Kaulig scores double top 5 finishes on Sunday in Charlotte

CONCORD, North Carolina — What a week that it was for Kaulig Racing. They shored up their entire 2023 plans with announcing that AJ Allmendinger would move up to drive the No. 16 Chevrolet in the NASCAR Cup Series full-time next season. As a result, Chandler Smith would replace Allmendinger in the same numbered ride in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. He’d join Landon Cassill and Daniel Hemric who would return to their NXS rides while Justin Haley is also back in his Cup seat.

Then, Allmendinger goes out and wins Saturday’s Round of 12 elimination race in the Xfinity Series too for his 4th straight win on this track in this race. It was also his 2nd straight win on the season too.

A day later, both Cup cars were found in the top 5 in Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400.

Allmendinger started 7th and finished 4th. He had a shot there to win it in the end too.

“When you are that close to winning, it’s for sure disappointing,” said Allmendinger who led 3 times for 24 laps. “But I’m happy with the way this No. 16 Chevy was. It was really fast. We just need to work a little bit on pit road. We lost that little bit of track position, and it was a track position game.”

Allmendinger was 2nd to Tyler Reddick coming to the final round of pit stop. Reddick pit on Lap 72 to hand the lead to Allmendinger. The California native would lead the next 3 laps before pitting for the final time himself. However, Chase Elliott pit a few laps prior and cycled in front. Allmendinger now had to pass Reddick again, which he did, but it cost him in making a true fight with Elliott in the closing laps.

Once I got around (Reddick), I was burning my stuff up trying to catch (Elliott),” he said. “With those restarts, I knew I was kind of used up already.”

He got lucky while running 2nd to get a late race caution for debris on Lap 103. With one more shot at Elliott, he went for it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough as contact between the two allowed Kevin Harvick by.

“I got a good restart there and when Chase and I touched kind of through (Turn) two, I went to set up for three and it turned me sideways and I slid a little more,” Allmendinger continued. “That was unfortunate because that allowed (Kevin Harvick) to get to my bumper and we know Kevin is going to do that if he gets any chance. That’s a part of racing and going for the win. That second restart there, it was just a couple of guys with better tires, and you are just a sitting duck.”

Justin Haley was right there with him all day in finishing 5th for his 4th top 10 of the season but 2nd top 5 in the last 3 weeks. He was also 3rd at Texas.

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