Jul 01, 2022
Practice Issues Disrupt Xfinity Series Championship Contenders
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Getty Noah Gragson (left) & AJ Allmendinger (right) both experienced issues during Road America practice.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers took on Road America on July 1 for both practice and qualifying sessions. 41 headed out on the track, but two championship contenders dealt with issues that disrupted their weekend.
Noah Gragson was the first to experience an issue. He backed his No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro into the wall with seven minutes remaining in the practice session at the road course. He avoided major damage on the right rear of the stock car, but he had to take it back to the crew for further evaluation.
#XfinitySeries road course practices have been quite the adventure for @NoahGragson lately. pic.twitter.com/ITY80GEmbx
— Xfinity Racing (@XfinityRacing) July 1, 2022
Gragson explained after hitting the wall that he was not supposed to use the curbing in the corner. However, he did, and he had to pay the price. Though Gragson still ended the session with the seventh-fastest lap at 106.750 mph and 136.513 seconds.
The JR Motorsports driver, who has two wins in the 2022 season, did not have to drop to the rear of the field. Instead, he headed out onto Road America and qualified with a bandaged decklid and rear quarter panel. Gragson reached the second round of qualifying and locked up a spot on the third row for the Xfinity Series race.
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Sign up for the Heavy on NASCAR Newsletter!AJ Allmendinger Will Have To Start From the Rear
Qualifying is set to kick [email protected] will not qualify as the team works on the brake issues.#Henry180 pic.twitter.com/3a3LyT40h5
— Kaulig Racing (@KauligRacing) July 1, 2022
The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro was not the only one who dealt with an issue during practice. A mechanical issue sent Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger to the garage and ensured that he will start from the rear of the field for the Henry 180 on July 2.
Allmendinger showcased his road course skills during the limited practice session. He posted the second-fastest time at 107.275 mph and 135.845 seconds, but he also revealed that he was dealing with brake issues on the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro.
Allmendinger had to take the stock car back to the garage so the team could make repairs. This meant that he was not able to post a qualifying lap and would have to start from the rear of the field for the 45-lap race.
Dropping to the rear of the field is nothing new for the points leader. He also had to do so for the Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway on June 4 after the No. 16 team had to make unapproved adjustments. Allmendinger began his day at the back of the pack and slid off of the track before taking the green flag to start the race, but he worked his way to the front and won his second race of the year.The Roles Reversed During the 2021 Race at Road America
GettyAJ Allmendinger posted a top-five finish at Road America in 2021.
Gragson and Allmendinger will start from different parts of the field on July 2, but they will both pursue the same goal. They will try to win their third race of the year and gain some extra points for the playoffs.
The two championship four drivers from the 2021 season both competed at Road America in 2021, and they started in wildly different spots. Allmendinger lined up on the second row after qualifying third. Gragson started at the rear of the field after his engine expired during practice.
Both Gragson and Allmendinger turned in strong performances during the Xfinity Series race at Road America. The driver of the No. 9 worked his way through the field after starting at the back, and he secured points in Stage 1 before ending the day ninth overall.
Allmendinger, for comparison, swept the first two stages of the race, and he led 12 total laps. However, he ended the day fourth overall while Kyle Busch won his fourth race of the year. Daniel Hemric and Michael Annett finished second and third, respectively.
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News Source: Heavy.com
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