AJ Allmendinger took advantage of final-laps chaos Sunday to win the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard NASCAR Cup Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The road course specialist led just two laps – the last two – in his Kaulig Racing Chevrolet to snag the double overtime victory.
Allmendinger was starting just his fourth Cup race of the season – all coming on road courses.
Ryan Blaney of Team Penske finished second.
Third was Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson, who was looking to win back-to-back races.
Rounding out the top five was Chase Elliott, a heavy favorite at the start of the day, and Matt DiBenedetto of the Wood Brothers Racing team.
Allmendinger took the lead on the final restart lap when leader Chase Briscoe blew through the grass on a corner and was then penalized for illegally re-entering the racing surface.
Denny Hamlin of Joe Gibbs Racing had the lead on the final restart but was bumped sideways by Briscoe shortly afteward.
Sunday was the debut of Cup cars on the road circuit in Indianapolis.
Late in the race, curbing began coming apart and that caused several very serious wrecks. Those wrecks not only forced a double overtime finish but brought out long red and yellow flags and took out a number of cars who appeared to have shots at victory.
Among those taken out were Martin Truex Jr., Joey Logano, William Byron and Tyler Reddick.
Larson appeared to headed for a second straight victory as he won the road race last weekend at Watkins Glen International. He had a big lead with 10 laps to go. But then came the wrecks. He led a race best 28 laps.
Elliott, who has won seven times on the roads since the 2017 season, led 14 laps on Sunday.
Next week, the series heads a bit farther north to race at the Michigan International Speedway 2-mile oval.
–Field Level Media