INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — AJ Allmendinger continued his dominance of NASCAR road course racing and set himself up for a sweep at Indianapolis Motor Speedway with a victory Saturday in the Xfinity Series.
Allmendinger has won six of the last 11 road course races — nine in his NASCAR career — and his latest victory is his third of the Xfinity season.
All three wins are on road courses this year as Allmendinger already won at Circuit of the Americas in Texas and Portland, and now the hallowed Brickyard.
Allmendinger is the defending winner of the Cup race and on Sunday will go for the sweep.
“God I love this place!” Allmendinger screamed to the crowd. “Indy, baby! Let’s go!”
Allmendinger sprayed his crew with beer then dropped to his knees on the Yard of Bricks for the celebratory kiss.
“I love it!” Allmendinger screamed into the live NBC Sports camera.
His win in a Chevrolet was his 11th in the Xfinity Series since 2019 when he came out of semi-retirement to help Kaulig Motorsports build its motorsports practice. Allmendinger was the “trophy hunter” for the team in the Xfinity Series, and now does it in Cup in races with big stakes as Kaulig has expanded.
Allmendinger led 43 of the 62 laps and beat Alex Bowman by 2.084 seconds. Bowman thanked his Hendrick Motorsports team for allowing him to race Saturday to prep for Sunday.
“We obviously struggled really badly today in the Cup car, maybe I learned something that will play out tomorrow on the racetrack,” said Bowman, who qualified 28th for the Cup race.
Justin Allgaier finished third as Chevrolet swept the podium, then added one more with a fourth-place finish for Ross Chastain.
Chase Briscoe and Riley Herbst were fifth and sixth in Fords, and Ty Gibbs was the highest-finishing Toyota driver in eighth.
Allmendinger, Bowman, Chastain, Briscoe and Gibbs are all entered in the Cup race Sunday; Gibbs is filling-in for Kurt Busch, who is suffering from concussion-like symptoms, for a second consecutive week.
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