Justin Allgaier claimed his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win of the season on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Allgaier led the final 27 laps and held off Cup Series regular Martin Truex Jr., who settled for second after recovering from a pit road speeding penalty with less than 50 laps to go.
Allgaier dedicated the win to late Hendrick Motorsports and JR Motorsports crew member Rowdy Harrell. Harrell and his wife, Blakley, were killed in a car crash last November.
“This one’s for Rowdy,” Allgaier told FS1 after the race.
Before the penalty, Truex had been the dominant driver, leading a race-high 103 laps.
“Martin had a great race car and he definitely had the car to beat at the beginning,” Allgaier said. “We made good adjustments and that’s what it came down to at the end.”
Truex said he simply used up his tires in trying to reel in Allgaier.
“We got close and then, the last 10 laps, my right rear was completely smoked off,” Truex told FS1. “I had to use too much to get there. … It was fun until I screwed it up (with the penalty). I hate it for these guys, but we just came up a little short in the end there.”
Harrison Burton finished third, followed by Noah Gragson in fourth and AJ Allmendinger in fifth.
The latter two drivers had damaged cars after involvement in a multi-car crash at the end of the first stage on Lap 40.
After the race, Gragson was involved in a confrontation with ninth-place finisher Daniel Hemric. Gragson had backed into Hemric’s car on pit road during the race.
Hemric walked up to Gragson and grabbed him momentarily before the two traded punches. The drivers were then separated by their crews and NASCAR officials. Gragson was later called to the NASCAR hauler.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Martin Truex Jr.
STAGE 2 WINNER: Martin Truex Jr.
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Riley Herbst finished sixth for his second consecutive top 10 after a fourth-place run at Phoenix last week. He had crashed out in three of the season’s first four races. … Ryan Sieg finished tenth to record his second top 10 of the season … Santino Ferrucci raced within the top five for a period on Saturday before finishing 15th. The NASCAR novice has now posted three consecutive top 15 finishes with Sam Hunt Racing.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: The aforementioned crash in the first stage was triggered by contact between Brandon Jones and Brett Moffitt. Both of them came out the worst. Jones fell many laps off the pace with heavy damage and finished 37th while Moffitt was eliminated. … A potential top five finish for Jeremy Clements was dashed on a restart with 46 laps to go. After spinning his tires on the restart, Jeb Burton collided with him in Turn 1 and both went into the wall. Clements recovered for a 12th place finish, while Jeb Burton finished 25th.
NOTABLE: Atlanta is now the 11th different track that Allgaier has won on in his Xfinity career.
NEXT: The Xfinity Series takes the next two weekends off before returning to action Friday, April 9 at Martinsville Speedway (8 p.m. ET, FS1).