CONCORD, N.C. — AJ Allmendinger splashed his way through a rainstorm that turned Charlotte Motor Speedway into a slip-and-slide Saturday to win the Xfinity Series race on the hybrid road course-oval “Roval.”
Allmendinger won for the second time this season in 10 starts for Kaulig Racing. He’s easily the most experienced NASCAR driver at both road course racing and driving in wet conditions — Allmendinger has a long career in multiple formulas, including sports cars and open-wheel, which both race in the rain.
“I don’t know what we just witnessed,” Allmendinger said. “I was complaining the whole race. That was miserable.”
Allmendinger’s victory in near darkness on a wet track ended a sloppy race marred by multiple slides through standing water. It was an elimination race for the Xfinity Series playoffs and Harrison Burton, Brandon Brown, Michael Annett and Riley Herbst were knocked from title contention.
Allmendinger had a short celebration before he had to transition to NBC Sports’ booth to call IMSA’s debut on Charlotte’s purpose-built Roval. While he was in victory lane, the soaked fans still in attendance loudly chanted “AJ! AJ! AJ!” as Allmendinger was shown on Charlotte’s massive video board that illuminated the infield.
“In the infield with no lights, and the world’s biggest jumbotron blaring, I mean, you couldn’t see anything,” Allmendinger said. “I was just guessing where the corners were and just praying that when you hit the puddles, you don’t go off the racetrack.”