Chandler Smith took the lead on on a late restart and held off John Hunter Nemechek to win his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday (April 1) at Richmond Raceway.
After a restart on lap 228, Smith and Nemechek battled to turn 3 side-by-side. As the caution flew for an incident, NASCAR ruled that Smith had taken the lead from Nemechek. Smith avoided a late restart with less than 10 laps to go to win.
“Here we are at Richmond, my favorite racetrack and we’re sitting in victory lane.” Smith said after the race. “All glory goes to God, thank you Chris Rice, Matt Kaulig, QuickTie Products, my smoking hot wife, everybody at Kaulig Racing, this is unbelievable.”
Nemechek finished second, Josh Berry third, Kaz Grala, in a home race for team owner Sam Hunt, finished fourth and Cole Custer rounded out the top five.
Sheldon Creed finished sixth, Ryan Sieg seventh, Parker Kligerman eighth, Austin Hill in ninth and Derek Kraus in his Xfinity Series debut rounded out the top 10. Justin Allgaier finished 13th and collected $100,000 winning the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash award.
After a brief rain delay, Justin Allgaier and Sammy Smith led the field to the green flag in the 250-lap race. Allgaier led the first three laps of the race before Smith moved to the lead. Smith led until the competition caution on lap 35. Most of the field pitted for tires and fuel. Smith and teammate Nemechek stayed out and led the field to the restart on lap 42.
In turn 2, Riley Herbst took the lead from Sammy Smith on the restart. Chandler Smith took his turn up front on lap 45, passing Herbst and leading until the end of stage one at lap 75. This was Smith’s first career stage win.
Herbst won the race off of pit road and led the field to the green for stage two on lap 85.
On lap 105, Joe Graf Jr. had some issues in turn 2; this caused Herbst to check up and Smith made the pass to take the lead back.
On lap 140, Berry worked his way to the front passing Smith for the lead and winning stage two. Berry kept the lead through pit stops and led the field to the green flag for the final stage.
Brandon Jones grabbed the lead on the restart, until lap 185 when Berry took the lead back. The fourth caution came out on lap 225 for Jeremy Clements‘ stalled car on pit road.
Berry led the field onto pit road and was able to keep the top spot exiting.
On the restart, Nemechek took the lead after being a lap down earlier in the race. Following the lead change, Jones and Herbst spun in turn 1 after contact, bringing out the fifth caution. On the restart with 12 laps to go, Smith took the lead back from Nemechek, avoided one last restart and grabbed the checkered flag.
NASCAR Xfinity Richmond Raceway Results
The NASCAR Xfinity Series is off next week before returning to the track at Martinsville Speedway. You can watch the race on Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.