AJ Allmendinger wins inaugural Portland Xfinity race
AJ Allmendinger went from last to first in winning the inaugural Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
Allmendinger started at the rear for unapproved adjustments. He went off course before the green flag flew and slid off course another time before recovering and working his way through the field.
“It might be one of the craziest wins I’ve ever had,” Allmendinger told FS1 after the race. “Most mistakes to ever win a race for sure.”
The victory is Allmendinger’s eighth career Xfinity road course win and his third consecutive road course win in the series, tying Terry Labonte for the series record. The victory is Allmendinger’s 12th overall in the series.
Allmendinger will compete in Sunday’s Cup race at World Wide Technology Racing at Gateway for Kaulig Racing.
Myatt Snider finished second. Austin Hill placed third. JR Motorsports teammates Josh Berry and Justin Allgaier completed the top five.
The key moment came on a restart with four laps to go. Myatt Snider got ahead of Allmendinger before Allmendinger got back by and pulled away.
“Myatt was doing an amazing job,” Allmendinger told FS1. “He was really good in the wet. I got under him, we touched there. In these conditions, I knew if I could get to the lead I could dictate it. I was fighting hard.”
Snider told FS1: “I could tell he was setting up those exits better than I was. Everywhere else we were neck-and-neck. To me, that is good, hard racing. it’s not like he dumped me for no reason or spun me out or anything.
“He just got into me a little bit. All those restarts were extremely rough. For him to just kind of rub my door a little bit, that’s racing to me. It’s what the Xfinity Series is all about.
“It’s so cool to be disappointed with second with a team that is only a year and a half old and to get a stage win.”
More than one-third of the 75-lap race was run under caution, as rain played havoc with the drivers and contributed to several multi-car incidents.
STAGE 1: Ty Gibbs
STAGE 2: Myatt Snider
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: JJ Yeley finished eighth for his first top-10 result in the series since 2017. ...Justin Allgaier’s fifth-place finish is his 25th top 10 on a road course, the most of all series drivers. ... Myatt Snider’s runner-up finish marked his fourth top 10 of the season. Those finishes have come in the last nine races.
NOTABLE: AJ Allmendinger has won six of the last 14 Xfinity Series events on road courses.
NEXT: The series takes the next two weekends off and returns June 25 at Nashville Superspeedway (3:30 p.m. ET on USA).