First-time winners dominate start of NASCAR season


NASCAR’s revamped schedule was looked upon as giving the sport a fresh look this season, but it is the drivers winning who have done that.

Myatt Snider’s victory in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race continued a run of first-time winners in Xfinity and Cup in February.

The streak started with Michael McDowell winning the Daytona 500 for his first Cup win. The following week, Ty Gibbs won the Xfinity race on the Daytona road course in his first series start. The next day, Christopher Bell won his first Cup race on that course. Then came Snider’s win.

So what are the chances the streak continues in Sunday’s Cup race? Well, the track has never had a driver score their first Cup win at the 1.5-mile speedway. But the way this season has gone, history matters little.

Among the Cup drivers who could score their first series win Sunday is Tyler Reddick, who finished fourth in last year’s Cup race and has two Xfinity wins. Few run Miami’s high line near the wall as well.

Another driver seeking their first Cup win is Bubba Wallace. His 23XI Racing team is aligned with Joe Gibbs Racing. JGR’s Denny Hamlin won at Miami last year. Kyle Busch was sixth for JGR last year. Bell was eighth for Leavine Family Racing, which was aligned with JGR last season. Wallace was 13th for Richard Petty Motorsports in that race.

Also, Matt DiBenedetto is searching for his first career Cup win. Should he win, he will give Wood Brothers Racing its 100th career victory and become the 19th different driver to win for the organization. Among those who have won for the Wood Brothers are NASCAR Hall of Famers David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Glen Wood and Dale Jarrett.

Saturday belonged to Snider, who took the lead on the second overtime restart and won his first career Xfinity race. Reaching Victory Lane was a long journey for Snider that included part-time rides and a season in the NASCAR Euro Series.

“The stuff that I think back to Is just all the previous experiences that I’ve had with different race teams coming up with in the sport,” Snider said after his win. “I started out in the Truck Series with (Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2017). That was an eye-opening experience because I really learned a lot that year and learned how much I didn’t know about NASCAR racing. … I went to  ThorSport full-time (in 2018) and that was a great experience and we didn’t have any sponsorship for 2019.”

That led to him racing in the Euro Series in 2019. He returned to run the full Xfinity season last year, splitting his time with Richard Childress Racing and RSS Racing. He turned that into a full-time ride with RCR this season and his first trip to Victory Lane.

Now the question becomes who will be the next first-time winner?

Portland Xfinity race results, driver points

Portland Xfinity results
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.

MORE: Portland Xfinity race results

MORE: Driver points after Portland Xfinity race

JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek remains the points leader after 13 races. He has a 14-point lead on Hill. Nemechek leads Allgaier by 44 points.

Cole Custer wins Xfinity race at Portland in overtime


Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.

JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.

MORE: Race results, driver points

Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.

Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.

Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.

NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Truck race results at WWT Raceway: Grant Enfinger wins


Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.

MORE: Truck race results

MORE: Driver points after WWT Raceway

Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.

Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.

Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.

NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.