A.J. Allmendinger wins Mid-Ohio 170 with final-stage rally

A.J. Allmendinger is now part of some rare company in the NASCAR Xfinity Series: he joins Marcos Ambrose as the only drivers to have five wins in the series on road courses. After suffering a pit penalty prior to the final stage in Saturday’s B&L Transport 170 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Allmendinger fought his way through the order to win become the track’s first multi-time NASCAR winner.

Allmendinger started the race in twelfth while Austin Cindric, also a road course ace, was on the pole alongside Ty Gibbs, who won last week’s race and at the Daytona Road Course in his Xfinity début, and had also triumphed in the ARCA Menards Series event at Mid-Ohio the previous day. Kris Wright and Ryan Ellis began their days at the back due to unapproved adjustments.

Cindric, who has four road course wins, led the first half of the opening stage but drama was apparent almost immediately. After just one lap, Noah Gragson went off course in the opening corner, spilling oil that caused Cody Ware to spin. Another fluid caution came on lap nine. Allmendinger would take the lead for the restart on lap 13 and lead to the stage victory ahead of Cindric, Justin Haley, Jeb Burton, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Riley Herbst, Alex Labbé, Michael Annett, and Jeremy Clements.

Despite claiming a stage point, Clements stalled his car on lap 42 for what would be the lone yellow flag of the second stage. Gibbs had led much of the segment until the caution, and Allmendinger’s Kaulig Racing team-mate Haley would take the lead with five laps remaining to win as many of the leaders including Allmendinger elected to pit before the green-checkered flag. Jones, Burton, Herbst, Cindric, Labbé, Myatt Snider, Brandon Brown, Annett, and Ellis rounded out the top ten.

Between stages, Allmendinger was slapped with a penalty for not meeting the fifty-second mimimum pit time. The regulation, introduced in 2020 but not used that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was among a litany of pit rules implemented for all standalone Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series races. As a result, he began Stage #3 in nineteenth.

Cindric dominated the final stage until Burton spun into the gravel on lap 70. Three laps later, Jones overshot turn five and collected Labbé, Wright, and Kyle Weatherman while all five were running in the top ten. The incident resulted in overtime as Allmendinger led.

While Cindric’s overtime and race went south after being forced off course in a three-wide battle with Gibbs and Haley, Allmendinger drove off to claim his second win of the year and seventh in his career.

Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

An open-wheel and sports car racer, Allmendinger previously recorded Xfinity road course victories at Road America (2013), Mid-Ohio (2013), and the Charlotte Roval (2019 and 2020). The first Mid-Ohio win came at the track’s inaugural Xfinity event. Ambrose, a Supercars Championship great, is the only other driver with five Xfinity road wins; four came at Watkins Glen and the fifth at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. Interestingly, Allmendinger’s lone Cup Series victory came on a road course after defeating Ambrose at Watkins Glen in 2014.

“(Michael Shank) came here to see me,” Allmendinger commented. Shank had won the Indianapolis 500 the previous week while his sports car programme won the 2012 Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona with Allmendinger. “How lucky am I? I love Shank.

“This is (Kaulig Racing owner) 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.”

Haley finished second to mark a Kaulig 1–2 finish. Andy Lally tied his career best in fifth for the fourth different time, while Josh Berry placed eighth to give Jordan Anderson Racing—who had missed the first ten races with no owner points—three top tens in as many starts. Cindric’s overtime incident relegated him to fourteenth.

Race results

Finish Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Status
1 12 16 A.J. Allmendinger Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
2 10 11 Justin Haley Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
3 2 54 Ty Gibbs Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 78 Running
4 7 19 Brandon Jones Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 78 Running
5 27 23 Andy Lally Our Motorsports Chevrolet 78 Running
6 6 68 Brandon Brown Brandonbilt Motorsports Chevrolet 78 Running
7 15 1 Michael Annett JR Motorsports Chevrolet 78 Running
8 31 31 Josh Berry Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
9 23 39 Ryan Sieg RSS Racing Ford 78 Running
10 24 92 Josh Williams DGM Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
11 16 36 Alex Labbé DGM Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
12 11 18 Daniel Hemric Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 78 Running
13 19 48 Jade Buford Big Machine Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
14 1 22 Austin Cindric Team Penske Ford 78 Running
15 21 17 Cody Ware SS-Green Light Racing Ford 78 Running
16 4 10 Jeb Burton Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
17 40 52 Gray Gaulding Jimmy Means Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
18 17 4 Ryan Vargas JD Motorsports Chevrolet 78 Running
19 34 66 Matt Jaskol MBM Motorsports Toyota 78 Running
20 20 6 Landon Cassill JD Motorsports Chevrolet 78 Running
21 9 98 Riley Herbst Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 78 Running
22 30 15 Colby Howard JD Motorsports Chevrolet 78 Running
23 32 5 Matt Mills B.J. McLeod Motorsports Chevrolet 78 Running
24 22 78 Jesse Little B.J. McLeod Motorsports Chevrolet 78 Running
25 39 90 Preston Pardus DGM Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
26 35 47 Kyle Weatherman Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
27 29 8 Miguel Paludo JR Motorsports Chevrolet 78 Running
28 28 99 Ryan Ellis B.J. McLeod Motorsports Chevrolet 78 Running
29 14 2 Myatt Snider Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 78 Running
30 37 07 Joe Graf Jr. SS-Green Light Racing Chevrolet 77 Running
31 18 02 Brett Moffitt Our Motorsports Chevrolet 75 Fuel Pump
32 33 26 Kris Wright* Sam Hunt Racing Toyota 71 Accident
33 8 51 Jeremy Clements Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet 68 Running
34 26 0 Jeffrey Earnhardt JD Motorsports Chevrolet 68 Running
35 5 7 Justin Allgaier JR Motorsports Chevrolet 67 Running
36 36 61 David Starr MBM Motorsports Toyota 66 Running
37 38 74 Bayley Currey* Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet 30 Electrical
38 3 20 Harrison Burton Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 19 Accident
39 25 44 Tommy Joe Martins Martins Motorsports Chevrolet 7 Engine
40 13 9 Noah Gragson JR Motorsports Chevrolet 0 Accident
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points

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