Watkins Glen, NY—Today is a big day for the road course at Watkins Glen International. The driver that everyone has their eye on is Ty Gibbs. He is the one to beat in the JR Motorsports cars, as he has won the last two of his six races. At the New Holland 250—the Michigan International Raceway on August 6th it was Gibbs fifth best victory as he sped to take control of the race. It was his best victory of the season.
During the qualifying at Watkins Glen Ty Gibbs, Austin Hill, Riley Herbst, Kyle Lawson, and A.J. Allmendinger finished in the top 5. The Pole position was determined by the ten drivers first round results at the track.
On the onset of the race, very early on was a caution by #7 Justin Allgaier as he lost the rear grip on turn 2 and spun out of control on turn 3. Allgaier was coming around the curve and he was a little high on the #51 car. This track is very fast, so picking and choosing your speed is critical. It made for a short day for Allgaier, he was able to exit his car on his own and entered the ambulance for precautionary measures.
Sammy Smith came up with a win at the end of stage 1. It was said to be the best of starts for Watkins Glen for the Xfinity Race Series.
Alex Labbe caused a caution after hitting the wall. He had some heavy damage to his car on the side panel. When he got out of his #36 car, he immediately fell to the pavement to sit and gather his bearings.
William Byron raced hard and won stage 2 with Ty Gibbs in 2nd and Allmendinger in 3rd. Byron has never won a road race.
Daniel Hemric was very optimistic with his speed, unfortunately things didn’t work out well for Hemric. He had a steering issue and crashed into the tire barrier. In Turn 9, it appeared something broke on his car, which caused his car to veer off course. Hemric’s No. 11 car made massive contact with the barricade and would get pinned under the barrier.
Ross Chastain spun out and got stuck in the gravel and was running 19th at the time. This was the 8th caution of the race.
Heading into the final laps Gibbs and Byron were fighting for the that flag. But they both spun out with 4 laps remaining as they tried to go too wide. Both had been dominant throughout the day, with Byron leading 35 laps and Gibbs leading 25.
Byron finished the day in 25th place with Gibbs not far behind in 27th. Smith won the first stage, and Byron took the second. Justin Allgaier, a three-time winner this year, finished last in the 38-car field after an early crash.
Larson won his 1st road XFinity race with AJ Allmendinger taking 2nd, S. Smith in 3rd and bringing up the rear were Noah Gragson for 4th and K. Grala for 5th. Larson was ecstatic for the victory during the XFinity race, now he is on to the next Cup race on Sunday, August 21, 2022.