Alex Yontz to call 100th Xfinity event as crew chief at Darlington

A significant milestone start is in the making for Alex Yontz, crew chief for Daniel Hemric and the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet Camaro team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. By participating in this weekend’s event at Darlington Raceway, Yontz will call his 100th career event in the Xfinity circuit.

A native of Walnut Cove, North Carolina, Yontz, who grew up competing in go-karts and made starts in legend cars, late models, the ASA National Series, the ARCA Menards and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, made his debut as a NASCAR crew chief for the 2019 Xfinity Series season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway. Serving as a crew chief for Kaulig Racing’s part-time entry, the No. 10 Chevrolet Camaro, that was first piloted by Ross Chastain, Yontz led Chastain to a stage victory and a 13th-place result to commence the season. 

Through the first 15 events of the season, Yontz and Kaulig Racing’s No. 10 Chevrolet team appeared in seven. The North Carolina native also appeared as a crew chief for Justin Haley and the No. 11 Chevrolet team at Michigan International Speedway in June. During the eight-race span, Yontz’s best performances were a fourth-place run with Austin Dillon at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March and an eighth-place result with Chastain at Chicagoland Speedway in June. 

When NASCAR returned at Daytona in July, Kaulig Racing expanded to a three-car effort as Yontz served as crew chief for the team’s newly formed No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro entry piloted by Chastain. During the event, Chastain led teammates Justin Haley and AJ Allmendinger to a 1-2-3 finish (though Allmendinger was later disqualified for failing post-race inspection) as both Yontz and Kaulig Racing achieved their first victories in NASCAR while Chastain earned his second Xfinity victory. 

In late July at Iowa Speedway, Yontz expanded his crew chief responsibilities by working atop the Kaulig Racing’s No. 11 Chevrolet team piloted by Haley after veteran Nick Harrison, who started the season as Haley’s crew chief, died unexpectedly a week earlier. Transitioning between Kaulig Racing’s Nos. 10 and 11 teams for the final 15 events of the season, Yontz’s best on-track results were a third-place result with Allmendinger at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in August, a fifth-place result with Haley at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September and a fourth-place result with Haley at Dover International Speedway in October during the Playoffs. Yontz also served as Haley’s crew chief during Haley’s contention in the 2019 Xfinity Playoffs, where he was eliminated from title contention following the Round of 12 and finished in 12th place in the final standings.

In 2020, Yontz took over as a full-time crew chief for Kaulig Racing’s No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro team piloted by Haley. Through the first 10 scheduled events, Haley and Yontz earned six results inside the top 10. Then at Talladega Superspeedway in June, Yontz achieved his second career victory in NASCAR after Haley received drafting help from teammates Chastain and Allmendinger to beat Jeb Burton and claim his first Xfinity Series career victory. Eleven races later, Haley and Yontz achieved a second victory of 2020 at Daytona after dodging a final lap incident involving teammates Chastain and Allmendinger. Entering the 2020 Xfinity Playoffs as a dark horse candidate, Haley and Yontz achieved their third victory of the season at Talladega in October and transferred from the Round of 12 to 8. The combo were able to reach the Championship Round at Phoenix Raceway in November after earning three consecutive top-12 finishes during the Round of 8. During the finale, however, Haley finished eighth on the track and in third place in the final standings. Nonetheless, the third-place result marked Kaulig Racing’s best points result in the team’s history.

Remaining as Haley’s crew chief in 2021, Yontz led the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet team to 14 top-10 results during the first 22 scheduled events. At Dover International Speedway in May, Yontz worked with Zane Smith, a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor for GMS Racing who filled in for Haley after Haley entered COVID-19 protocols. Following an up-and-down stretch throughout the regular season, Haley and Yontz achieved their first victories of the season at Daytona in August after Haley edged teammate Allmendinger in a photo finish. The Daytona victory guaranteed the No. 11 team a spot in the 2021 Xfinity Playoffs. After capping off the regular season stretch with three consecutive top-10 results, Haley and Yontz posted another trio of top-10 results to advance to the Playoff’s Round of 8. Despite finishing seventh at Texas Motor Speedway and fourth at Kansas Speedway in October, their hopes of reaching the Championship Round for a second consecutive season evaporated due to brake issues at Martinsville Speedway in October. Ultimately, they concluded the season in sixth place in the final standings.

Yontz remained as a crew chief for Kaulig Racing’s No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro team for the 2022 Xfinity Series season. While Haley graduated to the NASCAR Cup Series, Yontz was paired with Daniel Hemric, who was coming off the 2021 Xfinity Series title with Joe Gibbs Racing. Through the first 10 Xfinity events of the season, Yontz and Hemric have achieved three results in the top 10 with their best result being third place at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. They are ranked in 12th place in the drivers’ standings.

Through 99 previous starts, Yontz has achieved five victories, two poles, 24 top-five results and 58 top-10 results while working with six different competitors.

Yontz is scheduled to call his 100th Xfinity Series event as a crew chief at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, May 7, with the event’s coverage to start at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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