Allmendinger Smooches The Bricks, Chastain Makes More Enemies Than Friends

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AJ Allmendinger kissing briks close up NKP

“It’s a group effort, a group effort!”AJ Allmendinger stated this as he cruised past another Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course victory on Saturday (30 July).

Road course wins and Allmendinger have become a regular feature in the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ recent years. ‘Dinger added to that fame, leading 42 of the 62 laps of the Pennzoil 150. Noah Gragson and Josh Berry took home stages one and two, respectively, and Alex Bowman, Justin Allgaier, Ross Chastain and Chase Briscoe rounded out the top five as plenty of NASCAR Cup Series drivers looked to gain some much needed track time before today’s race

It was Allmendinger’s dominant performance, but others had a more difficult day, despite some high finishes.

The Winners

Usually I try to leave the race winner of this list for obvious reasons, but I just couldn’t after that performance. It’s not all down to what AllmendingerBut he did it for what he was able to do on Sunday.

Allmendinger won last year’s Cup Series race at the Brickyard, and now, with his third Xfinity win of the season (all of which have come on road courses, by the way) ‘Dinger has a shot at sweeping the entire weekend for Kaulig Racing. Last year’Kaulig’s victory was his only Cup Series win, and Allmendinger will be able, if he can repeat it, to add to the team’s history.

With such a dominating performance, it’s tough to find someone else who truly won the day, but there’s always a silver lining somewhere, right? They did finish where they wanted. That silver lining was that they were able to continue their journey. JR Motorsports boysThey made their presence felt. Gragson and Berry won a pair of stages, and all four drivers made it to the top 15.

The Losers

Ross ChastainStraight from the rip. If you’ve followed the Cup Series at all this season, you should know that Chastain’s antics have made him public enemy number one to plenty of folks in the garage. Several drivers have voiced their displeasure with the way he’s raced people this season, and for the most part I agree with them.

That, apparently, isn’t just contained to the Cup Series either. Sheldon Creed, a driver we’ve talked about plenty over the course of this season, was running in fourth, trying to make a spot in the playoffs, when Chastain made contact with him. Needless to say, the radio feed wasn’t exactly family friendly after the incident. Chastain just continues to make friends, doesn’t he?

After the race Frontstretch‘s own Daniel McFadin caught up with Chastain to ask him about the incident.

“I would race him way better than I would race other people,” Chastain said. Take that quote and make it your own.

Lap 25 was a fascinating one, as the Monster Energy sponsored cars found a way to get in the wrong direction within seconds of each other. Ty Gibbs  spun out in turn 1, and Riley HerbstThe next slalom was quickly followed by the other. Both were running at top speed at the time of their incidents, which did not result in a caution. Both finished within the top 10, with Herbst finishing in sixth and Gibbs eighth.

Scheme of the Week

Beyonce is a great lyricist, musician and singer. “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.”

Louisiana Hot Sauce is not only delicious but also makes a great color palette for designing paint schemes. No matter how you use it, yellow and red are always going to make a car stand out. Even better is when you use them in flames. Hats off to whoever it was that made this design; it’s in my top five on the season.

The Playoff Pit

Again, there has been no change in the winners’ standings with Allmendinger adding his 3rd race of the season. With only 6 races remaining before the cut off, drivers will have less time to secure their win. Gragson and Austin Hill are currently with Allmendinger on wins. If the season ends today, there are five spots left in terms of points. You can follow the points standings. here.

Fuel for Thought

People can talk all they like about the idea of bringing back racing at the Brickyard oval. I’m choosing to go a different path.

The soon to be renamed Camping World Truck Series raced at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, and I’ll be damned if that wasn’t some of the best racing I’ve seen all year. Not only was it good racing, but the place was absolutely packed out — something that rarely happens in the Truck Series (or Xfinity for that matter), if we’re being honest.

I was inspired by that race. “why couldn’t Xfinity run there AND the Brickyard in the same year?” Yes. I get that they’re a stone’s throw away from each other, but the fans in the area eat up the sport. They’d kill for multiple events each year, at least on the Xfinity side of things. They wouldn’t even have to be back-to-back with the tracks being basically smack dab in the middle of the country.

One half of the season would see one track race at IRP and another at IMS. It would be a fine replacement for any of the lesser attended cookie-cutter 1.5 milers, that’s for sure.

Where are you going next?

Next up, the New Holland 250 at Michigan International Speedway. This race was won by Allmendinger last season in triple overtime. Fans can expect the drivers who need a win to show up guns blazing now that the playoff window has closed. The race starts Saturday, Aug. 6, at 3:30 p.m. ET and can also be viewed on USA Network and Motor Racing Network as well as Sirius XM NASCAR.

 

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