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Xfinity at MIS: Another win for Allmendinger; Cindric crashes out

Brooklyn, MI, Aug 21/21 (GRW): As often happens here at the Michigan International Speedway, the Xfinity New Holland 250 saw many different leaders – six in all – but A.J. Allmendinger made the crucial pass to take the lead on the final restart in regulation time. Another crash sent the race into overtime and, through three more restarts, he hung on to win the race —his second win in six days following his Cup win at Indianapolis the previous Sunday.

“Whoa, I’m more tired from the celebrations than I am the driving,” the 39-year old Allmendinger joked after climbing out of his No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet and telling the crowd, “Thank you so much, guys.”

“When you restart on the front row, the outside was the place to be. And you also have to just hope you got a push and Brandon Jones, thank you so much. He pushed me every time. I don’t want to wake up from this dream.”

Before this late-race flurry of cautions, four drivers – Allmendinger, Josh Berry, Brandon Jones, and Noah Gragson were contending for the lead of the race – but Allmendinger prevailed ahead of Jones (by a tenth of a second), Gragson, and Berry. In a race that saw twelve different lead changes, Allmendinger led the most laps, 70, while Berry, who was running as a substitute driver in all three NASCAR races this weekend, led 24 laps.

Young Ty Gibbs who is here on a hall pass, getting ready to run this series full-time next year, continued to be impressive. He led a lap and he was right up in the mix when the race went into overtime but he spun out after the second-last restart setting up the final restart and he dropped to 13th at the checker.

At the start of the race, things had looked different. While Allmendinger did lead the first 20 laps, Austin Cindric pushed through to the front and he went on to win the first Stage. But he had to take the restart in eighth place behind seven cars that had pitted just before the end of the Stage. This left Cindric fighting for position among a cluster of cars for the restart – and it left him vulnerable when a big wreck broke out a couple of laps later. Now Cindric, who had looked to be in command of this race, had a badly damaged car and he was forced to drop out of the race.

“We just got collected in a wreck by the cars that decided to stay out,” Cindric said. “I thought we had the fastest car out there today. In some ways I feel like that is a bold statement coming from me, but our guys did an amazing job on this Ford Mustang and I wish we could have contended for the rest of the race because I think we would have had a shot.”

After that, Allmendinger was the dominant driver, winning the second Stage and going on to win the race.

There are four more Xfinity races before the seven-race playoff series begins at Las Vegas. The next race coming up will be the Wawa 250 at the Daytona International Speedway next Friday, August 27th.

• Click HERE for the Race Results

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