In a late shootout between a future star and a pair of road-course ringers, rookie Ty Gibbs came out on top after the Charlotte, North Carolina, native fended off late challenges from AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric to win the Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 at Watkins Glen International on Saturday, August 7. The victory at The Glen was Gibbs’ third of his Xfinity Series career and his third of the season while coming in his 10th series start.
The starting lineup was based on a performance metric formula, weighing the driver’s and owner’s results from a previous Xfinity event, the owner points position and the fastest lap recorded from a previous Xfinity race. With that, Justin Allgaier started on pole position and was joined on the front row with Austin Cindric, winner of the recent Xfinity Glen event in 2019.
Prior to the event, Ryan Sieg and Jesse Little started at the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments to their respective machines.
When the green flag waved and the race commenced, Allgaier and Cindric battled dead even for the lead until Cindric managed to pull ahead through the Esses. Through the backstretch, the Inner Loop, the Bus Stop and the seven-turn, 2.45-mile circuit, Cindric managed to lead the first lap. Behind, Ryan Sieg and David Smith spun in Turn 6, but the field continued to compete under green.
Three laps later and while Cindric continued to lead, the caution flew due to Michael Munley wrecking into the tire barriers in Turn 5.
The race restarted on the eighth lap. At the start, Cindric maintained the lead while AJ Allmendinger moved into second place over Allgaier while teammates Harrison Burton and Daniel Hemric battled in the top five ahead of their other teammate, Ty Gibbs, and the field.
When the competition caution flew on Lap 10, Cindric was still leading. Under the competition caution, some led by Austin Dillon pitted while the rest remained on the track.
On Lap 13, the race restarted with Cindric and Allmendinger leading the field. Behind, the No. 99 Chevrolet of Kyle Tilley was turned and spun past the start/finish line, but the race continued under green.
At the front, Cindric maintained the lead ahead of Allmendinger, Daniel Hemric, Allgaier and Ty Gibbs. Behind, Kris Wright spun near Turn 11, but the race continued under green.
In the closing laps of the first stage, names like Allgaier, rookie Ty Gibbs, Myatt Snider, Brandon Brown, Alex Labbe and Josh Williams pitted under green.
Back at the front, Cindric remained uncontested and was able to win the first stage on Lap 20. Allmendinger settled in second followed by Hemric, Harrison Burton, Jeb Burton, Justin Haley, Gragson, Brandon Jones, Riley Herbst and Sam Mayer.
Under the stage break, some led by Cindric and Allmendinger pitted while the rest led by Harrison Burton remained on the track. By then, Labbe lost an axle.
The second stage started on Lap 24. At the start, Harrison Burton managed to retain the lead until his teammate, Brandon Jones, took it through the Esses. A lap later, Gibbs muscled his way into the lead. Behind, teammate Daniel Hemric spun in Turn 1, but he was able to continue with the race remaining under green.
On Lap 34, the caution flew when Alex Labbe spun and got his car stuck in Turn 1. Under caution, names like Myatt Snider, Jeb Burton, Justin Haley and others pitted while the rest led by Gibbs remained on the track.
When the race restarted on Lap 36, Allmendinger issued a challenge and managed to overtake Gibbs through the Esses.
Despite being pressured by Gibbs, Allmendinger managed to retain the top spot over Gibbs and win the second stage on Lap 40. Settling in third was Cindric followed by Allgaier, Gragson, Herbst, Mayer, Michael Annett, Erik Jones and Hemric.
Under the stage break, several names led by Allmendinger pitted while the rest led by Gibbs remained on the track.
With 41 laps remaining, the final stage commenced. At the start, Gibbs managed to fend off Cindric for the lead while Mayer moved up to third ahead of teammate Gragson and Harrison Burton. Two laps later, Gibbs managed to extend his advantage to more than a second over Cindric and the field.
On Lap 49, the caution flew due to Matt Mills getting into the tire barriers out of the bus stop turn. The incident occurred as Mills was trying to avoid the No. 52 car of David Smith.
Under caution, few led by Hemric remained on the track while the rest pitted. During the pit stops, Riley Herbst was busted for speeding on pit road and rookie Sam Mayer was penalized for an over-the-wall too soon penalty.
With 32 laps remaining, the race restarted. At the start, Hemric, who did not pit under the last caution, led the field ahead of Bayley Currey and Brandon Jones.
On Lap 56, Hemric surrendered the lead to teammate Gibbs to pit. By then, Austin Dillon pitted and then took his No. 23 Our Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro to the garage due to a mechanical issue.
On Lap 59, Jeremy Clements spun following contact from Jeb Burton, but the race continued under green.
Six laps later, Brandon Jones and Allgaier pitted for service. Shortly after, Kris Wright spun following contact with Sam Mayer in the bus stop, but the field continued under green.
Then on Lap 68, the caution flew when Erik Jones, driving the No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro for Jordan Anderson Racing, lost his brakes and wrecked hard in Turn 6, with his damaged car getting stuck in the gravel trap.
Under caution, names like Gibbs, Cindric, Allmendinger, Harrison Burton, Jeb Burton, Brandon Jones, Tommy Joe Martins, Landon Cassill, Kyle Weatherman, Allgaier and Clements remained on the track while the rest pitted.
With 12 laps remaining, the race restarted. At the start, Gibbs was leading until he went wide in Turn 1, which allowed Cindric to muscle ahead. While Gibbs, tried to peak ahead through Turn 7, Cindric maintained the lead. A lap later, though, Gibbs was back in the lead.
Just under the final laps, the caution flew due to Kyle Weatherman stopping on the track in the backstretch and climbing out of his car.
Down to the final four laps of the event, the race restarted. At the start, Allmendinger managed to pull ahead through the Esses. Behind, Hemric spun in Turn 1 again.
A lap later, Gibbs was able to take the lead back from Allmendinger through Turn 6. From there, Gibbs went to work in fending off Allmendinger and Cindric with the top spot. Allgaier settled in fourth behind the three front-runners while Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones and Gragson battled for a spot in the top five.
When the white flag waved to signal the final lap of the race, Gibbs remained ahead of Allmendinger and Cindric.
For a final lap, Gibbs was able to navigate his No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Supra through the seven-turn course and streak across the finish line in first place for his third checkered flag of the season.
The victory was the 10th of the season for Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 54 Toyota Supra team, three of which came from Gibbs, as Gibbs also collected his second road-course victory of the season.
“I felt like [Cindric] got a really great restart the restart before and he got a little wide,” Gibbs, who led a race-high 43 of 82 laps, said on CNBC. “First of all, I have to say thank you to the man above. That was probably the most fun race I’ve ever been in with AJ and with[Justin Allgaier] and [Cindric], those guys are very experienced veterans in this racing series. To be able to race and beat them just means a lot. I learned a lot from them too. I just can’t thank Monster Energy, [Toyota Racing Development]. My Toyota Racing Supra was super fast today and this is just a dream come true…This is just wonderful – I can’t even believe it.”
Behind Gibbs, Allmendinger and Cindric, two road-course ringers and Xfinity Series full-time competitors whom led a combined 28 of 82 laps and battled for the win at The Glen in 2019, finished in second and third.
“[The 54 car]’s a fast car,” Allmendinger said. “Ty was doing a great job. We weren’t very good a couple years ago, so we went with a completely different setup. The Hyperice Chevy was pretty solid; second-best race car, unfortunately. Gibbs is tough and that No. 54 car, all year, has been tough. Ty did a great job. He was clean, made a great move on me. I couldn’t do really anything to defend it…I’m ready to go win at the Brickyard [next weekend].”
Allgaier came home in fourth while Harrison Burton finished in the top five. Brandon Jones crossed the finish line in sixth followed by Gragson, Jeb Burton, Haley and Sam Mayer.
Michael Annett, who returned following a two-race absence, finished 11th ahead of Brandon Brown, Herbst, Josh Williams and Myatt Snider. Clements and Sieg finished 16th and 18th while Hemric fell back to 22nd following his late spin.
There were 12 lead changes for six different leaders. The race featured eight cautions for 15 laps.
With his 13th top-five result of the season, Austin Cindric continues to lead the regular-season standings by 80 points over AJ Allmendinger.
1. Ty Gibbs, 43 laps led
2. AJ Allmendinger, six laps led, Stage 2 winner
3. Austin Cindric, 22 laps led, Stage 1 winner
4. Justin Allgaier
5. Harrison Burton, three laps led
6. Brandon Jones, one lap led
7. Noah Gragson
8. Jeb Burton
9. Justin Haley
10. Sam Mayer
11. Michael Annett
12. Brandon Brown
13. Riley Herbst
14. Josh Williams
15. Myatt Snider
16. Jeremy Clements
17. Kris Wright
18. Ryan Sieg
19. Tommy Joe Martins
20. Landon Cassill
21. Jade Buford
22. Daniel Hemric, seven laps led
23. Preston Pardus
24. Josh Bilicki
25. Jeffrey Earnhardt
26. Brett Moffitt
27. Jesse Little
28. Stephen Leicht
29. Timmy Hill, one lap down
30. Joe Graf Jr., one lap down
31. Colby Howard, one lap down
32. Bayley Currey, one lap down
33. Dave Smith, two laps down
34. Kyle Weatherman – OUT, Electrical
35. Michael Munley – OUT, Suspension
36. Erik Jones – OUT, Accident
37. Austin Dillon – OUT, Chassis
38. Matt Mills – OUT, Accident
39. Alex Labbe – OUT, Rear gear
40. Kyle Tilley – OUT, Dvp
Next on the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is another road course venue as the series will compete at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course on Saturday, August 14. The event is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN.