NASCAR Cup Series
Race Results: NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte
Oct 8, 2023
Emotion. It's why we watch -- rather, it's why we care about motorsports. After A.J. Allmendinger skillfully held off William Byron to score a win in Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Bank of America ROVAL 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL, his post-race interview was goosebump-inducing.
With tears flowing out of his eyes, Allmendinger was asked point-blank by NBC Sports' Marty Snider why this win -- the third of his NASCAR Cup Series career -- was so emotional.
"Because you don't know when you're going to do it again," Allmendinger explained. "I love all of the men and women at Kaulig Racing so much. First of all, hi to my beautiful wife and my new baby boy. I usually give these checkered flags away, but I'm going to have to wrap this [checkered flag] around Aero."
The 41-year-old racer and his No. 16 Kaulig Racing team have endured a roller-coaster season, and Sunday's victory was the big payoff for all parties sticking it through and keeping their heads in the game despite not making it into the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.
Allmendinger, who always wears his emotions on his sleeve, has not sugar-coated his disdain for how he and his team have performed at points in the season. Allmendinger says that those close to him understand how much it weighs on him personally when things don't go well on the race track.
"My mom, my dad, all of my family and friends -- those people see how much anguish, and how much I put on my shoulders when we're struggling," Allmendinger said. "And it just means the world. I hate crying right now, but it's a freaking Cup race, man. You never know when it's going to happen again. Let's go! Come on!"
Byron, who has been the favorite for the NASCAR Cup Series championship, just continues to churn out championship-caliber performances. And he's doing it on the biggest stage -- the Playoffs. The Hendrick Motorsports driver, who has collected six victories already this season, is now on a three-race top-two finish streak, which began with a win at Texas Motor Speedway three weeks ago.
Overall, Byron has four straight top-10 finishes and seven top-10s over his last eight starts.
The No. 24 driver and team are firing on all cylinders, as they now head into the Round of 8 of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs with the No. 1 seed.
Kyle Busch, who came into the race 12th in the 12-driver Playoff field, needed a win in Sunday's race if he wanted to make it into the next round of the Playoffs. Ultimately, the Richard Childress Racing driver came up a little short, but he fought admirably on his way to a third-place finish.
Ty Gibbs and Joey Logano finished the day fourth and fifth.
Tyler Reddick secured his place into the next round of the Playoffs with a solid effort in sixth. Reddick won Stage 1 of the race and possibly had the car to beat, but his No. 45 team opted to play for Stage points throughout the race in an effort to aid his bid to point his way into the next round of the Playoffs.
The strategy paid off, and Reddick will continue battling for a title.
Chris Buescher, likewise, will move on to the next round with a seventh-place finish on Sunday.
Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, and Ross Chastain rounded out the top-10 finishers at the ROVAL.
With his 10th-place finish, Chastain failed to advance to the next round of the Playoffs. He and Busch were joined by Bubba Wallace and Brad Keselowski as drivers who were eliminated from the Playoffs on Sunday.
The eight drivers that will make up the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs are William Byron, Denny Hamlin, Christopher Bell, Chris Buescher, Tyler Reddick, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney, and Martin Truex Jr.
The next stop for the NASCAR Cup Series is the 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway. That race, the South Point 400, will take place on Sunday, October 15th at 2:30 PM ET. NBC will carry the television broadcast of that event, while PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the radio broadcast.
Photo Credit: Tyson Gifford, Racing America