DOVER, Del (AP) — Justin Allgaier held off a streaking Austin Cindric to win his first Xfinity Series race of the season Saturday at Dover International Speedway.
Cindric had been the driver to beat, coming into Dover with a staggering five wins in the last six races, and he seemed in control after he won the first stage.
The 34-year-old Allgaier found his footing in the No. 7 Chevrolet in the second stage and controlled the second half of the race. Allgaier won a combined eight races from 2017-2019 but had gone 20 races since his last victory. His win earned him a spot in the Xfinity Series playoffs.
“These last 18 to 24 months have been crazy,” he said.
He’s been close with four top-five finishes but finally broke through for the checkered flag.
Cindric was second, his seventh straight two-top finish.
“I had a great battle there with Justin,” Cindric said. “He obviously wanted it really bad.”
Allgaier had to keep his celebration to a short hop on the door and high-fives with his crew. He needed to save the engine because the Xfinity Series is back for a second race at Dover on Sunday. The field is inverted, so Allgaier will start 15th.
The JR Motorsports driver couldn’t even celebrate with his family — they watched from a hotel near the track.
Ross Chastain, Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton completed the top five in the 200-mile race.
There are five playoff spots up for grabs with six races left before the field is set.