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Race Recap | COTA – Focused Health 250

March 23, 2024


No. 16 Celsius Chevrolet Camaro

  • AJ Allmendinger qualified fifth for the Focused Health 250 at COTA.
  • After two cars were sent to the rear, Allmendinger started on the front row along side his teammate, Shane van Gisbergen. The No. 16 fell back on the initial start but quickly regained second position. Allmendinger ran in second to his teammate until lap 10 when the No. 16 took the lead. The team pit on lap 12 for four tires and fuel. Allmendinger came off pit road in eighth, where he finished the opening stage.
  • Allmendinger restarted the second stage in first place and maintained the lead, battling with the No. 17 and No. 97, until lap 28 when he came to pit road. The No. 16 came off pit road in fourth place where he finished the second stage.
  • Allmendinger restarted in first place with 13 laps remaining. He battled with his teammate in the No. 97 before falling to second on lap 38. The caution came out with four laps to go, Allmendinger was running second, reporting he was lacking grip. On the first NASCAR overtime attempt, Allmendinger restarted in second on the inside line behind the No. 97. In turn one, the No. 16 was shuffled back to sixth but made it back up to third before the caution came out again. Allmendinger received a course penalty and would start at the tail end of the longest line for the second overtime attempt. The team came down pit road for four tires and fuel before restarting in 26th. Allmendinger drove back through the field to finish 10th in the Focus Health 250 at COTA.

“Not the ending we wanted. We had a really solid day, I’m proud of everyone on the 16 car for digging and trying to make it better after practice and qualifying yesterday. I was really happy with the speed we had, we missed the last run there by a little bit which was going to cost us winning the race, but we were going to finish second and it was going to be a Kaulig one-two. With these late race restarts, you have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. We came out on the wrong end, but we fought hard and happy to restart at the back on the last restart and come back to a 10th place finish.”

– AJ Allmendinger


No. 97 WeatherTech Chevrolet Camaro

  • Shane van Gisbergen qualified second for the Focused Health 250 at COTA.
  • Van Gisbergen grabbed the lead on lap one and maintained his position until lap 10, where he slipped to second. Van Gisbergen hit pit road on lap 13 from second for four tires, fuel and adjustments. Following the stop, Van Gisbergen rejoined the field in 10th and maintained his position, ending stage one in 10th on lap 15.
  • The WeatherTech team started stage two from the second position on lap 18. Struggling with grip in traffic, Van Gisbergen was scored in third on lap 21. Continuing to battle, Van Gisbergen worked his way back to second on lap 26 and hit pit road on lap 28 for a scheduled green-flag pit stop. Following a four tire stop, Van Gisbergen rejoined the field in seventh and ended the stage in sixth on lap 30.
  • Van Gisbergen started the final stage in second with 12 laps remaining in the race. Van Gisbergen took over the race lead on lap 38 and was scored as the race leader when the final caution flag came out in NASCAR overtime. Following the final restart, Van Gisbergen slipped to third and crossed the finished line in second. However, Van Gisbergen was assessed a 30-second penalty, which relegated him to a 27th-place finish.

“Crazy one today. Had some awesome battles with the top four guys. I tried to manage the race the best I could and just couldn’t quite pull it off.”

– Shane van Gisbergen


No. 11 Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet Camaro

  • With Josh Williams on baby watch, teammate Daniel Hemric jumped in the No. 11 Chevy Camaro and qualified ninth for the Focused Health 250.
  • Williams dropped to the rear of the field for the start of the race due to the driver swap. He quickly moved into 29th before pitting three laps prior to the end of stage one for tires and fuel, taking the green-white-checkered while running 36th.
  • Williams restarted in 15th on lap 18. After falling to 21st on the restart, he received a pass-through penalty for cutting the course midway through the second stage. He received another pass through for speeding while serving the initial penalty, but before Williams could serve it, the No. 11 Alloy Employer Services machine started overheating. He came into the box to cool down the car, but the engine eventually expired, forcing Williams to retire. He finished the race in 38th.

“I’m not even sure what to say anymore. I’m not sure what we need to do for our luck to turn around, but I’m glad we’ve got a couple short tracks coming up next.”

– Josh Williams



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