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Sunday, November 28, 2021

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    AJ Allmendinger remains perfect on The Roval with third win

    Concord, N.C. — AJ Allmendinger charged into the semifinal round of the Xfinity Series playoffs with an overtime victory Saturday in the elimination race on The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

    Allmendinger improved to 3-0 on the hybrid road course/oval added to the NASCAR schedule in 2018. He wasn’t in the inaugural race, won by Chase Briscoe.

    Allmendinger took the lead for the first time with 20 laps remaining and had the win in sight — he had a nine-second lead — when Tommy Joe Martins brought out the caution with four laps remaining. It pushed the race into overtime for a two-lap sprint to the finish and Allmendinger got the jump on the restart and cruised to a 3.192-second victory over reigning Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric.

    “I knew (the caution) was coming out. I knew it wasn’t going to go simple like that,” Allmendinger said. “It’s special to win this race three years in a row. This car was stupid fast. The big picture is the championship but getting another win — three in a row here at the Roval — it means the world to me.”

    Allmendinger, the regular-season Xfinity Series champion, collected the checkered flag and gave it to a young fan in the Charlotte grandstands wearing an Allmendinger shirt. It was Allmendinger’s fifth win of the season, tying his career high set in 2006 when Allmendinger raced in Champ Car.

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