Spencer Gallagher came out as the surprise race winner at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday in his first ever NASCAR National Series victory. Gallagher, passing Tyler Reddick for the lead on a NASCAR Overtime restart, led only one lap of the race enroute to victory lane. It was also the first time that Gallagher has ever led the field in the series.
“The only thing that was going through my mind was I hope to hell this works. Gosh I’m so happy right now,” said Gallagher in victory lane. “GMS Racing brought such an incredible car here. To qualify this thing third, and race like we did all day, I knew we had the speed.”
Gallagher, from Las Vegas, scored his second top-five and fifth top 10 finish of the year. Before today, Gallagher’s best finish of the season through eight races came at Bristol Motor Speedway with a fifth-place run.
“It didn’t seem real for awhile there as that whole last lap was kind of a dream,” added Gallagher. “You hear your spotter talking to you in the background but all you’re really doing is looking at your mirror. It’s always wild on the last lap at Talladega.”
Finishing 0.152 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher Brandon Jones, Gallagher finished stage one sitting 11th and runner up behind Elliott Sadler in stage two.
After being passed for the lead, Reddick, who won the season opener at Daytona International Speedway in February, took home an eighth-place finish at the 2.66-mile oval.
Brandon Jones will leave Talladega with his best career NASCAR XFINITY Series finish of second. Jones, driving the No. 19 XYO Networks Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, started 15th on the starting grid.
The young racer finished fourth in stage one and sat 14th at the conclusion of stage two. Jones will go into Dover next weekend with one top five and five top 10 finishes in 2018.
Justin Allgaier will take home the third spot following struggles with running out of fuel in the closing laps while leading the field. The series veteran held around a 15-second lead by using pit strategy. With around nine laps remaining while leading, Daniel Hemric brought out the caution on the frontstretch for a blown tire. While circling under yellow after electing to stay out, Allgaier ran out of fuel and eventually stalled on the track.
After getting pushed back to pit road by a tow truck, Allgaier was able to remain on the lead lap. Despite all these issues late in the running, Allgaier will take home a third-place finish after leading 35 of the 115 circuits.
Noah Gragson and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top five finishers.
It was a calm event at Talladega Superspeedway as two of the five cautions involved multiple cars. On lap 32, seven cars tangled on the backstretch and involved a number of potential race winners like Shane Lee, Ryan Truex, Kaz Grala, Dylan Lupton, Chad Finchum, Ty Majeski and Spencer Boyd.
Lupton, Majeski, Truex, Finchum and Boyd were all done for the day as a result.
On lap 63, seven green-flag laps into stage two, the second caution flag was displayed for a wreck involving multiple cars in turn two. Among the four involved was Ross Chastain, Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric and Timmy Hill. All of the drivers involved continued racing despite the scuffle.
The next race for the NASCAR XFINITY Series will be Saturday, May 5. Live coverage of the OneMain Financial 200 at Dover International Speedway will begin on FOX Sports 1 and MRN at 1:30 p.m. ET.