NASCAR Xfinity Series

A.J. Allmendinger extends road course dominance with Pit Boss 250 win

4 Mins read
Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images

It is no secret that A.J. Allmendinger is one of the top road course drivers not just in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, but in stock car racing as a whole. The former open-wheel racer and sports car veteran bolstered this image in Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of the Americas when he took the lead with fourteen laps remaining and never looked back as he scored his Xfinity-record seventh road course victory. When combined with his two career Cup Series wins, his nine national series road triumphs are tied with Jeff Gordon for the most in history.

Pole winner Ty Gibbs led the opening lap before Ross Chastain did so. Allmendinger, who was a team-mate of Chastain at Kaulig Racing before Chastain moved up to the Cup Series, claimed the lead on lap four and led to the stage win ahead of Alex Labbé, Daniel Hemric, Parker Kligerman, Justin Allgaier, Preston Pardus, Jade Buford, Parker Chase, Jeremy Clements, and Gibbs.

Chastain continued to lead throughout Stage #2 while fellow Cup driver Bubba Wallace worked his way through the order to catch him. Wallace, who frequently saw little success on road courses, remained on Chastain’s tail before a transmission issue caused him to fall off pace and out of the order. With a lap before the stage’s conclusion, Chastain pitted and the lead cycled to Sam Mayer who won his first stage ahead of Buford. Allgaier, Josh Berry, Riley Herbst, Cole Custer, Sage Karam, Chastain, Allmendinger, and Noah Gragson followed, though Custer received a speeding penalty on his stop that bumped Scott Heckert into the top ten.

A pair of debris cautions highlighted the final stage, the first of which came after just one lap of racing. Allmendinger took the lead from Chastain on said lap. A debris caution came out with nine laps remaining, but Allmendinger kept his ground and was unbeatable as he secured his first win of 2022 and eleventh in the Xfinity Series.

Allmendinger’s seven Xfinity road course wins have come across six different tracks: COTA, the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (thrice), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (twice), and Road America (once). Although he has yet to win an Xfinity race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway‘s infield road course or Watkins Glen International, both of his Cup victories came at those venues.

“I told myself yesterday I was not happy with where I put ourselves,” Allmendinger commented. “All these men and women here at Kaulig Racing, between the Cup side of it and the Xfinity side of it, they don’t sleep during the week. They’re busting their tails and that’s why I’m so freaking hard on myself sometimes because they deserve to win more than anybody here. I just want to do it for them. Thankfully, we got it done today.”

With their performances, Allmendinger, Austin Hill (finished second), Gragson (fourth), and Mayer (fifth) qualified for the first leg of the Dash 4 Cash at Richmond Raceway next Saturday.

Credit: Logan Riely/Getty Images

While Allmendinger celebrated his victory, others were not as pleased with their races. Josh Bilicki was spun by Brandon Jones, and voiced his frustration on social media by tweeting that he would “be upset too if I was running lap times outside of the top 20 in a Joe Gibbs car. Doesn’t justify what the 19 did to us though. Wrecked us on a fricken straightaway!”

“Dude used his bumper on me multiple times and pushed me off track when we were side by side,” he followed. “I use my bumper on him, didn’t even come close to spinning him, and he retaliates by dumping me on a straight. Pathetic! Sadly I don’t have a daddy that can pay for the damage like him.”

Bilicki’s remark about Jones’ father refers to J.R. Jones being a longtime supporter of his son’s racing career. Jones, who races for one of the top Xfinity teams in Joe Gibbs Racing, ended his day in eighteenth. Fellow driver Cody Ware backed up Bilicki’s testimony in a deleted tweet as he recalled the 2017 Mid-Ohio race in which he was “dumped by Jones when I was running top 10 for [Mike Harmon Racing] […] Passed him on the GWC clean and he proceeded to dump me. Must be pretty tough when you get out run by teams 1/100th of the budget”.

Tommy Joe Martins, who employs Bilicki at Alpha Prime Racing, was also critical of Jones as he remarked, “Let it be known @joshbilicki drove from 34th to the top15 in 5 laps on scuffs. The reward was getting dumped on a straightaway to finish 35th. And btw for those curious the difference between 18th & 35th is $7,600 + the damage to our racecar & my guys having to bust their asses to fix it.”

Martins later added he spoke with Jones on the matter to ensure it was not “just a bs Twitter beef. He was mad & I was frustrated too. We’ll get over it. Another race next week. Just gotta get this 45 (Bilicki) back in the points where it should be.”

Race results

1416A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet46Running
2821Austin HillRichard Childress RacingChevrolet46Running
3307Cole Custer*SS-Green Light RacingFord46Running
4129Noah GragsonJR MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
5101Sam MayerJR MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
62131Myatt SniderRichard Childress RacingChevrolet46Running
71302Brett MoffittOur MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
81648Jade BufordBig Machine Racing TeamChevrolet46Running
91788Miguel PaludoJR MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
1062Sheldon CreedRichard Childress RacingChevrolet46Running
113539Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord46Running
121135Parker Kligerman*Emerling-Gase MotorsportsToyota46Running
131823Anthony AlfredoOur MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
14791Preston PardusDGM RacingChevrolet46Running
15154Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota46Running
162444Sage KaramAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet46Running
17292Ross Chastain*DGM RacingChevrolet46Running
183819Brandon JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota46Running
192326Parker ChaseSam Hunt RacingToyota46Running
202868Brandon BrownBrandonbilt MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
213399Stefan ParsonsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
223028Patrick GallagherRSS RacingFord46Running
232027Jeb BurtonOur MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
242651Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet46Running
251911Daniel HemricKaulig RacingChevrolet46Running
262298Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord46Running
27258Josh BerryJR MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
281518Bubba Wallace*Joe Gibbs RacingToyota46Running
293666J.J. YeleyMBM MotorsportsFord46Running
30346Ryan VargasJD MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
311410Landon CassillKaulig RacingChevrolet46Running
32325Scott HeckertB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
3397Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet46Running
343108Joe Graf Jr.SS-Green Light RacingFord46Running
352745Josh BilickiAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet46Running
36536Alex LabbéDGM RacingChevrolet41Rear Gear
373738Will RodgersRSS RacingFord34Running
38294Bayley CurreyJD MotorsportsChevrolet13Engine
DNQ47Brennan PooleMike Harmon RacingChevrolet
DNQ52Gar RobinsonJimmy Means RacingChevrolet
DNQ78Josh WilliamsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet
DNQ34Jesse IwujiJesse Iwuji MotorsportsChevrolet
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points
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About author
Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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