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NASCAR Xfinity: Justin Allgaier wins, fight breaks out at Atlanta Motor Speedway

HAMPTON, GEORGIA – MARCH 20: Justin Allgaier, driver of the #7 Axalta/EchoPark Automotive Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series EchoPark 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 20, 2021 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Justin Allgaier claimed his first win of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season Saturday when he took the checkered flag in the EchoPark 250. He led 47 laps of the 163-lap race after Martin Truex Jr. was assessed a pit-road speeding penalty with just under 50 laps remaining.

“Martin had a great race car, and he definitely had the car to beat at the beginning,” Allgaier said. “We made good adjustments and that’s what it came down to at the end.”

Truex, making his first Xfinity Series start since 2010, finished second after a dominant performance that included 103 laps led.

Truex’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Harrison Burton finished third, giving JGR two finishes inside the top-three.

 Noah Gragson was fourth and A.J. Allmendinger finished fifth after Gragson and Allmendinger were among seven drivers involved in a wreck as the opening stage ended on lap 40.

As the four highest-finishing Xfinity Series regulars, Allgaier, Burton, Gragson and Allmendinger qualified to compete for the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus in the next race on the schedule April 9 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Gragson was involved in a post-race scuffle Saturday at Atlanta with ninth-place finish Daniel Hemric after Hemric accused Gragson of backing up as Hemric attempted to pull out of his pit box during a late-race caution.

“(Gragson) crammed it into reverse and backed up,” Hemric said. “Punched a hole in the nose of our car. Punched a hole in our car, and I got one punched in his eye. We’re even.”

Gragson was called to the NASCAR hauler after the race to discuss the incident.

Allgaier’s first lead came with Truex’s speeding penalty during a caution that came out on lap 113. The evntual race winner, then, lost the lead because of pit strategy during the seventh and final caution of the race on lap 132. Allgaier restarted fourth after Colby Howard and Jesse Little stayed out and Colby Howard took fuel only. But when the race restarted on lap 138, Allgaier retook the lead.

Truex got back up to second by 10 laps to go to challenge Allgaier for the lead and eventual win.

“We got back up there but was kind of out of tires at that point,” Truex said. “We got close, but the last 10 laps, the right rear was really smoked off. I just had to use too much to get there, but I just want to thank everybody at Stanley and JGR for letting me do this. It was fun until I screwed it up. I hate it for these guys, but just came up a little short at the end, there.” 

Truex, after taking the lead from pole sitter Austin Cindric on lap seven, led 70 of the first 80 laps, including stage wins on laps 40 and 80. Other laps leaders in the first two stages included Cindric, who led the first six laps, and Brandon Brown, who led four laps under caution when he stayed out during the yellow flag at the conclusion of the opening stage.

Other top-10 finishers included Riley Herbst in sixth, Michael Annett in seventh, Justin Haley in eighth and Ryan Sieg in 10th.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the EchoPark 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway:

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Posted by on March 21, 2021. 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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