The NASCAR Xfinity Series Round of 12 came to an end at the Charlotte Roval on Saturday, October 9. Only one opportunity remained for the drivers to reach the Round of Eight, and AJ Allmendinger did not let it go to waste. The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro built up a decisive lead and won his fifth race of the season while making Xfinity Series history.
Allmendinger entered the race in a tie with Marcos Ambrose and Austin Cindric for the most road course wins (five) in series history. This victory at the Charlotte Roval gave Allmendinger the sixth of his career and sole possession of the top spot. Allmendinger has logged road course victories at multiple tracks on the NASCAR Xfinity Series circuit. He has one win at Road America, two at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and now three straight at the Charlotte Roval.
Allmendinger finished the first stage second behind Daniel Hemric and then 12th in Stage 2 after making the decision to pit during a late caution and give up some stage points. Once the final stage began, Allmendinger lined up on the fourth row and immediately began making moves. The driver of the No. 16 jumped to the lead and built up a nearly 10-second lead before the caution flag came out with three laps remaining.
The late incident forced the drivers to line up for overtime with Allmendinger and Austin Cindric on the front row. Once the green flag waved, the driver of the No. 16 jumped out to the front of the pack and built up yet another insurmountable lead. He maintained this position until the checkered flag waved.
Two Xfinity Series Drivers Secured Spots in the Round of Eight Early
11 drivers entered the elimination race with the goal of moving on to the Round of Eight. Cindric had already done so with an eighth-place run at Talladega Superspeedway on October 2, but the rest needed to keep fighting for points.
Two drivers managed to secure their spots midway through the playoff race. Daniel Hemric and Justin Allgaier both moved on by stacking enough points during the first two stages. The driver of the No. 18 secured his spot by sweeping the two stages during a very strong performance while Allgaier simply focused on damage control.
The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet suffered damage to the rear of the stock car early while dealing with brake issues. This incident sent him down pit road for repairs and set up a situation where he had to focus on rebounding and finishing ahead of the 35th position.
Allgaier took steps in this direction as he continued to complete laps. He finished Stage 1 in the 30th position and then worked his way to 17th by the end of Stage 2. These moves, along with Harrison Burton failing to win either stage, ensured that Allgaier would move on in the playoffs.
Josh Bilicki Forced Repairs on the Backstretch Chicane
A surprising incident brought out the caution flag during Stage 2 and sent one driver to the garage. Josh Bilicki tried to avoid hitting other drivers on the track, but he destroyed his stock car and ripped sections of curbing free of the track surface.
The incident occurred on the backstretch chicane. Bilicki raced alongside Michael Annett and in front of Ryan Sieg. He cut to the inside of the corner and slammed into the yellow and black curbing, launching the No. 07 Chevrolet into the air and causing extensive damage.
The violent hit ripped multiple sections of curbing out of the track and brought out the red flag so the crews could go make repairs. They had to use torches, angle grinders, and mallets to get rid of the massive bolts left over from the crash. While the crews worked on the track, the pit crew pushed Bilicki to the garage and ensured that his day would come to an end.