ANCEL Bidirectional Automotive Scanner

Chandler Smith prevails for second Xfinity victory of 2024 at Richmond

Chandler Smith’s strong start to the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season continued into Easter weekend with a late victory in the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway on Saturday, March 30. 

The 21-year-old Smith from Talking Rock, Georgia, led twice for 76 of 250-scheduled laps in an event where he started in fourth place and finished in the top 10 during both stage periods before he made his first appearance as the race leader with 87 laps remaining after he navigated his way past teammate Aric Almirola.

Despite restarting in 15th place after pitting during the final restart period with 68 laps remaining, Smith was able to quickly carve his way back to the front and he reassumed the top spot with 60 laps remaining. From there, he maintained a reasonable gap between himself and Almirola while leading the rest of the way en route to his second Xfinity victory of the 2024 season and his second in a row at Richmond.

With on-track qualifying that determined the starting lineup occurring on Saturday, Parker Retzlaff notched the first pole position for himself and Jordan Anderson Racing after he posted a pole-winning lap at 120.428 mph in 22.420 seconds. Joining him on the front row was Brandon Jones, who clocked in the second-fastest qualifying lap at 119.915 mph in 22.516 seconds. 

Prior to the event, Joey Gase dropped to the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments made to his entry. 

When the green flag waved and the race started, Retzlaff rocketed ahead with the lead followed by Cole Custer, who drew alongside Retzlaff for a full lap, starting in Turn 1, and nearly took the lead from the inside lane. Retzlaff was able to use the outside lane to muscle ahead through Turns 3 and 4 as he led the first lap while the field behind jostled for early spots.  

Through the second to fifth lap mark, the field began to fan out as Retzlaff maintained a reasonable lead over both Custer and Justin Allgaier while Brandon Jones settled in fourth ahead of Chandler Smith and Corey Heim. Retzlaff would retain the lead by the Lap 10 mark by three-tenths of a second over Allgaier as Custer fell to third ahead of Chandler Smith and Jones. 

Just shy of the Lap 20 mark, the event’s first caution period flew after Ryan Vargas came to a stop on the frontstretch as his car went up in smoke, starting in Turn 4. During the event’s first caution period, some including Garrett Smithley, Patrick Emerling, Blaine Perkins and Joey Gase pitted while the rest led by Retzlaff remained on the track. 

When the event restarted on Lap 27, Retzlaff fended off both Custer and Allgaier as the field fanned out entering the first two turns. Through the backstretch, however, Custer and Retzlaff made contact, which got Retzlaff loose as Allgaier made his move on the outside lane and assumed the lead. Allgaier would retain the lead by the Lap 35 mark as Corey Heim moved into the runner-up spot while Custer, Aric Almirola, Retzlaff and Brandon Jones were running in the top six.  

By Lap 43, the event’s second caution period flew after Jones, who was running in the top six, slipped sideways entering the first two turns after his No. 9 Menards Chevrolet Camaro went up in smoke, where he then made contact with the outside wall as Ryan Sieg spun after running over Jones’ spilled fluid. The incident occurred just after Allgaier overtook Heim for the lead. During the caution period, some including AJ Allmendinger, Jeremy Clements, Shane van Gisbergen and Brennan Poole pitted while the rest led by Heim remained on the track. 

As the event restarted under green on Lap 56, Allgaier and Heim battled for the lead through the first two turns and the backstretch as Aric Almirola trailed closely in third. Allgaier would then muscle ahead of Heim by the Lap 60 mark while Almirola moved into the runner-up spot. As the battles within the field ensued between those running on fresh tires versus those on old tires, Almirola assumed the lead over Allgaier by Lap 64.  

When the first stage period concluded on Lap 75, Almirola captured his first Xfinity stage victory of the 2024 season. Poole settled in second ahead of Heim, Allgaier and Herbst while Mayer, Chandler Smith, Custer, Gray and Sammy Smith were scored in the top 10. 

Under the stage break, the lead lap field led by Almirola pitted. Following the pit stops, Almirola retained the lead after he exited pit road first followed by Allgaier, Riley Herbst, Chandler Smith, Austin Hill, Sam Mayer and Brennan Poole. 

The second stage period started on Lap 84 as Almirola and Allgaier occupied the front row. At the start, Almirola rocketed ahead with the lead from the inside lane while Allgaier, Herbst, Chandler Smith and Hill battled within the top five. Almirola would stabilize his advantage to three-tenths of a second over Herbst by the Lap 90 mark as Chandler Smith, Allgaier and Hill remained in the top five ahead of Parker Kligerman, Mayer, Cole Custer, newcomer Taylor Gray and Sam Mayer. 

On Lap 95, the caution returned after Logan Bearden hit Garrett Smithley before he spun in Turn 4. During the caution period, some including Hailie Deegan, Dawson Cram and Ryan Sieg pitted while the rest led by Almirola remained on the track. 

With the event restarting on Lap 101, Almirola fended off a brief challenge by teammate Chandler Smith past the frontstretch and through the first two turns while the field fanned out. As Kligerman scrapped the outside wall after making contact with Custer through the first two turns, Almirola retained the lead ahead of teammate Chandler Smith. Almirola would continue to lead by nearly a second by the Lap 110 mark as Allgaier, Chandler Smith and Herbst trailed in the top four followed by a side-by-side battle between Hill and Mayer. Amid the battles towards the front, Sheldon Creed was black-flagged for having smoke billow out of his car due to a right-rear brake issue. 

At the halfway mark on Lap 125, Almirola was scored the leader by more than a second over teammate Chandler Smith followed by Allgaier, Herbst and Hill while Mayer, Gray, Sammy Smith, Retzlaff and Love were running in the top 10 ahead of Heim, Custer, Kyle Weatherman, Josh Williams and Allmendinger. Meanwhile, Shane van Gisbergen was in 16th while Kligerman, Bubba Pollard, DiBenedetto and Jeb Burton occupied the top 20 spots on the track. 

Fifteen laps later, Almirola extended his advantage to more than three seconds over teammate Chandler Smith while third-place Mayer also trailed by more than three seconds. Behind, newcomer Taylor Gray trailed by more than five seconds in fourth place while Allgaier occupied fifth in front of Hill, Heim, Herbst, Retzlaff and Custer. 

When the second stage period concluded on Lap 150, Almirola captured his second consecutive Xfinity stage victory of the 2024 season. Mayer settled in second ahead of Chandler Smith, Gray and Heim while Allgaier, Hill, Retzlaff, Custer and Logan Bearden were scored in the top 10. 

During the stage break, the lead lap field led by Almirola returned to pit road for service. Following the pit stops, Almirola retained the lead after exiting pit road first followed by Mayer, Gray and Hill while Chandler Smith dropped and exited pit road in fifth place ahead of Allgaier and Custer. 

With 91 laps remaining, the final stage commenced as Almirola and Mayer occupied the front row. At the start, Almirola retained the lead over Mayer, whose left-front fender was smoking due to making contact with Heim during the second stage’s break period. With Mayer remaining on the track for the following lap, he would be overtaken by Chandler Smith while Hill, Allgaier and Custer were running in the top six. Chandler Smith would then proceed to overtake teammate Almirola for the lead with 87 laps remaining. 

With 78 laps remaining, the caution flew after Joey Gase, who was running towards the rear of the field, was punted by Dawson Cram entering the first turn, which sent Gase spinning and colliding into the outside wall, which terminated his run. Amid the incident, however, Gase expressed his displeasure to Cram by ripping out the rear bumper out of his wrecked car and tossing it at Cram during the caution period. 

During the caution period, some led by teammates Chandler Smith and Almirola pitted while others led by Allgaier remained on the track. 

With the event restarting under green with 67 laps remaining, Allgaier and Custer battled for the lead in front of Retzlaff and Herbst while Chandler Smith was trying to carve his way back to the front on fresh tires. Seven laps later, Smith reassumed the top spot after navigating his way past Allgaier and Custer. 

With 45 laps remaining, Chandler Smith was leading by nearly two seconds over teammate Almirola while Jesse Love, Heim and Allgaier were racing in the top five ahead of Hill, Gray, Herbst, Kligerman and Custer. 

Fifteen laps later, Chandler Smith retained the lead by more than a second over teammate Almirola while Heim, Love and Gray were racing in the top five. Smith would extend his advantage by more than two seconds over Almirola with 20 laps remaining. 

Down to the final 10 laps of the event, Chandler Smith continued to lead by more than three seconds over teammate Almirola while Heim, Gray and Love were running in the top five. Meanwhile, Bubba Pollard was up to sixth place while Hill, Kligerman, Sammy Smith and Allgaier were running in the top 10 as Chandler Smith stabilized his advantage by three seconds with five laps remaining. 

When the white flag waved and the final lap started, Chandler Smith remained as the leader by four seconds over teammate Almirola. As teammate Gray overtook Heim for third place, Smith was on cruise control for a final circuit as he cycled his No. 81 Mobil 1 Toyota Supra back to the frontstretch for a final time and to claim his second checkered flag of the 2024 Xfinity season. 

With the victory, Chandler Smith, who has finished in the top eight through the first six events on the 2024 schedule, notched his third Xfinity Series career win in his 42nd series start and his first since winning at Phoenix Raceway in early March. He also notched his second consecutive series victory at Richmond Raceway and he joined Austin Hill as the only competitors to repeat as race winners during the 2024 Xfinity season. 

“Never give up, never give up,” Smith said on FS1. “This car was not good, Stage 1 wasn’t good, wasn’t good in Stage 2, but we were able to do some strategy there with our Mobil 1 GR Supra and this thing was as fast as Xfinity Internet when it counted. I’m back here winning races here on a consistent basis. I think we took over the points lead again too, so I’m just blessed. I’m beyond blessed.” 

As Chandler Smith celebrated on the frontstretch and in Victory Lane, teammate Aric Almirola, who led a race-high 95 laps compared to Smith’s 76, settled in the runner-up spot in his third Xfinity start of the 2024 season. 

“We just got a little bit too loose,” Almirola said. “The run before that in Stage 2, when I took off my car was really, really good. At the end, it just felt a little tight and that last run for whatever reason, different set of tires or what, I let Chandler go, and when I started to just creep back to him, I didn’t have anything to go with. I was too loose in and I couldn’t get throttle down on exit. [I] Hate that to win both stages and feel like we had the dominant car and then to let it slip away there at the end, is disappointing. Still a fun week, this weekend, coming back to Richmond 18 years after making my first start for Coach [Gibbs]. I really wanted to put this [No. 20 He Gets Us Toyota Supra] into Victory Lane today, but it’s gonna have to wait.” 

Newcomer Taylor Gray capped off a Joe Gibbs Racing 1-2-3 finish by achieving a third-place finish in his series debut while Corey Heim and Jesse Love finished in the top five. Newcomer Bubba Pollard also delivered with a sixth-place finish in his Xfinity debut while Kilgerman, Hill, Sammy Smith and Custer finished in the top 10 on the track. 

With today’s Xfinity event at Richmond serving as a qualifying event for the first Dash 4 Cash round of the 2024 season, race winner Chandler Smith along with Aric Almirola, Jesse Love and Parker Kligerman have qualified for the first Dash 4 Cash round that will occur next Saturday at Martinsville Speedway. 

There were 14 lead changes for seven different leaders. The race featured six cautions for 51 laps. In addition, nine of 38 starters finished on the lead lap. 

Following the sixth event of the 2024 Xfinity Series season, Chandler Smith leads the regular-season standings by 10 points over Austin Hill, 41 over Cole Custer, 67 over Jesse Love, 71 over Riley Herbst and 80 over AJ Allmendinger. 


1. Chandler Smith, 76 laps led 

2. Aric Almirola, 95 labps led, Stage 1 & 2 winner 

3. Taylor Gray 

4. Corey Heim, 15 laps led 

5. Jesse Love 

6. Bubba Pollard 

7. Parker Kligerman 

8. Austin Hill 

9. Sammy Smith 

10. Cole Custer one lap down, seven laps led 

11. Justin Allgaier, one lap down, 28 laps led 

12. Josh Williams, one lap down 

13. Riley Herbst, one lap down 

14. AJ Allmendinger, one lap down 

15. Shane van Gisbergen, one lap down 

16. Parker Retzlaff, one lap down, 27 laps led 

17. Kyle Weatherman, one lap down 

18. Matt DiBenedetto, one lap down 

19. Josh Bilicki, one lap down 

20. Leland Honeyman, one lap down 

21. Garrett Smithley, one lap down 

22. Logan Bearden, one lap down 

23. Kyle Sieg, one lap down 

24. Jeremy Clements, one lap down  

25. Dawson Cram, two laps down 

26. Jeb Burton, two laps down 

27. Ryan Ellis, two laps down 

28. Brennan Poole, two laps down 

29. Anthony Alfredo, two laps down 

30. Sam Mayer, four laps down 

31. Hailie Deegan, nine laps down 

32. Ryan Sieg, 30 laps down 

33. Blaine Perkins, 69 laps down 

34. Joey Gase – OUT, Accident 

35. Sheldon Creed – OUT, Brakes 

36. Patrick Emerling – OUT, Brakes 

37. Brandon Jones – OUT, Engine 

38. Ryan Vargas – OUT, Engine 

Next on the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia, for the DUDE Wipes 250. The event is scheduled to occur next Saturday, April 6, and air at 7:30 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


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

Winspirit Australia

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles