John Hunter Nemechek bounced back from two pit stop miscues in the last 50 laps to earn his first Xfinity Series win Saturday at Kansas Speedway.
Nemechek, 21, led the final 30 laps. That was after he went from fifth to first on the final restart with 32 laps to go.
The son of former Cup driver Joe Nemechek earned the win in his 15th start.
Nemechek had to pass Daniel Hemric, who finished second after leading 128 laps.
“It means a lot, especially at Kansas,” Nemechek told NBC. “(In) 2004, I forget how old I was. But dad swept the weekend in the Xfinity Series and the Cup Series. It’s pretty special.”
The top five was completed by Elliott Sadler, Shane Lee and Tyler Reddick.
Nemechek pitted with Hemric with 50 laps to go and slid through his pit box. He left pit road three seconds behind Hemric.
When the final caution waved with 36 laps to go, Nemechek had to pit twice to tighten lug nuts.
“When that caution came I knew we had a chance,” Nemechek told NBC. “Luckily Daniel and I raced each other hard and clean all day. We got the track position and this thing was unreal to the end.”
When Nemechek took the checkered flag, he led Hemric by roughly five seconds. Hemric said he had a vibration over the last 15 laps.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Daniel Hemric
STAGE 2 WINNER: John Hunter Nemechek
MORE: Results, point standings
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Elliott Sadler earned his best finish since the July Daytona race (second) … Shane Lee placed fourth for his career-best finish … Tyler Reddick earned his first top five of the playoffs … Ryan Sieg placed ninth for his second top 10 of the season.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Playoff contenders Cole Custer, Justin Allgaier, Austin Cindric and Christopher Bell were all involved in a nine-car wreck on Lap 1. Only Custer finished the race (26th) … Brandon Jones was eliminated via a one-car incident on the ensuing restart … After being involved in the Lap 1 crash, Spencer Gallagher was eliminated in one-car incident on Lap 26 … After Bell and Jones, Ryan Preece completed the Joe Gibbs Racing trifecta. He was involved in an incident on the last lap of Stage 2 when he was turned from contact with Joey Gase. Preece finished 21st.
NOTABLE: John Hunter Nemechek is the third driver to earn his first Xfinity win of the season (Ross Chastain, Spencer Gallagher).
POST-RACE INSPECTION: Daniel Hemric’s No. 21 Chevy was found to too low, which is a L1 penalty. L1 penalties can include the loss of 10-40 points (in the past it has been 10-point penalty) and suspension of crew chief and/or other team members and a fine between $10,000 – $40,000.
WHAT’S NEXT: O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 3. on NBCSN.