Chandler Smith scores first career Xfinity win with Richmond victory
RICHMOND, Va. -- Chandler Smith held off John Hunter Nemechek to win his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Richmond Raceway.
The 20-year-old Smith took the lead with 12 laps to go and withstood a restart with six laps to go to earn the victory for Kaulig Racing.
His victory came about a month after being passed for the lead with two laps to go at Las Vegas and finishing third day.
“It obviously wasn’t in God’s works for me that and I was fine with that, I was good with that,” said Smith, who will make his Cup debut Sunday. “I knew there was something bigger and better that He was playing it out for me and I just had to be faithful and keep on trucking. Here’s proof of it.”
Nemechek was second. Josh Berry placed third and was followed by Kaz Grala and Cole Custer.
Justin Allgaier finished 13th to win the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus.
“Today was weird because of how we finished,” Allgaier said. “Given the same circumstances a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, 13th wasn’t going to win the Dash 4 Cash but today it did.”
Stage 1 winner: Chandler Smith
Stage 2 winner: Josh Berry
Who had a good race: A caution caught Justin Allgaier a lap down, ending his chances for a top-five finish but he was able to bounce back and win the Dash 4 Cash for a fifth time. ... Derek Kraus finished 10th in his Xfinity debut. ... Chris Hacker placed 14th in his Xfinity debut.
Who had a bad race: Riley Herbst had his career-long streak of top-10 finishes snapped after nine races. He placed 23rd after he was hit and spun late in the race.
Notable: This is the second time in the last four races that there has been a first-time series winner. Sammy Smith scored his first series win last month at Phoenix.
Next: The series is off until April 15 at Martinsville Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET on FS1).