Thursday, December 8, 2022

AJ Allmendinger Holds Off Daniel Hemric For Xfinity Series Victory at Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 06: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Ellsworth Advisors Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 300 at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 06, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Daniel Hemric was among the fastest cars all day long, as he led a race-high 74 laps, but it was AJ Allmendinger who was fastest when it counted most.

Allmendinger, 39, driving the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro, led 43 laps on the day and took the lead from Hemric for good on a restart with 13 laps to go.

This marks the California-native’s sixth-career NASCAR Xfinity Series win, and his second ever on an oval.

Following the race, Allmendinger took a moment to compose his emotions while slumped over the top of his race car.

“Just, it’s emotional because hell, you don’t know when you’re going to do this again,” Allmendinger explained of his emotional reaction. “You know? You never know. This could be the last win. I don’t know. I hope it’s not, I think we can do a lot more.”

His latest close call is the eighth-career second-place finish for Hemric. This was Hemric’s 91st-career NASCAR Xfinity Series start and he was once again bummed to be the first loser on Saturday.

“You hate to have one get away like that,” Hemric anguished. “We came here — heck you and I talked this morning — said we wanted to have more speed to lead laps and win Stages and we did that today. Lined up with a shot there, but just got beat. Congratulations to AJ, but just got beat.”

Brandon Jones, Hemric’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate finished third, while Austin Cindric and Noah Gragson were fourth and fifth.

Michael Annett came home sixth and drove an incredible race with a heavy heart after the passing of his father this week. Josh Berry, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton and Jeb Burton rounded out the top-10 finishers on the day.

Other notable finishers included NASCAR Cup Series driver Tyler Reddick, who finished 12th after starting 40th in the Our Motorsports No. 23 car, IndyCar standout Santino Ferrucci finished 13th in his second-career NXS start and underdog Tommy Joe Martins got a solid 15th-place finish in the Discover Denton Texas Chevrolet Camaro.

Toby Christie
Toby Christie
Toby is the Founder, and Editor-in-Chief of Toby is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, he is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award-winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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