Justin Haley qualified 30th for the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
By lap 15 of the YellaWood 500, Haley had made his way into the top 15, and by lap 30, he reached the top 10. He made it as high as fourth before the field began making their first green-flag pit stops for fuel only. Haley pitted on lap 39 and made it back into the top five, before ultimately finishing the opening stage in seventh.
Haley radioed that his No. 31 Morris-Shae Chevrolet began to get tight at the end of the stage but would be fine with fresh tires. He pitted during the stage break for four tires and fuel before starting the second stage in 12th. Haley made it as high as 10th on the restart and pitted on lap 107 for fuel only. The second stage stayed green, and Haley went on to finish 26th.
Stage three remained green until lap 163, and Haley navigated his way through a wreck before pitting under caution for fuel and right-side tires. After restarting with 20 laps remaining, a caution for debris came out on lap 172, as Haley sat 20th. He restarted 16th on lap 176 and avoided the wrecking cars ahead coming to the finish and crossed the line sixth, his best at Talladega.
Chandler Smith, No. 13 Quick Tie Products Camaro ZL1
Chandler Smith qualified 34th for the YellaWood 500.
Smith took the green flag in the outside line and moved up towards the wall to make a third line on lap four. From then until lap 41, he moved throughout all three developed lines to experiment with how the car would handle when running three-wide, reaching a then-high of 30th place. He pitted on lap 41 for fuel only and blended back in 24th. With 14 laps to go in the first stage, he bailed out, not wanting to be involved in a potential incident racing to the race’s first green-white-checkered. That incident came on lap 58, bringing out the first yellow flag of the day and ending the opening stage. Smith finished in 30th.
Fearful of being short on mileage, crew chief Bruce Schlicker called Smith down a closed pit road during the stage caution for tires and fuel, sending him to the back of the field. However, many other drivers did the same thing, and after topping off one more time during the extended break, Smith restarted in 18th on lap 65. He ran competitively within the pack, hovering just above 20th place over the next 41 laps. He pitted for fuel on lap 106, and just after blending in, he bailed again and coasted to a 30th-place stage two finish.
Smith came down pit road during the stage break for tires, fuel and a left-rear air pressure adjustment. He restarted on lap 125 in 13th and steadily ran around 16th place for the first 31 laps of the final stage. On lap 156, Smith went four-wide down the inside to move back into 13th. With 26 laps to go, a wreck brought out the yellow, then red flag, and after a splash-and-go pit stop, Smith restarted in 13th with 20 laps to go. The final caution came out with 17 laps to go for debris, setting up a 13-lap sprint to the finish. Smith restarted on the inside of row seven and stayed in the bottom row for the remainder of the race. He finished 11th after being involved in a wreck coming across the finish line, and following the No. 4 car’s disqualification.
AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Action Industries Camaro ZL1
AJ Allmendinger qualified 31st for the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
Allmendinger fell back in the opening laps, reporting to his spotter did not want to push too hard too early. As green flag pit stops began, the No. 16 Action Industries Chevy drove up to 14th place before coming down pit road on lap 40 for a fuel only green-flag pit stop. The first caution came out on lap 60, ending the stage. Allmendinger finished the opening stage in 28th.
The No. 16 came down pit road when it was still closed after running out of fuel following the the caution flag. The team restarted in 28th at the tail end of the field when the second stage went green on lap 65. The race remained green for the duration of stage two. Allmendinger came down pit road under green for a fuel-only stop on lap 106. The No. 16 finished 31st in stage two.
Allmendinger came down pit road under the stage break for four tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment. Allmendinger took the green flag from 29th on lap 125. By lap 135, the No. 16 had driven up to 19th as the last car on the top lane. Allmendinger was shuffled back to 23rd by lap 140 but made it back up to 13th in the middle lane by lap 142. The caution came out on lap 163 and the No. 16 sustained front-end damage while avoiding the wreck. The team repaired the damage and restarted from 22nd on lap 168. Allmendinger went on to finish 20th in the YellaWood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.