Yesterday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series returned to the ROVAL at Charlotte Motor Speedway for their first elimination race of the year. Playoff drivers AJ Allmendinger in the #16, Ty Gibbs in the #54 and Daniel Hemric in the #11 took up the first three starting spots, with Sheldon Creed in the #2 and playoff driver Justin Allgaier in the #7 behind them. Another playoff driver in Sam Mayer in the #1 started sixth, with the #10 of Landon Cassil behind him. Austin Hill (P) in the #21, Sage Karam in the #02 and Jeremy Clements in the #51 rounded out the top-10.
The race started pretty tame, with Allmendinger being unchallenged by Gibbs in the early stages, but then the #11 of Hemric hit a tire barrier. There was no debris or caution, but the damage to Hemric’s car was enough to cost him speed. On lap 10 of 20 in the first stage, Kris Wright in the #68 hit the turn one wall, ending his race and bringing out a caution. After this, Allmendinger would go on to easily win the stage.
The front row at the restart was the #02 of Karam and the #9 of Noah Gragson. Going into turn one, Gragson got the better of it while Karam lost position. Sheldon Creed in the #2 passed Gragson not too long after. After an uneventful stage, Brandon Jones in the #19 ended up winning stage two.
The final stage saw Sheldon Creed lead from Ty Gibbs. A couple of laps later and Gibbs passed Creed for first in Oval turn two. A caution came out a few laps later for an accident involving the #48 of Marco Andretti, #23 of Anthony Alfredo and #27 of Jeb Burton.
Gibbs battled with Creed and Allmendinger for the lead, with Gibbs coming out ahead. The caution would come out once again for the #91 of Preston Pardus.
Gibbs once again pulled away at the restart, but there was a caution for debris a few laps later. The restart then saw a massive pileup in turn one involving over five cars, bringing out a caution.
The race restarted with six laps to go. Gibbs pulled away from Allmendinger once again, but a few laps later there was yet another caution for debris, and yet another for the #98 stopped on track, which means the race would end with a green/white/checker.
This time, Allmendinger took the lead from Ty Gibbs, and led comfortably, and a couple laps later, AJ Allmendinger won at the Charlotte ROVAL!
Featured photo from @NASCAR_Xfinity on Twitter.