Shane van Gisbergen muscles to second consecutive Xfinity victory of 2024 at Sonoma

On the heels of notching two firsts between two road course venues in two West Coast states, rookie Shane van Gisbergen accomplished another first by notching back-to-back victories in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the first time after scoring a dominant victory in the second annual running of the Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250 at Sonoma Raceway on Saturday, June 8.

The three-time Supercars champion from Auckland, New Zealand, led twice for a race-high 32 of 79 scheduled laps in an event where he led the field to the green flag from pole position for the first time in his career. After taking care of business early by winning the first stage period on Lap 20, he was shuffled back into the top 10 for the start of the second stage period after pitting during the first stage’s break period. Nonetheless, the New Zealander methodically carved his way back towards the front, where he would run for the remainder of the event.

After challenging Austin Hill for the lead before a late-race caution for rookie Jesse Love spinning with 15 laps remaining, van Gisbergen capitalized on the ensuing restart period with 11 laps remaining by making contact with Hill entering the first two turns. The contact got Hill loose and shuffled him back to fifth place while van Gisbergen reassumed the lead. Despite battling a voltage issue to his No. 97 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet entry since the midpoint region, van Gisbergen managed to muscle away from Sam Mayer and Sheldon Creed in the closing laps with enough power to claim the checkered flag.

It was his second consecutive victory in the Xfinity Series in Sonoma, California, one week after achieving his first series victory at Portland International Raceway.

With on-track qualifying that determined the starting lineup occurring on Saturday, rookie Shane van Gisbergen notched his first Xfinity pole position of the season and of his career after posting a pole-winning lap at 95.933 mph in 74.677 seconds. Joining him on the front row was Ty Gibbs, who posted the second-fastest qualifying lap at 95.458 mph in 75.049 seconds.

Before the event, Boris Said dropped to the rear of the field in a backup car after he wrecked his primary car during Friday’s practice session.

When the green flag waved and the race commenced, Shane van Gisbergen and Ty Gibbs dueled for the lead through the first turn and approaching the uphill turn to Turn 2 before he managed to launch ahead of Gibbs prior to entering Turns 3 and 3A. As the field behind jostled for early spots, van Gisbergen retained the lead through Turns 4 and 7, including the circuit Chute corner, before navigating through a series of right and left-hand turns through Turns 8 and 10. Once he navigated his way through Turns 11 and 12, van Gisbergen proceeded to lead the first lap over Gibbs while AJ Allmendinger, Austin Hill and rookie Jesse Love followed suit.

Over the next three laps, van Gisbergen maintained and stretched his advantage as high as eight-tenths of a second over Gibbs throughout the circuit’s 12 turns while Allmendinger, Hill and Love continued to trail in the top five.

Through the first five scheduled laps, van Gisbergen retained the lead by half a second over Gibbs as Hill, Love and Allmendinger followed suit in the top five. Behind, Justin Allgaier trailed closely in sixth place ahead of teammate Sam Mayer, John Hunter Nemechek, Sheldon Creed and Sammy Smith while Cole Custer, Parker Kligerman, Chandler Smith, Anthony Alfredo and Parker Retzlaff were racing in the top 15 ahead of Riley Herbst, Jeb Burton, Ed Jones, Austin Green and Ryan Sieg. Meanwhile, Jeremy Clements was mired in 22nd, three spots ahead of Josh Williams. In addition, Boris Said was back in 31st behind Brandon Jones and Hailie Deegan was in 37th while racing in between Matt DiBenedetto and Garrett Smithley.

Five laps later, van Gisbergen stabilized his advantage to half a second over Gibbs, who kept van Gisbergen close in front of him as he continued to try to narrow the deficit, while Hill, Love and Allmendinger continued to trail in the top five. As Allgaier retained sixth place ahead of teammate Mayer, Nemechek and Creed, Kligerman navigated his way into 10th place after he made contact with Custer in Turn 11 before proceeding to overtake Sammy Smith on the track. Sammy Smith would then battle Chandler Smith and Custer for 11th place during the following lap while Kligerman proceeded to battle Creed for ninth place.

On Lap 14, Creed pitted due to a vibration concern to his No. 18 MRC Construction Toyota Supra entry under green. Prior to Creed’s pit service, Hill slid his No. 21 Bennett Transportation Chevrolet Camaro entry into the Turn 11 outside tire barrier while running in third place, but he proceeded without drawing a caution and without sustaining significant damage. Meanwhile, van Gisbergen continued to hold a narrow lead over Gibbs by the Lap 15 mark.

Then starting on Lap 16, a first round of green flag pit stops commenced as Mayer, Allgaier, Custer, Austin Green and Ed Jones pitted their respective. Gibbs would then surrender the runner-up spot to pit his No. 19 Starkey/Soundgear Toyota Supra during the following lap along with Love as Allmendinger moved into second place, all while van Gisbergen remained on the track with the lead.

When the first stage period concluded on Lap 20, van Gisbergen claimed his first Xfinity stage victory of the season and his career. Teammate Allmendinger trailed in second place by a distance along with Hill, Kligerman and Nemechek while Chandler Smith, Sammy Smith, Alfredo, Retzlaff and Herbst were scored in the top 10.

Under the stage break, a majority of the field led by van Gisbergen pitted while the rest led by Gibbs, including those who pitted before the first stage’s conclusion, remained on the track. Amid the pit stops, Herbst was penalized for speeding on pit road while Allmendinger endured a slow pit service due to the front tire changer’s hose getting caught on the splitter of Allmendinger’s entry.

The second stage period started on Lap 24 as Gibbs and Love occupied the front row. At the start, Gibbs muscled ahead of Love to retain the lead through the first turn and as he entered the uphill climb to Turn 2 while Love was trying to fend off JR Motorsports’ Mayer and Allgaier for the runner-up spot. A series of on-track battles and contact within the field ensued through the Chute and entering Turns 7 to 10 as van Gisbergen, the first competitor who exited pit road first, charged his way back into the top five on four fresh tires. With van Gisbergen starting to intimidate Creed for fourth place, Gibbs retained a steady advantage over Love and Mayer as Leland Honeyman went off the track and spun just past Turn 1.

At the Lap 26 mark, Gibbs was leading by six-tenths of a second over Love while third-place Mayer trailed by a second. Behind, van Gisbergen trailed the lead by three seconds in fourth place while Creed settled in fifth, with Allgaier, Custer, Hill, Kligerman and Nemechek racing in the top 10.

By Lap 30, Gibbs continued to lead by eight-tenths of a second over Mayer and by more than a second over third-place Mayer. Meanwhile, van Gisbergen settled in fourth place along with fifth-place Creed while Custer fended off Allgaier in a battle for sixth place. Allgaier would then be pressured by Hill, Kligerman, Nemechek, Chandler Smith and Allmendinger for seventh place while Sammy Smith, Austin Green and Retzlaff trailed in the top 15.

Shortly after, Boris Said, who was piloting the No. 17 Chevrolet Camaro entry for Hendrick Motorsports, spun in Turn 7A after he got hit by Alex Labbe while battling within the top 20 on the track. Nonetheless, Said managed to proceed without drawing a caution as Gibbs continued to lead. Gibbs would then proceed to extend his advantage to more than two seconds over Love by the Lap 35 mark.  

Nearing the Lap 40 mark, a series of battles started to ensue within the circuit as Kligerman was trying to fend off Allgaier, who was slowly losing spots, and Nemechek for ninth place while van Gisbergen was closing in on Mayer and Love for top-three spots. Allgaier would then be overtaken by Nemechek for 10th place as Green, Allmendinger, Sammy Smith and Retzlaff all tried to close in on Allgaier for more. Soon after, van Gisbergen made a bold move beneath Mayer to move into third place and he proceeded to track Mayer for the runner-up spot while Gibbs stretched his advantage to four seconds.

With three laps remaining in the second stage period, select names including Hill, Mayer, Green and Allmendinger pitted under green, with Mayer only opting for two fresh tires for his entry. Amid the pit stops Gibbs remained on the track with the race lead while Love was being pressured by van Gisbergen for the runner-up spot.

When the second stage period concluded on Lap 45, Gibbs claimed his first Xfinity stage victory of the 2024 season while van Gisbergen, who overtook Love for the runner-up spot a lap earlier, retained the spot. Creed and Custer followed suit in the top five while Chandler Smith, Nemechek, Kligerman, Allgaier and Retzlaff were scored in the top 10. Amid the conclusion of the second stage period, Sammy Smith pitted to address a broken axle to his No. 8 Pilot Flying J Chevrolet Camaro, an issue that would send him to the garage and pin him multiple laps behind.

During the stage break, nearly the entire field led by Gibbs pitted while select names including Hill, Green and Allmendinger remained on the track. Following the pit stops, Custer exited pit road first as he was followed by van Gisbergen, Mayer, Creed, Allgaier and Kligerman. Amid the pit stops, Nemechek and Clements were sent to the rear of the field for speeding on pit road while Herbst was penalized for a second time, this time for pitting his No. 98 Monster Energy Ford Mustang outside of his pit box. In addition, Boris Said was sent to the rear of the field for a safety violation.

With 30 laps remaining, the final stage period commenced as Austin Hill and Austin Green occupied the front row. At the start, Hill muscled ahead with the lead while Allmendinger made his way into second place over Green. The caution then quickly flew when Chandler Smith, who was battling for a top-10 spot, got bumped and sent sideways by Jeb Burton in between Turns 2 and 3 as he bounced off of Josh Williams and triggered a multi-car wreck that stacked up the midfield region. Among those involved included Burton, Brandon Jones, Ed Jones, Herbst, Kyle Weatherman, Ryan Sieg, Retzlaff, Preston Pardus, Josh Bilicki, Said and Gibbs, who restarted in the mid-pack region after enduring a slow pit service during the second stage period and had his hopes of winning spoiled with a wrecked race car. Amid the carnage, Hill retained the lead as he was followed by Allmendinger, Green, van Gisbergen, Custer and Mayer.

Following an extensive caution period to have the multi-car carnage cleared, the event restarted under green with 24 laps remaining. At the start, Hill and Allmendinger dueled for the lead through the uphill first turn until Hill managed to muscle ahead with the lead. As Allmendinger tried to keep Hill close in front of him, he was pressured by teammate van Gisbergen for the runner-up spot. Van Gisbergen then made a bold move beneath teammate Allmendinger to overtake him from the runner-up spot while Hill retained the lead during the next lap. Amid the battle towards the front, Custer was rammed by Mayer and sent for a spin in Turn 11. Not long after, Chandler Smith spun in Turn 7A, but the event remained under green as van Gisbergen started to close in on Hill for the lead.

Down to the final 20 laps of the event, Hill was leading by four-tenths of a second over a hard-charging van Gisbergen while third-place Allmendinger trailed by two seconds. Mayer and Kligerman trailed in the top five while Creed, Green, Allgaier, Love and Nemechek were racing in the top 10 ahead of Alfredo, Ryan Sieg, Alex Labbe, Retzlaff and Herbst.

Five laps later, Hill continued to lead by four-tenths of a second over van Gisbergen, who began to report a voltage issue to his car. Amid the issues, van Gisbergen started to close in on Hill for the lead, where he then tried to make a move beneath Hill in Turn 11, before the caution returned as Love slipped sideways and spun his No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet Camaro in Turn 10 while running in eighth place.

During the caution period, select names including Kligerman, Blaine Perkins, Love, Brad Perez, Custer and Ryan Ellis pitted while the rest led by Hill and van Gisbergen remained on the track.

As the event restarted with 11 laps remaining, Hill briefly muscled ahead from the inside lane approaching the uphill first turn before van Gisbergen drew even against Hill entering Turn 2. Van Gisbergen then kept his foot on the throttle and ran into the side of Hill, which resulted in Hill getting loose, briefly dropping off the pace and losing spots as van Gisbergen rocketed away with the lead. Behind, Mayer moved into the runner-up spot followed by Green while Allmendinger followed suit in fourth place. Allmendinger was then sent for a spin in Turn 7A after getting hit by Creed as he plummeted below the leaderboard. With the event remaining under green flag conditions, van Gisbergen retained the lead with 10 laps remaining.

Down to the final five laps of the event, van Gisbergen stretched and stabilized his advantage to a second over Mayer’s No. 1 myRTIC Chevrolet Camaro while third-place Creed trailed by two seconds. Behind, Green retained fourth place ahead of Hill while Nemechek, Ryan Sieg, Allgaier, Chandler Smith and Retzlaff were in the top 10.

Two laps later, Creed made his move beneath Mayer through Turn 11 to assume the runner-up spot. With Mayer trying to keep Creed in pace along with Austin Green, Ryan Sieg and Preston Pardus both wrecked separately in Turn 3A, but the event remained under green flag conditions as van Gisbergen retained the lead by more than two seconds.

When the white flag waved and the final lap started, van Gisbergen remained as the leader by more than two seconds over Creed as Mayer and Green followed suit. Having a comfortable lead to his advantage, van Gisbergen cruised his No. 97 WeatherTech Chevrolet Camaro smoothly around Sonoma’s 12-turn circuit for a final time before he cycled his way back to the frontstretch and claimed his second consecutive checkered flag in the series, where he beat runner-up Sheldon Creed by more than a second.

With the victory, van Gisbergen became the first competitor to record his first two career wins in the series in back-to-back races since Austin Cindric made the last accomplishment in 2019 and the 132nd competitor overall to achieve multiple victories in the Xfinity circuit. He also joins Aric Almirola as the only other competitor to win an Xfinity event at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California, with the New Zealander etching the 25th Xfinity career win for Kaulig Racing.

“Firstly, I got to thank these guys so much [at] Kaulig Racing,” van Gisbergen, who kicked another rugby football into the frontstretch’s stands, said on FS1. “Our WeatherTech Camaro got beat up again, but man, what a race. Adventure up and down all day. That last restart [with 11 laps remaining], I was just giving it all I had. Two guys going for the same real estate come together. It was pretty awesome, a lot of fun. Hope everyone enjoyed the show. Pretty awesome, back-to-back weeks for us. It’s awesome and the work we did between weeks to make the car better again. It’s special to win two road courses in a row and one day, dream about winning on an oval.”

Sheldon Creed settled in the runner-up position for the second time of the 2024 season and the ninth of his career while Sam Mayer rallied from a 28th-place result last weekend at Portland to finish third. Austin Green, son of former Xfinity Series champion David Green, piloted the No. 32 Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet Camaro to a career-best fourth-place finish in his third series start while Hill, who led 21 laps, ended up in fifth place.

During van Gisbergen’s post-race burnout around the Sonoma circuit, Hill kept his No. 21 Chevrolet running in front of van Gisbergen’s No. 97 Chevrolet as the race-winning driver did a full course burnout and refused to let the latter pass until he pulled into his pit stall while van Gisbergen celebrated with more burnouts on the frontstretch. Amid the disappointment, Hill, who endured an earlier run-in with van Gisbergen at Circuit of the Americas while battling for the victory in late March, minced his words and spoke little about his perspective towards the contact with van Gisbergen that dropped him out of race-winning contention.

“I’m gonna leave it to the keyboard warriors on this one,” Hill said. “I’ll let them figure out what happened. I’m sure no matter what comment I say, it’ll be wrong. I plead the Fifth [Amendment]. I’m not gonna say anything about [the contact]. We’ll just go onto the next [race]. Good hard racing. We were holding off [van Gisbergen] there for a while, had that caution [with 15 laps remaining], I knew it was gonna be tough on the restart. Didn’t work out, but we had a good points day, finished in the top five. Can’t ask for more than that.”

Justin Allgaier settled in sixth while Chandler Smith rallied from being involved in two separate incidents to finish seventh. John Hunter Nemechek, Cole Custer and Parker Kligerman finished in the top 10.

There were three lead changes for three different leaders. The race featured four cautions for 14 laps. In addition, 28 of 38 starters finished on the lead lap.

Following the 14th event of the 2024 Xfinity Series season, Cole Custer continues to lead the regular-season standings by 12 points over both Austin Hill and Chandler Smith, with Justin Allgaier trailing by 24 points and rookie Jesse Love trailing by 74 points.


1. Shane van Gisbergen, 32 laps led, Stage 1 winner

2. Sheldon Creed

3. Sam Mayer

4. Austin Green

5. Austin Hill, 21 laps led

6. Justin Allgaier

7. Chandler Smith

8. John Hunter Nemechek

9. Cole Custer

10. Parker Kligerman

11. Parker Retzlaff

12. Jesse Love

13. Riley Herbst

14. Brennan Poole

15. Ed Jones

16. Josh Bilicki

17. AJ Allmendinger

18. Blaine Perkins

19. Alex Labbe

20. Ryan Sieg

21. Matt DiBenedetto

22. Jeremy Clements

23. Kyle Sieg

24. Brad Perez

25. Preston Pardus

26. Ryan Ellis

27. Garrett Smithley

28. Boris Said

29. Leland Honeyman, one lap down

30. Kyle Weatherman, one lap down

31. Anthony Alfredo, two laps down

32. Hailie Deegan, seven laps down

33. Sammy Smith, eight laps down

34. Thomas Annunziata – OUT, Transmission

35. Ty Gibbs – OUT, Accident, 26 laps led, Stage 2 winner

36. Jeb Burton – OUT, Accident

37. Josh Williams – OUT, Accident

38. Brandon Jones – OUT, Accident

Next on the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the series’ return to Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa, for the Hy-Vee PERKS 250. The event is scheduled to occur next Saturday, June 15, and air at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.

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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