Allmendinger Victorious During a Rowdy Roval Race

Race number 2 in the Xfinity Series playoffs was held at the Charlotte ROVAL, a track that’s 50% oval and 50% road course, making it 100% chaotic. Despite racing on this track configuration last year, drivers had issues navigating the sharp turns and ended up wrecking several cars during the practice sessions; a trend that would continue well into the race.

LAP 1: The winner of this race last year, Chase Briscoe, started on the pole and was immediately under attack by Tyler Reddick when the green flag flew. That was until Reddick wheel-hopped and missed the backstretch chicane, having to come to a complete stop in the run-off area. Farther back in the field, more problems ensued in the chicane, this time involving Garett Smithley, JJ Yeley, and Josh Bilicki.

CAUTION – LAP 3: The yellow flag came out for the #52 of David Starr, who stalled on the apron in Turn 14. Meanwhile, playoff driver Justin Haley went to the garage with a mechanical issue. He returned to the track 6 laps down.

LAP 15: The #18 of Harrison Burton and the #10 of AJ Allmendinger both missed the chicane on the backstretch, forcing them to come to a complete stop in the run-off area before rejoining the track. Briscoe continued to lead after putting distance between himself and the 2nd place car of Austin Cindric.

STAGE 1 END – LAP 20: Chase Briscoe claimed the stage win, picking up a playoff point. Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Alex Labbe, and Jeremy Clements rounded out the top 5.

LAP 25: The restart saw Cole Custer in P1 after inheriting the lead on pit road. Custer quickly lost the top spot to Christopher Bell in Turn 4. Bell pulled away to a 0.8-second lead as Custer fell back to P3 when he was passed by AJ Allmendinger.

LAP 38: Pit strategy came into effect when Austin Cindric, Christopher Bell, and Allmendinger came to pit road just before the end of the stage while Cole Custer and Chase Briscoe stayed out.

STAGE 2 END – LAP 40: Cole Custer took his 7th stage win of the season. Briscoe, Tyler Reddick, Justin Allgaier, and Noah Gragson rounded out the top 5 and picked up points. During the stage break, the leaders pitted, cycling the lead to Bell.

CAUTION – LAP 44: On the restart, the field went 4-wide heading into Turn 1. Cole Custer, Chase Briscoe, Ryan Truex, and John Hunter Nemechek were spun as the cars stacked up.  Luckily, no one else was collected in the accident.

LAP 47: AJ Allmendinger made contact and bumped Christopher Bell out of the way to take the lead. If the name Allmendinger sounds familiar, it’s because he was a Cup Series driver in 2018 but currently runs only a part-time schedule in Xfinity with Kaulig Racing.

CAUTION – LAP 49: The #0 of Lawson Aschenbach was spun but Ray Black Jr in Turn 1.

CAUTION – LAP 56: In an intense battle for second place, Chase Briscoe shoved his #98 Ford Mustang on the inside of Christopher Bell in the front chicane.  Briscoe carried heavy speed and couldn’t completely make the turn, thus forcing Bell to cut the corner and miss the chicane. In retaliation, Bell spun Briscoe in Turn 2 after learning he had to do a stop-and-go penalty for cutting a corner of the chicane, which was seen as an unfair call from NASCAR given that Bell had nowhere to go. However, Bell failed to serve the stop-and-go on the apron or in the restart zone so it was served in the pit, therefore relegating Bell to the back of the field.

CAUTION – LAP 60: On the restart, the #19 of Brandon Jones was spun by John Hunter Nemechek resulting in a giant smoke cloud at the front of the field. Lack of clear vision caused drivers to scatter in an attempt to avoid contact; Bell going so far as to use the infield grass to escape the mayhem. The race originally stayed green, but by the time the cars made it to the front chicane, the yellow had to be waved for Ray Black Jr and Josh Williams who spun on the exit.

LAP 67: AJ Allmendinger managed to survive the last 4 laps to win at the roval, marking his 3rd career victory in the Xfinity Series

RESULTS:

  1. AJ Allmendinger
  2. Tyler Reddick
  3. Austin Cindric
  4. Justin Allgaier
  5. Noah Gragson
  6. Alex Labbe
  7. John Hunter Nemechek
  8. Cole Custer
  9. Chase Briscoe
  10. Ryan Truex
  11. Jeremy Clements
  12. Christopher Bell
  13. Harrison Burton
  14. Lawson Aschenbach
  15. Michael Annett
  16. Brandon Jones
  17. Brandon Brown
  18. Timmy Hill
  19. Spencer Leicht
  20. Josh Williams
  21. Joey Gase
  22. Joe Nemechek
  23. BJ McLeod
  24. Cody Ware
  25. Vinner Miller
  26. Josh Bilicki
  27. Preston Pardus
  28. Will Rogers
  29. Gray Gaulding
  30. Ryan Sieg
  31. Justin Haley
  32. Ray Black Jr
  33. Garrett Smithley
  34. David Starr
  35. Tommy Joe Martins
  36. Chad Finchum
  37. Bayley Currey
  38. JJ Yeley

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