In a stand alone event, the Xfinity Series goes road course racing at Road America in El Carte Lake, Wisconsin and the Henry 180.
For the first time in the Xfinity Series since the restart after the pandemic, there are fans in attendance to see the race.
It’s a sunny day at the track but there is a possibility of bad weather in the area. Normally, NASCAR does not run a race in the rain, but for road course races, wet weather gear is a part of the gear. Each car must be outfitted with a windshield wiper and a red braking light in the rear. The allotment of tires also includes wet weather tires.
After a random draw based on driver points, Michael Annett and his number one car will sit on the pole and bring the field to green with Austin Cindric starting alongside on the front row. This is the third race in a row that Annett has won the pole.
A fairly short race, stage one is 14 laps, stage two is 15 laps, and stage three is 16 laps for a total of 45 laps around the four and a half mile track.
After running the Truck Series race on Friday night in Michigan, Navy Lt Commander Jesse Iwuji is making his debut start in the Xfinity Series at Road America.
Brandon Brown needed a push to get started. Brown is reporting fuel pressure issues and has to be pushed to pit road. In his pit stall, Brandon Brown’s crew are under the hood and under the car looking for the problem with his fuel pressure.
Michael Annett brings the field down for the green flag start of the race with Austin Cindric edging out for the lead in turn one.
Riley Herbst locks up his tires to keep from wrecking.
Austin Cindric leads lap one.
Bayley Currey is off the track with a smoking car.
Austin Cindric leads the race with Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Kaz Grala, and Ross Chastain rounding out the top five.
The drivers can run 16 to 18 laps on a single fuel load.
Brandon Brown has returned to the race one lap down.
The first caution flag of the race comes out on lap two for Bayley Currey’s stopped car. Tommy Joe Martins has some damage to his car and a flat tire in an unrelated incident.
NASCAR has called this caution a quickie yellow. Teams have a maximum of 80 seconds from pit entry to pit exit where they must either change tires or fuel the car but cannot do both on a single pit stop.
Riley Herbst came down pit road to change his flat spotted tires. The caution came at a fortunate time for Herbst who would have been penalized two laps had he come down pit road to change the tires under green without prior permission.
Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap four with Justin Haley alongside on the front row. Cindric holds on to the lead as they go into turn one with Justin Haley in second; Harrison Burton, Ross Chastain, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.
Chase Briscoe has some trouble on the track and saves the car but the track stays green and stacks up the cars behind him. He has flat spotted one of his tires in the process.
Lap six, Austin Cindric continues to lead the race with Justin Haley over a half second back; Ross Chastain, Kaz Grala, and Jeremy Clements round out the top five.
A family owned team, Jeremy Clements’ 64 year old dad is one of the tire changers on the car today.
Lap seven, Austin Cindric has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Justin Haley.
The number eight car of Daniel Hemric is slowed on the track and stops with reports of a blown engine. NASCAR has put out the caution flag for fluid on the track.
NASCAR brings the cars down pit road with a red flag condition after lightening within 10 miles of the track on lap nine.
While the drivers wait out the minimum 30 hold for lightening, rain begins to fall on Road America.
Teams are removing the covers from the cars in preparation of getting moving again.
The drivers will make a single lap under caution to access the track conditions and determine whether or not they need to change to the wet weather tires.
Under new rules, teams cannot change tires on a green flag pit stop, they can change from wet weather tires to dry tires or dry tires to wet weather tires under green if needed.
Just as the drivers are getting ready to fire the engines, there is another lightening strike within the 10 mile limit and the race is further delayed.
For the second time, the drivers are heading for their cars at Road America after waiting out the second lightening delay.
The cars are moving once again. The drivers are taking their assessment lap to determine whether or not they will run on wet or dry tires…and the rain has stopped.
Drivers are coming down pit road. Some of the teams are switching to the wet weather tires.
Vinnie Miller is stopped on the track.
Raining again, Austin Cindric brings the field down for the green flag restart with just three laps remaining in stage one. Rain or no rain, the drivers are racing hard with Justin Haley leading the race.
The caution flag comes out for Vinnie Miller’s stopped car in what has been named the “Canada corner”.
Justin Haley brings the field down for the green flag restart with just one lap remaining in stage one. Justin Haley takes the lead going into turn one. Visibility is low with lots of water spray.
Justin Haley wins stage one for his second stage win of the season.
The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Drivers bring their cars down pit road for service. The teams are allowed to make two pit stops during the stage breaks. With races in all three series in two cities, there are a number of team members crewing the car who do not normally work on pit road; as a result, NASCAR has modified the pit road rules to accommodate the pit crews. If the drivers have no penalties, they will resume their spots on the track after pitting, but will have to line up behind drivers who did not make a pit stop.
After staying out on the track, Josh Bilicki brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 18. Josh Bilicki gets out in front for the lead but is being challenged as drivers are getting three wide across the track.
Raining hard, the drivers can see only three cars ahead of them.
The top five are Josh Bilicki, Preston Pardus, Harrison Burton, Alex Labbe, and AJ Allmendinger.
Lap 18, Preston Pardus battles Josh Bilicki for the lead; so far, Bilicki holds Pardus off.
After holding on to the lead, Josh Bilicki has pulled away from Preston Pardus.
Lap 20, Josh Bilicki and Noah Gragson battle for the lead with Bilicki holding Gragson off to hold on to the lead. Alex Labbe makes it a three way battle for the lead. Noah Gragson finally gets around Josh Bilicki for the lead, but the battle isn’t over
Lap 21, Noah Gragson is in the lead with Alex Labbe in second and Josh Bilicki in third.
Noah Gragson gets loose and Alex Labbe takes the lead. AJ Allmendinger takes second.
Jesse Little spins out but the track stays green.
AJ Allmendinger challenges Quebec native Alex Labbe for the lead.
Lap 22, Alex Labbe leads the race with AJ Allmendinger in second; Noah Gragson, Preston Pardus, and Myatt Snider round out the top five.
Lap 22, AJ Allmendinger takes the lead with Alex Labbe half a second back; Noah Gragson, Preston Pardus, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.
The track is nearly dry and the drivers are looking for puddles to help cool the west weather tires until they can come down pit road and change back to the slicks.
Lap 23, AJ Allmendinger has increased his lead to nearly a second on Alex Labbe; Noah Gragson, Preston Pardus, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.
Lap 24, AJ Allmendinger has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second and a half on Alex Labbe.
With six laps remaining in the stage, Justin Allgaier is the first driver to come down pit road to change to the dry weather tires.
Lap 25, AJ Allmendinger holds on to his lead of nearly a second and a half on Alex Labbe. Myatt Snider comes down pit road to make his tire change.
Lap 26, AJ Allmendinger now has a lead of over two and a half seconds on Alex Labbe; third place driver Preston Pardus is nearly 12 seconds back.
More drivers are coming down pit road to change from wet to slick tires.
Jesse Little runs into the gravel trap and is stuck. If he cannot get out of the gravel pit, NASCAR will have to display the caution flag. More drivers are on pit road.
The caution flag comes out with three laps remaining in stage two.
Jeremy Clements is charged with leaving pit road too early. Under green flag conditions, drivers must spend at least 60 seconds from pit in to pit out.
Crews are working to extricate Jesse Little’s car from the gravel trap.
Two laps remaining in stage two, the pits are closed.
AJ Allmendinger wins stage two under caution.
The top 10 at the end of stage two:
After all of the pit stops, Kaz Grala leads the race and brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 33 with Justin Allgaier alongside on the front row. Grala and Allgaier go side by side but Chase Briscoe is looking to make it a three way battle. After some side by side racing, Justin Allgaier gets out in front for the lead.
Austin Cindric takes second form Kaz Grala and aims for leader Justin Allgaier.
Lap 33, Austin Cindric is on Justin Allgaier’s bumper challenging for the lead.
Lap 34, Austin Cindric gets around Justin Allgaier in turn one to take the lead.
The top five are Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Kaz Grala, Noah Gragson, and Chase Briscoe. Austin Cindric has pulled out to a lead of a second on Justin Allgaier.
Lap 35, – 10 to go – Austin Cindric has increased his lead on Justin Allgaier to a second and a half; Kaz Grala, Noah Gragson, and Chase Briscoe round out the top five.
Myatt Snider and Alex Labbe make contact and spin out but the track stays green as drivers move around the them.
Lap 35, Austin Cindric now has a two second lead on Justin Allgaier; Kaz Grala, Chase Briscoe, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.
AJ Allmendinger takes fifth form Noah Gragson.
There are 31 cars on the lead lap. In his first ever Xfinity Series race, Jesse Iwuji is in 32nd place, the first car one lap down.
Lap 35, Austin Cindric has a lead of over two seconds on Justin Allgaier; Chase Briscoe, AJ Allmendinger, and Kaz Grala round out the top five.
AJ Allmendinger takes third place; three and a half seconds behind the leader.
Lap 36, Austin Cindric has increased his lead to over three seconds on Justin Allgaier; AJ Allmendinger is in third nearly four seconds back.
Lap 37, Austin Cindric continues to lead the race by three and a half seconds on Justin Allgaier with AJ Allmendinger on his bumper.
AJ Allmendinger takes second place from Justin Allgaier; three and a half seconds behind leader Austin Cindric.
Bright sunshine has returned to the track.
Lap 38, Austin Cindric has a lead of over three and a half seconds on AJ Allmendinger; Chase Briscoe, Justin Allgaier, and Kaz Grala round out the top five.
Scott Herckert is off the track and off the course.
Justin Haley spins after contact from Riley Herbst, but saves the car and the track stays green.
NASCAR displays the caution flag in order to get Scott Heckert out of the gravel with just six laps remaining in the race.
Leaders come down pit road for fresh tires.
After staying out on the track, Preston Pardus brings the field down for the green flag restart with only for laps remaining in the race. Ryan Sieg will start alongside on the front row.
Preston Pardus gets out in front for the lead with drivers battling for position behind him.
Justin Allgaier brings out the caution flag after making contact with Kaz Grala and slamming into the wall. Myatt Snider, Jeremy Clements, and Jeffrey Earnhardt were also involved in a crash.
Preston Pardus brings the field down for the green flag restart with just two laps remaining in the race with Ryan Sieg alongside on the front row. Austin Cindric comes form the outside to take the lead with AJ Allmendinger right behind him. Riley Herbst gets off the track into the grass but the track stays green.
Austin Cindric is in the lead with AJ Allmendinger in second; Chase Briscoe, Preston Pardus and Kaz Grala round out the top five.
Austin Cindric takes the white flag.
With a lead of nearly a second, Austin Cindric wins the road course race at Road America. This is Cindric’s fourth win of the season.
Cindirc is the eleventh race winner in eleven races in the Xfinity Series.
The unofficial results of the Henry 180:
Tommy Joe Martins
Joe Graf Jr