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2022 Nashville NXS Justin Allgaier guitar victory lane, NKP

“There’s never a dull moment driving such a good race car, I can assure you,” said now two-time 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series winner Justin Allgaier as he crossed the checkered flag at Nashville Superspeedway.

Trevor Bayne, Riley Herbst, Ty Gibbs and Sam Mayer rounded out the rest of the top five, but all crossed the finish line well behind Allgaier as he drove to his 18th Xfinity Series win of his career. However, he wasn’t content with winning the race.

Allgaier was able to stake his claim on the previous two stages of the race, earning plenty of playoff points for his efforts. With the playoff push fast approaching, Allgaier is now in third place, less than 10 points behind Ty Gibbs in second place.

But enough of the basics – this is the breakdown after all, so let’s do just that.

The winners

At this point even I think it’s getting old to see JR Motorsport keep popping up in our winners section, but until someone puts their foot on the gas and stops them, I can’t justify turning them off. Even after a two-week break, they’ve made their return in thunderous fashion, putting two cars in the top five and sweeping all three stages. The guys from JRM didn’t just provide fanfare on the track this weekend.

mullet fans to cheer, as Noah Gragson brought back his infamous (or famous, depending on how you look at it) mullet this weekend, hoping that with a little oomph those luscious locks will carry him into the second half of the season. Did it still work? Some. He finished 13th after having to dodge some traffic on the final stage. Overall not a bad day at the office but it could be better. He looked great doing it, though, and for some that might be all that matters.

The losers

As hot as it was at Nashville Superspeedway, I have to factor that in every single driver in this week’s losers section. Sure, Allgaier won, but I promise you, if he could have turned the temperature down a few notches, he would have done it anyway. Several drivers were taken to the infield care center after the race with heat-related issues, and reports have surfaced that even fans have passed out from the exposure.

What can NASCAR do about it? Honestly absolutely nothing they don’t already do. Unless we’re talking about vortex theory here, they can’t control the weather. However, AJ Allmendinger looked like he might want it as he had to ice his feet after climbing out of the car after the race.

Interestingly, we’ll stick to the topic of how Allmendinger deserves last spot on this week’s losers list. Despite starting from the front row, Allmendinger finished 16th. Was that partly because of the problem with his feet? It’s entirely possible – maybe even plausible – but either way, the current first-place points-holder realistically never wants to finish that low, no matter the temperature.

scheme of the week

This was the first time this season that the Xfinity series let me down in terms of livery. Usually, while not all schemes are good, there are at least one or two that are so “out there” that they’re kind of cool. That was not the case this week.

The best and most eye-catching thing I could put up with this week was Bassett Racing’s No. 77 Chevy.

Before you judge fast and look slow, yes, this is an old tweet. Bassett Racing’s Twitter account isn’t the most active, though, and to be honest it only adds to their charm. This is a solid two tone scheme with great logo placement and color differentiation. I never thought I could put an orange hunter’s vest on a race car, but it works, and now I could just fire up NASCAR Thunder ’04 and do just that.

The playoff pit

Allgaier’s win doesn’t change the current playoff field much as he earned his second win of the season. Winners now include Allgaier, Allmendinger, Gibbs, Gragson, Brandon Jones, Josh Berry and Austin Hill, according to There’s still plenty of time to add new winners to the group and with lots of superspeedways and street courses ahead of me, the odds are good.

fuel for thought

I addressed this a little earlier, but it’s worth coming back to. For those of you dear, valued readers who don’t really know me, I’m a college student who spends his summers working as a boat mechanic. In short, I spend my days outside under the same hot Tennessee sun as the riders do today.

Like I said, it’s not for the faint of heart. It’s grueling, with heat readings of over 110 degrees on some days like today. That fact alone combined with what is essentially cooking in a steel cage with wheels only makes it more unnerving.

I’m saying all of this to address this point: yes, there are a lot of night races on the NASCAR schedule, but when it comes to driver safety, wouldn’t it be wiser to have these races in the middle of summer at night? NASCAR knows it’s in one of the hottest parts of the country, yet their drivers, their moneymakers, trott out in full fire suits in the middle of the day. If you don’t think this amounts to, at least in some way, cruel and unusual punishment, I dare you to put on even a light jacket and pants, come to me, stand outside all day, and then see how well you do to feel. I’ll even give you the guest room.

Where next?

Just like Willie Nelson, the Xfinity series is back on the road as they take on Road America for the Henry 180 next week. She will complete 45 laps of the historic track while a new face attempts to join the group of winners and secure her place in the playoffs. Like many others, Kyle Busch was last year’s Road America race winner. Now that he’s out of the picture, at least in this series, the door is wide open.

This race begins at 2:30 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on the US, the Motor Racing Network and the NBC Sports app.

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