The race was up for grabs for Cindric, and the reigning Xfinity champion was four laps away from a second straight regular season title and a solid lead into the playoffs. Instead, a late warning gave Allmendinger a chance to steal a sixth victory.

Rivals crashed as cars crossed the finish line and Allmendinger’s fourth win of the season came because his Chevrolet slid past Cindric’s under the checkered flag.

Smith runs to Trucks’ first victory

Chandler Smith took advantage of a late restart Thursday night in Bristol for his first NASCAR Trucks Series victory and a second-round playoff spot.

The 19-year-old Georgian rider overtook defending Series champion Sheldon Creed in a six-lap restart, Creed and John Hunter Nemechek collided as Smith put Kyle Busch Motorsports’ No. 18 Toyota in the lead for the first time.

Smith qualified for the second round of eight drivers with Todd Gilliland and Austin Hill being eliminated.

O’Ward: Palou to lose IndyCar title

Alex Palou confidently walked around the Laguna Seca paddock, firmly focused on closing his first IndyCar championship.

There are mathematical possibilities that could give the 24-year-old Spaniard the title today in the penultimate race of the season. But he hasn’t been able to shake Pato O’Ward all season, and Scott Dixon and Josef Newgarden remain viable contenders.

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