A dominant car for Justin Allgaier and JR Motorsports resulted in his second win of the season and first career win at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday.
It was by no means easy, however, as strategy dictated the latter part of the race.
On lap 116 of 188, Jeffrey Earnhardt spun from 12e place as he battled Sheldon Creed as Allgaier led the field after winning Stages 1 and 2.
All but eight drivers, including AJ Allmendinger, Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric, chose to drive carefully for their last set of sticker tires.
Although, as they say, warnings lead to warnings.
On the ensuing restart, Jeb Burton came in to Creed’s left-back, also Joe Graf Jr. retrieving, bringing to an end the last two driver days. However, the race remained green from there after the restart from Lap 131, for the final 58 laps of the day.
That left Allgaier enough time to make his march back to the front of the field a year after finishing second to Xfinity Series winning driver Kyle Busch at the same track.
Allgaier regained the lead from Allmendinger on lap 149 and set course for the final 40 laps of the race.
“What a race. I’ve been coming here for a long time and love this track,” said Allgaier.
“I tried so hard to get to the victory lane and it didn’t work out. Today was for the dirt racers though – it was slippery, it was hot, we slid around. Just proud of this team.”
Allgaier led a season-best 134 laps, and when asked the last time he had such a dominant car, Allgaier said simply:
“I never think.”
Trevor Bayne was able to finish second after several pit lane problems throughout the day; Riley Herbst hit one of his crew members and the team was later awarded a penalty for equipment interference.
Bayne has three more starts for Joe Gibbs Racing this season.
Rounding out the top five was Herbst, Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer.
Gibbs and Mayer — who previously battled after a trackside uproar in Martinsville in April — had another run-up on Saturday.
With about 40 laps to go, Mayer took advantage of Gibbs who left room at the bottom of the track in turn three and passed under him. Gibbs’ car became loose out of thin air with no contact being made until Gibbs used the side of Mayer’s car to straighten his back.
Gibbs was later able to pass Mayer back without further incident.
The top-10 was rounded out by Ryan Preece, Friday night’s Truck Series winner, Earnhardt, Austin Hill, Ryan Sieg and Brett Moffitt.
Allmendinger leads the standings by 25 points more than Gibbs.
The Xfinity Series returns to action next Saturday with Road America’s Henry 180. Coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. ET in the US.