AJ Allmendinger Weathers The Storm To Win At The Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVALby Hunter Thomas October 11, 2020 0 comments
CONCORD, N.C. – AJ Allmendinger battled through rainy conditions to win the Drive for the Cure 250 presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina on Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL.
On the final restart on lap 66, Allmendinger, driver of the Kaulig Racing No. 16 Ellsworth Advisors Chevrolet, took the lead away from Chase Briscoe and led the final two laps of the race. With visibility at a minimum due to the weather and nightfall, Allmendinger hit his marks and kept Noah Gragson at bay to capture his second win of the 2020 season.
“I don’t know what we just witnessed,” Allmendinger said.
He continued and said, “The 98 of Chase Briscoe was doing a fantastic job. I didn’t really have anything for him after a couple of laps, but I knew that final restart, I was going to do everything I could.”
The victory marked Allmendinger’s sixth top-five finish in only 10 starts this season.
Briscoe, who spun following the final restart said that he pushed a little too hard for conditions. The costly mistake resulted in an 18th place finish for the driver of the Stewart-Haas Racing No. 98 Ford Performance Racing School Ford.
“In conditions like this, you’ve got to be at 100%,” Briscoe said. “I tried to go 110, and it bit me. Very unfortunate. That one is going to sting for a long time. I did my job for about 95% of the day right. I just knew if AJ was beside me, getting into (Turn) 3, he had been running me up so much, I tried throttling up in first gear, and I just hit the puddle, and it spun me out.”
Gragson, who was turned by Riley Herbst on lap 28, rebounded to finish in the second position, his 14th top-five effort of the year. Gragson has now finished inside the top-three in the past three consecutive races. The JR Motorsports driver was the highest finishing Playoff competitor on Saturday.
Daniel Hemric finished third, followed by Alex Labbe who recovered from a spin. Ross Chastain finished fifth and rounding out the top-10 was Austin Cindric, Cody Ware, Jade Buford, Michael Annett and Brandon Jones.
There were 14 lead changes among six drivers. Briscoe led a race high of 23 laps. Kaz Grala won Stage 1, and Briscoe won Stage 2.
Throughout the 68-lap race, there were 10 cautions for 24 laps.
Saturday’s race was the final event for the Round of 12. Drivers who advanced to the Round of 8 included: Chase Briscoe, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley, Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain and Ryan Sieg.
The first race of the Round of 8 will be held at Kansas Speedway on Saturday, October 17. Live coverage will broadcast on NBCSN and MRN at 7 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images