It’s clear that 39-year-old A.J. Allmendinger is having the most fun that he’s ever had in his 15-year stint of racing across NASCAR’s top-three series and the results are there to prove it, even more so after capturing his third NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of the year in Saturday’s New Holland 250 at Michigan International Speedway.
Allmendinger led 70 of the event’s 139 laps en-route to capturing his eighth NASCAR Xfinity Series victory, continuing an incredible streak of momentum for the Los Gatos, California-native, which includes six top-fives in the last eight races in the series, as well as a landmark victory for himself and Kaulig Racing in Last Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series event at Indy’s Road Course.
Brandon Jones pushed until the end of the event, but was only able to finish in the runner-up position, with Noah Gragson in pursuit in third-place. Josh Berry – subbing for Michael Annett — finished fourth-place, after leading 24 laps and controlling the third-quarter of the event. Harrison Burton rebounded from an unscheduled pit stop to claim a top-five.
Justin Allgaier, Riley Herbst, Brett Moffitt, Jade Buford, and Bubba Wallace rounded out the top-10 in the event, with Jeremy Clements, Ryan Sieg, Ty Gibbs and Matt Mills rounding out the 14 lead lap finishers.
The race featured a total of nine caution flags for 43 laps, the biggest of which occurred moments after taking the green flag in the second stage, when Myatt Snider got clipped by Ty Gibbs and Austin Cindric, and sent his No. 2 Superior Essex Chevrolet spinning in front of traffic, collecting many heavy hitters in a seven-car pileup.
With Cindric’s troubles and Allmendinger’s victory, the Kaulig Racing driver has closed the regular season point standings lead down to 35 points, with Justin Allgaier taking over third-place in the series’ standings. Daniel Hemric and Harrison Burton round out the top-five. Exiting Michigan, Riley Herbst holds the final spot in the series’ playoff field by 41 points over Michael Annett, who has missed four of the last five events due to injury.