Allmender falls short in bid for Indy sweep

Indianapolis (AP) – AJ Allmender’s shot at the Indianapolis sweep was derailed by a double hit on Sunday.

At first, he struggled with the heat inside the car that required a post-race trip to the track’s infield care center. Then, on the final restart, the natural chaotic push and shove to end an overtime scramble put him out of contention on the road course at Brickyard.

But it was the failure of his personal cooling shirt throughout the race that was most troublesome: Allmender fell out of his car after the race and leaned on an interior wall, where his wife and other team members got him wet. . towel and bathe her with cold water.

He was shirtless and covered with a towel when he went to Indy’s medical center for about 30 minutes of treatment.

“I feel good,” he said. “It was hot from the start of the race but the problem was that I still had the cooling shirt on, so it made it even hotter in the car. I was doing fine, but at 20 I had run out of water, helmet The blower started getting hot too.”

A more cool and healthy-looking Allmender emerged in street clothes and walked into his golf cart.

It wasn’t what the 40-year-old Californian envisioned ending up as such a promising weekend. He won the Xfinity Series race on the road course on Saturday, was the defending cup winner and had a chance to sweep the weekend in second.

But Allmender was clearly struggling in the end.

At one point, he threw the empty water bottle aside in disgust. The late precautions made the already challenging conditions inside the No. 16 Chevrolet even more difficult.

“Riding just under the yellow makes it worse,” Allmender said. “During the green, I can be fine. But those last few laps were pretty brutal when you get into the car under the yellow with the heat soaked in.”

Somehow, though, despite qualifying 20th on Saturday and enduring an early spin in the sand, Allmender still had a shot. He recovered by working his way back into the brawl – despite the rising temperatures.

On the final restart, Allmender was starting side by side with race leader and eventual winner Tyler Reddick. But as Allmender came straight down the front and headed for the looping left first turn in the outer lane, he already realized he was in trouble.

“The way turn one is here, if you’re on the outside front on one of those late races, you’re just going to run,” he said. “You just get off the race track, so I thought I was going to step off the race track and just make the best of it. I felt like we did.”

Allmender crossed the yard of bricks in the eighth, but moved to seventh when series officials penalized Ross Chastain for using the access road after the final restart.

Clearly, though, this roadway has become one of Allmender’s favorites.

A year earlier, he won the Xfinity Pole before settling in second behind Austin Sindrick. The next day, Allmender won the inaugural race of the Cup on Indy’s 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course—a race that saw several late crashes and a red flag to fix a deteriorating curb.

Then this weekend, Allmender pulled off an almost perfect weekend.

He took the Xfinity pole on Friday, reached Victory Lane on Saturday and was in contention late on Sunday – until the heat and a late restart prevented him from celebrating the victory stage again. Gone.

“Once you get to the green, you suck it up and we had a shot at winning the race, so that’s all that matters,” Allmender said. “At the end of the day, we gave ourselves a shot at winning two in a row.”

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