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Jeremy Clements Spins and Wins at Road America

First-Career NASCAR Xfinity Series Win
Sunday, August 27, 2017

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Jeremy Clements
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Journeyman Jeremy Clements and his small team topped big-name race organizations to clinch a first-ever victory in 256 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts. 

On the second-to-last lap of the Johnsonville 180 Sunday at Road America, Clements attempted to pass Matt Tifft for the lead. He wheeled his Chevrolet to the inside of Tifft’s Toyota Camry sending both of them spinning. Clements fired his car back up faster than Tifft and seized the lead headed into the final go-around. From there, the 32-year-old XFINITY Series veteran cruised to Victory Lane, finishing 5.802 seconds ahead of runner-up Michael Annett. 

Clements, who co-owns Clements Racing out of Spartanburg, South Carolina, with his father Tony Clements, was running in a Chevrolet that was built in 2008. With the victory, he earned a berth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs. 

"I'm extremely pleased right now, and it feels like a dream," said Clements, who started 24th in the 40-car field. 

Tifft finished third. The 21-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing driver said he was battling a loose car in the braking zones and realized that Clements would pose a tough challenge, since he had fresher tires.  

Tifft led six laps toward the end of the race before the incident with Clements, who made his final pit stop on Lap 29. 

"I wish we could have raced for the white flag and been able to battle it out a little bit more," said Tifft, who made his final pit stop on Lap 21 in the No. 19 Toyota. 

"It's funny how things work. How at Mid-Ohio you can be thrilled with a third-place finish and you're upset about it here. All you can do is keep on trying to have great runs and one day it works out for you." 

The task was not a simple one for Clements, who held the race lead for a handful of laps when the leaders pitted early in the third stage and he was out in front for the one that mattered most in the 45-lap event. 

"I was licking my chops," Clements said. "I was just so excited, I couldn't believe that the (win) was right there for me to get.  

"I was really beating a lot of guys out of those last two corners. Especially the last corner; I could get in really deep. That's where I thought I could pass (Tifft) at. I should have maybe been a little more patient. But it was coming on the last lap. He's probably mad though, and I'm sorry to him." 

Sports car standout James Davison was in the wrong place at the wrong time on the final lap of the second stage. Davison led the first 11 laps of the race but tagged the retaining wall in turn 6 on Lap 19 and sustained severe damage on the No. 20 Toyota that forced the Australian to the garage. Davison, driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in his third XFINITY Series start, won Stage 1 and led a race-high 11 laps. 

Justin Marks overcame damage to his car sustained at the end of Stage 2 in a collision with Ross Chastain to finish fourth. Brendan Gaughan came in fifth. William Byron, Blake Koch, Cole Custer, Casey Mears and Parker Kligerman rounded out the top 10. 

Daniel Hemric won the second stage, led 10 laps and finished 11th overall. 

"I can’t believe it," Clements said. "I’m just, is this is real?"

RACE RESULTS

Pos.#DriverMakeStartLapsLedStatusPointsPlayoff Points
151Jeremy ClementsChevy244510Running445
25Michael AnnettChevy17452Running350
319Matt TifftToyota13456Running430
442Justin MarksChevy5450Running420
562Brendan GaughanChevy18450Running351
69William ByronChevy6450Running3417
711Blake KochChevy15450Running312
800Cole CusterFord12450Running290
998Casey MearsFord28450Running300
1046Parker KligermanChevy39450Running00
117Justin AllgaierChevy7450Running398
128Josh BilickiChevy33450Running250
134Ross ChastainChevy19450Running240
141Elliott SadlerChevy3454Running315
1521Daniel HemricChevy114510Running322
1622Austin CindricFord1451Running00
1714JJ YeleyToyota20450Running260
182Ben KennedyChevy8450Running280
1918Christopher BellToyota4450Running00
2039Ryan SiegChevy21450Running170
2107Ryan EllisChevy27450Running160
2228Dakoda ArmstrongToyota16450Running150
233Scott Lagasse JrChevy9450Running140
2423Spencer GallagherChevy26450Running130
2533Brandon JonesChevy22450Running120
2690Dexter BeanChevy35450Running110
270Garrett SmithleyChevy29450Running100
2899David StarrChevy30450Running90
2917Nicolas HammannDodge40440Running80
3074John GrahamChevy37440Running70
3148Brennan PooleChevy10441Running130
3252Joey GaseChevy25430Running50
3324Dylan LuptonToyota23420Running40
3478Stephen YoungChevy36420Running30
3516Ryan ReedFord14360Accident75
3640Tim CowenDodge34350Accident10
3720JD DavisonToyota22011Accident111
3801Sheldon CreedChevy32180Vibration20
3913Ernie Francis JrToyota38160Engine10
4093Jeff GreenChevy3120Vibration10

 

 

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