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Everything That Happened in the Xfinity Race at Charlotte

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What’s Happening?

It’s the greatest weekend in all of racing: Memorial Day Weekend. As we celebrate the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedoms, NASCAR races on their home turf of Charlotte Motor Speedway. Today (Saturday) it was the NASCAR Xfinity Series youngsters time to shine. But in addition to the series regulars, there were a handful of Cup guys trying to steal the spotlight. How did the Xfinity purists stack up against the pros of the NASCAR Cup Series? Let’s talk about it.

  • Traditionally, the Memorial Day Weekend Races at Charlotte Motor Speedway tend to have a lot of double dippers. Cup guys love to come down and run the NASCAR Xfinity Series race and just have a good time. This year, there were four making the attempt at double duty: Kyle Busch, Ty Gibbs, Chase Elliott, and Noah Gragson. Busch and Gibbs swept the front row and a lot of fans had their eyes on them.
  • Justin Allgaier dominated the opening two stages of the race. While Busch and Gibbs were fast and led early, Allgaier’s No. 7 JRM Chevy wasted little time getting to the front. He swept the stages and has won the most stages on the year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He seems to be having a career year and is definitely one to watch for the NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season title.
  • Despite the dominance of Allgaier, it was NASCAR’s most popular driver in Chase Elliott standing tall when all was said and done. Obviously, fans love to see their champion win so this strategy call for the No. 17 team was popular amongst fans online. In terms of the Austin Hill debate, fans again fell on one side, with most of them taking up for Cole Custer.

The Most Popular Winner

Following a dominant first two stages on the part of Justin Allgaier, the No. 7 team was slapped with a penalty for speeding on pit road. This meant that he had to serve a pass through and restart the third and final stage on the tail-end of the lead lap. Kyle Busch inherited the lead as a result. He led for most of the long green flag run before being overtaken by a hard charging Sam Mayer.

Green flag pit stops started around lap 143 with Shane van Gisbergen and Justin Allgaier pitting. Kyle Busch stayed out the longest, giving up a lot of time under green. After the cycle of pit stops was finished, Busch found himself in sixth and Mayer recaptured the lead.

The caution flew on lap 170 when Ryan Ellis spun out. This caution changed everything as everyone running except for Chase Elliott were on aged, scuffed tires. A bottled-up restart saw Elliott through to second behind Mayer. Due to Noah Gragson spinning his tires, the winner of the first two stages, Justin Allgaier spun and hit the wall hard.

After a couple of other cautions, Chase Elliott was able to hold off the hard-charging JRM cars of Brandon Jones, Sammy Smith, and Sam Mayer to win the race. Elliott by no means had the best car but they played the smartest strategy enroute to victory.

The Double Dippers

The Xfinity Series race at Charlotte on Memorial Day weekend is always a popular one for the pros in the NASCAR Cup Series to dip down and try their hand at trophy hunting. This year, there were four Cup regulars running the Xfinity race. Here is how those drivers finished:

  • Chase Elliott-1st
  • Kyle Busch-6th
  • Ty Gibbs-9th
  • Noah Gragson-10th

Trouble for Riley Herbst

The first caution of the race came on lap 31. The two-car incident transpired when A. J. Allmendinger got into the back of Riley Herbst after he checked up and got loose. The contact resulted in Herbst spinning out and hitting the inside wall on the backstretch. This ended his race. You can watch a replay of the wreck in the video clip below. The video is provided by NASCAR on FOX.

Justin Allgaier Sweeps The Stages

When the race started, the Cup guys rocketed out front. Ty Gibbs lead the first 20 or so laps with Kyle Busch, driving a No. 33 RCR car, passing him on lap 22. After a caution on lap 31 involving A. J. Allmendinger and Riley Herbst, nearly every lead lap car pitted. Staying out was Chase Elliott, Jesse Love, Anthony Alfredo, J. J. Yeley, and Kyle Seig. The gamble did not pay off in the short term, however. Though Ty Gibbs and Kyle Busch won the race off pit road, Justin Allgaier was able to overtake them for the race lead. The cars who stayed out faded quickly. Allgaier went on to win the stage. It was his 7th stage win of the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, the most amongst series regulars.

The second stage played out much like the first. Allgaier led much of the opening laps of the stage until a caution fell with about 18 laps to go. The caution happened when Parker Kligerman spun on his own. Seemingly, something broke underneath that car and the single-car spin ended his race. Again, we were on a split strategy with the leaders pitting and Chase Elliott and others staying out. And though those who stayed out this time didn’t fall off as much, it didn’t take long for Kyle Busch and Justin Allgaier to rocket back to the front. With a statement pass on Busch, Justin Allgaier went on to win the second stage. It was his 8th of the year and he also swept both stages of the race.

During pit stops, Justin Allgaier was penalized for speeding on pit road. He was forced to serve a passthrough penalty and restarted the race on the tail end of the lead lap.

Austin Hill’s Popularity Continues To Dwindle

Austin Hill had a pretty bad race today. Not in terms of how he actually ran. Overall, he was running decent enough. But on track issues with first Sammy Smith and then Cole Custer ended up defining his race. The incident which ultimately did him in was when he made contact with Cole Custer. When the two doored each other, it ended up cutting the right front tire of the No. 21 RCR Chevy. Hill went up the track, getting into the 00 of Cole Custer and the two continued making contact and flipping each other off after the caution flag waived.

Trouble For Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier undoubtably had the best car all day. He swept the first two stages of the race but was put behind following a speeding penalty on pit road. He was able to slowly work his way back up near the lead. When the race restarted with about 30 laps to go, contact was made between Allgaier and Gibbs. Allgaier ended up getting hard into the outside wall in the dogleg. His race was over.

In The Stands

Nandi Intile really enjoyed the driver-only broadcast. They feel that their insight on how the race is going and how the track changes is much more current. I concur. It’s great to hear their thoughts and expertise on the race as it unfolds live.

Teaser’sFirecatBet criticized NASCAR on FOX’s abundance of commercials. They argue that the broadcast was, in fact, more advertisements than actual on-track action.

Matthew Kendrick is a big Chase Elliott fan. Chase doesn’t compete a whole lot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. It’s always a real treat to see how he runs when he does choose to dip down and run on Saturdays. I bet he’s very happy with the end result.

Mainmanlink comments that though Chase Elliott didn’t have the fastest car, he did have the best strategy.

Joel comments on today’s JRM/HMS dominance.

Thirteen Thousand Dollar Sim Rig says that Austin Hill can’t ever be blamed for anything. He’s perfect and does nothing wrong ever!

Florida Dad advocates for the suspension of Austin Hill.

Conclusion

Lately, Charlotte Motor Speedway rarely has a bad race. This race continued the standard of excellence from the track. Cars were able to pass and run side-by-side. There were multiple grooves. Things got a little squirrely at times, which always makes for great racing. We had driver disputes, hot tempers, and it was NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver hoisting the trophy in the end. That makes it a success in my book.

Daily Downforce readers! What do you make of this race? Are you happy Chase Elliott won? Are you rolling your eyes? Are you heartbroken for Justin Allgaier? What do you make of Austin Hill having beef with everyone? Let us know! And be sure to come back here at DailyDownforce.com tomorrow for our coverage of the Coca-Cola 600!

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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