NASCAR at Indianapolis
A.J. Allmendinger – Just over seven years after what was his lone Cup Series win (Watkins Glen 2014), Allmendinger triumphed again in NASCAR’s premier division. The Xfinity Series full-timer, in his fourth Cup start of 2021, avoided all the late-race chaos Sunday to give Kaulig Racing its first-ever Cup victory. The team is going full-time in Cup next season with a two-car program: Justin Haley driving one car, Allmendinger and other drivers sharing the second.
Kyle Larson – A day after capturing one of sprint car racing’s crown jewel events, the Knoxville Nationals, Larson looked poised to win at Indy until a debris caution with nine laps to go ended up changing everything. Larson ultimately came home third, but it was more than enough to take the outright regular season points lead – and, potentially, the champion’s prize of 15 playoff points – from Denny Hamlin.
Matt DiBenedetto – Fifth-place finish on Sunday was his first top five run since May at Kansas Speedway (fourth). As DiBenedetto plays out his final season with the Wood Brothers, he’s found consistent results with new crew chief Jonathan Hassler. He’s finished no worse than 11th over the last five races.
Erik Jones – Seventh-place finish was his first top 10 since a ninth-place effort in March on the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway. As Jones himself noted, he didn’t have a particularly great car on Sunday but stayed out of trouble when others couldn’t. Sometimes, that’s enough.