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John Hunter Nemechek Dominates New Hampshire, Scores 4th Xfinity Win of 2023

John Hunter Nemechek led 137 of 206 laps and survived NASCAR overtime to score his fourth NASCAR Xfinity Series win of 2023 and second straight at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday (July 15).

Nemechek held off Chandler Smith, Cole Custer and Sheldon Creed on the final restart after a caution late in the race to score his sixth career NXS victory.

Chandler Smith finished second, Austin Hill third, Daniel Hemric fourth while Sammy Smith rounded out the top five.

Justin Allgaier led early and recovered from involvement in a mid-race pileup to finish sixth. Jeb Burton came home seventh, Josh Williams eighth, Brett Moffitt ninth and NASCAR Modified ace Patrick Emerling scored his first career top-10 finish in this division.

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A tired Nemechek, on a hot day at NHMS, collected his breath after several tense moments and spoke with NBC’s Dave Burns at the start/finish line.

“I was a little worried there on the last restarts, we kept getting really good launches and we were able to clear them,” Nemechek said. “I didn’t know who was saving what, I was trying to save in front of Cole (Custer) until he started pushing there. He was going to give us a run for our money.”

Chandler Smith and Nemechek began the race from the front row. Both of them battled hard for the lead throughout stage one along with Allgaier, creating plenty of excitement on this flat, 1.058-mile oval out front. By lap 27, it was Allgaier’s No. 7 edging ahead as the JR Motorsports driver flexed some early muscle.

Chris Hacker brought out the first caution with four laps left in the stage, allowing Allgaier to earn the stage one victory. Smith won the race off pit road while Allgaier had a penalty during his pit stop and restarted in the rear.

As stage two began, Nemechek cleared Smith and regained the lead on lap 55. On lap 66, the second caution came out for Chad Finchum being stopped on pit road.

A huge check-up on the resulting restart (lap 71) caused multiple cars to crash, bringing out the third caution. Allgaier, Parker Kligerman and Sammy Smith were among those who suffered damage.

“Just a stack-up,” Kligerman said after exiting the race. “I was at the worst place in the accordion.”

After that, the race calmed before Connor Mosack spun with six laps to go in stage two for the fourth caution of the event. Most of the leaders came to pit road for fresh rubber. However, Parker Retzlaff and Smith led the field to the green flag after staying out, allowing Smith to recapture the lead and win stage two.

As the final stage began, Smith and Creed led the field to the restart on lap 98. Shortly thereafter, Riley Herbst and Austin Dillon made contact off turn 4 to bring out the sixth caution of the race at lap 101. Nemechek passed teammate Smith for the lead on the lap 108 restart.

With 39 laps to go, in the middle of green flag pit stops, Kyle Sieg spun out after contact with Josh Berry to bring out the seventh caution. It allowed Dillon to take the lead during stops; however, he came to pit road during the yellow flag. Nemechek stayed out and retook control of the race with 33 laps to go.

From there, it was Nemechek’s race to lose although several late cautions kept his challengers close at hand. The eighth caution flew with 10 laps to go for Retzlaff blowing a tire and wrecking in turn 1. Nemechek kept the lead on the restart, only for Sam Mayer to spin after contact with Sammy Smith to bring out the ninth caution. Joe Graf Jr. and Dillon were involved along with Mosack and Brandon Jones, forcing the race into NASCAR Overtime.

In OT, a crash with Custer and Creed brought the caution out after the white flag was thrown, ending the race with Nemechek victoriously taking the checkered flag.

Xfinity Series Results from NHMS

Next week, the NASCAR Xfinity Series takes on the Tricky Triangle, the 2.5-mile 3-turn track of Pocono Raceway. The Explore The Pocono Mountains 225 is scheduled to run on Saturday, July 22 at 5:30 p.m. ET on USA Network.

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