Race Weekend Central

Kyle Larson Edges John Hunter Nemechek in Wild Finish at Darlington

A late restart on lap 139 allowed Kyle Larson to redeem himself after a speeding penalty on it road. He did so passing John Hunter Nemechek on the final lap to win Saturday’s (May 13) NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway. It’s Larson’s first win of the season in the Xfinity Series.

Larson also scored the second win of the season for the Kaulig Racing No. 10 team. Overall, Larson’s win is the 14th of his Xfinity Series career.

After a late restart, Larson caught Nemechek on the final lap. After contact in turns 3 and 4, they hit again coming off of turn 4 with Nemechek hitting the inside wall and crossing the line fifth.

“Yeah feels good, exciting fashion there too at the end.” Larson told FOX after the race. “I made a mistake and sped on pit road, and you knew we were going to have time to get to the front if we got a caution.”

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Justin Allgaier ended up second, Cole Custer third and Austin Hill fourth.

In his second career Xfinity Series start, Carson Hocevar finished sixth.

JR Motorsports teammates Josh Berry and Sam Mayer finished sixth and seventh, respectively, followed by the Sam Hunt Racing duo of Kaz Grala and Corey Heim in ninth and 10th.

Nemechek and Ryan Truex led the field to the green flag for the 147-lap race. Nemechek led the race until a restart on lap 6 when Mayer took the lead. A caution on lap 38 for Jeb Burton spinning out created a shootout to the end of stage one. Larson passed Jeremy Clements, who stayed out on tires, to win the stage.

Larson led the field to the green for stage two. However, two quick yellows led to a big crash that brought out the sixth caution. Sixteen cars were involved after Richard Childress Racing teammates Sheldon Creed and Hill spun simultaneously in front of each other. Hill blocked most of the track, while Creed spun down and hit multiple cars. Brandon Jones, Truex and Chandler Smith all went behind the wall after the wreck.

Nemechek and Larson battled for the stage win. On the final lap, Nemechek pulled a slide job on Larson and held off a crossover move from Larson to edge out the stage two win. After pit stops, Larson sped on pit road and dropped to the back for the restart.

The ninth caution flag flew with 22 laps to go for debris. This brought the leaders to pit road with Nemechek holding the lead off pit road. After a late restart, Larson caught Nemechek and on the final lap, Larson pulled a slide job on Nemechek, and after contact off turn 4, Nemechek spun into the inside wall as Larson grabbed the win.

Xfinity Series Results from Darlington

The Xfinity Series returns to the track after a week off on Saturday, May 27 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. You can see the race at 1 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.

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I’m sure I’m out of the mainstream on this, but so be it. I ‘m against Cup regulars basically using Xfinity, & Truck races as practice sessions for upcoming Cup races..

Their participation impacts the regular standings for these series because of ineligible drivers taking $$, stage points, & wins, from season regulars.

Sure, if major league baseball players were allowed to play in minor league games, they could hit homeruns, & influence the final outcome. But what would that do to the spirit of the game?

What impressed me the most about Darlington, was Hocevar, a driver moving up, (as opposed to one moving down). As well as Both Sam Hunt cars finishing top ten.
All of this was impacted by the “big one”.
But I still enjoy seeing the underdogs come out on top for a change


Young racers should be excited to be racing with the Cup guys.

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