|AJ Allmendinger wins at Atlanta|
|Chris Graythen | Getty Images|
A.J. Allmendinger made the most of other driver’s misfortunes to score the victory in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Allmendinger inherited the lead when three of the fastest cars on the day – Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric and Justin Allgaier – were all hit with speeding penalties on the final round of pit stops on the day.
Allmendinger powered to the lead on the final restart, and drove away from the competition en route to his fourth career series win.
It marks the first ever career win on an oval track for the 38-year-old, who can boast wins on road and street courses in various forms of motorsports – including a win in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2012.
"Oh my God, I won on an oval! You like that?" said Allmendinger after climbing from his car on the front stretch.
The win comes in Allmendinger’s first series start at Atlanta. He can boast 13 NASCAR Cup Series starts at the speedway, with a best finish of sixth coming for Richard Petty Motorsports back in 2010.
"It's Atlanta, so you're trying to figure out how much tire to use early," said Allmendinger. The car was awesome one long runs. The car was better than the driver early, too, especially. But once I got in the lead, just tried to hit my marks, which is hard to do."
[adinserter name="GOOGLE AD"]The victory comes as Allmendinger is running a limited schedule for Kaulig Racing. He made his first start of the year last week at Bristol, where he recorded a 10th place finish.
"(I) can't thank everyone at Kaulig Racing, Leaf Filter gutter protection, just everybody that's associated with this team," Allmendinger said.
Noah Gragson followed in second, good enough to collect the $100,000 Xfinity "Dash 4 Cash" bonus.
"We fought a lot of adversity out there," said Gragson. "I drove through two many pit boxes on one of the pit stops and had to go to the back. But this Axalta, Echo Park team never gave up."
With about 38 laps to go, Chase Briscoe looked to have the win in hand. After chasing leader Austin Cindric through much of the race’s second segment, Briscoe’s crew got him off pit road first after the end of the segment.
Briscoe then managed to get away from Cindric, who appeared to have the dominant car through the first half of the race.
Briscoe held a healthy lead until a spin on lap 124 by Vinnie Miller brought out the final caution of the day, with the leaders hitting pit road for their final stops.
Briscoe’s team again got him off pit road first, with Justin Allgaier following in second and Allmendinger in third.
That’s when the wheels came off for the three strongest cars in the field, as Briscoe, Allgaier and Cindric were all slapped with pit road speeding penalties.
Allgaier would recover to finish in sixth, with Briscoe in ninth. Cindric was mired back in 16th position at the end of the day.
Meanwhile, Allmendinger quickly pulled away on the final restart, while Gragson moved to second. At one point, Gragson closed to within a second of the leader, but in the end, Allmendinger stretched his advantage out to almost two seconds before the end.
Justin Haley, who was hit with two pit road penalties on the day, finished in third, with Daniel Hemric in fourth and Harrison Burton in fifth.
Allgaier, Ross Chastain, Brandon Jones, Briscoe and Anthony Alfredo rounded out the top 10.
Allmendinger, Gragson, Haley and Hemric will try to score the big money is the next "Dash 4 Cash" $100,000 event, scheduled for Sunday, June 14 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
|1||30||16||AJ Allmendinger||C2 Freight Resources Chevrolet||163||37||48||Running|
|2||1||9||Noah Gragson||Axalta/EchoPark Automotive Chevrolet||163||6||45||Running|
|3||4||11||Justin Haley||LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet||163||8||46||Running|
|4||2||8||Daniel Hemric||Poppy Bank Chevrolet||163||0||46||Running|
|5||5||20||Harrison Burton #||Hunt Brothers Pizza/DEX Imaging Toyota||163||0||34||Running|
|6||3||7||Justin Allgaier||BRANDT Chevrolet||163||1||41||Running|
|7||11||10||Ross Chastain||Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet||163||0||47||Running|
|8||12||19||Brandon Jones||Toyota Service Centers Toyota||163||0||29||Running|
|9||9||98||Chase Briscoe||HighPoint.com Ford||163||40||40||Running|
|10||24||21||Anthony Alfredo||Death Wish Coffee Chevrolet||163||0||27||Running|
|11||21||1||Michael Annett||Flexfit 110 Chevrolet||163||3||28||Running|
|12||10||68||Brandon Brown||Jabs Construction Chevrolet||163||0||25||Running|
|13||20||51||Jeremy Clements||All South Electric Chevrolet||163||0||24||Running|
|14||13||2||Brett Moffitt(i)||FR8Auctions Chevrolet||163||0||0||Running|
|15||34||15||Colby Howard||SANY America Chevrolet||163||0||22||Running|
|16||8||22||Austin Cindric||Menards/Tuscany Faucets Ford||163||68||41||Running|
|17||6||18||Riley Herbst #||Monster Energy Toyota||163||0||24||Running|
|18||31||74||Bayley Currey(i)||Mutt and Jeff Porkskins Inc. Chevrolet||163||0||0||Running|
|19||32||36||Ronnie Bassett Jr||RacingHeroCards/StickyStuff Chevrolet||162||0||18||Running|
|20||14||4||Jesse Little #||Tufco Flooring Chevrolet||162||0||17||Running|
|22||33||44||Tommy Joe Martins||Gilreath Farms Chevrolet||162||0||15||Running|
|23||25||99||Mason Massey||Gerber Collision & Glass Toyota||162||0||14||Running|
|24||22||7||Garrett Smithley||Matt Laughridge for Congress Chevrolet||162||0||13||Running|
|25||17||6||BJ McLeod||JD Motorsports Chevrolet||162||0||12||Running|
|26||27||8||Joe Graf Jr. #||CORE Development Group Chevrolet||162||0||11||Running|
|27||15||90||Alex Labbe||Larue Snowblowers Chevrolet||162||0||10||Running|
|28||23||92||Josh Williams||Coolray Heating & AC Chevrolet||162||0||9||Running|
|29||35||93||Myatt Snider||Louisiana Hot Sauce Chevrolet||161||0||8||Running|
|30||26||5||Matt Mills||J.F. Electric Chevrolet||161||0||7||Running|
|31||19||78||Vinnie Miller||Koolbox Chevrolet||156||0||6||Running|
|32||28||47||Joe Nemechek(i)||Patriots of America PAC Chevrolet||129||0||0||Suspension|
|33||29||61||Timmy Hill(i)||RoofClaim.com Toyota||87||0||0||Alternator|
|34||18||13||Chad Finchum||SMITHBILT HOMES Toyota||50||0||3||Suspension|
|35||7||39||Ryan Sieg||CMRRoofing.com Chevrolet||47||0||2||Engine|
|36||37||66||Stephen Leicht||CrashClaimsR.us Toyota||8||0||1||Clutch|