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Race report

Nemechek recovers from early spin to claim Michigan Xfinity win

John Hunter Nemechek overcame an early accident to win Saturday at Michigan International Speedway and give Joe Gibbs Racing its 200th victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Race winner John Hunter Nemechek, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra

Nemechek was caught up in an accident early in the first stage involving his JGR teammates Sammy Smith and Ty Gibbs but made his way back to the front to win the second stage.

Late in the race, Nemechek appeared to have the win in hand but a caution for a wreck set up a restart with seven of 125 laps to go.

Nemechek quickly cleared for the lead and claimed his series-leading fifth win of the season by 1.495 seconds over Josh Berry.

 

“I’m grateful for this No. 20 bunch and thankful for Joe Gibbs Racing giving me this opportunity,” Nemechek said. “I have to apologize to Ty. I’ve been the one that’s been really vocal about teammates here recently.

“I put him in a bad spot, got him loose and couldn’t check up. It was my mistake. I hate that we both spun early but at least we both rebounded decently. I know he’s not too happy with me and he has every right to be.”

Brandon Jones ended up third, Gibbs was fourth and Sam Mayer rounded out the top five.

Completing the top-10 were Riley Herbst, Ross Chastain, Parker Kligerman, Parker Retzlaff and Jeb Burton.

Stage 1

Justin Allgaier led all 30 laps and cruised top the Stage 1 win by 3.4 seconds over Berry. Cole Custer was third, Chandler Smith fourth and Herbst was fifth.

All three JGR cars were involved in an accident on Lap 11 that knocked Sammy Smith and Carson Hocevar out of contention for the race win.

 

Stage 2

Nemechek passed Gibbs with five laps remaining and then held off Allgaier to claim the Stage 2 win. Gibbs was third, Herbst fourth and Hill ended up fifth.

After being involved in a wreck in Stage 1, Nemechek was among the handful of cars that had stayed out between stages to gain track position.

Stage 3

During the break between Stages 2 and 3, all the lead-lap cars pit with Nemechek the first off pit road. Allgaier got spun around on pit road after he was hit by Gibbs.

When the race resumed on lap 67, Nemechek led the way followed by Herbst and Hill. Allgaier pit again before the restart to top off on fuel.

The final round of green flag stops kicked off with about 30 laps remaining as teams took on new tires and fuel to make it to the end of the race.

During his stop, Allgaier was penalized for having a crew member over the wall too soon and was forced to serve a drive-through penalty, which again sent him to the back of the field. Once the cycle of stops was completed, Nemchek returned to the lead.

Patrick Emerling hit the wall in Turn 3 late in the race which brought out a caution and sent a handful of contenders – including Allgaier and Custer – down pit road for new tires.

 

Nemechek remained in the lead on the restart with seven laps remaining in the race.

With four laps to go, Jones and Berry made contact as they battled for the runner-up position.

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