Chandler Smith to join Sam Hunt Racing for 3 Xfinity races

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Chandler Smith will make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Talladega Superspeedway with Sam Hunt Racing, the team announced Thursday.

Smith, a full-time driver for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series, will pilot the No. 26 Toyota in three Xfinity races, joining Sam Hunt Racing at Talladega, Dover Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. Smith won two Truck races in 2021, including the season finale at Phoenix, in addition to winning at Las Vegas on March 4.

“It’s definitely going to be exciting,” Smith said in a press release. “The experience just being able to come up and do a longer race and have more pit stops with a different car instead of a truck is going to be all in all a lot different than what I’m accustomed to. I’m really looking forward to the challenge.”

Smith will make his 44th start in the Truck Series on Saturday evening at Bristol dirt. His first start came in 2019, the same year Sam Hunt Racing made its inaugural start in the Xfinity season finale at Homestead.

“It’s big for me to join Sam’s team,” Smith said. “(Sam Hunt Racing) is still kind of a smaller team. They are still learning a lot and in their baby years, and I feel like I may have a little bit to bring to the table myself to help them excel and to bring a new aspect to the team. Hopefully I can be an asset and help a little bit with their development and growth. I can’t wait to be a small part of this team’s huge success as it continues to grow.”

Smith is the sixth driver announced to drive the No. 26 this season and will have backing from sponsor Charge Me, a company providing off-grid charging solutions powered by clean fuels like propane and natural gas to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from everyday commuting, according to the press release. Others wheeling the car this year include Smith’s KBM teammate John Hunter Nemechek, Ryan Truex, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Parker Chase and Derek Griffith.

“Our entire organization is excited to add Chandler to our roster,” team owner Sam Hunt said in the release. “His ability speaks for itself and it will be fun to begin his transition from the Truck series into the Xfinity series here at (Sam Hunt Racing). These races will serve as a great opportunity for him to learn these cars, how they drive, and how the races flow at this level. Seeing his success in the truck series, there’s no reason he can’t be competitive out of the gate with us. Our spotter, Chris Lambert, works with Chandler at KBM, making this transition even simpler.”

Portland Xfinity race results, driver points

Portland Xfinity results
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images
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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

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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

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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

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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.