A.J. Allmendinger

NASCAR disqualifies A.J. Allmendinger for another failure

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WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – NASCAR disqualified A.J. Allmendinger’s second-place finish in Saturday’s Xfinity race at Watkins Glen International after the No. 10 Chevrolet failed minimum rear height requirements.

Xfinity Series director Wayne Auton said every car passed a prerace height inspection. Six cars were measured postrace, and the No. 10 was the only car that didn’t meet the minimum.

In a postrace tweet, Allmendinger implied that contact with another could have caused the failure (and also caused handling problems in the race). His spotter, Brett Griffin, also said the car sustained damaged.

Auton said there didn’t appear to be damage on Allmendinger’s car that would have caused the failure.

“The first thing we do is we inspect the car fully on the body panels,” Auton said. “We didn’t see any foreseeable damage on the car. We can’t get into the weeds on how much low or anything like that because the appeal process is in place now. They have until Monday at (noon) to appeal.”

Allmendinger has made two Xfinity starts for Kaulig Racing, and both resulted in disqualification. His car also failed inspection after finishing third in the July 5 race at Daytona International Speedway.

Auton said the team likely wouldn’t face a greater punishment for two failures in the past month.

“No, we’ll talk about it but whenever you get DQ’d, that’s a big penalty in itself,” he said. “We consider this race closed now. Once we DQ a car, we don’t go back and look at other penalties. That’s a big penalty right there.”

After being stripped of the finish, Allmendinger will be credited with earning one point and a 37th-place finish.

Today’s Xfinity race at Watkins Glen: Start time, lineup and more

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The Xfinity Series takes to Watkins Glen International for today’s Zippo 200 at The Glen, kicking off three road course races in the next four events.

Will Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell or Cole Custer continue their dominance? With five drivers qualified for the upcoming 12-driver Xfinity playoffs, this could prove to be a pivotal race for drivers who have yet to qualify, including Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric, Noah Gragson, Justin Haley and John Hunter Nemechek.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s Zippo 200:

All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 3:15 p.m. by Monte Hudda, owner of Star Importers. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:26 p.m.

PRERACE: Garage opens at 9:30 a.m. Qualifying (multi-car, two rounds) is at 11:40 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 12:45 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 3:08 p.m. by Rev. David Fife, Elmwood Avenue Baptist Church. Trina Vargas will perform the National Anthem at 3:09 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 82 laps (200.9 miles) around the 2.450-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 20. Stage 2 ends on Lap 40.

TV/RADIO: NBC will televise the race. Coverage begins at 3 p.m. The Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 2:30 p.m and also can be heard on mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: Wunderground.com forecasts a temperature of 83 degrees with a 13% chance of precipitation at the race start time.

TO THE REAR: Cole Custer (backup car), Josh Williams (engine change)

LAST TIME: Joey Logano won last year’s race over A.J. Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here

Xfinity Series practice report at Watkins Glen

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Kyle Busch was fastest in both Xfinity Series practices Friday at Watkins Glen International.

Busch followed up his field-leading first practice effort with a 121.862 mph effort in the second and final practice in preparation for Saturday’s Zippo 200 at The Glen.

Busch was followed in the final session by Justin Haley (121.374 mph), Austin Cindric (121.280 mph), NASCAR on NBC analyst and former Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger (121.207 mph), and Ryan Blaney (120.752 mph). Blaney was second-fastest to Busch in the first practice, while Allmendinger was third-fastest in the opening practice.

Sixth through 10th in the final practice were Christopher Bell (120.520 mph), Jeremy Clements (120.155 mph), Justin Allgaier (120.113), Noah Gragson (120.087) and Tyler Reddick (119.962).

There were no major incidents in the second practice. A total of 31 cars took to the track during the session.

Cole Custer, who destroyed his primary car in a single-car incident in the first practice session, finally emerged in a backup car with about 15 minutes remaining in the final practice. Custer managed to finish the session 12th in speed (119.814 mph).

Click here for the second practice speed chart.

FIRST PRACTICE

NASCAR Cup regulars Kyle Busch and Ryan Blaney and former Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger were fastest in the first of two Xfinity Series practices Friday afternoon at Watkins Glen International.

Busch covered the twisting road course at a top speed of 121.259 mph. Blaney was second-fastest at 120.804 mph, followed by Allmendinger, now a NASCAR on NBC analyst, who was third at 120.272 mph.

Austin Cindric was fourth (120.155 mph), followed by Tyler Reddick (120.026), Christopher Bell (119.938), Cole Custer (119.918), Justin Haley (119.843), Josh Bilicki (119.545) and Justin Allgaier (119.401).

Cole Custer’s car suffered extensive front-end and left side damage, forcing his team to go to a backup car. Photo: Dustin Long, NBC Sports.

There was one significant incident of note in the first practice when Custer got loose and wrecked hard.

Custer’s team immediately began transitioning to use a backup car for the final Xfinity practice session, but it’s uncertain how many laps they’ll be able to get in, given that the session is coming up shortly and runs from 2:05 – 3:25 p.m. ET.

Saturday marks the Zippo 200 at The Glen Xfinity Series race, which will air live on NBC at 3 p.m. ET.

Click here for the first practice speed chart.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Preliminary entry lists for NASCAR at Watkins Glen, Eldora

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It will be an expanded weekend of sorts for NASCAR, with the Gander Outdoors Truck Series racing Thursday night under the lights and on the dirt at Eldora Speedway, while the Xfinity Series will race Saturday and the Cup Series on Sunday on the road course at Watkins Glen International.

Here are the preliminary entry lists for the weekend:

Cup – GoBowling at The Glen (3 p.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN) at Watkins Glen

There are 37 cars entered.

NASCAR On NBC’s Parker Kligerman will make his ninth Cup appearance of the season for Gaunt Brothers Racing in the No. 96 Toyota.

Two cars do not have drivers listed yet on the preliminary entry list: the No. 51 Petty Ware Racing Ford and the No. 52 Rick Ware Racing Ford.

Chase Elliott is defending winner of this race.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Zippo 200 at The Glen (3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC) at Watkins Glen

The preliminary entry list has 37 cars entered in this race.

Ryan Preece will be in the No. 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.

NASCAR on NBC analyst A.J. Allmendinger will be in the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet.

Ryan Blaney will be in the No. 12 Team Penske Ford.

Kyle Busch will be in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Stanton Barrett will be in the No. 42 Motorsports Business Management Toyota.

There is no driver listed on the preliminary entry list for the No. 74 Mike Harmon Racing Chevrolet.

H2 Motorsports, which owns the No. 28 driven by Shane Lee, announced this week it will not compete this month’s three road-course races.

Joey Logano is the defending winner of this race.

Click here for the entry list.

Trucks – Eldora Dirt Derby (9 p.m. ET Thursday on FS1) at Eldora Speedway.

There are 32 trucks entered.

Chase Briscoe is the defending winner of this race and will be making his first Truck Series start of the season.

Spencer Boyd will be replaced in Young’s Motorsports’ No. 20 Chevy by Landon Huffman due to an injury in a non-racing related incident. Huffman has three career Truck Series starts. His most recent was the 2018 playoff race at ISM Raceway with Niece Motorsports.

Boys said he could potentially miss multiple races.

Click here for the entry list.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Longtime crew chief Nick Harrison dies at 37, team announces

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LOUDON, N.H. — Kaulig Racing announced Sunday morning that veteran crew chief Nick Harrison died. He was 37.

Harrison was the crew chief for Justin Haley‘s No. 11 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series and had called the car’s 13th-place finish Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

In a statement attributed to team owner Matt Kaulig and president Chris Rice, the team said in a tweet that “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Nick Harrison, our beloved crew chief of the No. 11 car at Kaulig Racing. Please keep Nick’s family in your thoughts and prayers at this time.”

No cause of death or information on services was immediately available. A Kaulig Racing spokesperson said “further details would be provided as they come.”

NASCAR released a statement on Harrison’s death: “We are deeply saddened by the loss of longtime crew chief Nick Harrison, and offer our thoughts, prayers and support to his family, friends and Kaulig Racing colleagues.”

According to Racing-Reference.info, Harrison made his debut as an Xfinity crew chief in 2006. He was a crew chief for 184 Xfinity races (including 17 with Haley this year) and had five victories, his first with Kurt Busch in 2012 at Daytona International Speedway with James Finch’s Phoenix Racing.

He also worked 120 races as a crew chief in the Cup Series, including full seasons in 2011-12 with Phoenix Racing’s No. 51 Chevrolet. He guided Busch to a third place June 24, 2012 at Sonoma Raceway, marking Harrison’s best finish as a Cup crew chief.

Harrison also won three times in the Xfinity Series with Austin Dillon and once with Paul Menard. He also won with Dillon in the Aug. 2, 2014 truck race at Pocono Raceway, one of three truck races for Harrison as a crew chief.

During a career with several teams including Phoenix, Richard Childress Racing and Kaulig, Harrison worked with more than a dozen Cup and Xfinity drivers. The roster included Bobby Labonte, Bill Elliott, Boris Said, A.J. Allmendinger, Micahel McDowell, Regan Smith, Ryan Truex, Landon Cassill, Jamie McMurray, Ty Dillon, Jeremy Clements, Brandon Jones, Ben Kennedy and Brendan Gaughan.