Allmendinger remains Indy’s road king with Xfinity win

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AJ Allmendinger attends qualifying for a NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Friday, July 29, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

PA

AJ Allmendinger continued his NASCAR road racing dominance and set himself up for a sweep at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a victory Saturday in the Xfinity Series.

Allmendinger has won six of the last 11 road races – nine in his NASCAR career – and his latest victory is his third of the Xfinity season.

All three wins are on road courses this year, as Allmendinger has previously won the Circuit of the Americas in Texas and Portland, and now the hallowed Brickyard.

Allmendinger is the defending Cup race winner and Sunday will go for the sweep.

“God, I love this place!” Allmendinger shouted to the crowd. “Indy, baby! Let’s go!”

Allmendinger doused his crew with beer then took a knee on the Yard of Bricks for the celebratory kiss.

“I love it!” Allmendinger shouted into the NBC Sports live camera.

His victory in a Chevrolet was his 11th in the Xfinity Series since 2019, when he came out of semi-retirement to help Kaulig Motorsports develop its motorsports practice. Allmendinger was the team’s “trophy hunter” in the Xfinity Series, and now does so in the Cup in high-stakes races as Kaulig has developed.

Allmendinger led 43 of 62 laps and beat Alex Bowman by 2.084 seconds. Bowman thanked his Hendrick Motorsports team for allowing him to race on Saturday to prepare for Sunday.

“We obviously struggled a lot today in the Cup car, maybe I learned something that will play out tomorrow on the circuit,” said Bowman, who qualified 28th for the race. the cup.

Justin Allgaier finished third as Chevrolet swept the podium, then added one more with a fourth-place finish for Ross Chastain.

Chase Briscoe and Riley Herbst finished fifth and sixth at Ford, and Ty Gibbs was the top-ranked Toyota driver in eighth.

Allmendinger, Bowman, Chastain, Briscoe and Gibbs are all entered in the Cup race on Sunday; Gibbs replaces Kurt Busch, who is suffering from concussion-like symptoms, for a second consecutive week.

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Sandy A. Greer