Column By: MARTY CZEKALA / RPW – WATKINS GLEN, NY – The NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 turned into a fuel mileage race in the final 30 laps and no one knew what was going to happen.
In a race that first thought was going to end up in showers, weather broke away from NY’s road racing facility and brought up a great race using only slicks.
Ty Gibbs not only saved enough fuel, but forced his way by Austin Cindric to score his third career Xfinity Series win this season at the age of 18.
The final 32 laps proved to be intensifying as drivers pitted for fuel and were told it would be close. Drivers like Ty Gibbs, Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, and Brandon Jones pitted. Others like Daniel Hemric, Bayley Currey stayed out.
Gibbs would make his way up to third with 30 to go while Cindric and Allmendinger were stuck in dirty air. As Gibbs moved up to second, he was told to keep Jones behind him and not Daniel Hemric. When Hemric pitted, Gibbs assumed the lead with around 26 to go. Gibbs was told they would be good by half a lap, but if a yellow came out they were good.
Austin Cindric started to make moves. The defending winner would get by Justin Haley for P3. Gibbs had a lead of just over a second or two to Jones with over 20 to go and kept saving and was told to not give up the lead. Per their radio communications, their goal was to be at the white flag up by a car length. The lead was 3.3 seconds with around 18 remaining. Brandon Jones would come in to top off and put four fresh tires. Everything would change when a yellow flew for Erik Jones into the turn six gravel trap with 15 laps left.
Half pitted and half stayed out. Expected to pit, Gibbs stayed out along with Cindric and Allmendinger. The story had been Allmendinger vs Cindric but with Gibbs coming off of a win at the Daytona Road Course earlier in the year, he was bound to put up a fight with the road ringers.
On the restart with 12 to go, Cindric got inside to move Gibbs up turn one to give Cindric the lead. Gibbs would show his move with a bumper in the carousel, but somehow Cindric kept the lead and Gibbs had to hang on as Allmendinger was over him.
Ten to go, Cindric had a run entering turn six putting the bumper to the inside and powering his way through in turn six to lead. The same lap, Allmendinger would get low into turn one to the runner-up. Gibbs was maintaining a lead with seven to go and then the yellow flew for Kyle Weatherman with an electrical fire in the car.
On the final restart with four to go, Gibbs selected the bottom and again didn’t get the best jump into the esses. Allmendinger would get momentum in the runoff of The 90 entering the esses. A lap later, Allmendinger went wide in the exit of the carousel and Gibbs made the pass stick entering turn six. Gibbs wouldn’t look back and take the win at The Glen.
“Those two, the baddest dudes on the road course ever. I don’t really know how I beat them,” said Gibbs. “My guys worked so hard and they do such a good job. What a great race. Im just at a loss for words right now. This is just awesome.”
“I ran him wide in turn one take the lead, he ran me wide in turn six to take the lead. It’s hard racing,” Cindric said to RPW. “He deserved to win. He was the fastest car.”
“It was tough. Ty did a fantastic job. Raced me clean. Put great moves. I was doing everything I could to defend. He was smart. Didn’t use me up. Made a clean pass. Gotta respect that. We’ll get better for the next time,” Allmendinger commented.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series continues their season next Saturday at the hallowed Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.
Glen week concludes tomorrow with the NASCAR Cup Series’ Go Bowling at the Glen.
For interviews with Gibbs, Allmendinger, Cindric, Harrison Burton, and Justin Allgaier, head to the RSN Trackside Facebook page.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – 26th Annual Skrewball Peanut Butter Whiskey 200 at The Glen
Watkins Glen International
Watkins Glen, New York
Saturday, August 7, 2021
1. (15) Ty Gibbs #, Toyota, 82.
2. (6) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 82.
3. (2) Austin Cindric, Ford, 82.
4. (1) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 82.
5. (4) Harrison Burton, Toyota, 82.
6. (21) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 82.
7. (11) Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 82.
8. (8) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 82.
9. (5) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 82.
10. (23) Sam Mayer #, Chevrolet, 82.
11. (18) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 82.
12. (14) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 82.
13. (10) Riley Herbst, Ford, 82.
14. (19) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 82.
15. (7) Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 82.
16. (12) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 82.
17. (24) Kris Wright(i), Toyota, 82.
18. (13) Ryan Sieg, Ford, 82.
19. (17) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 82.
20. (20) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 82.
21. (16) Jade Buford #, Chevrolet, 82.
22. (3) Daniel Hemric, Toyota, 82.
23. (35) Preston Pardus, Chevrolet, 82.
24. (30) Josh Bilicki(i), Chevrolet, 82.
25. (28) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 82.
26. (9) Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 82.
27. (27) Jesse Little, Chevrolet, 82.
28. (40) Stephen Leicht, Toyota, 82.
29. (32) Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, 81.
30. (25) Joe Graf Jr., Chevrolet, 81.
31. (31) Colby Howard, Chevrolet, 81.
32. (39) Bayley Currey(i), Chevrolet, 81.
33. (38) David Smith, Chevrolet, 80.
34. (22) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, Electrical, 75.
35. (34) Michael Munley, Chevrolet, Suspension, 74.
36. (36) Erik Jones(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 66.
37. (33) Austin Dillon(i), Chevrolet, Chassis, 53.
38. (29) Matt Mills, Toyota, Accident, 47.
39. (26) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, Rear Gear, 28.
40. (37) Kyle Tilley(i), Chevrolet, DVP, 20.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 84.088 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 23 Mins, 21 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.948 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 8 for 15 laps.
Lead Changes: 12 among 6 drivers.
Lap Leaders: J. Allgaier 0;A. Cindric 1-21;H. Burton 22-24;B. Jones 25;T. Gibbs # 26-36;A. Allmendinger 37-41;T. Gibbs # 42-48;D. Hemric 49-55;T. Gibbs # 56-70;A. Cindric 71;T. Gibbs # 72-78;A. Allmendinger 79;T. Gibbs # 80-82.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Ty Gibbs # 5 times for 43 laps; Austin Cindric 2 times for 22 laps; Daniel Hemric 1 time for 7 laps; AJ Allmendinger 2 times for 6 laps; Harrison Burton 1 time for 3 laps; Brandon Jones 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 22,16,18,20,10,11,9,19,98,8
Stage #2 Top Ten: 16,54,22,7,9,98,8,1,31,18