The NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Auto Club Speedway was run Sunday evening after being postponed due to rain on Saturday after several attempts to get the race in failed. All qualifying and practice had to be canceled and the drivers lined up according to NASCAR metrics.
One driver who didn’t mind waiting a day would be the winner John Hunter Nemechek who wheeled his Joe Gibbs No. 20 Toyota into Victory Lane, after battling hard with several other drivers for the top spot. Nemechek earned the third victory of his career with his win tonight.
Happily, Nemechek commented, ” Ben and the whole No. 20 team gave me one heck of a race car!” He added, ”A huge shout out to the guys who work on the No. 20 team. I’ve worked with most of them over the last couple of years and the pit crew, they got it done when it counted.”
Coming in second and third were two JR Motorsports Chevrolets, the No. 1 of Sam Mayer and the No. 7 of Justin Allgaier.
Mayer stated, “I’m super proud of my team. We struggled early on, that’s for sure. We had our work cut out for us, but we threw the kitchen sink at it, and we ended up second. All things considered, I’m really happy and really proud of these guys.”
Stage 1 only had two cautions in. There was a competition caution at Lap 15 due to the lack of practice and the second one occurred when Gray Gaulding spun and crashed into the wall, but, thankfully he was not injured. The lead was swapped several times but once Cole Custer got it, he pulled away to win the stage.
Stage 2 would be much the same as Stage 1. There were two cautions, one when Josh Berry and Sheldon Creed would tangle up together. Berry also brought out the other caution when he had mechanical problems. Custer was strong again in this round and would go on to win the stage.
The final stage saw a lot more beating and banging than the beginning did. Some drivers had different pit strategies than the rest of the pack, so it was interesting to see which strategy would work best. But once Nemechek was in the lead, that was all there was to it and he would go on to cross the finish line first.
Chandler Smith and Josh Berry would round out the top-5. Austin Hill, Riley Herbst, Austin Dillon, Brett Moffitt, and Parker Kligerman finished sixth through 10, respectively.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads next to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 4.Xfinity-Auto-Club22302_UNOFFRES