Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger finally achieved a career NASCAR goal on October 1 by winning at a superspeedway. He climbed from his No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro and explained that he only won because of Landon Cassill.
“My gosh, we’ve been so close to winning one and I feel like I keep giving them away,” Allmendinger said during his post-race interview. “I might’ve gave it away, I’m still learning trying to learn what’s too big of a lead. All credit to Landon Cassill, he kept shoving me and sticking with me.”
Cassill gave Allmendinger two key pushes on the final run to the checkered flag. The first gave the No. 16 a huge run and an opportunity to pass Sam Mayer. However, the JR Motorsports driver blocked him.
Cassill then pushed Allmendinger once again, which opened the door for him to move to the outside and win a drag race to the checkered flag. The Kaulig Racing driver edged out Mayer by 0.015 seconds and celebrated with a massive burnout.
Cassill Made an Important Move of His Own
Pushing Allmendinger to the win was an important move. It helped Kaulig Racing add another trophy to the collection. Meanwhile, Cassill continued his career season in the No. 10 Chevrolet Camaro.
Cassill did not have an opportunity to fight Mayer and his teammate for the win. He was boxed in until the last possible moment. However, he still crossed the finish line third and secured his fourth top-five finish of the 2022 season.
Cassill entered his first season with Kaulig Racing with 14 career top-10 finishes and one top-five — a third-place finish at Daytona International Speedway in 2011. He has since surpassed all of his single-season marks by posting 10 top-10s and four top-fives in the first 28 Xfinity Series races.
While Cassill is not in the playoffs, he still has some goals to pursue during the five remaining races. He can add more top-10s and top-fives to his career totals. He can also continue the pursuit of his first career national series win.
Allmendinger Now Joins Noah Gragson
The win was significant for Allmendinger for multiple reasons. First, it checked off the final format of track where he needed to win in the Xfinity Series. He entered the Talladega race with 13 career wins, none of which were at a superspeedway. Now he has completed the list.
Nine wins were at a variety of road courses while two were at intermediate tracks. Allmendinger had one win at a two-mile track, Michigan International Speedway, and another at a short track, Bristol Motor Speedway.
The other reason why this win was crucial is that it secured his spot in the Round of Eight. He will now join Noah Gragson, who won the playoff opener at Texas Motor Speedway. They are the only two drivers with secure spots in the Round of Eight, and they have each added bonus points to their respective totals in the first two playoff races.
Allmendinger, the winner of the regular-season championship, will now have another opportunity ahead of him. The Round of 12 ends at the Charlotte Roval, a track where he has three straight wins. He will now pursue his fourth in a row on the road course, which will help him potentially gain a points advantage over other playoff drivers.