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Allmendinger holds on for NXS win at COTA as frontrunners falter late

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 26: AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of The Americas on March 26, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

AUSTIN, TEXAS – A.J. Allmendinger survived a chaotic late-race restart in Saturday’s Pit Boss 250 and won at Circuit of the Americas.

Allmendinger earned his 11th career NASCAR Xfinity Series win – and 7th NXS road course win – in Saturday’s race. He led twice for 27 laps, including the final 14 laps after he took the lead from Ross Chastain.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 26: Ross Chastain, driver of the #92 TicketSmarter Chevrolet, Bayley Currey, driver of the #4 Chasco Constructors Chevrolet, and Miguel Paludo, driver of the #88 BRANDT Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of The Americas on March 26, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Chastain led three times for 14 laps and was 2nd until Landon Cassill bumped and spun him in turn 1 on the final restart with 6 laps to go.

Chastain fell out of the top 20 but recovered to finish 17th.in his first NXS race since COTA last May.

After the spin, Cassill broke second gear and finished 31st.

Jeb Burton and Jeremy Clements seized on the incident and battled for third late in the race. However, NASCAR deemed they cut the course in turn four and, with four laps to go, assessed each of them a drive-through penalty.

Burton and Clements finished 23rd and 24th respectively.

Photo: Jonathan Fjeld/TRE

The full top 10 finishers are as follows: A.J. Allmendinger, Austin Hill, Cole Custer, Noah Gragson, Sam Mayer, Myatt Snider, Brett Moffitt, Jade Buford, Miguel Paludo and Sheldon Creed, who finished 10th after a spin in turn 20.

There were eight lead changes among five drivers: A.J. Allmendinger (twice for 27 laps), Ross Chastain (3 times for 14 laps), Sam Mayer (once for 3 laps), Ty Gibbs (once for 1 lap) and Justin Allgaier (once for 1 lap).

Four cautions fell for eight laps: The end of the first and second stages at Lap 16 and 32 – and debris cautions on Laps 34 and 38.

The next NASCAR Xfinity Series race is the April 2 ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway (1:30 p.m. ET; TV: FS1; Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Cassill, Burton and Clements are 11th, 15th and 23rd in points, respectively.

Cassill holds a playoffs spot by 2 points. Burton and Clements are 10 and 55 points out of a playoffs spot, respectively.

Noah Gragson leads the NXS points by 1 over A.J. Allmendinger. They will battle Austin Hill and Sam Mayer for the $100,000 Dash4Cash bonus at Richmond.

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MARCH 26: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of The Americas on March 26, 2022 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

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