Stewart-Haas Racing: The LiUNA! from Las Vegas

The LiUNA!

Date: March 2, 2024
Event: The LiUNA! (Round 3 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Format: 200 laps, broken into three stages (45 laps/45 laps/110 laps)
Race Winner: John Hunter Nemechek of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 1 Winner: Chandler Smith of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Chandler Smith of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

SHR Race Finish:

● Cole Custer (Started 1st / Finished 2nd, Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
● Riley Herbst (Started 11th / Finished 5th, Running, completed 200 of 200 laps)

SHR Points:

● Riley Herbst (3rd with 121 points, 27 out of first)
● Cole Custer (5th with 99 points, 49 out of first)

SHR Notes:

● Custer earned his first top-five of the season and his fourth top-five in eight career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Las Vegas.
● Custer has never finished outside of the top-12 at Las Vegas in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career.
● This was Custer’s second straight top-three at Las Vegas. He finished third in October.
● Custer’s second-place finish bettered his previous best finish at Las Vegas – third, earned in September 2018 and October 2023.
● Custer finished fifth in Stage 1 to earn six bonus points and ninth in Stage 2 to earn two more bonus points.
● Herbst earned his first top-five of the season and his second top-five in 10 career NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Las Vegas.
● This was Herbst’s third straight top-10 at Las Vegas. He finished eighth last March and won in October.
● Herbst finished fourth in Stage 1 to earn seven bonus points and third in Stage 2 to earn eight more bonus points.

Race Notes:

● John Hunter Nemechek won The LiUNA! to score his 10th career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory, his first of the season and his first at Las Vegas. His margin over second-place Custer was 4.360 seconds.

● There were four caution periods for a total of 22 laps.
● Only 13 of the 38 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
● Austin Hill remains the championship leader after Las Vegas with a 22-point advantage over second-place Chandler Smith.

Sound Bites:

“Hats off to my team. There was a point in the race where I didn’t know what to do. It was loose. It was tight. It was just kind of a handful, and we had to manage it. They kept working on it all day, and I think the track came to us a little bit and they just did a great job. I can’t thank everybody enough on our team for fighting so hard. Everybody at Production Alliance Group, I wish we could have gotten a Ford Mustang Dark Horse in Victory Lane, but hopefully we can get them next week in Phoenix.” –Cole Custer, driver of the No. 00 Production Alliance Group Ford Mustang

“I feel like we probably should have finished second or third. We were definitely a third-place car all day and then we got better than the 81, but then I probably struggled a little bit coming to my green flag stop, and then the lapped traffic was just absolutely out of control. Everybody had to deal with it, but I felt like I was always stuck behind a slow car and fought our way back to fifth and I just kind of buried myself.” –Riley Herbst, driver of the No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang

Next Up:

The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Call Every Dig. Every Time. 200 on Saturday, March 9 at Phoenix Raceway. The race begins at 4:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

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


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