Allmendinger grabs 1st win of season on Austin road course

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — AJ Allmendinger and Kaulig Racing scored their first victory of the season Saturday in the Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Allmendinger was scheduled to start 20th on Sunday in the Cup race, also in a Chevrolet for Kaulig. It was Allmendinger’s first win through six races this season, and first for Kaulig, which dominated the Xfinity Series last year and this year has added two Cup cars to its program.

Austin Hill finished second for Richard Childress Racing to give Chevrolet a 1-2 sweep. Kaulig and RCR have a technical alliance.

Cole Custer finished third in a Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing and was followed by seven more Chevrolet drivers as General Motors dominated the Saturday race on the permanent road course.

Allmendinger was exhausted and seemingly out of breath after taking the checkered flag. It was his seventh road course win — he already held the Xfinity Series record with six victories — and he’ll try to pad his Cup resume Sunday.

He led 27 of the 46 laps.

Allmendinger has two career road course wins in the Cup Series, including last year at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. With three career starts at COTA ahead of Sunday’s race, he’ll be one of the most experienced drivers on the track added to the schedule only last season.

“I was hard on myself (Friday), I was not happy,” Allmendinger said about qualifying fourth. “This Chevy was really good and it was hard to drive. I had to drive it a certain way.”

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