Kaulig Racing Post-Race Report | Atlanta Motor Speedway
July 5, 2023
Quaker State 400 Available at Walmart
AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Nutrien Ag Solutions FARMSMART ZL1
AJ Allmendinger qualified 19th for the Quaker State 400 Available at Walmart.
Allmendinger fell back to 22nd in the opening laps before using the bottom lane to make his way up to 16th, as the first caution came out on lap 16. Allmendinger told his team that his No. 16 Nutrien Ag Solutions FARMSMART Chevy was edgy on the top lane. The team stayed out under this caution, and would restart on lap 23 in 14th place. Allmendinger cracked the top 10 and took over ninth place on lap 52. Allmendinger fell back to 18th on lap 57 when the No. 45 got a run on the top line, shuffling the No. 16 back. Allmendinger went on to finish stage one 14th, telling the team his balance was still good, but his Chevy was tight in dirty air.
Allmendinger restarted stage two in 14th place on lap 67. When a caution came out on lap 79, Allmendinger had made it up to 13th, telling the team he was areo-tight on the top lane. Crew chief, Matt Swiderski, brought the No. 16 back down pit road for right side tires and an air pressure adjustment. On lap 85, Allmendinger restarted in 15th and continued to drive through the field making his way up to sixth before the caution came out on lap 93. Allmendinger restarted fourth as the second car on the top lane. Pushing the No. 17 on the restart, the two pulled away by three car lengths from the third-place car. Allmendinger had fallen to fifth when the caution came out on lap 125. He came down pit road under caution and would restart 17th on lap 129. Allmendinger battled hard in traffic, making it up to fourth by lap 152 and ultimately finishing stage two in fifth place.
Allmendinger stayed out under the stage caution, and restarted first on lap 164. He led the field for two green-flag laps before the No. 24 took the lead on lap 167. The No. 16 was third when the caution came out on lap 177. During caution laps, rain began in the area, and the race was called official. Allmendinger finished third, earning his first top five and highest finish of the 2023 season.
Justin Haley qualified 17th for the Quaker State 400 Available at Walmart.
Haley dropped a few spots on the start of the race, relaying that his No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy was extremely loose handling as the first caution flag fell on lap 16. Crew chief, Trent Owens, made the call for Haley to pit for tires, fuel and adjustments, in order to get ahead of things early. The field went back to green on lap 24 and would stay green for the remainder of the stage. Haley was able to work his way into the top 10 before ultimately finishing the opening stage in 13th place. Haley pitted during the break for more adjustments to continue tightening his No. 31 Chevrolet.
Haley quickly made his way into the top 10 early in stage two, making it as high as sixth place. The first caution of the second stage fell on lap 79. Haley was ninth when crew chief, Owens, made the call for a fuel-only pit stop as weather began to play a factor in strategy. The field went back to green on lap 85. The next caution fell only seven laps later, as Haley had made it up to third. Haley restarted as the first car on the inside but lost momentum on the restart and fell back to 10th when the next caution came out on lap 123. Trent Owens made the call to stay out due to weather moving in. The field restarted lap 128 and went green until lap 155. This caution would end the stage, scoring Haley seventh. Haley pitted for four tires and a splash of fuel before starting the final stage.
The field only went green until lap 177, which ended the race early, due to rain. Haley finished eighth, his second top-10 finish in a row.
Alsco Uniforms 250
Daniel Hemric, No. 11 Cirkul Chevrolet
Daniel Hemric qualified 11th for the Alsco Uniforms 250.
Hemric, alongside teammate Justin Haley, worked together at the start to move into the top 10. He stayed there for most of the stage as the single-file train developed up front. He stayed out during the first caution and restarted third on the inside line, but the No. 11 Cirkul Chevrolet lost grip quickly, and Hemric finished stage one in 13th.
Hemric pitted for four tires, fuel and adjustments to help tighten the car during the stage break. He restarted 23rd, and made his way up to 18th before a caution on lap 52. Hemric came back to pit road for an additional adjustment, and restarted 35th. The No. 11 made its way back up to 17th in seven laps before another caution came out. Hemric stayed out during this round of pit stops and finished seventh in the stage.
Kaulig Racing teammates Haley, Smith and Hemric started the final stage on the top row. Hemric pushed his teammates, and the three broke away to a single-file, 1-2-3 running order. Hemric held off the No. 21 with just over 10 laps remaining, keeping the Kaulig team 1-2-3. He fell back to fifth as the final yellow flag flew to force overtime. The No. 11 lined up second on the inside line. After Smith ran out of fuel coming to the green, Hemric fought through to second coming to the white flag where he finished the race.
Justin Haley, No. 10 Campers Inn RV Chevrolet
Justin Haley qualified 13th for the Alsco Uniforms 250.
Haley quickly made his way through the field and into the top five by lap six. Finally settling into sixth place, spotter, Frank Deiny, told Haley he was a tenth better than the cars in front of him. As the first caution fell on lap 27, Haley reported his No. 10 Campers Inn RV Chevy was handling well. The race went green with six laps remaining in the opening stage, and Haley went on to finish fourth.
Haley asked for no changes to his No. 10 Chevy, as he made his first pit stop, getting just fuel and tires. As the first caution of the second stage came out on lap 50, Haley was told to save fuel. When another caution fell on lap 62, crew chief, Alex Yontz, told Haley to pit for an adjustment to tighten him up, as data showed that the track would continue to trend free throughout the race. The field went back to green on lap 71, and Haley went on to finish the second stage in 12th.
Haley reported his No. 10 Chevy was beginning to trend freer, and the team made the call to pit during the stage break to tighten him up. He received an adjustment and fuel, but no tires. He restarted on the front row on lap 86 before a caution for a big wreck came out just one lap later. Haley took over the lead, in front of teammates Hemric (second) and Smith (third). The Kaulig cars all chose the top, lining up for the restart on lap 96. Haley continued to lead with his teammates in tow, until the overtime restart. Haley lined up as the first car on the top, followed by the No. 16. The No. 11 lined up as the second car on the bottom. Haley eventually lost help and momentum on the final lap, falling to fourth where he finished the race.
Chandler Smith, No. 16 Roofing Georgia Chevrolet
Chandler Smith qualified on the pole for the Alsco Uniforms 250.
Smith led the first four laps before falling into second behind the No. 8 for the majority of the first stage. Quickly, the lead pack of cars shuffled into single file before a caution forced a restart with six laps to go in the opening stage. Smith went on to finish third in stage one.
After pitting for four tires and fuel, Smith restarted stage two in 16th place. In the first three laps of the stage, Smith drove up to fifth place, radioing to the team that his car began to feel free on entry. As a caution fell on lap 62, The No. 16 Roofing Georgia team pitted for an adjustment. The field went green on lap 71, and went on to finish the second stage in eighth place.
Smith pitted during the break for two right-side tires and a track bar adjustment. On the restart, the Kaulig Racing cars lined up 1-2-3 on the bottom, with Smith as the middle car. The three pulled away and continued to run in line with each other. During another chaotic restart, Smith fell back to 10th but made his way back up to second behind Haley with 34 laps remaining. As the final caution came out to force overtime, Haley ran in front with Smith in tow. Smith ran out of fuel on the restart, and finished one lap down in 20th.