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John Hunter Nemecheck gets 2nd Xfinity victory in Nashville

John Hunter Nemecheck gets 2nd Xfinity victory in Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — John Hunter Nemechek took the lead off a restart on lap 142 and drove away for the win at the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday for his 11th career victory.

The 2021 trucks series regular season champ led 76 of 188 laps for his second victory this season driving the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, a week after Christopher Bell gave the same team the victory as part of his sweep at New Hampshire.

Nemechek’s best finish at this track came a year ago when he finished sixth. Now he leads the Xfinity Series with nine wins since the start of 2023, three more than Austin Hill and Sam Mayer.

On a day where temperatures rose to around 130 degrees inside the cars on the 1.33-mile, concrete Nashville Superspeedway oval, Nemechek celebrated quickly by pouring some water on his neck. The son of former Xfinity Series champ Joe Nemechek will make his first Cup start at this track Sunday.

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“I can’t tell you,” Nemechek said. “I really don’t know. I’m kind of speechless right now.”

Chandler Smith finished second followed by Jesse Love, whose cool suit failed to work in his Chevrolet. Hill was fourth with Noah Gragson fifth. AJ Allmendinger, who won this race last year, finished seventh.

This time, Nemechek got the start for JGR after also winning in this car in March at Las Vegas as one of four drivers giving Joe Gibbs Racing five Xfinity victories this season with the No. 20.

Aric Almirola won in Martinsville but hasn’t driven for Joe Gibbs Racing since Darlington. Ryan Truex gave JGR its 200th career win in this series at Dover with Bell and Nemechek going back to back.

Ty Gibbs started on the pole looking for his own 11th win on this level. He led the first 45 laps winning the first stage ahead of AJ Allmendinger and Brandon Jones leading by 3 1/2 seconds at one point.

Gibbs was running fourth when Justin Allgaier’s No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet got into the left rear of his Toyota turning him into the wall on Turn 4 at the end of the 135th lap. Gibbs finished 20th after leading 48 laps.

With the third caution of the race, the leaders pitted for tires. Allgaier got a new battery on his way to finishing eighth. Allmendinger had trouble getting out of the pits quickly. He went in second and finished seventh.

Cole Custer got loose in Turn 1 on the restart on lap 142, and Nemechek took advantage to grab the lead again. He said he likely overdrove his Ford on the…

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