Josh Berry drove to victory lane for the second time in 2021 after winning the Alsco 302 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday night.
The race kicked off under the hot Las Vegas sun allowing for fast, multi-groove action all the way to the lap 25 competition caution. Team Penske’s Austin Cindric led all 25 laps to that point.
Allmendinger inherited the lead under the competition caution, leading the field into turns one and two, when contact between Las Vegas native Riley Herbst and Kaulig Racing’s Jeb Burton triggered a wreck in the middle of the corner.
Herbst slid back up the banking into traffic, collecting numerous other cars including Berry, fellow Playoff driver Jeremy Clements, and five other cars. The wreck saw the end of Herbst’s and Clements’ days, putting both drivers on the back end of the playoff standings heading to Talladega.
Berry received a stroke of luck however, skimming through the wreck with nothing but tire marks and scratches on his No. 1 Pilot Chevrolet.
Allmendinger went on to win stage one, carrying on his momentum from his Bristol win last week.
Ty Dillon led the field to start stage two, leading a total of 17 laps before Justin Allgaier went to the point on Lap 66. Allgaier would check out for the remainder of the stage and take the green and white checkered flag for the end of the second stage.
Las Vegas native Noah Gragson jumped to a brief one lap lead to begin the final stage, however Allgaier came storming back and retook the lead.
Allgaier would stay up front, with brief battles with Allmendinger, Cindric and Justin Haley seeing all three drivers lead a total of seven laps during the battles for the lead.
Allgaier met his match with 15 to go, when Berry stormed to the race lead and never looked back. He finished second behind Berry, with Gragson coming home in third to round out the JRM top-three lockout.
Berry is on his second week of relief driver duty, as the usual driver of the No. 1 Michael Annett has been out due to a leg injury.
Heading to Talladega next week, Austin Cindric leads the points standings over A.J. Allmendinger by seven points. Allgaier and Gragson fall in third and fourth respectively, with Daniel Hemric trailing behind in fifth. Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, and Brandon Jones round out the top-eight in the standings.
Currently out of the next round of the playoffs is Myatt Snider in ninth, Jeb Burton in tenth, Riley Herbst in eleventh, and Jeremy Clements sitting last of all playoff drivers in 12th.
The Xfinity Series heads to Talladega for the Sparks 300 on Oct. 2 at 1:30 p.m. PST, with the race broadcasted on NBC Sports Network.