It wasn’t easy for A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Haley to get to the front of the field in Saturday Afternoon’s B&L Transport 170 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, but the Kaulig Racing duo was able to score a special 1-2 finish for the organization in their home state of Ohio.
Allmendinger, who ties Marcos Ambrose as the all-time wins leader in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on road courses, had to overcome a penalty to start the race’s final stage, after the No. 16 team failed to keep the 39-year-old on pit road for the minimum amount of time required under NASCAR’s modified pit rules for standalone events.
The Los Gatos, California-native was able to work his way back into the top-five, when his Kaulig Racing teammate Jeb Burton got stuck in the gravel with five laps to go. Allmendinger then made a gutsy three-wide move on the restart, claiming the lead from Ty Gibbs and Austin Cindric, who combined to lead 46 of the race’s 78 laps.
On the same restart, eventual second-place finisher Justin Haley got damage when a three wide move went wrong with Michael Annett and Ty Gibbs, sending his LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet into series points leader Austin Cindric.
A very tough break for Austin Cindric late at Mid-Ohio. pic.twitter.com/esEdWpKfzS
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) June 5, 2021
Allmendinger was able to extend his advantage over Haley to about eight tenths of a second by the end of the final two-lap run, with Ty Gibbs, Brandon Jones and Andy Lally – driving the No. 23 for Our Motorsports — rounding out the top-five.
Brandon Brown, Michael Annett, Josh Berry, Ryan Sieg and Josh Williams rounded out the top-10. The eighth-place run by Berry, ensures that Jordan Anderson Racing will compete in next weekend’s event at Texas Motor Speedway, officially passing the MBM Motorsports No. 13 to get inside the top-40 in Owner Points.
Exiting Mid-Ohio, Austin Cindric holds the series point lead by 96 points over Allmendinger, with Daniel Hemric, Harrison Burton and Jeb Burton rounding ut the top-five in points.
Heading to Texas, the 14th race of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, Noah Gragson holds the final playoff spot by 15 points, with Riley Herbst 45 points behind and Ryan Sieg 80 back.