There is nobody better on the road courses in the NASCAR Xfinity Series – or really, any of NASCAR’s top-three divisions – than AJ Allmendinger, a fact that the Kaulig Racing driver drove home on Saturday, winning the Pennzoil 150 at Indy’s Road Course.
The Los Gatos, California-native put on a dominating performance in Saturday’s 150-mile event, leading an incredible 42 of the event’s 62 laps, notching his third victory of the 2022 season and the 13th of his NASCAR Xfinity Series career.
Allmendinger had control over the majority of the event’s running, only giving up the top spot on one occasion not related to pit strategy, as a result of a 25-second pit stop under the race’s first caution flag on Lap 15.
It would only take Allmendinger 11 laps to return to the lead of the race after the lead was heavily-contested between Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, Alex Bowman, and Justin Allgaier.
On the second round of pit stops, the majority of which were under the green flag but stretched to the end of the race’s second stage, Almendinger would momentarily lose the lead to Hendrick Motorsports’ Alex Bowman.
However, that didn’t last long, as the 40-year-old was able to take the lead away from the No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro on lap 45, leading the final 18 circuits en route to the victory, pulling out to a two-second lead on Bowman by the race’s conclusion.
In his first NASCAR Xfinity Series start since 2018 and his first on a road course since 2013, Alex Bowman finished in the runner-up spot, marking the second runner-up result for Hendrick Motorsports’ three-race entry into the second-tier series.
After an incredible battle spanning the final two laps, Justin Allgaier came home in third place, despite major damage to the left front of his JR Motorsports Chevrolet.
Ross Chastain, piloting a third entry for DGM Racing, tied the organization’s career-high result with a fourth-place finish.
Despite a pre-race penalty, a commitment line penalty mid-race, and the loss of third gear in the race’s final lap, Chase Briscoe held onto a top-five in the No. 07 Ford Mustang for SS Green Light Racing.
Riley Herbst, Sam Mayer, Ty Gibbs, Austin Hill, and Noah Gragson rounded out the race’s top-10 finishers.
In 13th-place, Sage Karam recorded a career-best result for himself in his 10th start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, while also tying the best finish for first-year team Alpha Prime Racing.
Exiting Indianapolis, AJ Allmendinger extends his regular-season points lead to 17 points over Justin Allgaier. Ty Gibbs continues to sit in third place, 30 points behind the leader. Josh Berry and Noah Gragson round out the top five.
There ain’t no rest for the wicked, as the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Michigan International Speedway for the 21st event of the 2022 season next Saturday, August 6, 2022.