Kaulig Racing Has ‘Tightened the Box’ Before the Playoffs Begin

AJ Allmendinger

Getty AJ Allmendinger will kick off the playoffs at Texas Motor Speedway.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs begin at Texas Motor Speedway, which will provide Kaulig Racing with an opportunity to rebound from some regular-season struggles. The team hasn’t hit on the exact race-winning formula just yet, but Kaulig has “tightened the box” at a crucial time.

AJ Allmendinger provided the update to media members ahead of the trip to Texas. He explained that there are multiple areas where Kaulig Racing has struggled during the regular season. Aero, speed, balance, and rear grip have all presented problems at different times, which forced the team to try numerous setups.

“We’ve tried so much stuff. And that’s what’s been great about being locked in the playoffs for so long,” Allmendinger explained. “The last several weeks, we’ve been trying a lot of different things.

“So at least we have tightened the box up, I’d say, of things of what we know to try, not to try. Whether we have the exact formula yet? Probably not. But at least we’ve tightened that box up to know, ‘Okay, like this is what we’re going with.'”

The Playoff Opener Presents a Challenge

AJ Allmendinger

GettyAJ Allmendinger makes a pit stop at Texas Motor Speedway.

Hitting the setup will be important, especially with a high-speed track in Texas Motor Speedway on the docket. Allmendinger knows that he and his teammates will be in the throttle more than at some other tracks, so being too free or too tight could completely disrupt any opportunities for them to pursue the win.

The previous trip to Texas Motor Speedway was statistically solid for Kaulig Racing. Allmendinger finished ninth, Landon Cassill finished 10th, and Daniel Hemric finished 11th. On paper, this was a solid day, but it was not a race that any members of Kaulig Racing enjoyed due to some issues with their setup.

“Honestly, the race was tough,” Allmendinger added. “We struggled a lot there. I was just going back and watching the race. I was like, ‘Oh, that was a struggle. I’d kind of put that out of my mind.’

“So Texas is a racetrack we’ve had a little success. We definitely haven’t been a car that can go out and win the race, at least the last couple of years there. I know 2020, I think Ross [Chastain] was really quick there, but that was complete different weather. It was really cold there. It’s going to be super hot. So no, it’s… we’re going back with the best kind of mile-and-a-half package that we know, and we’ll see where that puts us.”

The 2021 Playoffs Featured a Different Outcome at Texas

The 2022 playoffs begin at Texas Motor Speedway, but this was not the case in 2021. The Xfinity Series drivers actually began their battle for the championship trophy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before heading to Talladega Superspeedway and the Charlotte Roval.

Two of the Kaulig Racing drivers survived this opening round. Allmendinger used both his bonus points and his win at the Charlotte Roval to move on while Justin Haley used points to make his way to the Round of Eight. Teammate Jeb Burton’s playoff journey ended in the opening round.

The Round of Eight began at Texas Motor Speedway, and both Allmendinger and Haley used the race to gain points. They both finished inside the top 10 in Stages 1 and 2 before ending the race sixth and seventh, respectively.

Allmendinger ultimately reached the championship four while Haley’s playoff journey ended at Martinsville due to a brake issue. Now The Dinger will try to make his return to the championship four while Hemric joins him on this quest. They will just have to continuously fight to hit that perfect setup.

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