By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
After late-race contact between AJ Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier sent the latter spinning, Allgaier confronted the road racing ace post-race.
As the UNOH 188 entered the closing laps, NASCAR Xfinity Series regular Allgaier battled with part-time Xfinity driver Allmendinger and road course ringer Andy Lally. Allgaier ran third in his No. 7 Brandt Chevrolet Camaro SS, just ahead of the two road racing experts.
With three laps to go, Allmendinger’s No. 16 Ellsworth Advisors Chevrolet Camaro SS dove to the left of Lally’s No. 02 Knockaround Chevrolet in turn six. The Kaulig Racing driver started wheel-hopping as the trio reached the corner. Allmendinger slid into Allgaier, sending the JR Motorsports driver spinning. Lally took third with Allmendinger in tow.
Allgaier completed a full 360 spin before continuing on. He dropped from third to ninth after the spin. Allmendinger finished fourth while Lally dropped to a fifth after a mistake with two to go in the UNOH 188 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course in the bus stop.
Post-race, Allgaier stormed down Daytona’s pit road and confronted Allmendinger. The duo exchanged words before going their separate ways. Sportsmanship prevailed as Lally took Allgaier aside, putting his arm around his competitor.
"That's just DUMB." – @J_Allgaier
"It was a mistake. I've seen you make a lot of them." – @AJDinger
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) August 15, 2020
“Plain and simple, he (Allmendinger) just made a dumb decision,” Allgaier explained to NASCAR on NBC. “It’s pretty easy to tell what happened. I don’t know if we could’ve held him off at the end of the race there. He just drove in there and cleaned me out. We weren’t the best today, the guys did a really good job, made big gains all day. The spotters were awesome, getting me in the right spots.
“2020 has been like that and I’m over it. It’s not the first time AJ’s wrecked me. It’s just hard when the same guy wrecks you over and over again.”
The late-race contact and confrontation almost never happened. At the end of the first stage, Allmendinger was penalized one lap for pitting outside the box. Several quick cautions later and he received the free pass before roaring through the field in the second stage.
For Allgaier, the ninth-place finish is his 10th top-10 this season and 186th of his Xfinity career. He remains seventh in points, 197 behind leader and race winner Austin Cindric. Allgaier is 224-points ahead of the playoff cutoff held by Brandon Brown.
Allmendinger’s fourth-place finish is his fifth top-five this season and the 10th of his career. In seven Xfinity Series starts this season, he has finished inside the top-10 every time.
Lally’s fifth-place finish is his second top-five this season and the third of his Xfinity career in 13 starts.
Allgaier will be back in action for the Drydene 200 doubleheader at Dover International Speedway.
Allmendinger’s next scheduled race is the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval in the playoffs.
Currently, the UNOH 188 at Daytona is the last scheduled NASCAR race for Lally this season.