AJ Allmendinger Wins Feast or Famine Race for Kaulig

As shown above, AJ Allmendinger raced his way into Charlotte's ROVAL Victory Lane. (Photo Credit: Stephen Conley/TPF)

As shown above, AJ Allmendinger raced his way into Charlotte’s ROVAL Victory Lane. (Photo Credit: Stephen Conley/TPF)

By all means, Matt Kaulig isn’t afraid to take a risk as he did with signing AJ Allmendinger to a part-time schedule. Sure, Justin Haley came into the season as the full-time driver of the No. 11 LeafFilter Chevrolet and had high hopes and expectations.

However, the season just hasn’t been there for Haley.  In like manner, after breaking a rear end on his Camaro, Haley now sits 39 points out, needing a win heading to Dover to advance in the playoffs.

Haley was visibly disgusted after the race and said as much…or as little.

“We broke on lap one, what are you gonna do–I just don’t know,” Haley said.

Chris Rice, General Manager of Kaulig Racing, said in the Charlotte Media Center that they know the 10 isn’t a winning team right now on the ovals, but that they have to just go to Homestead in position to finish fifth.

“We’ve got work to do,” Rice acknowledged.

That Winning Feeling

On the other hand, it was a trip to Victory Lane again as A.J. Allmendinger took it over Tyler Reddick on Charlotte’s challenging ROVAL.

Allmendinger took over the lead late following a rash of yellow flags, something that was not prevalent during the first part of the race. All in all prior to Stage 3, there was only one big wreck with Tyler Reddick over driving the chicane on lap one.

Certainly, Allmendinger was extremely thankful for his time with Kaulig Racing, even after getting two disqualifications early in the year.

After the race, he mentioned how Kaulig and Rice wanted him back in the car in 2020 to help the team grow.

Rice said, “If we don’t win, it’s not your fault. You are better than these race cars and we want to get up to your level.”

Of course, Allmendinger is very accepting of this idea, and said, “If they want me, I’ll be there.”

When rewinding to last year, Allmendinger contemplated about his future in racing.

In spite of an uncertain 2019, Allmendinger excelled with Kaulig. (Photo Credit: Daniel Overbey/TPF)

In spite of an uncertain 2019, Allmendinger excelled with Kaulig. (Photo Credit: Daniel Overbey/TPF)

“I’ve always said this is really been a grind, and it hasn’t been a lot of fun,” he admitted. “This time, I’m back in victory lane, and it makes it fun again. We’re all in it together, (and) we win and lose as a team. This means a lot to me.”

Playoff Impact

With AJ Allmendinger running a part-time schedule, the win didn’t count towards the NASCAR XFINITY Series Playoffs.  However, the title contenders realized it was a lost opportunity.

Despite locking into the Round of 8, points leader Christopher Bell, running as high as second, dropped to 12th in the final rundown.

Following the race, Allmendinger said, “I love watching Christopher race. I knew if I was stuck behind him for a couple of laps, he was going to get comfortable and get gone. (So) I had to go then another four or five laps and it was over for me. I enjoy this race team.”

While Allmendinger won Saturday’s race, Tyler Reddick, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson rounded out the top-five. Cole Custer clinched his way into the Round of 8 by virtue of points.  Above all, Allmendinger not only won at the ROVAL, but he’ll also walk down the aisle to marry longtime girlfriend Tara Lea Meador.

Stephen Conley

If it races, I'll write about it, talk about it or shoot it with a camera.

I began pursuing a career in motorsports journalism immediately after attending college at Kent State University. I have hosted multiple Motorsports talk shows, worked in Country Music radio, and now i spend every day on the air in the morning with 1300 and 100.9 WMVO and in the afternoons watching the roadways around Central Ohio for 93.7 WQIO.

The excitement and the fans make everything I put out there worth while, it's been an exciting 15 years having covered everything from the Daytona 500 to the Rolex 24 and you can find me at pretty much any event run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

What I like to bring is a look behind the scenes, a look at what and who makes the sport grow. From the guy that welds pieces back at the shop to the host in the tv booth.

Everyone has a story and I like to tell it. My main focus here at TPF is looking at the men and women behind the microphone and cameras.

My life long goal is to become a member of MRN or PRN Radio and bring the races to you. I hope that what I share now is enjoyable and gives you a unique look in to the world of motorsports.

See you at a track soon

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