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White flag didn’t wave in Xfinity race but checkered flag came out on time

Justin Allgaier passes AJ Allmendinger with two laps remaining to win at Darlington Raceway to snap a 34-race winless skid in the Xfinity Series.

DARLINGTON, S.C. - The white flag, signifying the final lap of a race, did not wave in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race and winner Justin Allgaier admitted to a brief bout of panic when he didn’t see it.

The race ended with a green-white-checkered restart, meaning on the lap after the green flag waved, the white flag would wave and be followed by the checkered flag the next time by. Communication issues between the NASCAR tower and the flagstand led to the white flag not being displayed. NASCAR, realizing the issue, stated repeatedly on its radio channel - which all teams must monitor - that the final lap of the race had begun.

Asked about not seeing the white flag, Allgaier said: “Panic mode.

“My spotter told me, he said that ‘You’re coming to the white,’ ” Allgaier said after his 17th career Xfinity Series win. " ... So I’m coming off Turn 4, at that point, once the restarted had happened, I knew we had a seven- or eight-car length gap (on second place). We’re coming to the white and I’ve got like a four-car gap. I knew, obviously that (Noah Gragson) was coming, and he was pushing as hard as he could push.

“So I’m like, ‘If we’ve got to go two more laps (instead of one) I might not win this thing. He might get there and give me a run for the money.’ So we come off (Turn) 4 and the spotter said, ‘Alright, they’re telling us the white flag just didn’t get displayed, keep digging, we’re coming back to the checkered.’

“When I come off of Turn 4, I got to the flat and he still hadn’t started waving it yet. Now, I’m like kind of in panic mode. ‘Are we getting a flag right now?’ Once I saw the checkered flag kind of unfurl, I was like (exhale), ‘We’re good to go.’ At that point, I knew we had enough of a gap that we were going to be in good shape. You never think of those little things before they happen.

“Listen, you go 34 races without winning, the last 20 laps, like the wheels were falling off in my mind. You heard every (sound) from the parts hitting the car. I’m expecting everybody to crash. Like there are all these scenarios going on in my head. The white flag (not) coming out did not help that at all. So, I was in a little bit of panic mode.

“But once we come off of Turn 4 and I saw that checkered flag, that was all gone, then you hit that wave of emotion of that ‘We just did it’ ... that was special.”

The tweet below has the final two laps of the race and shows Allgaier going past the start/finish line to begin the final lap without the white flag being waved: