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Kickin The Tires

Haley joins the list of winners across all NASCAR National Series

Photo by NKP / NKP Photo

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

With a breakthrough NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Talladega Superspeedway, Justin Haley joined an exclusive club of NASCAR winners.

The rising star bounced back and forth in the top-10 after starting on the pole. Haley won the first stage before slipping to sixth in the second stage. The Kaulig Racing driver’s No. 11 Leaf Filter Gutter Protection Chevrolet Camaro SS never lost touch with the lead pack.

Haley, along with teammates Ross Chastain and A.J. Allmendinger, were helped by a timely caution. The trio, and Richard Childress Racing driver Anthony Alfredo ducked onto pit road just before an accident in the tri oval. The Kaulig drivers completed their service and assumed the top positions on the restart with 32 laps to go.

The trio found themselves running nose to tail on the outside line on the final lap. A push by Allmendinger helped Chastain push the 21-year-old into the lead on the backstretch. Haley cleared Jeb Burton and cruised to his first official Xfinity Series victory in the Unhinged 300. He joined an exclusive club in the process.

“It was crazy,” admitted Haley. “Obvious we had a really fast Leaf Filter Chevrolet. It was surprising Burton gave us the top and lined me and Ross up. That was easy with the Kaulig cars lined up, teamwork baby. It’s just an incredible, incredible day. We got Leaf Filter their first win, that’s just special.”

Haley is the 11th driver to score at least one win across the four national NASCAR series. He joined Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Mark Martin, Ryan Newman, Ken Schrader, Tony Stewart, and Michael Waltrip. The 11 drivers have wins in the NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity, Gander RV & Outdoors Trucks, and ARCA Menards Series.

He is the second fastest to accomplish the feat, behind only Busch. In the three NASCAR Series, he is the fourth behind, Busch, Carl Edwards, and Kasey Kahne. Haley accomplished the feat in 728 days. Although he’d likely say it was in 379 days.

“Well now I can honestly say I’ve won in all three,” joked Haley. “It’s just incredible. I’ve won in K&N, ARCA, just about everything, so that’s a confidence booster.”

The Winamac, IN native crossed the line first in the 2017 July Xfinity Daytona race. However, NASCAR deemed he had passed below the double-yellow line and penalized Haley.

The victory moved Haley up to sixth in the points standings, 84-points behind leader Noah Gragson. The win locked him into the Xfinity Series playoffs.

The next race for the Xfinity Series is the Pocono Green 225 at Pocono Raceway on June 28.

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