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HomeSportsAuto RacingNAS News: AJ Allmendinger wins at Charlotte Roval as eight advance in...

NAS News: AJ Allmendinger wins at Charlotte Roval as eight advance in playoffs


AJ Allmendinger let his emotions show Sunday after winning for the first time in two years.

Allmendinger, a non-playoff driver, beat William Byron in a 10-lap dash in NASCAR’s second playoff elimination race, winning the Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course in Concord, N.C.

In the final race of the Round of 12 playoff segment, Allmendinger topped Joe Gibbs Racing driver Ty Gibbs in multiple restarts and Kyle Busch on the last one with 10 to go for the victory.

A native of Los Gatos, Calif., the driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet led 46 laps and was triumphant for the third time in 426 Cup Series starts — all on road courses.

Byron got to within a car-length with two laps to go, but Allmendinger beat him to the checkers by 0.666 seconds.

After crying over the radio during the cool-down lap, a tearful Allmendinger also let it out after climbing from his Camaro.

“Because you don’t know when you’re going to (win) again,” said Allmendinger, whose last Cup victory was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Aug. 15, 2021. “I hate crying right now, but you just … it’s a Cup race, you never know when it’s going to happen again.”

Busch, who needed to win but finished third, pointed to the first two races of the Round of 12 that kept him from advancing to the Round of 8’s opening race in his hometown of Las Vegas next Sunday.

“The first two weeks of this round was not very good,” the Richard Childress Racing driver said. “We didn’t score any points. That’s where it lies — Texas and Talladega — and not being able to execute when points were on the line.”

Gibbs and Joey Logano finished the race fourth and fifth, respectively.

Byron, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Kyle Larson, Chris Buescher, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney all kept their title hopes alive.

However, Ross Chastain, Bubba Wallace and Brad Keselowski were eliminated from the title chase.

Occupying ninth in the standings and just two points behind Keselowski for the final spot as the race started, Reddick put his No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota on the pole for the second time in 2023 and sixth of his career.

Reddick led every lap in the incident-free Stage 1 around the 17-turn, 2.32-mile road track that incorporates part of CMS’s oval.

Over 25 laps, his Camry beat teammate Wallace by just over five seconds, followed by playoff competitors Chastain, Truex and Bell as Toyotas snared four of the top five spots and earned bonus point

Non-playoff driver Chase Elliott passed Bell for the lead on Lap 36 and held it throughout the stage as other teams began pitting early to set themselves up for the final 59-lap run.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver beat Bell for the Stage 2 win, but the checkers came with a yellow flag as caution came out for an incident between Josh Bilicki and Corey LaJoie.

Running 11th with 22 laps to go, Wallace was sent spinning after Daniel Suarez’s Chevy hit Austin Cindric’s Ford. That dropped Wallace’s No. 23 into the low 30s — yielding 20 points of position. He came back to finish the race 16th.

–Field Level Media

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