For the 20th time in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career, Justin Allgaier will drive into victory lane, winning the Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in thrilling fashion.
Allgaier, who started Monday’s 300-mile contest from the pole, led a race-high 83 laps to deliver JR Motorsports the organization’s first victory of the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.
The event – originally scheduled to run Saturday before Mother Nature wreaked havoc on the Charlotte, North Carolina area – ended on a vastly different note than usual, primarily the result of a caution displayed with 70 laps to go for a crash by Sam Mayer.
With teams sitting just outside of their fuel window to complete the remainder of the event without another pit stop, the race’s final stint turned into major fuel-save mode for everybody on the lead lap.
Justin Allgaier and John Hunter Nemechek, the fastest cars in the race’s final stage, were faced with the difficult task of battling for the lead, while also making sure to hit the fuel number necessary to cross the start-finish line at race’s end.
The two drivers spent the middle portion of the stint battling for the lead, a tussle that included multiple instances of contact, and even a guest appearance from Austin Hill at times in the run.
With 32 laps remaining, Allgaier drove back around the No. 20 Toyota GR Supra is driven by Nemechek to reclaim the lead, beginning to stretch his advantage over second-place runner Nemechek, who was forced to majorly slow down to save fuel.
Both drivers would successfully finish the event, scoring the top two positions in the finishing order, but not before Allgaier was able to stretch a lead of 7.829 seconds over the Joe Gibbs Racing driver.
Cole Custer, also on a similar fuel strategy to the leaders, finished in third place, after running at the front of the pack through the closing stages of the event. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver overcame some adversity earlier in the event, driving through the field to finish inside the top three.
Austin Hill and Ty Gibbs completed the top five but took on an alternate strategy, in which both drivers elected to make a pit stop for tires and fuel with less than 20 laps remaining in the event.
Gibbs, who won the race’s opening two stages, had to work his way through the pack on Monday after the team had a radio issue in his No. 19 Toyota Supra, which they replaced by getting the NASCAR Cup Series rookie a new steering wheel.
The biggest surprises from Monday’s top-10 finishers were Jordan Anderson Racing teammates Parker Retzlaff and Jeb Burton, who utilized the long-run fuel strategy to score finishes of sixth and seventh.
Carson Hocevar recorded an impressive eight-place result in his second race for Spire Motorsports, scoring back-to-back top-10 finishes in the Premier Security Chevrolet Camaro. The entry will return in three weeks time at Nashville Superspeedway.
Brandon Jones and Sammy Smith completed the top-10 in what ended up being a bizarre event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
John Hunter Nemechek, runner-up finisher in Monday’s 300-mile contest, leaves Charlotte Motor Speedway with a 10-point advantage over second-place Austin Hill in the NASCAR Xfinity Series points. Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer, and Josh Berry complete the top five in point standings, with a separation of 85 points between them.
Next weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Portland International Raceway for the second road course event of the season, where drivers and teams will start a two-race West Coast Road Course Swing.