AJ Allmendinger qualified fifth for the Toyota / Save Mart 350.
In the opening laps of the race, Allmendinger fell to sixth, and told the team that by lap nine his No. 16 Gabriel-Glas Chevy was too tight in the left-hand corners. Allmendinger asked the team for more front turn as he took over fourth place on lap 19 where he would finish the opening stage. Allmendinger came down pit road on lap 26 under green, and the team made an air pressure adjustment to help with the handling of the car.
During stage two, Allmendinger struggled in traffic, telling the team he was too loose behind the No. 5 car. By lap 45, his rear tires had faded completely from being behind the Nos. 9 and 5. Just before the team was going to pit, the first caution of the day came out on lap 49. Allmendinger was sixth at the time and would come down pit road on lap 50 to go back on the changes from the previous stop. The No. 16 restarted 16th after the top-nine cars did not pit. Allmendinger made up track position and finished the second stage 12th.
The No. 16 Gabriel-Glas Chevy continued to be loose in traffic and tight in the right-hand turns during stage three, as Allmendinger ran 11th. Allmendinger made his way up to ninth, telling the team he was struggling as he lost rear grip. The team pit on lap 74 and Allmendinger made his way back up 11th before the caution came out on lap 91. Allmendinger told the team he was still a bit free, but much better than the run before. The team came down pit road under caution on lap 92 and Allmendinger restarted 11th with 10 laps remaining. Allmendinger continued to gain positions running similar lap times as the leader with four laps to go. He went on to finish sixth.
Justin Haley, No. 31 Cirkul Camaro ZL1
Justin Haley qualified 23rd for the Toyota / Save Mart 350.
Throughout the opening laps, Haley was happy with the handling of his No. 31 Cirkul Chevrolet and that he just needed track position to continue moving forward. With five laps remaining in stage one, Haley reported he began losing forward drive. As the green-flag pit stops cycled through, he made it as high as 13th, where he would finish the stage under green.
Haley pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment to begin the second stage, still under green flag. As the race stayed green, Haley made it as high as 16th before needing to pit on lap 48 for adjustments while struggling with rear-tire fall off.
The first caution of the day came out as Haley exited pit road lap 49. He was the first car one lap down, putting him in the free-pass position. Haley pit once more under caution for fresh tires and to top-off his No. 31 Cirkul Chevy with fuel. The field took the green on lap 53 to finish out the second stage. Haley finished 29th.
With the race remaining green to start the final stage, haley pitted on lap 75 for fresh tires and fuel. The race would remain green until lap 91, when a spin by the No. 11 car brought out the caution. Haley radioed that he needed fresh tires but was otherwise happy with the No. 31 Chevy. As the race went green with 16 laps remaining, Haley ran the fastest lap of the race and finished 21st.
AJ Allmendinger, No. 10 Gabriel-Glas Chevrolet
AJ Allmendinger qualified fifth for the DoorDash 250 at Sonoma Raceway.
Allmendinger fell one spot on the first lap before quickly moving through the field and up to second by lap six. Allmendinger maintained second place while slowly gaining on leader, Kyle Larson. He went on to finish the opening stage in second, just over three seconds behind Larson.
Allmendinger came off pit road second and restarted sixth on lap 27 after the first four cars did not come down pit road. By lap 29, Allmendinger moved up to third, and by lap 31, he had taken over second place, 2.28 seconds behind the race leader. Allmendinger told his team he was much looser this run and lacked rear grip. He went on to finish the second stage in second place, almost 10 seconds behind stage two winner, Larson.
Allmendinger brought his No. 10 Gabriel-Glas Chevy down pit road for a green-flag pit stop on lap 45. As green-flag pit stops cycled through, Allmendinger made his way back up to second place by lap 51. The caution flag came out nine laps later on lap 60, and the team decided to pit a final time for four fresh tires. Allmendinger restarted fourth when the field returned to green on lap 64. On the restart, Allmendinger passed the No. 17 of Larson and took over second, but was passed by the No. 17 by lap 65. On lap 71, Allmendinger took over second place again after the No. 17 missed the corner going into turn 11. Allmendinger battled with Larson for the remainder of the race and went on to finish second.
Daniel Hemric, No. 11 Cirkul Chevrolet
Daniel Hemric qualified eighth for the DoorDash 250.
Although Hemric struggled with front-end turn in his No. 11 Cirkul Chevy, he made steady gains throughout the opening stage to finish sixth in stage one.
After the first pit stop in the beginning of stage two, Hemric lost track position coming off pit road and restarted 13th. He went on to finish the second stage in 14th place.
In the final stage, Hemric was 17th after the green flag stops cycled through with 27 laps to go. He was able to rebound throughout the final stage and work his way back up the field to 13th.
Chandler Smith, No. 16 Quick Tie Products Chevrolet
Chandler Smith qualified 20th for the DoorDash 250.
Smith struggled with lateral grip and rear drive in the opening stage of the race but was able to make up five spots to finish the opening stage in 15th place.
Just as the first stage finished, a caution came out, giving the No. 16 Quick Tie Products pit crew a chance to make adjustments under yellow. The team added rounds of wedge to improve the car’s driveability for the second stage.
Smith ran smoothly in the second stage and continued to grab positions slowly. He finished 12th in stage two, his highest running position after a completed pit cycle.
In the middle of the third stage, Smith and the crew felt that the No. 16 was dialed in and could run well inside the top-10 after consistent fast laps. After multiple late-stage cautions led to chaotic restarts, Smith battled back from being shuffled out of line to finish the race in 14th.