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Allmendinger wins Xfinity race; Gragson finishes 5th

AJ Allmendinger (16) maintains a lead over Daniel Hemric (18) within the ultimate laps of a NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Saturday, March 6, 2021. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal by way of AP)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — AJ Allmendinger raced to the primary victory of his comeback season by passing Daniel Hemric on the ultimate restart within the Xfinity Series race Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Allmendinger this year agreed to his first fulltime season since 2018 in a cope with Kaulig Racing. He’s buddies with group proprietor Matt Kaulig and has slowly been lured again into NASCAR as a favor to the group.

He was Kaulig’s “Trophy Hunter” final year in 11 races he was entered solely to win for the group. Kaulig then satisfied Allmendinger to run for the Xfinity Series championship whereas additionally serving to the group transfer to Cup subsequent season.

The victory was the sixth within the Xfinity Series for Allmendinger, who retired on the finish of the 2018 season somewhat than drive for an uncompetitive group.

Allmendinger was in tears when he climbed from his successful Chevrolet.

“It’s emotional, hell, you don’t know when you are going to do this again,” Allmendinger stated. “You never know if this is the last one. Matt Kaulig, I love you man.”

Kaulig Racing has eight Xfinity Series victories since its 2016 formation. Four of the wins have been by Allmendinger.

Allmendinger stated he holds Kaulig in such excessive regard that he’s usually ailing earlier than races from the strain to ship for the group.

“I want to win so bad for Matt every week. It’s hard to put into words what he means to me and truly how bad I want to win for him,” Allmendinger stated. “It’s the same thing as wanting to win for Roger Penske. It means that much to me that he believes in me. Thank you for this opportunity because I don’t take it for granted.”

Allmendinger led 44 laps, together with the ultimate 13 after passing Hemric on the restart.

Hemric completed second and led a race-high 74 laps in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Brandon Jones, his JGR teammate, was third.

Austin Cindric was fourth in a Ford for Team Penske and Noah Gragson, the Las Vegas native, was fifth in a Chevrolet for JR Motorsports.

Gragson was adopted throughout the end line by teammates Michael Annett and Josh Berry in three top-10s for JRM. Annett is mourning the surprising loss of life of his father earlier this week.

IndyCar driver Santino Ferrucci, in his second NASCAR race, completed thirteenth.

Ty Dillon has had a horrible run by three races with Joe Gibbs Racing. A damaged radiator ended his race final week at Homestead and he crashed with 20 laps remaining Saturday when the battery in his spotter’s radio died.

Drew Herring was switching over to a brand new battery and never capable of inform Dillon he was not clear to maneuver up a lane when Dillon improperly minimize in entrance of Brett Moffitt. Dillon was moreover penalized two laps when too many crew members went over the wall to repair the harm and Dillon completed thirtieth.

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