ANCEL Bidirectional Automotive Scanner

Shane van Gisbergen scores first Xfinity career victory at Portland

Nearly a year after making his inaugural presence in NASCAR quickly known with his first Cup Series career victory at Chicago, rookie Shane van Gisbergen checked off another accomplishment by clinching his first Xfinity Series career win in the third annual running of the Pacific Office Automation 147 at Portland International Raceway on Saturday, June 1.

The three-time Supercars champion from Auckland, New Zealand, led three times for 12 of 75 scheduled laps in an event where he started on the front row and quickly endured a wild start by sending pole-sitter Sam Mayer for a spin. Despite struggling to launch on restarts and after slipping off the course during the second stage period, van Gisbergen managed to keep himself running towards the front in the closing stages. Amid two late-race restarts, van Gisbergen then managed to overtake and fend off Justin Allgaier during a four-lap shootout to the finish to claim his first Xfinity career win in his 13th series start.

With on-track qualifying that determined the starting lineup occurring on Saturday, Sam Mayer claimed his first Xfinity pole position of the 2024 season and the second of his career after posting a pole-winning lap at 96.654 mph in 73.375 seconds. Joining him on the front row was rookie Shane van Gisbergen, who clocked in the second-fastest qualifying lap at 96.596 mph in 73.419 seconds.

Prior to the event, AJ Allmendinger dropped to the rear of the field in a backup car after he wrecked his primary car during the event’s qualifying session earlier in the day. The following names that included rookie Jesse Love, Patrick Gallagher, Brandon Jones, Hailie Deegan, ED Jones, Sage Karam, Austin Green, Chandler Smith, Kyle Weatherman and Logan Bearden also dropped to the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments made to their respective entries.

When the green flag waved and the race started, Sam Mayer launched ahead with a brief lead over Shane van Gisbergen as the field fanned out entering the first set of turns. Then in Turn 1, van Gisbergen hit Mayer as Mayer was sent spinning backwards through the course’s first three tight turns. Amid the early contact with the field scattering to avoid Mayer as Mayer plummeted below the leaderboard, Riley Herbst navigated his No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang into the lead as Justin Allgaier overtook van Gisbergen for the runner-up spot. As Cole Custer, Sheldon Creed and Parker Kligerman followed suit in the top six while Sammy Smith and Josh Bilicki battled for seventh, Herbst proceeded to lead the first lap.

Over the next four laps, Herbst stabilized his advantage within four-tenths of a second over Allgaier while van Gisbergen trailed by a second in third place. Behind, Custer and Creed continued to trail in the top five along with Kligerman, Bilicki and Sammy Smith while Ryan Truex and Jeb Burton followed suit in the top 10. Meanwhile, Kyle Weatherman was trying to regain his momentum back on the course after he was sideways off the course in Turn 12 while AJ Allmendinger was mired in the top 30.

Through the first 10 scheduled laps, Herbst was leading by four-tenths of a second over a hard-charging Allgaier followed by van Gisbergen, Custer and Creed while Kligerman, Bilicki, Sammy Smith, Truex and Burton continued to follow suit in the top 10. Behind, Austin Hill trailed in 11th place ahead of Parker Retzlaff, Anthony Alfredo, Josh Williams and Jeremy Clements while Sage Karam, Ryan Sieg, Jesse Love, Chandler Smith and Sam Mayer trailed in the top 20, with AJ Allmendinger and Brandon Jones occupying 21st and 24th, respectively.

Five laps later and as Logan Bearden was trying to rally from getting sideways off the course entering Turn 12, Herbst continued to lead by half a second over van Gisbergen while Allgaier dropped to third place. Behind, Custer and Creed continued to run in the top five while Kligerman was trying to fend off Bilicki for sixth place and with Sammy Smith, Truex and Hill racing in the top 10.

Another lap later, van Gisbergen, who got to Herbst’s rear bumper through the frontstretch, pulled a crossover move on Herbst through three turns to move into the lead. Van Gisbergen would maintain the lead for the following lap while Allgaier was trying to find a way to overtake Herbst for the runner-up spot.

Just past the Lap 20 mark, van Gisbergen stretched his advantage to more than a second and a half over Allgaier while Herbst, Custer, Creed, Kligerman and Bilicki continued to follow suit in the top seven and by within less than five seconds. Behind, Sammy Smith trailed by more than seven seconds in eighth place and ahead of Truex and Hill while Retzlaff, Karam, Chandler Smith, Mayer and Alfredo occupied the top 15.

Then on Lap 22, Custer went for a spin entering the first turn after he locked the brakes and got loose while trying to avoid hitting teammate Herbst. Amid Custer’s issues, the race remained under green flag conditions as Custer proceeded despite dropping to eighth place. Another lap later, van Gisbergen surrendered the lead to pit his No. 97 Quad Lock Chevrolet Camaro under green. This enabled Allgaier to cycle into the lead over Herbst and Creed while Bilicki and Kligerman trailed in the top five and within less than four seconds.

When the first stage period concluded on Lap 25, Allgaier, who navigated past a spinning Retzlaff in Turn 12, captured his ninth Xfinity stage victory of the 2024 season. Herbst settled in second followed Creed, Bilicki and Kligerman while Sammy Smith, Custer, Truex, Hill and Sage Karam were scored in the top 10.

Under the stage break, the field led by Allgaier pitted for a unique, competitive pit sequence for this event, where the pit stops were to last a minimum of 63 seconds from the pit road entrance to exit. Amid the pit sequence, all competitors could either gain or lose positions on pit road, with the lineup for the next stage being determined by the order of exit from pit road. Following the pit stops, Allgaier retained the lead after he exited pit road first followed by Creed, Bilicki, Custer, Truex, Herbst, Chandler Smith, Hill, Sage Karam and Jesse Love.

The second stage period started on Lap 29 as Allgaier and van Gisbergen occupied the front row. At the start, van Gisbergen struggled to launch and he was being pinned in a three-wide Joe Gibbs Racing sandwich in between Creed and Bilicki while Allgaier launched ahead through the frontstretch. As Allgaier led Creed through the first three turns, van Gisbergen made contact with Custer, which stalled their momentum as Bilicki and Ryan Truex overtook them to move up to third and fourth. As the field navigated through the next turns amid two tight lanes, Chandler Smith then passed van Gisbergen to claim sixth place. Amid the battles over the next sets of turns, Allgaier retained the lead by eight-tenths of a second by the Lap 30 mark.

By Lap 35, Allgaier was out in front by more than a second over Creed and more than three seconds over Bilicki as van Gisbergen and Custer trailed in the top five ahead of Truex. Behind, Chandler Smith trailed in seventh ahead of Herbst and Sage Karam while AJ Allmendinger was scored in 10th.

A lap later, van Gisbergen, who was racing with a damaged left-front fender amid his earlier contact with Custer, slipped off the course after he hopped the curbs in Turns 10 and 11. He then slid sideways and went off the course in Turn 12, all while battling Bilicki for third, but he managed to quickly blend back onto the racing surface as he dropped to seventh place.

At the Lap 40 mark, Allgaier extended his advantage by more than over Creed as Bilicki, Custer and Chandler Smith occupied the top five. Meanwhile, van Gisbergen was mired back in sixth while Herbst, Truex, Karam and Allmendinger were in the top 10.

Then on the final lap of the second stage period, Lap 49, the caution flew after Matt DiBenedetto stalled his RSS Racing entry on the course. DiBenedetto’s stalled incident was enough for the second stage period scheduled to conclude on Lap 50 to conclude under caution as Allgaier proceeded to capture his 10th Xfinity stage victory of the 2024 season and sweep both stages of the event. Creed settled in second followed by Bilicki, Custer and van Gisbergen while Chandler Smith, Herbst, Karam, Mayer and Ed Jones were scored in the top 10.

During the stage break, the field led by Allgaier returned to pit road for service. Following the pit stops, Allgaier retained lead after exiting ahead of Creed, Bilicki, Chandler Smith, Truex, Herbst, Karam, Ed Jones, Mayer and van Gisbergen.

With 20 laps remaining, the final stage commenced as Allgaier and Creed occupied the front row. At the start and as the field fanned out through the frontstretch, Allgaier and Creed dueled for the lead entering the first turn. Then as Bilicki was sent for a spin while three competitors led by Herbst missed the first turn, Creed muscled his No. 18 Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota Supra ahead of Allgaier to move into the lead. Despite receiving numerous bumps into the rear by Allgaier for a series of turns, Creed retained the top spot when he led Allgaier back to the frontstretch.

A lap later, however, Allgaier and Creed dueled through the frontstretch. Both competitors then proceed to hit and rub fenders against one another past the first three turns, with Allgaier reassuming the lead prior to entering Turn 4. Amid their contact, Chandler Smith tried to close in from third place while Truex and van Gisbergen were in the top five. Meanwhile, Jesse Love pitted with a crumbled hood after he T-boned into the rear of Mayer prior to the latest restart period.

With 15 laps remaining, Allgaier was leading ahead of a side-by-side battle between Creed and van Gisbergen for second place while Mayer and Chandler Smith followed suit in the top five. Behind, Truex was in sixth ahead of Sammy Smith, Herbst, Ed Jones and Kligerman while Williams, Allmendinger, Weatherman, Retzlaff and Hill were in the top 15. With Allgaier maintaining a reasonable advantage of three seconds during the following lap, van Gisbergen bumped, rubbed and overtook Creed for the runner-up spot before Mayer seized third place from Creed during the next lap.

Following another late caution period with 13 laps remaining after Hailie Deegan lost a right front tire in Turn 9, the race restarted under green with nine laps remaining as Allgaier and van Gisbergen occupied the front row for a second time. At the start, Allgaier muscled his No. 7 Brandt Chevrolet Camaro ahead of a four-wide battle for second place entering the first turn. With the field tightly navigating through the first three turns, Allgaier maintained the top spot over Creed, who moved back into second place, as van Gisbergen, Mayer and Sammy Smith followed suit in the top five.

As Chandler Smith, who was running sixth, pulled his car off the course in Turn 12 with a damaged front nose, the caution quickly returned during the following lap for a multi-car wreck that ensued in Turn 12 when Brennan Poole and Blaine Perkins got turned sideways separately, with the latter getting spun into the path of Bilicki and Brandon Jones as Jones went head-on into the tire barriers while Andre Castro, Ryan Ellis, Kyle Sieg and Herbst were also involved. By then, Creed was assessed a drive-through penalty through pit road due to being penalized for a restart violation.

During the next restart period with four laps remaining, Allgaier fended off van Gisbergen and teammate Sammy Smith through the frontstretch to retain the lead and through the first three turns. With the field behind navigating through the turns, the battle for the lead ignited as van Gisbergen attempted to make a move beneath Allgaier entering Turn 4. Despite sliding sideways through the next two turns, van Gisbergen managed to keep his car pointing straight while also keeping Allgaier next to him as he avoided spinning Allgaier through the turns. Then as Allgaier also got loose in between Turns 5 and 6, van Gisbergen seized an opportunity to move into the lead. As Allgaier was getting pressured by teammate Mayer for the runner-up spot, van Gisbergen retained the lead through the frontstretch and with three laps remaining.

Then with two laps remaining, Mayer’s strong rally back to the front evaporated after he scrubbed the wall entering the frontstretch, which cut his left-rear tire as Mayer had to keep his No. 1 RTIC Outdoors Chevrolet Camaro running straight while going off the course. Amid Mayer’s incident, the race remained under green flag conditions as Allgaier was slowly closing in on van Gisbergen for the lead through each set of turns.

When the white flag waved and the final lap started, van Gisbergen remained as the leader by four-tenths of a second over Allgaier while third-place Sammy Smith trailed by two seconds. As van Gisbergen retained the lead through the first three turns before he made his way to Turn 4, he started to extend his advantage by more than a second as Allgaier was losing ground. With Allgaier unable to close the deficit for the final nine sets of corners, van Gisbergen was able to keep his car running straight on the course and cycle back to the frontstretch victorious as he claimed his first checkered flag of the season and of his career.

With the victory, van Gisbergen, who drifted his race-winning car through the turns while performing his victory burnouts and kicked a rugby ball into the frontstretch’s crowd, became the 178th competitor overall to win in the Xfinity Series as he joined rookie rival Jesse Love as first-time Xfinity race winners of the 2024 season. He also became the seventh foreign-born competitor to win in the Xfinity level and the first since Daniel Suarez made the last accomplishment at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November 2016. As an added bonus, van Gisbergen notched the first victory of the season for Kaulig Racing.

“Firstly, I’m very sorry to Sam Mayer and the No. 1 team for [hitting them in the] first corner,” van Gisbergen said on FS1. “I just mucked up there and just clipped him. He got back well, but year, Quad Lock Chevy. Thanks Kaulig Racing, Trackhouse [Racing] guys. What a day. It was really cool. Had some great racing. I need to get better at my restarts and learn how to position, but man, that was so much fun. Really cool racing. I love these cars. They’re great.”

Justin Allgaier, who led a race-high 46 laps, settled in the runner-up spot for a second consecutive season in Portland while teammate Sammy Smith, AJ Allmendinger and Ed Jones finished in the top five.

Cole Custer, the winner of last year’s Xfinity event at Portland, rallied for sixth place while Josh Williams, Parker Kligerman, Parker Retzlaff and Riley Herbst finished in the top 10.

Notably, Josh Bilicki piloted the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra to a 12th-place result behind Austin Hill, Sheldon Creed rallied for 13th, Jesse Love ended up 19th, Ryan Truex dropped to 27th after he spun on the final lap and Sam Mayer plummeted to 28th.  

There were nine lead changes for four different leaders. The race featured four cautions for 14 laps. In addition, 27 of 38 starters finished on the lead lap.

Following the 13th event of the 2024 Xfinity Series season, Cole Custer leads the regular-season standings by 18 points over both Austin Hill and Chandler Smith, with Justin Allgaier trailing by 23 points and rookie Jesse Love trailing by 73 points.

Results.

1. Shane van Gisbergen, 12 laps led

2. Justin Allgaier, 45 laps led, Stages 1 & 2 winner

3. Sammy Smith

4. AJ Allmendinger

5. Ed Jones

6. Cole Custer

7. Josh Williams

8. Parker Kligerman

9. Parker Retzlaff

10. Riley Herbst, 15 laps led

11. Austin Hill

12. Josh Bilicki

13. Sheldon Creed, two laps led

14. Ryan Sieg

15. Austin Green

16. Brennan Poole

17. Ryan Ellis

18. Kyle Sieg

19. Jesse Love

20. Blaine Perkins

21. Nathan Byrd

22. Garrett Smithley

23. Andre Castro

24. Patrick Gallagher

25. Kyle Weatherman

26. Leland Honeyman

27. Ryan Truex

28. Sam Mayer, one lap down

29. Logan Bearden, one lap down

30. Jeremy Clements, two laps down

31. Matt DiBenedetto, two laps down

32. Anthony Alfredo, three laps down

33. Hailie Deegan, four laps down

34. Sage Karam, six laps down

35. Chandler Smith – OUT, Accident

36. Brandon Jones – OUT, Accident

37. Jeb Burton, 14 laps down

38. Preston Pardus – OUT, Track Bar

Next on the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the series’ second annual event at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California, for the Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250. The event is scheduled to occur next Saturday, June 8, and air at 8 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

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Best New Zealand Online Casinos

RacingJunk.com and Leaf Racewear Safety Equipment Giveaway

Rocketplay Casino

Winspirit Australia

10 deposit casinos

Best Betting Sites in Canada

Latest articles