AJ Allmendinger wins Xfinity race at Talladega Superspeedway

Veteran driver AJ Allmendinger slipped past Sam Mayer in the final seconds and won Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.

As drivers in the lead pack scrambled for position approaching the finish line, Allmendinger pushed to the outside and, getting a push from Kaulig Racing teammate Landon Cassill, edged Mayer by a few feet. The win ended frustration for Allmendinger on superspeedways.

Following Allmendinger at the finish were Mayer, Cassill, Ryan Sieg and Josh Berry. Noah Gragson and Allmendinger have qualified for the next playoff round.

“This is Talladega,” a wildly happy Allmendinger told NBC Sports. “Yes, I hate superspeedway racing, but it’s awesome to win in front of the Talladega crowd.”

Austin Hill dominated the race but dropped out of the lead to 14th place in the closing five laps as drivers moved up and down the track in search of the best drafting line.

The first half of the race featured two and sometimes three drafting lines with a lot of movement and blocking near the front. In the final stage, the leaders ran lap after lap in single file, with Hill, Allmendinger and Noah Gragson in the top three.

Hill led the first 31 laps.

Gragson was in pursuit of a fifth straight Xfinity Series win.

Stage 1 winner: Austin Hill

Stage 2 winner: Austin Hill

Next: The Xfinity Series’ next playoff race is scheduled Oct. 8 at 3 p.m. (ET) on the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval. The race will be broadcast by NBC.

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