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NASCAR Xfinity: Allmendinger wins, playoff field cut to eight

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA – OCTOBER 10: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Ellsworth Advisors Chevrolet, and crew celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 10, 2020 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Nearly the entire Drive for the Cure 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval on Saturday ran in heavy rain and much of it with poor vision conditions under darks skies with little infield lighting. A.J. Allmendinger’s visibility was much lower than many of his fellow-competitors as a result of windshield-wiper issues. But that didn’t stop the part-time driver for Kaulig Racing from getting to the checkered flag first after an overtime restart to repeat as winner of the Xfinity Series’ annual race at the Roval.

“I don’t know what we just witnessed,” Allmendinger said. “I was complaining the whole race. Crazy. The 98, Chase Briscoe, was doing a fantastic job. I didn’t really have anything for him after a couple laps, but I knew that final restart I was going to do everything I could.”

The final third of the race came down to a battle with the only two previous Xfinity winners at the Roval — Allmendinger, last year’s winner, and 2018 winner, Chase Briscoe. Briscoe led a race-high 26 laps of the race that was scheduled for 67 laps but extended an extra lap by a late-race caution and overtime restart. Briscoe, though, spun from the lead on that final restart and wound up 18th at the checkered flag.

“In conditions like this, you’ve got to be at 100 percent, and I tried going 110, and it bit me. Very unfortunate,” Briscoe said. “That one’s going to sting for a long time. I feel like I did my job for about 95 percent of the day, right.”

Allmendinger was in position to take advantage of Briscoe’s spin to take a race-winning lead in the final two-lap, green-flag sprint to the finish. Briscoe wound up 18th at the checkered flag.

Saturday’s race was race three of the 2020 Xfinity Series playoffs, making it an elimination race. Brandon Brown, Harrison Burton, Michael Annett and Riley Herbst were eliminated from championship contention as the playoff field was trimmed to eight drivers. Annett was the only one of the four to finish in the top-10, in ninth.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE POINTS STANDINGS HEADING INTO PLAYOFF ROUND TWO.

Noah Gragson finished second in Saturday’s race. Daniel Hemric was third, Alex Labbe fourth and Ross Chastain was fifth.

Gragson started on the pole and led most of the opening stage but spun from the lead on lap 14. After Justin Haley led a few laps, Gragson retook the lead on lap 19 of the first 20-lap stage. Kaz Grala, though, took the lead on the final lap of the opening stage for a stage-one win.

Gragson led, again, early in the second 20-lap stage, but contact from Herbst sent him into a tire barrier and brought out a caution on lap 27. The race was, then, red-flagged for standing water.

When the race resumed, Allgaier led before Briscoe took a stage-two-winning lead on a restart that followed a lap-34 caution.

Briscoe led most of the final stage of the race, with Allmendinger in second, until his late-race spin.

Other top-10 finishers included Austin Cindric finished sixth, Cody Ware was seventh, Jade Buford eighth and Brandon Jones in 10th.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Drive for the Cure 250 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval:

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Posted by on October 11, 2020. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,Xfinity Series. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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