AJ Allmendinger Breaks Tie With NASCAR Hall of Famer

AJ Allmendinger

Getty AJ Allmendinger (left) celebrates his 10th road course win.

Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger just achieved a major feat. He won his 10th road course race spanning the three national NASCAR series, breaking a tie with Hall of Fame driver Jeff Gordon.

The Hendrick Motorsports vice-chairman ended his Cup Series career with nine road course wins, all at the top level of NASCAR. He won five times at Sonoma Raceway and another four at Watkins Glen International. He currently holds the top spot among Cup Series drivers, ahead of Tony Stewart (eight) and Chase Elliott (seven).

Allmendinger, for comparison, only has two road course wins in the Cup Series. He captured the Watkins Glen race in 2014 while driving for JTG Daugherty Racing. He then secured the first Cup Series win in Kaulig Racing’s history in 2021 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.

The rest of Allmendinger’s road course wins have taken place in the Xfinity Series. He captured Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2013 while driving for Team Penske. Allmendinger then won races for Kaulig Racing at the Charlotte Roval (2019, 2020, 2021), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (2021), Circuit of the Americas (2022), and Portland International Raceway (2022).

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The Oregon Win Was Everything Except for Easy

AJ Allmendinger

GettyAJ Allmendinger had to rebound from multiple issues.

The Dinger entered the race weekend in Oregon as the heavy favorite to win. His past success at all of the road courses was the biggest reason. The other reason is that he won his first Champ Car World Series race at PIR during the 2006 season, which kicked off a three-race streak.

While Allmendinger was the favorite, he was not in contention early. He dropped to the rear of the field after qualifying. His team had to make some adjustments to the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro. He then slid off the track while coming to the green flag and made an early trip down pit road.

Allmendinger had numerous issues during the early stages of the road course race. Ty Gibbs lapped him during the opening stage. Allmendinger also went off the track four separate times while trying to gain ground.

“Man I cannot believe this, I crashed before it went green,’’ Allmendinger told FOX Sports’ Josh Sims. “I was making so many mistakes, trying so hard. I put so much pressure on myself in these races because I know what everyone expects and I know what I expect out of myself, more importantly. But what a win.’’

Allmendinger Remains Within Reach of Another Important Trophy

The veteran driver is currently in the midst of his second full-time season with Kaulig Racing. He has fully embraced the emphasis on “Trophy Hunting” while simultaneously pursuing his goal of securing a championship.

Allmendinger won the regular-season championship in 2021 after an intense last-lap battle with Austin Cindric at Bristol Motor Speedway. The two men entered the race in contention for the 15 bonus playoff points and the trophy, but Allmendinger crossed the finish line first in a wild ending.

The 2022 regular season has 12 races remaining, and the situation is different. Allmendinger has held the points lead for nine weeks, including the past seven, and he extended that streak by capturing the checkered flag at Portland International Raceway. He is now 43 points ahead of Ty Gibbs.

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