Race Weekend Central

AJ Allmendinger Dominates COTA, Scores Xfinity Win

AJ Allmendinger battled back from a caution following a pit stop to lead the most laps and hold off William Byron to score his second straight win at Circuit of the Americas in the Xfinity Series on Saturday (March 25).

It’s Allmendinger’s 16th career win; he led a race-high 29 laps.

Allmendinger pitted on lap 16 following the end of stage one. On the following lap, a caution pinned him at the rear of the field. That did not stop the California driver, as he drove through the field, taking the lead for the final time on lap 31 when he ran into the back of Sheldon Creed, spinning him out and driving off to the win.

Byron, the polesitter for the Cup race tomorrow, finished second, Ty Gibbs finished third, Sammy Smith fourth and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top five.

Daniel Hemric finished sixth, followed by Sam Mayer, Josh Berry, Creed, who ended up ninth after fighting back from his spin and Riley Herbst finishing the top 10.

NASCAR Xfinity Series COTA Race Results

“I spent a lot of years not winning everything.” Allmendinger said in victory lane.  “I’m going to celebrate everyone like it’s my last one. As much pressure as I put on myself, I’m always going to try to live up to it. We fought hard, this was such a team effort.”

Allmendinger and Smith led the field to green in the 46-lap race. Creed would take the lead with a four-wide pass in turn 1, however Allmendinger took the lead back and led lap 1. Carson Hocevar, making his debut in the Xfinity Series stopped on the track, bringing out the first caution of the day on lap 7. This brought a majority of the field to pit road.

Allmendinger and Parker Kligerman stayed out for the restart on lap 10. Allmendinger kept the lead and won stage one over Creed. No cautions were thrown for stage end due to a new NASCAR rule on road courses. Allmendinger pitted a lap later, handing the lead to Creed.

The second caution was waved for Preston Pardus stopping in turn 1 on lap 17. Most of the field stayed out including Creed, which trapped Allmendinger towards the rear of the field.

On the restart, Creed kept the lead until lap 27, when Byron took the lead for the first time.

Brett Moffitt brought out the caution on lap 28, bringing most of the field to pit road. Kligerman and Aric Almirola stayed out for the restart on lap 30, the final lap of stage two. Ryan Sieg restarted third and jumped to the lead before Creed took the lead back in turn 12 to win the stage.

On the restart with 15 laps to go, Creed led until Allmendinger ran into the corner of Creed’s car in turn 19 and spun him out. This brought Byron into the battle, though Allmendinger held off Byron to keep the lead for good.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series continues Saturday (April 1) at Richmond Raceway, you can see the race on FOX Sports 1 at 1 p.m. ET.

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