Allmendinger fights back from penalty, wins Mid-Ohio Xfinity race

A.J. Allmendinger came back from a late-race penalty to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Mid-Ohio in a Kaulig Racing 1-2 finish.

Race winner A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, Chevrolet Camaro
Race winner A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, Chevrolet Camaro
IndyCar team owner Michael Shank and A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, Chevrolet Camaro
Race winner A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, Chevrolet Camaro
Race winner A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, Chevrolet Camaro
Race winner A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, Chevrolet Camaro

It seemed as though Austin Cindric had the victory within his grasp as he led the race with seven laps to go, over ten seconds clear of the field.

However, the stranded car of Jeb Burton brought out a caution and forced a restart.

Allmendinger made an aggressive move to the inside entering Turn 1, taking the leaders three-wide. The pass was completed cleanly, but contact ensued soon after behind the eventual race winner. 

 

Cindric would go spinning off track, dashing his hopes of a race win. Soon after, a three-car incident would result in yet another caution which pushed the race into overtime.

Brett Moffitt was in a strong position to challenge for the race win, set to restart on the front row when disaster struck. The car stalled and he fell to the tail of the field.

Back at the front, Allmendinger and teammate Justin Haley were able to keep Ty Gibbs at bay and secure a 1-2 finish for the team, despite some rather noticeable left front damage on Haley's car.

It was Allmendinger's seventh career NXS win and his second of the 2021 season.

"This is (team owner) Matt Kaulig's 'Super Bowl'. Every win is important, but we know how important this race track and the community in northeast Ohio is to him and all the charity work that he does and all the companies that he works with," Allmendinger said.

"It's a special place for Matt and because of that I put a little bit more pressure on myself to try to win the race. We came with a little bit different set-up that we've not tried in the past. It was awesome. There was so much speed.

"With the pit penalty, I knew with no yellows we weren't going to win just because (Cindric) was so far out there. I was going to get to second. Once that restart was happening, I made a decision coming to the green that I was either going to win or I was going to crash. It worked out the right way."

Haley, Gibbs, Brandon Jones and Andy Lally rounded out the top-five. Brandon Brown, Michael Annett, Josh Berry, Ryan Sieg and Josh Williams filled out the remainder of the top-ten.

Stage 1

The race got off to a slow start when Noah Gragson ended up off track, sustaining race-ending nose damage. He would not be the only one who ended up out of the race in the opening stage with Harrison Burton's race ending in an off-track excursion as well.

The second caution of the race came when Tommy Joe Martins car went up in smoke.

Several cars, led by Gibbs opted to pit short of the stage-end in an effort to gain track position. 

Allmendinger would go on to claim the Stage 1 win ahead of Cindric, Haley, J. Burton, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Riley Herbst, Alex Labbe, Michael Annett and Jeremy Clements

Stage 2

Gibbs inherited the lead for the start of the second stage. Cindric and Allmendinger fought their way back through the field until a caution with ten laps to go in the stage for the stalled car of Clements.

Cindric took the opportunity to pit as most of the leaders stayed out. 

Allgaier also went behind the wall with his own issues, continuing a difficult day for JR Motorsports.

Allmendinger was able to take the lead from Gibbs on the restart, but both replicated their Stage 1 strategy and pitted short of the green-and-white checkered flag. Many cars did the same, leaving Justin Haley to claim the stage win.

He was followed by Jones, J. Burton, Herbst, Cindric, Labbe, Snider, Brown, Annett and Ellis.

Stage 3

A penalty for Allmendinger forced him to start from the rear of the field as the final stage got underway. Cindric led the way and drove away from the competition, amassing a massive lead as Allmendinger cut through the pack.

Cindric led Gibbs by nearly 11 seconds when the race-altering yellow for a stranded car changed everything just seven laps shy of the finish. At the time, Allmendinger had fought his way back up to third.

Allmendinger led 23 laps on his way to the race win. Cindric led the most laps at 30, but finished a disappointing 14th after his late-race incident.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 16 United States A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 78 2:39'35.285     23
2 11 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 78 2:39'36.094 0.809 0.809 7
3 54 Ty Gibbs Toyota 78 2:39'36.808 1.523 0.714 16
4 19 United States Brandon Jones Toyota 78 2:39'39.092 3.807 2.284  
5 23 United States Andy Lally Chevrolet 78 2:39'39.770 4.485 0.678  
6 68 United States Brandon Brown Chevrolet 78 2:39'40.034 4.749 0.264  
7 1 United States Michael Annett Chevrolet 78 2:39'40.598 5.313 0.564  
8 31 Josh Berry Chevrolet 78 2:39'42.418 7.133 1.820  
9 39 United States Ryan Sieg Chevrolet 78 2:39'42.525 7.240 0.107 2
10 92 United States Josh Williams Chevrolet 78 2:39'43.237 7.952 0.712  
11 36 Canada Alex Labbé Chevrolet 78 2:39'43.372 8.087 0.135  
12 18 United States Daniel Hemric Toyota 78 2:39'44.864 9.579 1.492  
13 48 United States Jade Buford Chevrolet 78 2:39'45.441 10.156 0.577  
14 22 United States Austin Cindric Ford 78 2:39'45.492 10.207 0.051 30
15 17 United States Cody Ware Chevrolet 78 2:39'46.564 11.279 1.072  
16 10 United States Jeb Burton Chevrolet 78 2:39'46.861 11.576 0.297  
17 52 United States Gray Gaulding Chevrolet 78 2:39'47.122 11.837 0.261  
18 4 United States Ryan Vargas Chevrolet 78 2:39'47.719 12.434 0.597  
19 66 Matt Jaskol Toyota 78 2:39'48.235 12.950 0.516  
20 6 United States Landon Cassill Chevrolet 78 2:39'48.479 13.194 0.244  
21 98 Riley Herbst Ford 78 2:39'48.928 13.643 0.449  
22 15 Colby Howard Chevrolet 78 2:39'49.717 14.432 0.789  
23 5 United States Matt Mills Chevrolet 78 2:39'50.384 15.099 0.667  
24 78 United States Jesse Little Chevrolet 78 2:39'52.019 16.734 1.635  
25 90 Preston Pardus Chevrolet 78 2:40'01.150 25.865 9.131  
26 47 United States Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet 78 2:40'02.416 27.131 1.266  
27 8 Miguel Paludo Chevrolet 78 2:40'08.549 33.264 6.133  
28 99 United States Ryan Ellis Toyota 78 2:40'13.420 38.135 4.871  
29 2 United States Myatt Snider Chevrolet 78 2:40'15.439 40.154 2.019  
30 07 Joe Jr. Chevrolet 77 2:40'28.052 1 Lap 1 Lap  
31 02 United States Brett Moffitt Chevrolet 75 2:35'24.770 3 Laps 2 Laps  
32 26 United States Kris Wright Toyota 71 2:22'45.150 7 Laps 4 Laps  
33 51 United States Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 68 2:39'52.331 10 Laps 3 Laps  
34 0 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 68 2:39'52.766 10 Laps 0.435  
35 7 United States Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 67 2:39'47.335 11 Laps 1 Lap  
36 61 United States David Starr Toyota 66 2:39'51.530 12 Laps 1 Lap  
37 74 United States Bayley Currey Chevrolet 30 1:57'34.680 48 Laps 36 Laps  
38 20 United States Harrison Burton Toyota 19 40'44.606 59 Laps 11 Laps  
39 44 United States Tommy Joe Martins Chevrolet 7 16'15.978 71 Laps 12 Laps  
40 9 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet 0 1.668 78 Laps 7 Laps  

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