In an eventful dash at the circuit’s largest track, the Unhinged 300 at Talladega Superspeedway was Justin Haley‘s for the taking. Haley, driving the No. 11 Leaf Filter car for Kaulig Racing, claimed his first official victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Uniquely enough, the 21-year-old driver climbed out of the right side window of his racecar to embrace teammate Ross Chastain following the checkered flag. Chastain, who drove the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet to a second place finish nabbing the Dash 4 Cash prize, was credited with giving the final shove that sealed the deal for Haley.
As the field came to the white flag following a late restart, JR Motorsports driver Jeb Burton fought hard with Team Penske’s Austin Cindric for the victory. However, Haley challenged the young Burton and ultimately came out on top, taking the lead in turn four coming to the checkers. The top 10, including Haley and Chastain, also featured Burton, Cindric, Brett Moffitt, Anthony Alfredo, AJ Allmendiner, Gray Gaulding, Alex Labbe and Noah Gragson, who fought back after being involved in a late race pile-up.
The field of 39 drivers were led to the green flag just before 6 p.m. EST, by Haley himself, beside JR Motorsports driver Michael Annett. In a rather tame first stage, Haley claimed the first stage win. Briscoe, who showed strength in the middle of the competition, claimed the second stage win.
The race featured six caution periods, including a pair of incidents that brought out the red flag. All of the on-track incidents occurred in the final stage, which saw four yellow flags, including the two multi-car crashes that necessitated the red flag. The final caution left just three laps to decide the race.
The victory is Haley’s first in the Xfinity Series. While serving as a substitute driver in a GMS Racing car in July 2018, Haley crossed the Daytona International Speedway finish line first in a controversial finish. Due to a ruling from race control, Haley was scored in 18th after he went below the double-yellow line to gain position, which is not allowed at Daytona or Talladega. Haley has three wins in the Trucks Series and one in the Cup Series. He is the 32nd driver in NASCAR history to have wins in all three national series.
About the author
John Willoughby is a Saturday news writer for Frontstretch.com. He became a fan of the sport upon his attendance to the 2008 Daytona 500 and continues to attend yearly. Outside of reporting, he enjoys blogging and participating in one of many civic, service and fraternal organizations he's involved in.
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