity by choosing the outside lane on the 2-mile oval for each restart.
“Front row, the outside was the place to be,” Allmendinger said. “You just had to be pushed. Brandon Jones, thank you so much. He pushed me every time.
“I don’t want to wake up from this dream.”
Due to the overtime periods,the race ended on Lap 139, 14 laps beyond its scheduled distance after the three attempts at a green-white-checkered that left the outcome in doubt for a race that already was up for grabs.
As the race wore on, several teams tried a fuel strategy. Harrison Burton ran out of fuel near the end of the race. Jason Allgaier took only fuel on the last stop, but when Burton ran out of fuel, he was forced to pit. With accidents happening frequently, the race ended up having to have three overtimes to finish. In the end, Allmendinger was able to take a narrow win.
“Wow, what a hell of a six days,” Allmendinger told pit reporters after a typically exuberant celebration that had the crowd chanting “AJ! AJ! AJ!” after he climbed the frontstretch catchfence. “Oh my goodness. This is what’s awesome, though, to have all the fans back. Indy last weekend was spectacular. Michigan, thank you guys. You guys make it fun.”
“I’m more tired from the celebrations than I am from driving.” Resting up might be advised because next week the Xfinity series heads to Daytona International Speedway next
Pos Driver Car # Make Started
1 AJ Allmendinger 16 Chevrolet 2
2 Brandon Jones 19 Toyota 24
3 Noah Gragson 9 Chevrolet 4
4 Josh Berry 1 Chevrolet 17
5 Harrison Burton 20 Toyota 6
6 Justin Allgaier 7 Chevrolet 5
7 Riley Herbst 98 Ford 8
8 Brett Moffitt 02 Chevrolet 20
9 Jade Buford 48 Chevrolet 19
10 Bubba Wallace 61 Toyota 36
11 Jeremy Clements 51 Chevrolet 11
12 Ryan Sieg 39 Ford 23
13 Ty Gibbs 54 Toyota 10
14 Matt Mills 105 Toyota 27
15 Jordan Anderson 31 Chevrolet 31
16 Tyler Reddick 23 Chevrolet 22
17 Justin Haley 11 Chevrolet 3
18 Josh Williams 92 Chevrolet 14
19 Tommy Joe Martins 44 Chevrolet 18
20 Colin Garrett 26 Toyota 29
21 Ryan Vargas 6 Chevrolet 35
22 David Starr 66 Toyota 37
23 Jeffrey Earnhardt 0 Chevrolet 30
24 Kyle Weatherman 47 Chevrolet 21
25 Colby Howard 15 Chevrolet 38
26 Landon Cassill 4 Chevrolet 15
27 Gray Gaulding 52 Chevrolet 40
28 Carson Ware 17 Chevrolet 28
29 Jeb Burton 10 Chevrolet 12
30 Mason Massey 178 Chevrolet 26
31 Alex Labbe 36 Chevrolet 13
32 Jesse Little 199 Chevrolet 33
33 Sam Mayer 8 Chevrolet 16
34 Bayley Currey 74 Chevrolet 39
35 Caesar Bacarella 90 Chevrolet 34
36 Myatt Snider 2 Chevrolet 9
37 Austin Cindric 22 Ford 1
38 Joe Graf Jr. 07 Chevrolet 32
39 Daniel Hemric 18 Toyota 7
40 Brandon Brown 68 Chevrolet 25
RIS NASCAR Editor. Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.