Gallery: The Chaos That Was NASCAR on The Indy Road Course

The first NASCAR Cup Series road course race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was full of drama – for A.J. Allmendinger, who led only the last two laps of overtime to secure his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory Sunday, and for those who fell short of the cherished trophy in an action-packed final few laps.

Denny Hamlin was leading the race on the final restart with two laps to go before being hit from behind by rookie Chase Briscoe in Turn 10, just before Briscoe was supposed to serve a penalty for running off-course earlier in the lap. Instead of winning, Hamlin finished 23rd and Briscoe, 26th.

With those two cars derailed, Allmendinger moved up from third place to take the lead and hold off Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson by .929-second.

Before the race, Allmendinger shrugged off any suggestions that he shouldn’t be considered an odds-on favorite despite his impressive road course background. This season he’s competing fulltime in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Kaulig Racing and Sunday marked only his fourth NASCAR Cup Series start of the year.

But the former open-wheel star has an Indianapolis 500 start, leading 27 laps in a seventh-place finish in 2013 and this iconic track has long been considered hallowed ground by the 39-year old Californian.

“We just won at Indy, what’s up,” Allmendinger yelled toward the grandstands after screaming in excitement on his team radio during his entire victory doughnut celebration in the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet at Indianapolis’ famed yard of bricks start/finish line.

“I mean, it was survival of the fittest,” Allmendinger said. “We probably had like an eighth, tenth-place car, sped on pit road. I thought we were going to finish 12th to 15th and then those restarts were just insane.

With two races remaining to set the 16-driver Playoff field, the NASCAR Cup Series races returns to the big oval next in the FireKeepers Casino 400 at Michigan International Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, and wife, Katelyn stand on the grid during pre-race ceremonies prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr., driver of the #47 Hungry Jack Chevrolet, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb takes a photo of the flyover from the flag-stand prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

illiam Byron, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

William Byron, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, leads the field to start the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana

Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Hooters Chevrolet, Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Discount Tire Ford, William Byron, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, and Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, Michael McDowell, driver of the #34 CarParts.com Ford, Alex Bowman, driver of the #48 Ally Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Unibet Ford, avoid Ross Chastain, driver of the #42 Clover Chevrolet, spin during the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 Hooters Chevrolet, drives during the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Chase Briscoe, driver of the #14 HighPoint.com/Ford Perf. Racing School Ford, and AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Hyperice Chevrolet, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Hyperice Chevrolet, drives during qualifying for the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Hyperice Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Hyperice Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Hyperice Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Hyperice Chevrolet, (L) and Matt Kaulig, owner of Kaulig Racing celebrate by kissing the yard of bricks after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Verizon 200 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on August 15, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.


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