‘I’m just a watermelon farmer’: Ross Chastain earns first Xfinity win

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Ross Chastain held off Justin Allgaier and the field in a six-lap shootout to score his first career Xfinity Series win Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Chastain, in just his second race with Chip Ganassi Racing, led 180 of 200 laps and swept every stage. He had to survive three restarts in the last 20 laps to secure the win, which came in his 132nd series start at the age of 25.

It is Chastain’s first overall NASCAR win in 215 starts across all three national series.

“Thank you all so much,” Chastain told his team over the radio. “I can’t thank you all ever in my whole life enough.”

The top five was completed by Cole Custer, Christopher Bell and Elliott Sadler.

“Holy cow. I’m just a watermelon farmer from Florida,” Chastain told NBCSN on the start-finish line. “I’m not supposed to do that. Wow. … Man, that is a testament that anything in life is possible.”

In Victory Lane, Chastain kissed a watermelon in celebration.

Chastain usually competes for JD Motorsports. He made his CGR debut in the No. 42 two races ago at Darlington. In that race he started from the pole and led 90 laps before his chances at winning ended with a final stage incident with Kevin Harvick while battling for the lead.

Chastain has one more race scheduled with CGR next week at Richmond Raceway.

With his second-place finish, Allgaier secured the regular-season title and 15 bonus playoff points.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ross Chastain

STAGE 2 WINNER: Ross Chastain

MORE: Point standings, race results

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Justin Allgaier earned his fifth runner-up finish of the year … Elliott Sadler tied his best finish (fifth) since the July Daytona race … Ryan Preece bounced back from two incidents and a speeding penalty to place sixth.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Michael Annett was eliminated in a Lap 6 crash that also involved Preece … Ryan Reed and Matt Tifft were eliminated in a crash on Lap 65Chase Briscoe was involved in a hard wreck with 19 laps to go when contact from Tyler Reddick sent him sliding into the inside wall on the backstretch. It resulted in his third DNF of the year and the 10th for Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 60 Ford … Daniel Hemric, Shane Lee and Tyler Reddick wrecked out with 11 laps to go.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “No matter what happens, if I go back to the farm tomorrow … which I’m going to do one day after racing’s over, if I had to back tomorrow I’ll have no regrets, obviously.” – Ross Chastain to NBCSN.

NOTABLE: Four of the last 11 first-time winners were in the No. 42 with crew chief Mike Shiplett.

WHAT’S NEXT: Playoff opener in the Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sept. 21 on NBCSN

Justin Allgaier wins Xfinity race in Indianapolis

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Justin Allgaier won Monday’s Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, fending off a frenzy of challengers over the last 17 laps of the Lilly Diabetes 250.

Allgaier claimed the win over Tyler Reddick, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Daniel Hemric.

It is Allgaier’s career-best fifth win of the season and his third win in five races

Allgaier led 41 of the race’s 100 laps.

The race has been postponed from Saturday due to rain. Every practice session and qualifying had been rained out.

“I know this weekend didn’t go as planned,” Allgaier told NBCSN. “I used to come here all the time. I’d sit in the grandstands, watch the Indy 500. I sat for the first however many Brickyard 400s up there in Turn 1. That’s why I wanted to do a burnout down there. This one is for my dad. … Hats off to him.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: John Hunter Nemechek claimed the stage win in a four-wide finish over Ryan Preece, Justin Allgiaer and Cole Custer.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Daniel Hemric

MORE: Race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Tyler Reddick earned his fourth top five of the year and his best finish since winning the season opener at Daytona. He gave JR Motorsports its third 1-2 finish of the season … Ryan Blaney bounced back from two pit penalties to finish third … Chase Briscoe placed a career-best ninth.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Elliott Sadler and Austin Cindric were eliminated in multi-car wreck in Turn 3 on a Lap 23 restart that began when Ty Dillon spun while racing three-wide. Spencer Boyd, Christopher Bell and Ryan Reed were also involved … Cole Custer finished 29th after being eliminated in a wreck from contact with Brandon Jones on Lap 72 … Ryan Preece was eliminated in a very hard  crash on the ensuing restart.

WHAT’S NEXT: DC Solar 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 5 p.m. ET on Saturday on NBCSN

 

Kyle Larson wins Bristol Xfinity race in overtime

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Kyle Larson held off Christopher Bell and Justin Allgaier in an overtime finish Friday night to win the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Larson led 202 of 310 laps and swept both stages on the way to his fourth Xfinity win of the season and 12th of his career.

The top five was completed by Cole Custer and Joey Logano.

The win was Larson’s first at Bristol in 18 Cup and Xfinity starts (including six top-five finishes in his previous eight Xfinity races at the track). Larson has won in four of his six starts this year (and didn’t finish the other two).

Larson dominated after pole-sitter Kyle Busch wrecked from first after leading the first 69 laps.

“It feels really good, I just wish Kyle Busch wouldn’t have had his troubles so I could have raced him,” Larson told NBCSN. “It still feels really good to win a race here at Bristol finally. I’ve been close so many times. This is my best track by far, this and Homestead.”

The overtime finish was set up by a Daniel Hemric wreck with two laps to go in the original 300-lap distance.

“We had that yellow there coming to two to go, I was like, ‘Man, again. Again I’m going to lose one here late,” Larson said. “We were able to get an average restart and get the win.”

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kyle Larson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Kyle Larson

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Justin Allgaier earned his career-best 10th consecutive top 10 … Cole Custer placed fourth for his best Bristol finish in four starts … Michael Annett placed seventh for his first top 10 of the season …  JA Junior Avila placed 20th in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Kyle Busch was having a good night until he tagged the wall around Lap 66 while leading. On Lap 70, he lost a tire and got into the wall, causing enough damage to end his night. He finished 36th … Spencer Boyd and Vinnie Miller wrecked to bring out the second caution on Lap 105. Miller caused another caution on Lap 160 … Chase Briscoe was eliminated when he spun and hit the inside wall on Lap 142. He placed 34th.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “I’d love to race him on dirt. I ain’t done much of that. ” – Kyle Larson on Christopher Bell

WHAT’S NEXT: Johnsonville 180 at Road America at 3:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 25 on NBCSN.

Kyle Busch wins Bristol Xfinity pole

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Kyle Busch will start first in tonight’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway (7:28 p.m. ET on NBCSN) after posting a top speed of 124.686 mph in qualifying.

It is Busch’s first pole in seven starts this season. It is his sixth Xfinity pole at Bristol.

The top five is completed by Christopher Bell, Kyle Larson, Joey Logano and Matt Tifft.

Logano’s fourth-place start is the worst of his five Xfinity starts this year.

Elliott Sadler will start sixth, his best start at Bristol since 2014.

Chase Briscoe, Tyler Reddick, Chase Elliott, Ryan Reed, Austin Cindric and Ross Chastain were among those who did not advance to the final round.

Michael Annett will start 22nd after he spun and made light contact with the wall late in Round 1. He advanced to Round 2 but did not make a qualifying attempt.

Click here for qualifying results.

 

Justin Allgaier wins Xfinity race at Mid-Ohio

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Justin Allgaier passed Austin Cindric with four laps remaining in the Xfinity race at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and held the advantage to win his third race of the season. This is the most wins in a season for Allgaier.

Allgaier survived an off track incident on lap 25 and a spin on lap 59 on his way to victory lane.

Custer and Allgaier provided the fireworks on lap 59.

“It was a frustrating day, to say the least,” Custer said in a press release. “Our Haas Automation Mustang was really good. I thought we were a second-place car. We probably could’ve kept up with the 22 (Austin Cindric). I have to apologize to Justin (Allgaier). It worked out for him, but I hit him in the wrong spot there and spun him around. That’s my fault and I’ll apologize. We’ll just move on to Bristol. I want to win. That’s what we want to do. It’s frustrating when things don’t go your way. I thought we were doing everything right, we just need everything to fall into place.”

After losing the lead to Allgaier, Cindric held off a battle from Daniel Hemric, who was also on fresher tires. Hemric finished third.

Matt Tifft and Ryan Truex rounded out the top five.

In only his third road course race in the Xfinity Series, Christopher Bell was well on his way to score his first top five on this track type until he was spun by Elliott Sadler on a lap-65 restart while racing for second. Bell fell to 28th and pitted during the next caution with eight laps remaining . He took four fresh tires and was able to climb back to 11th. Last week, Bell finished ninth at Watkin Glen.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

STAGE 2 WINNER: Austin Cindric (first stage win of 2018)

MORE: Complete Results
MORE: Points Standings

HOW JUSTIN ALLGAIER WON: After winning Stage 1, Allgaier was mired in traffic. On the restart, he attempted to go four-wide and ran off track, costing him track position. That allowed him to pit off-sequence with the leaders and with 20-lap fresher tires, he drove through the field and was able to get to Cindric’s back bumper with five laps remaining.

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Cindric failed to win, but he scored a career-best finish of second. His previous best was a fourth at Pocono in June. … After finishing 18th last week at Watkins Glen, Truex scored his first road course top 10 in his third start. … Alex Labbe in ninth scored his career best finish in his 24th race. … Spencer Gallagher started 20th and finished eighth for the greatest advancement in the field.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Dylan Murcott’s debut in the Xfinity series did not last long. Locking up his tires on lap 1, he drove off track and into the tire barrier. … Brandon Jones faded to eighth from his third-place starting position and spun in Turn 2. Another off course excursion on lap 34 contributed to a 23rd-place finish. … Chase Briscoe spun when the pack stacked up in front of him. He was tagged by Kaz Grala into the spin and lost his back bumper on lap 33 after contact with Cody Ware. … Tyler Reddick cut a tire after contact from behind from Matt Tifft on lap 60 and destroyed his right rear quarter panel. … With nine laps remaining, Katherine Legge lost an engine and retired. … Ross Chastain (16th) and Joey Gase (24th) got into a last lap incident. After the race, Gase told NBC’s Parker Kligerman that he could make it difficult for Chastain to make the playoffs.

NOTABLE: Strategy trumped raw speed on Saturday. Cindric led four times for 59 laps and was not passed for the lead under green until the closing minutes. Allgaier was forced into an alternate strategy by a series of incidents, including an off track excursion on lap 25 while battling for a top 15 position. Contact with Cole Custer on lap 59 while battling for fifth cost both multiple positions and encouraged Allgaier to pit on lap 62 while Cindric stayed out. Allgaier led eight laps.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “That call there at the end is what did it. Austin (Cindric) had the best car today and I thought we gave it away there. We were on the outside and got pushed off the race track, but was able to come back.” – Justin Allgaier in victory lane on NBCSN

WHAT’S NEXT: Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway at 7:30 p.m. ET on Aug. 17 on NBCSN