Creed restarted in overtime on the front row with teammate Austin Hill. Creed got in line behind the No. 21 and laid the bumper on Hill for two straight corners, finally pulling alongside Hill. Entering the final turn, Hill, on the outside, popped Creed in the door, who slid up the track.
The contact opened the door for Allgaier, who slammed into Creed and had his nose out front all the way down the frontstretch. Behind the leaders, banging cars turned the track into a racecar graveyard.
“Coming to the start-finish line, I don’t think I saw a single person sitting down,” Allgaier said after the race. “I just was hanging on and trying to go as fast as I can. We’ve got a shot of going for a championship at Phoenix.”
Allgaier earned his fourth victory of the 2023 season, the 23rd of his career and his first at The Paperclip.
To start the race, polesitter Smith seemed poised to dominate. He led the opening 46 laps, which included a yellow on lap five for a spin by Joe Graf Jr. The second caution of the day, though, shook the running order at the front. After Kyle Sieg had an issue at the right front of his car, the playoff drivers had to make a decision.
Drivers around the cut line stayed out to race for stage points, while everyone else pitted. Allgaier won the stage but then restarted outside the top 20 for the second stage.
Smith reclaimed the lead to start stage two while the drivers who stayed out ran in heavy traffic. An impatient Custer forced his way under Layne Riggs, spinning the No. 11 to bring out another yellow.
Custer’s ambition paid off, however. After another caution came for a Ryan Sieg spin, Custer utilized the outside lane on a restart to drive into the top 10, snagging valuable stage points.
Custer’s drive to the front put him in front of Allgaier on the track and in the standings. While Sammy Smith won stage two, Nemechek locked his spot in the Championship 4 on points.
Riggs and Mayer stayed out, and Riggs led for a few laps until Sammy Smith returned to the lead. While Riggs and Mayer started sliding back into the grasp of cars with fresher tires, Riggs spun for the second time with a little assistance coming from the front bumper of Mayer.
Allgaier and Hill used this opportunity to play a different strategy and pit for their last set of fresh tires.
Yet another few laps and a yellow for Parker Kligerman brought everyone but Nemechek to pit road.
While this caution fell just right for Hill and Allgaier, the race started to turn ugly for others.
Sammy Smith lost his track position. Chandler Smith battled engine issues and had instructions to pull into the garage if it got worse. On pit road, Mayer and Josh Berry had contact with another car, bringing them in for a second stop.
With this twist, Custer, who had just reported a potential issue with his battery, sustained minor cosmetic damage in the accordion effect behind Snider.
The rash of cautions did not end here. Through more contact and carnage, Chandler Smith wound up finally retiring his car in the garage.
On a restart with eight laps left, the field went mad. Sammy Smith clipped the inside curb, allowing Hill to clear for second. Heading into turn 3, Hill punted leader Nemechek out of the way, who ran into Smith and Allgaier.
As the three cars slid around, trying to find solid ground, it led to a stack up throughout the field, which resulted in a large pileup on the backstretch and a lengthy red flag.
The final restart led to the showstopping finish and chaos.
With the Championship 4 set, the Xfinity Series ends its season at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday, Nov. 4. The championship race will start at 7 p.m. ET on USA Network.
About the author
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.