Amid the on-track action and the battles between a bevy of Playoff competitors vying for spots to the Round of 8, AJ Allmendinger spoiled the party by flexing his road course muscles and capping off a dominant run by winning the sixth annual running of the Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course on Sunday, October 8.
The 41-year-old Allmendinger from Los Gatos, California, led twice for a race-high 46 of 109-scheduled laps in an event where he started sixth and endured various pit strategies and on-track battles against the field and Playoff contenders throughout the first two stage periods. After assuming the lead for the first time with 52 laps remaining over Playoff contender Kyle Busch, Allmendinger then surrendered the lead to pit along with most of the field under green with 39 laps remaining. But he was able to reassume the top spot with nearly 30 laps remaining amid a late caution period for an incident involving Playoff contender Denny Hamlin and when some competitors who had not yet pitted, did so.
Starting with 31 laps remaining, Allmendinger then endured four extra caution periods and restarts, where he fended off late challenges from Playoff contenders Busch and William Byron along with rookie Ty Gibbs, to navigate his way to his first NASCAR Cup Series victory of the 2023 season, the third of his career and his first in more than two years.
Allmendinger’s victory also occurred on a day when the second round of eliminations in the 2023 Cup Series Playoffs ensued. It left former Cup champions Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski, along with last year’s championship runner-up Ross Chastain, and Playoff newcomer Bubba Wallace, below the top-eight cutline and officially out of title contention for this season.
With on-track qualifying that determined the starting lineup occurring on Saturday, October 7, Playoff contender Tyler Reddick scored his third Cup pole position of the season and the sixth of his career after posting a pole-winning lap at 102.839 mph in 81.214 seconds. Joining him on the front row was Playoff contender Christopher Bell, who posted the second-best qualifying lap at 102.695 mph in 81.328 seconds.
Prior to the event, Playoff contender Kyle Larson, and Ty Dillon, started at the rear of the field in backup cars after both separately wrecked into the wall and were unable to post a qualifying lap.
When the green flag waved and the race started, Reddick, who opted to start on the outside lane, rocketed ahead from Bell and led the field through the first turn before the field navigated its way through the infield road course turns. With the field navigating its way through the road course turns and back onto the oval turns before entering the backstretch chicane, Reddick managed to retain the top spot from Bell as he made his way through the frontstretch chicane and led the first lap. By then, Reddick’s advantage over Bell was six-tenths of a second while Bubba Wallace, Daniel Suarez and AJ Allmendinger followed suit in the top five.
Through the second to fourth lap, Reddick slowly stretched his advantage to nearly a second over Bell. As Reddick proceeded to lead the fifth lap by more than a second over Bell, Wallace retained third ahead of Suarez and Allmendinger while Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, rookie Ty Gibbs and Ross Chastain were running in the top 10. Behind, Denny Hamlin was in 11th ahead of William Byron, Michael McDowell, Martin Truex Jr. and Alex Bowman while Austin Dillon, Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Ryan Preece and Chris Buescher occupied the top 20. Meanwhile, Kyle Larson, who dodged a spin by Erik Jones through the frontstretch chicane, was mired in 28th behind Chase Briscoe while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was on pit road after making contact with the wall and damaging a rear toe link to his No. 47 Harris Teeter/Totino’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Through the first 10 scheduled laps, Reddick continued to lead by eight-tenths of a second over Bell while Wallace, Suarez and Allmendinger remained in the top five. As Kyle Busch, Elliott, Ty Gibbs, Logano and Chastain continued to run in the top 10, Playoff contenders Hamlin, Byron, Truex, Blaney, Keselowski, Buescher and Larson were running 11th, 12th, 14th, 17th, 18th, 19th and 27th, respectively, while McDowell, Bowman and Austin Dillon were running in the top 16. Meanwhile, Preece was back in 20th ahead of teammate Aric Almirola, Cindric was running 22nd ahead of Corey LaJoie and Justin Haley, Kevin Harvick was mired in 26th ahead of Larson and Mike Rockenfeller was in 31st in between Briscoe and Austin Hill.
Five laps later, Reddick’s lead extended back to more than a second over Bell while third-place Wallace trailed by more than four seconds. Behind, Suarez and Allmendinger continued to run in the top five while Elliott, Kyle Busch, Ty Gibbs, Logano and Chastain remained in the top 10.
Another lap later, the first round of green flag pit stops commenced as Playoff contender Blaney pitted his No. 12 Discount Tire Ford Mustang followed by the No. 2 Menards Ford Mustang piloted by teammate Austin Cindric. Another two laps later, brothers Austin and Ty Dillon pitted along with Briscoe and Austin Hill while Playoff contender Brad Keselowski was assessed a pass-through penalty after NASCAR deemed he missed the frontstretch chicane. By the time Keselowski served his penalty at the Lap 20 mark and with Reddick continuing to lead, more drivers, including Larson, Justin Haley and Preece pitted under green.
By Lap 21, more drivers, including Suarez, Allmendinger, Elliott, Kyle Busch, Ty Gibbs, Logano, Byron, McDowell, Buescher, Harvick and Zane Smith pitted under green while Hamlin, Bowman, Almirola and Josh Bilicki followed suit during Lap 22 as Reddick continued to lead ahead of Bell and teammate Wallace. Bell would then pit his No. 20 DeWalt Toyota TRD Camry under green on Lap 23 and just as pit road closed with the first stage period nearing its conclusion.
When the first stage period concluded on Lap 25, Reddick, who came into the Charlotte Roval two points below the top-eight cutline in the Playoff standings, captured his sixth Cup stage victory of the 2023 season. Teammate Wallace settled in second ahead of Chastain, Truex and Bell, who executed his pit stop to only lose three spots while blending back on the track, while Suarez, Elliott, Kyle Busch, Ty Gibbs and Allmendinger were scored in the top 10. By then, Playoff contenders Hamlin, Byron, Blaney, Keselowski, Buescher and Larson were mired outside the top 10 on the track while all but one of 37 starters were scored on the lead lap. In addition, Mike Rockenfeller was serving a stop-and-go penalty for missing the backstretch chicane.
Under the stage break, some led by Reddick, including those who remained on the track to gain stage points, pitted while the rest led by Bell remained on the track.
The second stage period started on Lap 29 as Bell and Suarez occupied the front row. At the start, Bell, who made contact with Suarez, managed to rocket ahead from the outside lane and retain the lead through the first turn and the infield road course turns. As Elliott and Suarez bumped while battling for the runner-up spot ahead of the field through the road course turns and back on the oval turns, Bell muscled away with the lead as Kyle Busch and Allmendinger were in the top five. With more side-by-side battles ensuing through the backstretch chicane and back to the frontstretch, Bell retained the lead ahead of Elliott, Suarez, Kyle Busch and Allmendinger while Ty Gibbs, Hamlin, Logano, Byron and McDowell were in the top 10 at the Lap 30 mark.
At the Lap 35 mark, Bell was leading by two-tenths of a second over Elliott followed by Suarez, Allmendinger and Kyle Busch while Ty Gibbs, Hamlin, Logano, Byron and McDowell were in the top 10. Behind, Bowman was in 11th ahead of Blaney, Buescher, Reddick and Larson while Cindric, Almirola, Austin Dillon, Chastain and Haley were mired in the top 20 ahead of Wallace, Josh Bilicki, Truex, Keselowski and Harrison Burton.
Another lap later, Elliott muscled his No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 beneath and past Bell through Turn 8 as he assumed the lead. With Elliott stretching his advantage to more than half a second through the frontstretch, Suarez, Allmendinger, Kyle Busch and Ty Gibbs started to close in on Bell for the runner-up spot while Hamlin trailed in seventh place. By then, Reddick carved his way up to the 12th while teammate Wallace was mired in 20th behind Chastain. In addition, Larson was in 15th behind Buescher and Blaney while Truex and Keselowski were back in 23rd and 24th. Meanwhile, Harvick was back in 36th after locking up his tires, missing the backstretch chicane and coming to a full stop to serve his penalty a few laps earlier.
Just past the Lap 40 mark, Elliott was leading by more than three seconds over Bell while Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, Kyle Busch, Suarez, Hamlin, Logano, Byron and McDowell were running in the top 10. By then, Playoff contenders Reddick, Buescher, Larson, Blaney, Chastain, Wallace, Truex and Keselowski were in 11th, 12th, 14th, 15th, 18th, 20th, 21st and 24th, respectively.
Another lap later, a second wave of green flag pit stops commenced as Blaney pitted before Harrison Burton and Almirola pitted during the next lap. Playoff contender Kyle Busch would pit his No. 8 Lenovo Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 along with Logano, Byron, Austin Dillon and Keselowski on Lap 43 before Allmendinger, Ty Gibbs, Suarez, Bowman, Cindric and Zane Smith peeled off the track to pit during the following lap. In the process, Elliott retained the lead through Lap 45 ahead of Bell, Hamlin, Reddick, Buescher and Larson.
Then with three laps remaining in the second stage period and just after more names that included Playoff contender Buescher pitted, the caution flew after Josh Bilicki and Corey LaJoie made contact that resulted in LaJoie sending Bilicki into the wall in between Turns 3 and 4. Bilicki’s incident was enough for the second stage period scheduled to conclude on Lap 50 to conclude under caution as Elliott, who was about to pit under green but elected to remain on the track during the incident, captured his second Cup stage victory of the 2023 season. Playoff contenders Bell, Hamlin, Reddick, Larson, Chastain, Wallace and Truex followed suit from second to eighth while McDowell and Playoff contender Kyle Busch were scored in the top 10. By then, Playoff contenders Byron, Blaney, Buescher and Keselowski were mired within the top 20 while all but two starters were scored on the lead lap. In addition, Hamlin, who came into the Charlotte Roval 50 points above the top-eight cutline, was able to accumulate enough points to clinch a spot in the Round of 8.
During the stage break, some led by Elliott pitted while the rest led by Kyle Busch remained on the track. Amid the pit stops, McDowell’s pit crew went underneath the hood of the No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang amid a power steering issue.
With 56 laps remaining, the final stage commenced under green as Kyle Busch and Ty Gibbs occupied the front row. At the start, Busch muscled ahead with the lead through Turn 1 while Allmendinger battled and overtook Gibbs for the runner-up spot. As the field navigated its way through the infield road course turns and back on the oval turns, Busch retained the lead while Byron, Logano and Buescher battled for fourth place in front of Blaney and Suarez. Amid more battles through the backstretch chicane, Busch retained the lead as he navigated back to the frontstretch chicane with runner-up Allmendinger trailing by three-tenths of a second.
At the halfway mark in between Laps 54 and 55, Kyle Busch continued to lead by three-tenths of a second over a hard-charging Allmendinger followed by Byron, Ty Gibbs and Logano while Buescher, Suarez, Blaney, Bowman and Keselowski were in the top 10. By then, Playoff contenders Reddick, Chastain, Larson, Wallace, Truex, Bell and Hamlin were mired in 19th, 24th, 25th, 27th, 28th, 30th and 32nd, respectively, while Cindric, Harvick, Austin Dillon, Preece and LaJoie were running in the top 15.
Then with 52 laps remaining, Allmendinger made his move beneath Busch and moved his No. 16 Celsius Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 into the lead through Turn 8. With Busch now back in the runner-up spot and placed in a “must-win” situation to move into the Round of 8, Byron, Ty Gibbs and Buescher were in the top five while Logano, Suarez, Blaney, Bowman and Keselowski were in the top 10. Meanwhile, Playoff contenders Larson, Wallace, Chastain, Truex, Bell and Hamlin were mired outside the top 20 on the track.
With 45 laps remaining, Allmendinger extended his advantage to more than two seconds over Kyle Busch followed by Byron, Ty Gibbs and Buescher while Logano, Suarez, Blaney, Bowman and Keselowski were in the top 10 on the track. By then, Playoff contender Reddick was up to 15th and Larson was in 20th while Chastain, Wallace, Truex, Bell and Hamlin were mired in 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th, and 29th, respectively. The current running order of the Playoff contenders currently places Keselowski, Chastain, Wallace and Kyle Busch below the top-eight cutline while Buescher, Bell, Reddick, Truex and Larson were currently scored above the cutline, with Larson just nine points ahead of Keselowski.
Then two laps later, Elliott pitted his No. 9 NAPA Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 under green along with Harrison Burton. Playoff contender Keselowski would then pit his No. 6 Castrol Edge Ford Mustang during the following lap as he dropped to 17th by the time he blended back on the track while Allmendinger retained the lead ahead of Kyle Busch, Byron, Ty Gibbs and Buescher. Busch would then surrender the runner-up spot to pit under green with 40 laps remaining along with Briscoe and Erik Jones as Byron moved into the runner-up spot followed by Ty Gibbs. By then, Almirola was assessed a pass-through for missing the chicane while Hamlin spun after getting hit by Zane Smith through the frontstretch and just as McDowell fell off the pace after blowing a left front tire due to running over the curbs hard.
With 39 laps remaining, a bevy of names led by Allmendinger peeled off the track to pit under green in response to McDowell’s issues while Blaney remained on the track to inherit the lead. With McDowell able to limp his No. 34 Love’s Travel Stops Ford Mustang back to pit road, the race remained under green flag conditions as Blaney was scored the leader followed by Austin Dillon, Haley, Bell, Allmendinger and Kyle Busch. Bell, Austin Dillon and Chastain, who entered his pit stall in an awkward position with the right-rear tire sticking out after dodging Dillon on pit road, would pit under green with 37 laps remaining.
Then with 34 laps remaining, the caution flew after Hamlin, who was running just outside the top 20, got loose and spun his No. 11 Mavis Tires & Brakes Toyota TRD Camry for a second time, this time through the frontstretch chicane as he was then hit by Mike Rockenfeller while Ty Dillon also went off the track as he was trying to avoid Hamlin. During the caution period, some led by Blaney and including Elliott pitted while the rest led by Allmendinger remained on the track.
With the race restarting under green with 31 laps remaining, Allmendinger and Ty Gibbs dueled for the lead entering Turn 1 and through the infield road course turns before Gibbs muscled his No. 54 Interstate Batteries Toyota TRD Camry into the lead entering Turn 3. Then as the field made its way just past Turn 4, trouble struck behind as Austin Dillon and LaJoie wrecked, but the event remained under green flag conditions. Back at the front and as the field returned to the oval turns, Allmendinger made his move beneath Gibbs and reassumed the lead in Turn 8 as Byron and Kyle Busch closed in from behind. Amid the tight competition through the backstretch chicane and back to the frontstretch chicane, Allmendinger retained the lead from Ty Gibbs.
Then a lap later, the caution flew after Erik Jones, who was caught in a three-wide battle with Stenhouse and Elliott entering Turn 2, was clipped by Stenhouse and sent for a spin before he hit the wall, came back down the track and was hit by McDowell while Playoff contender Truex barely dodged the incident. The incident was enough to terminate Jones’ day in the garage while McDowell managed to proceed. By then, Hamlin retired in 37th, last place, after failing to beat the Damaged Vehicle Policy clock in time to continue.
During the following restart with 27 laps remaining, Allmendinger managed to rocket away from Ty Gibbs and retain the lead entering Turn 1 as the field fanned out entering the infield road course turns. With the field navigating through the turns and the oval circuit before entering the backstretch chicane, Allmendinger retained the lead by half a second over Ty Gibbs followed by Kyle Busch, Byron and Logano while Wallace, Bell and Larson engaged in a heated battle within the top 15 and to race their way into the Round of 8. Shortly after, Playoff contender Reddick engaged in a fierce battle with Logano for fifth place while Playoff contender Chastain was mired in 19th ahead of Elliott.
Amid another caution period with 24 laps remaining after Andy Lally spun just past Turn 1 and tried to nurse his car the opposite way before entering pit road and coming to a stop, some led by Playoff contender Keselowski pitted while the rest led by Allmendinger remained on the track.
As the race restarted with 22 laps remaining, Allmendinger managed to muscle away from Ty Gibbs entering Turn 1 to retain the lead. Behind, Kyle Busch and Gibbs made contact while battling for the runner-up spot as the field made its way through the infield road course turns and back on the oval turns. Then through the backstretch chicane, trouble struck for Playoff contender Wallace after Suarez briefly slid sideways while on the brakes and turned Cindric, who then turned Wallace’s No. 23 Leidos Toyota TRD Camry in the process as the latter two spun, but the event remained under green as Allmendinger retained the lead ahead of Ty Gibbs, Kyle Busch, Byron and Reddick. Amid their incidents, Wallace, who stopped on the frontstretch chicane after missing the backstretch chicane, and Cindric both pitted under green.
Back on the track and with 20 laps remaining, Allmendinger was leading by more than a second over Ty Gibbs followed by Kyle Busch, Byron and Reddick while Logano, Buescher, Bowman, Preece and Larson were scored in the top 10. By then, Playoff contenders Chastain, Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Wallace were currently scored below the cutline while Larson and Truex occupied the final two transfer spots by 26 and 24 points, respectively.
Then with 17 laps remaining, more trouble ensued after Playoff contender Keselowski spun through the frontstretch chicane while battling Playoff contender Chastain in the top 20, with Chastain missing the frontstretch chicane to avoid Keselowski, coming to a full stop for missing the chicane and eventually pitting his No. 1 Worldwide Express Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 for service. With the race remaining under green, the caution would return the following lap after Bell, who was battling Suarez for 11th place, sent Suarez’s No. 99 Aguas Frescas Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 spinning backward and wrecking into the Turn 8 outside wall. During the caution period, some including Keselowski pitted while the rest led by Allmendinger, including the front-runners, remained on the track.
Down to the final 13 laps of the event, the race restarted under green. At the start, Allmendinger muscled ahead from the outside lane to retain the lead before Kyle Busch made his way into the runner-up spot over Ty Gibbs entering Turn 1. As the field made its way through the infield road course turns, the caution quickly returned after fire billowed out of the No. 47 entry piloted by Stenhouse in Turn 2, with the driver able to escape uninjured.
With the race restarting with 10 laps remaining, Allmendinger rocketed ahead with the lead while Kyle Busch, who spun the tires on the restart, was locked in a battle against Byron for the runner-up spot, with Byron claiming the spot through the infield road course turns. As Allmendinger muscled away with the lead while the field navigated its way through the infield road course turns and on the oval turns, Busch was trailing the lead by more than a second with Allmendinger and Byron running first and second while Ty Gibbs and Logano were in the top five. By then, Playoff contenders Bell, Buescher, Reddick, Larson and Truex were scored above the top-eight cutline in the Playoff standings while Chastain, Wallace, Busch and Keselowski were scored on the outside.
Down to the final five laps of the event, Allmendinger continued to lead by seven-tenths of a second over a hard-charging Byron while third-place Kyle Busch trailed by more than a second. With Ty Gibbs and Logano occupying the top five, Playoff contenders Reddick and Buescher were in sixth and seventh while Bowman, Elliott and Preece were in the top 10. Meanwhile, Playoff contenders Larson, Blaney, Chastain, Bell, Wallace, Truex and Keselowski were in 11th, 12th, 13th, 15th, 19th, 20th and 21st, respectively.
When the white flag waved and the final lap started, Allmendinger remained as the leader by four-tenths of a second over Byron while third-place Kyle Busch trailed by more than two seconds. With Byron unable to gain more ground through the infield road course turns, the remaining oval turns and the backstretch chicane, Allmendinger was able to place a reasonable gap between himself and Byron and navigate his way around the final set of turns before returning to the frontstretch and claiming the checkered flag by six-tenths of a second over Byron.
With the victory, Allmendinger notched his third NASCAR Cup Series career victory, all on road course venues, and his first since winning the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course in August 2021. He also recorded the second Cup career win for Kaulig Racing, the second for crew chief Matt Swiderski and the 16th of the season for the Chevrolet nameplate. Having won the Charlotte Roval four consecutive times from 2019 to 2022, Allmendinger became the fifth competitor overall to win a Cup event at the Roval alongside Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell.
The victory for Allmendinger also comes as his status to race for Kaulig Racing either in the Cup or Xfinity Series in 2024 remains to be determined.
“You don’t know when you’re going to [win] again,” Allmendinger, who fought tears of joy on the frontstretch, said on NBC. “I love all the men and women at Kaulig Racing so much. [My family and friends] see how much anguish and how much I put it on my shoulders when we’re struggling. It just means the world. I hate crying right now, but it’s a freaking Cup race, man, and you don’t know when it’s ever gonna happen again! Let’s go! Come on! This is why you do it. This is the only reason you do it. You fight all the blood, sweat, tears. Everybody at Kaulig Racing, it’s just been such a, I say, down year, but up-and-down year. It’s our second year in the Cup Series…Matt [Kaulig] and Chris [Rice], I freakin’ love you guys so much.”
Meanwhile and amid Allmendinger’s victory, Kyle Busch, who ended up in third place behind Byron, was eliminated from the 2023 Cup Series Playoffs along with 10th-place finisher Ross Chastain, 16th-place finisher Bubba Wallace and 18th-place finisher Brad Keselowski.
“That’s what we set out to do,” Busch said. “That’s what we felt like our road course program had in it, anyways, was for sure a top three, definitely a win. The guys gave me a great piece today. The Lenovo Camaro was pretty fast. Just lacked a little bit on the long run. Just didn’t quite have enough to have the feel of the tire that I was really looking for to be able to turn into the corners and to be able to drive out of the corners and keep pace with the front two at the end. Overall, this ride’s on me. The first two week’s of this round was, obviously, not very good and we didn’t score any points, so that’s where it’s at. It sucks to be out this early, but let us do Texas all over again and I feel like there and we’re ready.”
“This weekend was incredible, just from the effort from the team, for myself, just all clicking and it felt really good to be competitive and run up front, pass cars on road courses, to not be fast, so a lot to look at,” Wallace said. “What I analyze is what could have I done to not be in that situation. Could I have been faster, passed another car, how to be better? To not put yourself when you’re racing around with squirrels. It is what it is. Just didn’t have enough and it wasn’t in the cards. Guess that’s what 30 is. I’m not mad. I’m happy for the team. I’m pumped for our season. It’s not over with it yet. I’m really excited for next week and Homestead, Martinsville. We still got four races to go out and do it. Proud of the team, so I appreciate them.”
“We knew it coming in that it was gonna be tough,” Chastain said. “We put together a heck of a day for us on road courses this year. Lately, we’ve just been slower and slower. The curves are just, I can’t get over them. There’s a lot of reason I can’t break and we’ve reverted on some of that through Watkins Glen and to here, and it’s really paid off. So excited in the gains we’ve made because we came out of the box super strong last spring. It’s not over, right? We’ve signed ourselves for a long time together. I can’t wait to get to work in the morning for Vegas and every race after.”
“You always want to be better,” Keselowski said. “The way the Playoffs work, it’s really not one race. The cutoff’s kind of make or break. It’s two or three races there. It ended up 20-some points back and you could probably look through each one of those races and say I could have got five or six here or more so. All in all, it was big progress from where we’ve been. Not the day we wanted to have and it certainly stinks to not advance, but a lot of progress from where we were last year and I’m looking forward to making another step going into next year so we can keep pushing. A rasonable season when we still got the opportunity to run fifth in points and win races over the next four weeks. We’ll make the most of that.”
Amid the disappointments for Wallace, Busch, Chastain and Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr. was the sole survivor for a second consecutive round as he finished 20th and transferred into the Round of 8 by 12 points with Kyle Larson, who ended up 13th, also transferring by 13 points. As a result, both along with William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Chris Buescher, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Ryan Blaney will square off against one another in the Round of 8 next weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and battle for four championship finale spots.
“I feel like we’ve just been slipping through these Playoffs by the skin of our teeth,” Truex said. “Today’s just another not very good day. First half of the race felt OK, but man, I get back in traffic and my tires were gone in five laps, so I’m not sure what we had going on there the second half of the race. Thankful we’re through. We live to fight another day and good racetracks are finally coming up for us instead of Talladega and the Roval, so I don’t know. We’ll see what we can do. I know we’re capable of it. We just got to find it again. We’ve lost something. Hopefully, we can find it this week and go do what we did earlier in the year.”
“Feels good,” Larson said. “That was really stressful there at the end because we were really tight on the owner’s points and that’s what pays the money. I wanted to get in on that, but just huge thank you to everybody at Hendrick Motorsports and all four teams who pitched in to help all night yesterday and into the early morning today. It means a lot to me. Happy to advance and look forward to the next round, for sure. There are some great tracks for us. Let’s go win Vegas and go win these next four races. That would be amazing.”
Rookie Ty Gibbs notched his fourth career top-five result in NASCAR’s premier series by finishing fourth on the track ahead of Logano while Reddick, Buescher, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott and Chastain completed the top 10.
There were seven lead changes for six different leaders. The race featured seven cautions for 18 laps. In addition, 33 of 37 starters finished on the lead lap.
1. AJ Allmendinger, 46 laps led
2. William Byron
3. Kyle Busch, six laps led
4. Ty Gibbs
5. Joey Logano
6. Tyler Reddick, 27 laps led, Stage 1 winner
7. Chris Buescher
8. Alex Bowman
9. Chase Elliott, 15 laps led, Stage 2 winner
10. Ross Chastain
11. Ryan Preece
12. Ryan Blaney, six laps led
13. Kyle Larson
14. Austin Dillon
15. Christopher Bell, nine laps led
16. Bubba Wallace
17. Corey LaJoie
18. Brad Keselowski
19. Kevin Harvick
20. Martin Truex Jr.
21. Aric Almirola
22. Justin Haley
23. Todd Gilliland
24. Harrison Burton
25. Austin Cindric
26. Josh Bilicki
27. Austin Hill
28. Chase Briscoe
29. Mike Rockenfeller
30. Zane Smith
31. Ty Dillon
32. Michael McDowell
33. Daniel Suarez
34. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – OUT, Electrical
35. Andy Lally – OUT, Accident
36. Erik Jones – OUT, Accident
37. Denny Hamlin – OUT, Dvp
*Bold indicates Playoff contenders
1. William Byron – Advanced
2. Ryan Blaney – Advanced
3. Denny Hamlin – Advanced
4. Christopher Bell – Advanced
5. Chris Buescher – Advanced
6. Tyler Reddick – Advanced
7. Kyle Larson – Advanced
8. Martin Truex Jr. – Advanced
9. Ross Chastain – Eliminated
10. Bubba Wallace – Eliminated
11. Brad Keselowski – Eliminated
12. Kyle Busch – Eliminated
The Round of 8 in the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs is set to commence next Sunday, October 15, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event’s broadcast is slated to occur at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.