Justin Allgaier scored his third win of the 2018 NASCAR XFINITY Series season at Mid-Ohio, holding off polesitter and rookie Team Penske driver Austin Cindric to the checkered flag in the Rock N’ Roll Tequila 170.
Daniel Hemric took home third, while Matt Tifft and Ryan Truex rounded out the top-five. Elliott Sadler, Cole Custer, Spencer Gallagher, Alex Labbe, and Ryan Reed rounded out the top-10.
The race was slowed by six cautions for 18 laps, with seven lead changes among four drivers. Cindric, who holds a strong road racing background, led the most laps with 59. However, Allgaier was able to get past Cindric with four laps left, making JR Motorsports a four-race winner this season.
“We needed to get up front,” said Allgaier. “That last restart was going to be pivotal.” This was after two brief incidents ended up with him going off course at one point and getting spun by Custer at another.
Cindric was gracious in defeat, saying, “It’s NASCAR racing. We knew there would be a late-race restart. Great driver on new tires, great restart. We finished second. It’s frustrating. This place means a lot to me. We just came up short.”
There were some post-race fireworks between Joey Gase and Ross Chastain following the race, with Gase and his pit crew confronting Chastain and his crew at his car. Video taken by Autoweek’s Matt Weaver showed Gase being restrained as he shouted at the JD Motorsports crew, while Chastain smiled and waved at the camera.
Gase was called to the NASCAR hauler following the incident, after it was alleged he had rammed Chastain on pit road after crews, fans, and media had already begun gathering on pit road.
“Basically I drove him hard and passed him clean, and going into the esses he hit me, I don’t know, three or four different turns and never got off my bumper and pushed me into the sand,” said Gase on the incident. “I don’t really appreciate that a whole lot. He’s Johnny Davis’s golden child and he can’t do anything wrong, and he forgets that we’re right there with him now, and the funny thing is that he also forgets that we’re trying to get in there in the Chase with him, and the only way we can do that is if we win.
“So he’s trying to do that off of points. So, we can make that really difficult for him, and people just got to remember we’re here to race too. This is the most fun I’ve ever had, this is the best I’ve ever ran this year, and we’re improving every race.”
The next XFINITY Series race will be Friday, August 17 at Bristol Motor Speedway, on NBC Sports Network.