At Saturday’s United Rentals 200, Sammy Smith, an 18-year-old taking online high school classes, secured the label of the youngest NASCAR Xfinity Series winner with the fastest car at the race. Expressing gratitude to the crew who supported him throughout, he mentioned Pilot, Flying J, Toyota, JGR, and his teammates in his post-race interview.
Course of the Race
In a race involving 69 laps, Joe Gibbs Racing Smith made a strong comeback after restarts on laps 157, 177, and 186, where, with only 15 of the 200 laps left, he left behind teammate Ryan Truex. Taking over from Kyle Busch on the lead on Lap 149, he went on for his first win in the series. Truex went on to secure the second position through a performance matching his career-best in a part-time role with JGR even through restarting on lap 186 at the seventh. At the interaction after the race, he was all praises for Sammy Smith, appreciating his car and the impressive restart. Sheldon Creed showed true resilience running third, even enduring the spinning and loss of track position on lap 148. He was helped by Kaulig Racing teammates Busch and Chandler Smith who had a tough competition for fourth.
Throughout the race, several incidents bumped the other racers’ positions down. Josh Berry, racing for JR Motorsports spun off following contact with Sam Mayer’s bumper on lap 84 and finished eighth. After winning the first stages of the race, Justin Allgaier was eliminated after he crashed hard on lap 178 after colliding with Brandon Jones and Kaz Grala, racing for Sam Hunt Racing. They were surpassed by Riley Herbst to emerge fourth. Coming out on sixth, John Hunter endured a restart penalty when he dipped below the yellow line on the apron just before the finish/ start line. On a series level, driver Austin Hill emerged first with a 30 points lead ahead of Nemechek.