LAS VEGAS — A.J. Allmendinger was on his way to a solid top-5 finish in the Round of 8-opening Alsco Uniforms 302 at Las Vegas – until an issue took him out of contention with 25 laps to go.
Allmendinger finished 22nd, one lap down, while all the other playoff drivers finished in the top 10.
Allmendinger ended up there after a Lap 177 pit stop for a loose wheel, which he reported for several laps before pitting. The team denied the issue – saying footage showed they got the wheels tightened – but then found both right-side tires were loose when Allmendinger stopped.
As a result, the regular NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season champion lost four spots and 38 points to the cutline – from 2nd and + 22 to the cutline, to 6th and -16 to the cutline.
PLAYOFF FIELD RECAP
Allmendinger joined Austin Hill (-15), Brandon Jones (-27) and Sam Mayer (-36) below the cutline. Hill, Jones and Mayer finished 6th, 9th and 7th respectively.
The other playoff drivers were led by Josh Berry who won and bested Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier and Ty Gibbs, who finished fourth.
Gibbs’ No. 54 car was found with one loose lugnut in post-race tech inspection. His crew chief, Chris Gayle, faces a possible $5,000 fine, as a result.
All eight remaining playoff-eligible drivers finished top-10 in both stages:
Stage 1 Top-10 finishers: Ty Gibbs, Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Sam Mayer, A.J. Allmendinger, John Hunter Nemechek, Josh Berry, Daniel Hemric
Stage 2 Top-10 finishers: Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, Brandon Jones, Austin Hill, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Sam Mayer, Daniel Hemric, Trevor Bayne, A.J. Allmendinger
The next race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the Contender Boats 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET; TV: USA; Streaming: NBC Sports app; Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90).