Race Weekend Central

Chandler Smith Wins Xfinity Race at Phoenix After Justin Allgaier Loses Tire

Chandler Smith won his first NASCAR Xfinity Series race of 2024 after Justin Allgaier blew a left rear tire while leading with five laps to go. Smith led a race-high 88 laps en route to his second win of his career.

“What a day,” Smith said. “Went from dominating, to wasn’t great, to dominating again, to wasn’t great again. I just lacked a little bit on the [No.] 7. I hate that happened to him. He definitely had that in the bag, so I hate it for his guys and all. I’m so proud of everyone back at Joe Gibbs Racing. It’s good to finally get this first one off my back with these guys, so let’s keep racking them up.

Allgaier led 52 laps and accrued a three-second lead before the tire failed.

“This is the story of our year so far,” Allgaier said, “We’ve had really fast Camaros every week and just nothing to show for it. I think the heartbreaker from today was being that far out, knowing we had the car to win at the end there. Clean air was so important, and we got it. I felt it [left rear tire] go down through the dogleg, and that was kind of it, and I was just a passenger at that point. I hate it for all of our guys, hate it for all of our partners, just a sucky way to end the day.”

Jesse Love finished a career-best second after passing Sheldon Creed in the final set of corners. Creed finished third, while Love’s teammate Austin Hill finished fourth. Stage two winner and polesitter Cole Custer completed the top five.

Shane van Gisbergen rebounded to finish sixth after starting 23rd while Brandon Jones, Parker Kligerman, Sammy Smith and Anthony Alfredo rounded out the top 10.

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Custer started on the pole, but Chandler Smith, who started alongside him in second, took the early lead to start the race. Smith, much like at Las Vegas Motor Speedway last week, dominated stage one, which featured one caution involving Josh Williams, Dawson Cram and Patrick Emerling.

Custer held on to second in stage one, while Allgaier, Aric Almirola and Riley Herbst completed the top five.

In the pit stops following stage one, Smith had a slow stop and lost the lead to Custer; the driver of the No. 81 Toyota fell to fourth.

Custer kept control of the lead for all of stage two over the No. 7 of Allgaier and the No. 19 of Almirola. He retained the lead during the pits stops under the stage caution, and he held the point until lap 109, when Smith retook the top spot and built a nice lead before a caution with 65 to go for Hailie Deegan getting loose off of turn 3.

John Hunter Nemechek inherited the lead after Smith had another slow stop, but he fell into a three-wide battle for second on the restart and was involved in a multi-car pileup involving Herbst, Smith, Sam Mayer, Hill, William Byron, Parker Retzlaff, Deegan, Brennan Poole, Jones, Almirola, Jeb Burton and Ryan Ellis. The incident brought out the red flag briefly to clean up the track.

Allgaier emerged to the front after the mayhem, and he only grew his lead over Smith in the closing laps. He looked like he was on his way to the win until his left rear tire went flat with five laps to go, sending the No. 7 hard into the outside wall.

Smith took over the lead heading into overtime and had teammate Creed next to him for the restart, but Smith held on for the win.

Call811.com Every Dig. Every Time. 200 Results

The Xfinity Series will take the week off and return to Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on March 23 at 5 p.m. ET. Television coverage will be provided by FS1.

About the author

Wyatt Watson has been an avid fan of NASCAR since 2007 at the age of 8. He joined Frontstretch in February 2023 after serving in the United States Navy for five years as an Electronic Technician Navigation working on submarines. Wyatt writes breaking NASCAR news and contributes to columns such as Friday Faceoff and 2-Headed Monster. Wyatt also contributes to Frontstretch's social media and serves as an at-track reporter.

Wyatt Watson can be found on Twitter @WyattGametime

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Drew

I’m very happy that Chandler smith has won at phoenix today and I hope that Corey heim will do better next time because he had a right rear tire vibration issue.

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