Chandler Smith wins NASCAR Xfinity race at Richmond in JGR 1-2-3

Chandler Smith wins NASCAR Xfinity race at Richmond in JGR 1-2-3

Smith, who earned his first series victory at Richmond almost one year ago, didn’t appear to have as good a car as his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Aric Almirola through the first two stages.

Early in the final stage, however, Smith and Almirola both elected to pit for new tires under a caution on lap 174 of 250 for a wreck involving Joey Gase and Dawson Cram.

Smith beat Almirola off pit road and never looked back as the race stayed green the rest of the way. Smith built his lead over the final 60 laps before cruising to the 4.495-second win over Almirola at the checkered flag.

The win is the third of Smith’s career and second this season, which is his first driving the No. 81 Chevrolet for JGR. With the win, Smith also took a 10-point lead over Austin Hill in the series standings.

Watch: Chandler Smith ‘never gave up’ in Richmond victory

“Never give up. This car was junk in Stage 1, wasn’t good in Stage 2 but used some good strategy there and this thing was fast when it counted,” Smith said. “I think we took over the points lead today, too. I’m just blessed.”

Taylor Gray rallied in the final laps to grab third and complete a 1-2-3 finish for JGR, Corey Heim ended up fourth and Jesse Love fifth.

Completing the top-10 were Bubba Pollard – who was making his first series start, Parker Kligerman, Hill, Sammy Smith and Cole Custer.

Stage 1

Almirola passed Justin Allgaier with 11 of 75 laps remaining and held off Brennan Poole by 0.821 seconds to take the Stage 1 win. Heim was third, Allgaier fourth and Sam Mayer rounded out the top five.

Brandon Jones lost the engine in his No. 9 Chevrolet in Turns 1 and 2 on lap 43, spun and got collected in a wreck with Ryan Sieg, which knocked them both out of the race.


Stage 2

Almirola held off a fast-charging Mayer to complete a sweep with a victory in Stage 2. Chandler Smith was third, Gray fourth and Heim rounded out the top five.

Stage 3

During the break between Stages 2 and 3, all the lead lap cars pit with Almirola first off pit road. When the race resumed on lap 160, Almirola led Mayer and Gray.

With 87 laps to go, Chandler Smith went to the inside of Almirola and came away with the lead for the first time in the race. Mayer was forced to pit under green with a flat tire.

On lap 173, Cram got inside of Gase entering Turn 1, spun him and he then slammed into the wall hard.

After Gase got out of his car, he walked to the back and ripped the bumper off the…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at – NASCAR – Stories…