AJ Allmendinger slides across finish line to win Xfinity race, regular-season title

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BRISTOL, Tenn. – AJ Allmendinger went sliding across the finish line after he was hit by Austin Cindric to win Friday night’s Xfinity Series race in overtime and beat Cindric for the regular-season title.

The contact culminated a wild two laps.

MORE: Results, driver points

Allmendinger made contact with Cindric racing for the lead in Turn 4 as they came to the white flag. That slowed both cars and allowed Justin Allgaier to make it three-wide as they began the final lap.

Allgaier and Cindric made contact in Turn 1 and moved up the track, allowing Allmendinger to shoot through on the bottom. Allmendinger took the lead off Turn 2.

As he entered Turn 4, Allmendinger drifted high, allowing Cindric to charge on the bottom. Cindric’s car hit Allmendinger’s and they both slid across the finish line and hit the inside wall before bouncing in front of the field. Justin Haley slammed into Allmendinger’s car.

Fans booed Cindric during his NBCSN interview that was played on the p.a system.

Cindric told NBCSN “AJ goes straight through us” when Allmendinger took the lead.

The fans later cheered Cindric during the same interview.

Allmendinger was furious with Cindric on the team radio.

After exiting the infield care center, Allmendinger told NBCSN: “That was crazy at the end. We had about a fourth-place car. My team a great job there. .. I slid into Austin trying to throttle up and stay on the bottom. And then into (Turn) 1 Allgaier had a run and there was contact. I expected to get run into. It’s frustrating to get hit that hard coming to the checkered.”

Allmendinger later said: “This is what makes the sport bad ass.”

Cindric finished second to Allmendinger. Riley Herbst was third. Justin Allgaier placed fourth on a night he had a pit road speeding penalty and made contact with teammate Sam Mayer late in the race. Brandon Jones was fifth.

Jeremy Clements, Brandon Jones and Riley Herbst each clinched the final three spots. They were only in jeopardy of falling out of the playoffs if someone outside the top 12 won the race.

Allgaier’s race nearly turned while leading on Lap 153. Allgaier cut across the nose of Joe Graf Jr. after lapping Graf. The cars made contact and Allgaier slid through Turn 1 before gathering the car back. He fell only to third. He made it back to second before the end of the second stage. Daniel Hemric won the stage.

Both Allgaier and JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson were penalized for speeding on pit road during pit stops after the second stage.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300
Justin Allgaier slid through Turn 1 before collecting his car and continue in Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Allgaier was involved in an incident with Mayer in the final laps of the race that set up the wild overtime finish. Mayer was second as they came upon two lapped cars running side by side. Mayer went high and then went low. Allgaier and Mayer made contact and Mayer spun.

“I was there,” Allgaier said on the radio to his team. “I don’t know what I should have done different.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Daniel Hemric

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Brett Moffitt, in his first race after missing the past two races, crashed on the 10th lap and finished last in the 40-car field.

NEXT: The Xfinity playoffs start Sept. 25 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN).