AJ Allmendinger Rallies for Dramatic NASCAR Xfinity Series Win at Mid-Ohio

J Allmendinger rallies for dramatic NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the  BL Transport 170 on Saturday afternoon.

AJ Allmendinger rallies for dramatic NASCAR Xfinity Series win at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in the  BL Transport 170 on Saturday afternoon.

With a remarkable run from the back of the field in the final stage at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, AJ Allmendinger charged to an overtime victory in Saturday’s B&L Transport 170 and tied Marcos Ambrose for the most NASCAR Xfinity Series road course wins all-time.

AJ Allmendinger Rallies for Dramatic NASCAR Xfinity Series Win at Mid-Ohio

The triumph at the home track of team owner Matt Kaulig was the fifth in the series on a road course for Allmendinger, the first two-time winner at the technical 2.258-mile, 13-turn circuit. Allmendinger went to Victory Lane in the inaugural event at the Lexington, Ohio, track in 2013.

After suffering a rear-of-the-field penalty for not taking the required 50 seconds on pit road under modified pit road rules, Allmendinger restarted 19th on lap 56 of a scheduled 75 and quickly began working his way through the field.

Cautions and Restarts Help Allmendinger’s Rally

When teammate Jeb Burton slid into a gravel trap off of the fourth turn on lap 68 to cause the sixth caution of the race, Allmendinger had climbed to third and took full advantage of a restart on lap 72, diving to the inside and taking race leader and reigning series champion Austin Cindric and second-place Ty Gibbs three-wide in the first corner.

Allmendinger survived contact with Gibbs’ Toyota and came out of the corner with the lead, but Cindric pin-balled off the cars of Gibbs and Michael Annett and spun through the grass, ending his winning chances.

The Seventh Caution Seals the Deal

After the seventh caution for a wreck involving, Kris Wright, Alex Labbe, and Kyle Weatherman, Allmendinger pulled away from Kaulig Racing teammate Justin Haley to win by 0.809 seconds. Haley nursed a car with right-front damage to the runner-up finish, one spot ahead of Gibbs.

“I’m not going to lie; I was a little upset,” Allmendinger said of the penalty. “But we win and lose as a team, so I was going to fight until the checkered flag flew. I knew we had the best car …

“I was shocked that Cindric took the outside (on the restart) … I know these guys would do it to me, so I was barreling in there when I saw a gap, and I was going to come out on the other side clean.”

Prediction is On the Mark

Indianapolis 500 winning car owner Michael Shank, who fielded the team with which Allmendinger won the 50th running of the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in 2012, was watching from the pits and predicted his good friend would recover from the penalty.

“He came here to see me,” said Allmendinger, who won for the second time this season and the seventh time in his career. “How lucky am I? I love Shank. And this is Matt Kaulig’s Super Bowl … It’s just such a big deal. I always want to win for him, but here, I put a lot more pressure on myself to try to win.”

Ty Gibbs Not Happy

Gibbs, for one, wasn’t happy with Allmendinger’s move to the inside on the decisive restart.

“The 16 (Allmendinger) did us a little dirty there,” said Gibbs, who nevertheless collected his sixth top-five (including two wins) in his seventh Xfinity Series start. “I feel like there is a point, you know … we are racing in Xfinity cars at road courses. It’s always going to be rough, but he took it to the next level.

“I guess I was a little torpedoed. I got the 22 (Cindric), knocked him out, but, yeah, I didn’t really have anywhere to go. That’s just part of it—part of the end of these races. Things get rough.”

The Best of the Rest

Cindric, who led a race-high 30 laps to Allmendinger’s 23, finished 14th. Brandon Jones and road course ace Andy Lally ran fourth and fifth, respectively. Brandon Brown, Michael Annett, Josh Berry, Ryan Sieg, and Josh Williams completed the top ten. 

In addition to finishing one-two, Allmendinger and Haley won Stages 1 and 2, respectively. Allmendinger increased his Playoff point total to 13, seven behind Cindric’s series-leading 20.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 8th Annual B&L Transport 170 at Mid-Ohio

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

Lexington, Ohio

Saturday, June 5, 2021

  1. (12)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 78.

  2. (10)  Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 78.

  3. (2)  Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, 78.

  4. (7)  Brandon Jones, Toyota, 78.

  5. (27)  Andy Lally, Chevrolet, 78.

  6. (6)  Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 78.

  7. (15)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 78.

  8. (31)  Josh Berry #, Chevrolet, 78.

  9. (23)  Ryan Sieg, Ford, 78.

  10. (24)  Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 78.

  11. (16)  Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, 78.

  12. (11)  Daniel Hemric, Toyota, 78.

  13. (19)  Jade Buford #, Chevrolet, 78.

  14. (1)  Austin Cindric, Ford, 78.

  15. (21)  Cody Ware, Ford, 78.

  16. (4)  Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 78.

  17. (40)  Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 78.

  18. (17)  Ryan Vargas #, Chevrolet, 78.

  19. (34)  Matt Jaskol, Toyota, 78.

  20. (20)  Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 78.

  21. (9)  Riley Herbst, Ford, 78.

  22. (30)  Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 78.

  23. (32)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 78.

  24. (22)  Jesse Little, Chevrolet, 78.

  25. (39)  Preston Pardus, Chevrolet, 78.

  26. (35)  Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 78.

  27. (29)  Miguel Paludo, Chevrolet, 78.

  28. (28)  Ryan Ellis, Ford, 78.

  29. (14)  Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 78.

  30. (37)  Joe Graf Jr., Chevrolet, 77.

  31. (18)  Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, Fuel Pump, 75.

  32. (33)  Kris Wright(i), Toyota, Accident, 71.

  33. (8)  Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 68.

  34. (26)  Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 68.

  35. (5)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 67.

  36. (36)  David Starr, Toyota, 66.

  37. (38)  Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, Electrical, 30.

  38. (3)  Harrison Burton, Toyota, Accident, 19.

  39. (25)  Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, Engine, 7.

  40. (13)  Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, Accident, 0.

The BL Transport 170 at Mid-Ohio Stats

Average Speed of Race Winner:  66.212 mph.

Time of Race:  Two Hrs, 39 Mins, 36 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.809 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  Seven for 23 laps.

Lead Changes:  Seven among five drivers.

Lap Leaders:   A. Cindric 0;A. Cindric 1-14;A. Allmendinger 15-27;T. Gibbs # 28-43;A. Allmendinger 44-46;J. Haley 47-53;R. Sieg 54-55;A. Cindric 56-71;A. Allmendinger 72-78.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Austin Cindric two times for 30 laps; AJ Allmendinger three times for 23 laps; Ty Gibbs # one time for 16 laps; Justin Haley one time for seven laps; Ryan Sieg one time for two laps.

Stage 1 Top-Ten: 16,22,11,10,7,19,98,36,1,51

Stage 2 Top-Ten: 11,19,10,98,22,36,2,68,1,99

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