AJ Allmendinger Wins at Road America

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It was a day of redemption in the NASCAR Nationwide Series as AJ Allmendinger battled Justin Allgiear in 0a65214cca797920210f6a7the closing laps before pulling away and winning The Johnsonville Sausage 200.

Justin Allgiaer finished second, Parker Kligerman notched his sixth top-ten of the season finishing third, Owen Kelly finished a career best fourth place after serving a pit road penalty early on in the race, and Sam Hornish Jr. fell to third place in the standings after finishing fifth.

The win was a very emotional one for Allmendinger who was suspended from NASCAR last year for failing a random drug test in July. He then opted for a B test just a few days later and failed that one as well. After he failed the B test, he was suspended indefinitely by NASCAR for violating their controlled substance policy. In August he was let go by car owner, Roger Penske. In September of 2012 Allmendinger was reinstated by NASCAR after going through their Road to Recovery drug abuse program.

His first win of the season didn’t come easy as Allmendinger had to overcome his car stalling on the first pit stop, multiple drivers including Owen Kelly, Justin Allgiear and Billy Johnson making charges for the lead, and two green-white-checkered attempts to take home the first Nationwide win of his career.

In victory lane, Allmendinger spoke of his team owner, Roger Penske saying.

“This is the only way I could repay him; it’s just cool to win for Roger. It’s what I’ve wanted since last year.  I wish he was here to be able to say, ‘Thank you, boss, I got one for you.”

Allmendinger was so overcome with happiness during the post-race interview that he even kissed an ESPN camera lens and thanked Roger Penske for sticking by him. When the interview concluded, Allmendinger ran into his crew member’s arms to celebrate the hard earned win.

Point’s leader, Regan Smith, who had a 51 point lead coming into Saturday’s race, ended his day in 32nd after a late race incident involving Billy Johnson and Owen Kelly.  The incident occurred when Kelly overshot a turn and ran into Johnson sending him barreling into Regan Smith and caused both drivers to spin.

After the race tempers flared on pit road as Max Papas slapped Billy Johnson in the side of his helmet for  0dmpmb2jcq_217668870_2running Papas off the road in the final laps of the race. When asked about the incident by ESPN reports Papas explained saying:

“My temper got the best of me. I was just disappointed because the 16 car just ran me off the track, and we were having a great race.”

Johnson responded to the slap on pit road during his interview with ESPN reports saying:

“I guess he was living up to his name ‘Mad Max”. That was my fault. Everybody was checking up really early and I got into the back of him. He took it a little personally.”

The Natiowide Series will head to Kentucky Speedway next week for some Friday night short track racing, under the lights of the bluegrass state. Expect last year’s winner, Austin Dillion, to be a dominating factor in next week’s race and possibly bring home another win for Richard Childress Racing.

What did you think of the first road course race of the year? What do you think is next for Allmendinger after his dominate victory at Road America? Should there be more road course races in the Nationwide Series? Let me know in the comments below.

Johnsonville Sausage 200 results.

  1. AJ Allmendinger
  2. Justin Allgiear
  3. Parker Kligerman
  4. Owen Kelly
  5. Sam Hornish Jr.
  6. Brian Vickers
  7. Kyle Larson
  8. Cole Whtt
  9. Elliot Sadler
  10. Austin Dillion
  11. Brendan Gaugham
  12. Johnny O’Connell
  13. Mike Wallace
  14. James Buescher
  15. Billy Johnson
  16. Travis Pastrana
  17. Max Papis
  18. Kenny Habul
  19. Stanton Barrett
  20. Brian Scott
  21. Nelson Piquet Jr.
  22. Kevin O’Connell
  23. Jeremy Clements
  24. Alex Bowman
  25. Dexter Stacey
  26. Jeffrey Earnhardt
  27. Eric McClure
  28. John Young
  29. Andrew Ranger
  30. Trevor Bayne
  31. Kyle Kelley
  32. Regan Smith
  33. Mike Bliss
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