In an event mired with multiple lead changes amid a series of competitive battles plus multiple carnages and two rollovers, Jeb Burton and Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport pulled the upset by fending off the competition through two overtime attempts and steering their way to victory in the Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, April 22.
The 30-year-old Burton from Halifax, Virginia, led three times for 17 of 121 over-scheduled laps in an event where he kept pace with the front-runners amid the draft. After falling short of winning the first stage before winning the second, Burton seized an opportunity for the win when he dodged a multi-car pileup with two laps remaining that eliminated initial leader Daniel Hemric to reassume the lead. From there, he fended off late charges from Sheldon Creed and Parker Kligerman through two overtime attempts to claim his second NASCAR Xfinity Series career victory and the first ever for Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport at the 2.6-mile superspeedway venue.
With on-track qualifying that determined the starting lineup occurring on Friday, Richard Childress Racing’s two-car stable comprising of drivers Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed swept the front row, with Hill claiming the pole position at 182.459 mph in 52.483 seconds while Creed started on the front row with a fast qualifying lap at 181.632 mph in 52.722 seconds.
Prior to the event, Cole Custer, Sam Mayer and Parker Kligerman dropped to the rear of the field for unapproved adjustments made to their respective entries.
When the green flag waved and the race commenced, teammates Hill and Creed dueled for the lead in front of two tight-packed lanes through the first two turns and entering the backstretch. Then through the backstretch, Creed gained momentum on the outside lane followed by rookie Parker Retzlaff before moving in front of teammate Hill through Turns 3 and 4. Retzlaff, however, seized the clean air opportunity in front of him by storming to the lead on the outside lane through the frontstretch as he managed to lead the first lap over Creed.
Through the second lap, Retzlaff continued to lead while fending off Alfredo and Creed from the top to the bottom lane. As the field fanned out through the backstretch, Alfredo started to challenge Retzlaff for the lead on the outside lane while Creed and Jeb Burton battled Hill for third.
Through the first five scheduled laps, Alfredo was leading ahead of both Jeb Burton and Retzlaff while Brett Moffitt and Riley Herbst were scored in the top five. Behind, Creed was in sixth ahead of rookie Sammy Smith, Hill, Ryan Truex and Daniel Hemric. By then, all 38 starters were separated by three-and-a-half seconds as the field continued to jostle for positions amid three tight-packed lanes.
Three laps later, Hemric muscled his way into the lead over Alfredo. He continued to lead at the Lap 10 mark while Moffitt tried to launch a challenge on the inside lane. Hemric, though, moved from the outside to the inside lane to fend off Moffitt with the lead as Alfredo fell back to fourth in front of Justin Allgaier. By Lap 13, however, Creed moved his No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet Camaro into the lead as he led a lap for himself.
Just past the Lap 16 mark, the battle for the lead intensified amid four tight-packed lanes as rookie Chandler Smith tried to use the draft to move his No. 16 Quick Tie Products Chevrolet Camaro into the lead on the inside lane. Creed, however, maintained the lead on the outside lane in front of teammate Hill and Moffitt while Smith had his teammates Hemric and Derek Kraus coming to his assistance within the draft and the middle lane. By then, Ryan Truex ignited a third lane on the inside lane as he tried to move his way to the front.
At the Lap 20 mark, the top-21 competitors were separated under a second as Creed retained the lead ahead of teammate Hill with Moffitt, Chandler Smith and Alfredo in close pursuit while Hemric, Herbst, Kraus, Sammy Smith and Allgaier were in the top 10. By the following lap, however, Chandler Smith peeked ahead to lead a lap for himself before Creed reassumed the lead with drafting help from Hill on the outside lane. The intensity towards the front continued during the following lap as Allgaier carved his No. 7 Fight Hunger Spark Change Chevrolet Camaro towards the front amid three lanes and challenged Creed for the lead on the inside lane. Both Creed and Allgaier would battle dead even for the lead during the following lap and in front of the pack.
When the first stage concluded on Lap 25, Allgaier, who dipped his car below the double yellow lines through the backstretch and nearly lost the lead to Jeb Burton, fended off the pack and a hard-charging Creed through the final turns to claim his fourth stage victory of the 2023 Xfinity season. Creed settled in second while Sam Mayer, Jeb Burton, Hill, Kligerman, Truex, Chandler Smith, Josh Berry and Herbst were scored in the top 10. By then, the event featured seven different lead changes for six different leaders.
Under the stage break, nearly the entire field led by Allgaier pitted amid mixed strategy while some led by Brennan Poole remained on the track. Following the pit stops, Ryan Truex was the first competitor to exit pit road first after only opting for two fresh tires followed by Allgaier, John Hunter Nemechek, Moffitt and Creed. Amid the pit stops, Hill and Josh Williams were penalized for speeding on pit road. Once the remaining names led by Poole who had yet to pit pitted, Truex cycled his way into the lead under caution.
The second stage started on Lap 31 as Truex and Allgaier occupied the front row. At the start, Truex and Allgaier dueled in tight formation for the lead through the first two turns and the backstretch. Soon after, the field fanned out to three lanes as both Truex and Allgaier remained dead even for the lead in front of Moffitt, Nemechek and Sammy Smith. During the following lap, Moffitt launched a charge for the lead amid the draft on the inside lane as Allgaier managed to move in front of Truex for the lead both on the outside lane and the overall race.
By Lap 34, Moffitt managed to pull himself from the top to the outside lane in front of Allgaier as he had the clear air to his advantage. Allgaier, however, fought back on the outside lane as he led the following lap with the field behind jostling for positions amid the draft and the pack.
Then on Lap 37, the caution flew when Derek Kraus turned Parker Chase into Retzlaff through the backstretch, which nearly turned over Retzlaff as Retzlaff spun in the middle of the pack before he was hit by Alfredo’s No. 78 RTIC Chevrolet Camaro while the rest of the field scattered to avoid the melee mayhem. In the ensuing mayhem, Chase went dead straight towards the inside wall on the backstretch and sustained more damage as both his and Alfredo’s run came to an early end.
During the caution period, names that included Hemric, Kraus, Gray Gaulding, Joey Gase, CJ McLaughlin, Kyle Sieg, Berry, Ryan Sieg, Poole and Josh Williams pitted while the rest led by Moffitt remained on the track.
With eight laps remaining in the second stage, the race proceeded under green as Moffitt and Herbst occupied the front row. At the start, Moffitt managed to pull ahead and move in front of Herbst for the lead as both had Cole Custer drafting on them on the inside lane. As Sam Mayer tried to challenge Moffitt for the lead on the outside lane, Jeb Burton made a bold move beneath Custer through the frontstretch to move up to third followed by Hill as Custer dropped out of the top five. By then, Moffitt continued to lead ahead of Herbst.
By Lap 44, Jeb Burton moved into the lead followed by a hard-charging Hill, who then tried to make his move for the lead. Hill, however, got shuffled out by Nemechek through Turns 3 and 4 before fighting back through the frontstretch as he then drew himself alongside Burton for the lead. With the event surpassing the Lap 45 mark, the field fanned out to three packed lanes as Jeb Burton maintained a narrow lead ahead of Chandler Smith, Hill and Brandon Jones before Josh Berry started to carve his way to the front.
Then on Lap 47 and amid the tight battles towards the front, the caution flew for a harrowing multi-car wreck on the backstretch that started when Dexter Stacey got loose and spun below the track while clipping Blaine Perkins before he slammed the inside wall at full speed. Meanwhile, Perkins spun back across the track and towards the outside wall before he got T-boned by Jade Buford, which sent the latter airborne and flipping multiple times as the right-rear wheel of Perkins’ car flew off, which would be hit by Kaz Grala, before coming to rest right-side up. Despite his wild rollover ride, Perkins along with Stacey emerged unscathed as they made the trip to the infield care center. Perkins would eventually be transported to a local hospital for further evaluation. The wreck, however, put the race in a 12-minute red flag period to remove the carnage.
Once the red flag lifted and the field proceeded under a cautious pace, the second stage scheduled to conclude on Lap 50 concluded under caution as Jeb Burton claimed his first Xfinity stage victory of the season. Chandler Smith followed cautiously in second while Truex, Berry, Hemric, Hill, Kraus, Creed, Brandon Jones and Allgaier were scored on the lead lap. By then, the field featured 14 lead changes for 10 different leaders.
Under the stage break, nearly the entire field led by Burton pitted while some led by Poole remained on the track. Following the pit stops, Hemric, who only opted for fuel, exited pit road first followed by teammate Kraus, who also opted for fuel, while Truex, Nemechek and Sammy Smith exited in the top five. Once the rest of the field, led by Poole, had to pit, Hemric inherited the lead.
With 59 laps remaining, the final stage started as Hemric and Ryan Truex occupied the front row. At the start, Hemric and Truex dueled for the lead in front of the pack submerged in two tight-packed lanes. The field would quickly fan out to three lanes through the backstretch as both Hemric and Truex continued to duel for the lead in front of Kraus, Nemechek, Jeb Burton and Sammy Smith.
During the following lap, Hemric managed to break away from the pack on the outside lane followed by teammate Kraus, Truex, Nemechek and Ryan Sieg while Hill and Jeb Burton battled for sixth. Creed would then muscle his way into seventh behind teammate Hill while Berry and Chandler Smith battled Burton for eighth amid three lanes. By then, the event surpassed its halfway point while Hemric maintained the lead.
Then with 50 laps remaining, the caution returned when Sammy Smith and Brandon Jones made contact entering the backstretch, which resulted in Smith spinning and pounding the inside wall hard in his No. 18 Pilot Flying J Toyota Supra while Jones emerged with significant front nose damage to his No. 9 Menards Chevrolet Camaro. By then, Hill, who overtook Hemric following a strong move to Hemric’s outside on the backstretch during the previous lap, was still leading as Creed, Chandler Smith and Berry were in the top five.
During the caution period, some led by Hill, Creed and Josh Bilicki remained on the track while a majority, led by Hemric, pitted amid mixed strategies for enough fuel for the finish.
With the event restarting under green with 44 laps remaining, Hill and Chandler Smith dueled for the lead until Hill peeked ahead with drafting help from teammate Creed. Hill then pulled ahead in his No. 21 Bennett/Realtree Chevrolet Camaro through the backstretch while running on the outside lane as Chandler Smith tried to keep pace as the lead competitor on the inside lane.
A lap later, Chandler Smith gained a run on Hill through the backstretch as he tried to snatch the lead away, but Hill received another boost from teammate Creed to maintain the lead. Then through the frontstretch, Cole Custer, who was pushing Chandler Smith, launched a three-wide battle on Chandler Smith and Hill for his bid for the lead, though he moved up to second. Creed quickly overtook Custer to move back into second as Hill maintained the lead in front of two tight-packed lanes.
With 40 laps remaining, Hill was leading ahead of teammate Creed followed by Hemric, Custer and Truex while Chandler Smith, Berry, Kraus, Moffitt and Gray Gaulding were scored in the top 10. By then, the top-19 competitors were separated under a second amid the tight-packed competition.
A lap later, the caution returned when Brandon Jones, who received front nose damage during the previous caution after his on-track incident with Sammy Smith, went up the track entering Turn 1 after blowing a tire and clipped the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang piloted by Herbst as he made contact with the wall. In the process, Mayer, who was running behind teammate Jones, slipped sideways in front of his other teammate Allgaier as he spun below the apron. During the caution period, some led by Hill pitted while the rest led by Truex remained on the track.
During the following restart with 34 laps remaining, Truex fended off Moffitt to maintain the lead entering the backstretch as Retzlaff made his way into second. As Truex tried to fend off Retzlaff, Moffitt assumed the lead during the following lap followed by a hard-charging Nemechek as the field fanned out to three lanes. It would not take long until the caution flew with 32 laps remaining when Nemechek, who moved up the track in front of teammate Truex, was bumped by Truex just past the start/finish line as he spun his No. 20 Mobil 1 Toyota Supra below the frontstretch and hit the inside wall on the driver’s left side while damaging his rear suspension.
With 24 laps remaining, the race restarted under green as Moffitt and Ryan Sieg occupied the front row. At the start, Moffitt jumped ahead with a strong start as he moved from the top to the inside lane in front of Sieg to maintain the lead. Behind, Kaz Grala was up in third followed by Hill and Creed while Truex fell back to sixth. As Moffitt led through the backstretch, Hill moved up to third while Moffitt maintained the lead in front of Sieg.
During the following lap, Ryan Sieg made his move beneath Moffitt on the backstretch to move into the lead and in front of two tight-packed lanes with multiple competitors bumping, pushing and jostling for late positions. With Sieg maintaining the lead on the outside lane, Creed tried to launch a charge on the inside lane followed by Chandler Smith and Kaz Grala.
With 22 laps remaining, Hill made a move beneath Moffitt in his attempt for the lead, but he could not gain drafting help from teammate Creed as he began to lose a bevy of spots on the inside lane while Moffitt retained the lead in front of a bevy of cars opting to run in a single file line on the outside lane. With both Hill and Creed falling back, Moffit was in second while Kligerman, Hemric and Ryan Truex were in the top five.
Then with 19 laps remaining, the caution returned when Hill and Berry made contact as a result of Berry trying to block Hill with the former spinning in Turn 4. Berry, though, managed to continue without sustaining any significant damage to his No. 8 Tire Pros Chevrolet Camaro.
During the following restart with 15 laps remaining, Sieg battled and fended off Moffitt to maintain the lead. Shortly after, Hemric launched his bid for the lead against Sieg, with Hemric side-drafting Sieg to slow his momentum and take the lead on the outside lane. With the field behind fanning out to four lanes, Sieg maintained the lead on the inside lane followed by Moffitt as Hemric, Kligerman, Truex and Jeb Burton were all in the midst of the battle for the lead.
Then with 13 laps remaining and as Sieg continued to lead in front of Hemric and Moffitt, the caution flew when Mayer spun off the front nose of teammate Berry, came down across the track and collected teammate Justin Allgaier in Turn 3, thus sending all three JR Motorsports’ competitors with wrecked race cars as Derek Kraus and Gray Gaulding also received damage.
Down to the final six laps of the event, the race proceeded under green. At the start, Moffitt peeked ahead with drafting help from Kligerman while Ryan Sieg fought back on the outside lane followed by Hemric. As the field battled through two tight-packed lanes, Sieg emerged with the lead on the outside lane with five laps remaining as Hemric moved up to second and made a bid for the lead. In the process, Jeb Burton challenged Moffitt for third while Sieg remained in front of Hemric with the lead. Moffitt would then gain the draft on the inside lane and nearly make contact with Hemric as he battled for second with drafting help from Kligerman.
With three laps remaining, Hemric muscled his way into the lead through the backstretch followed by Jeb Burton as Creed followed suit in third. Then as the battle for the lead intensified through the backstretch, the caution flew amid another multi-car wreck in Turn 3 when Creed made contact and turned the leader Hemric around as Hemric tried to block Creed, which resulted in Hemric spinning and getting hit by Ryan Sieg. Hemric’s No. 11 Cirkul Chevrolet Camaro then shot back across the track and towards the outside wall amid a vicious hit from Herbst as Hemric rolled upside down while towards the wall and the catchfence before his car slid below the apron and came to rest while still on its roof. Among other names involved in the wreck included Hill, Moffitt, Jeremy Clements, Ryan Truex, Josh Bilicki, Chandler Smith, Grala, Retzlaff and Joey Gase. Amid the carnage, all competitors, including Hemric, emerged uninjured. The carnage, however, was enough to send the field into a second red flag period for nearly 14 minutes. Meanwhile, Jeb Burton carved his way into the lead followed by Creed while Kligerman, Poole, Kyle Sieg and Custer were scored in the top six.
When the red flag lifted and the race restarted in an overtime attempt, Burton and Creed dueled for the lead entering the first turn as Creed peeked ahead with drafting help from Kligerman. Burton, however, fought back on the outside lane with help from Kyle Sieg through the backstretch before Creed muscled back into the lead through Turns 3 and 4. Then as the field entered the frontstretch, the caution returned and the event was sent into a second overtime attempt due to debris reported on the track that came off of Hill’s car. At the moment of caution, Burton was deemed the leader over Creed.
At the start of the second overtime attempt, Burton peeked ahead on the outside lane entering the first turn until Creed claimed the lead with a push from Kyle Sieg on the inside lane. Through the backstretch, however, Burton received another push from Kligerman as he cleared the field and had both lanes to his control with the lead. In the process, Kligerman moved his No. 48 Big Machine Racing Chevrolet Camaro up to second while Creed slipped to third.
When the white flag waved and the final lap started, Burton remained as the leader ahead of Creed, who overtook Kligerman as he reignited his sights on Burton for the lead and win. After keeping his No. 27 Solid Rock Carriers Chevrolet Camaro in front of Creed’s through the first two turns, Burton then went from the top to the bottom lane to fend off late charges from both Kligerman and Creed through the backstretch. Through Turns 3 and 4, Burton started to pull away followed by a hard-charging Creed. Then as names that included CJ McLaughlin, Clements, Garrett Smithley, Moffitt and Ryan Ellis wrecked entering the backstretch, Burton managed to block and hold off Creed to return to the finish line and claim the checkered flag for his first series victory in two years.
With the victory, Burton, who swapped teams from Our Motorsports to Jordan Anderson Racing Bommarito Autosport prior to this season, notched his second career victory in the Xfinity circuit in his 118th series start, both occurring at Talladega Superspeedway and became the sixth different winner of the 2023 season. Compared to his first victory at Talladega and of his career, which occurred in a rain-shortened event in 2021, Burton’s second career victory in the series and at Talladega was all earned on the track and amid a wild finish to the checkered flag. It also served as a redemptive moment for Burton, who claimed his first top-five finish in the series since September 2021 at Darlington Raceway and after posting an average-finishing result of 20.9 all during the previous Xfinity season with no top-five or top-10 results.
The first NASCAR victory for Jordan Anderson as an owner in his third season was also a redemptive one for the Forest Acres, South Carolina, native, who survived a fiery incident during the Craftsman Truck Series’ Talladega event in October 2022, where he sustained second degree burns on his body.
“The only thing I’m disappointed about is that I didn’t get to do a burnout,” Burton, who celebrated with his crew and team owner Jordan Anderson on the frontstretch, said on FS1. “I blew the transmission out of [the car]. Man, I’m pumped up. I’m out of breath from yelling. [I] Went through some stuff on the off-season [period]. I’m more focused now than ever. These [Jordan Anderson Racing] guys made racing fun again for me. Our little team, you have no idea how big this is. This is huge. We’re locked in the Playoffs. I can promise you one thing. We’re gonna drink a lot of beer tonight. I hope my buddies better be ready when we get home because we’re gonna burn it down.”
Sheldon Creed tied his career-best result of second place followed by Kligerman while Cole Custer claimed the third Dash 4 Cash bonus by finishing fourth and emerging as the lone Dash 4 Cash competitor to finish the race while his opponents (Josh Berry, John Hunter Nemechek and Sammy Smith) were eliminated due to wrecks. Poole claimed fifth place while Caesar Bacarella, Parker Retzlaff, Gray Gaulding, Joey Gase and Josh Williams finished in the top 10.
Custer along with race winner Jeb Burton, Sheldon Creed and Parker Kligerman will contend for the fourth and final Dash 4 Cash bonus of this season at Dover Motor Speedway next Saturday.
There were 28 lead changes for 12 different leaders. The race featured 10 cautions for 48 laps, including two red flag periods. In addition, 18 of 38 starters finished on the lead lap while 19 sustained DNFs.
Following the ninth event of the 2023 Xfinity Series season, Austin Hill leads the regular-season standings by four points over John Hunter Nemechek, 19 over Chandler Smith, 32 over Riley Herbst, 36 over Josh Berry and 41 over Justin Allgaier.
1. Jeb Burton, 17 laps led, Stage 2 winner
2. Sheldon Creed, 11 laps led
3. Parker Kligerman
4. Cole Custer
5. Brennan Poole, two laps led
6. Caesar Bacarella
7. Parker Retzlaff, two laps led
8. Gray Gaulding
9. Joey Gase
10. Josh Williams
11. Ryan Ellis
12. Brett Moffitt, 20 laps led
13. CJ McLaughlin
14. Brandon Jones
15. Kyle Sieg
16. Garrett Smithley
17. Ryan Truex, nine laps led
18. Austin Hill, 14 laps led
19. Jeremy Clements – OUT, Accident
20. Joe Graf Jr., eight laps down
21. Daniel Hemric – OUT, Accident, 15 laps led
22. Ryan Sieg – OUT, Accident, 18 laps led
23. Riley Herbst – OUT, Accident
24. Kaz Grala – OUT, Accident
25. Chandler Smith – OUT, Accident, one lap led
26. Josh Bilicki – OUT, Accident
27. Derek Kraus – OUT, DVP
28. Justin Allgaier – OUT, Accident, seven laps led, Stage 1 winner
29. Sam Mayer – OUT, Accident
30. Josh Berry – OUT, Accident
31. Jeffrey Earnhardt – OUT, Transmission
32. John Hunter Nemechek – OUT, Accident
33. Sammy Smith – OUT, Accident
34. Blaine Perkins – OUT, Accident
35. Dexter Stacey – OUT, Accident
36. Jade Buford – OUT, Accident
37. Anthony Alfredo – OUT, Accident, five laps led
38. Parker Chase – OUT, DVP
Next on the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the series’ lone visit of the season to Dover Motor Speedway in Dover, Delaware, which will serve as the site of the fourth and final Dash 4 Cash event of this season. The event is scheduled to occur next Saturday, April 29, at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1.