John Hunter Nemechek denies Hemric in Kansas

John Hunter Nemechek - his first ever Xfinity race win
John Hunter Nemechek – his first ever Xfinity race win
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

John Hunter Nemechek was a playoff spoiler Saturday at Kansas Speedway, scoring his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory.

Nemechek led 64 of 200 laps in the Kansas Lottery 300, the opening race in the series’ postseason Round of 8. The 21-year-old driver overcame an extra pit stop to tighten lug nuts, rallying from sixth place on the final restart to surge ahead of Daniel Hemric with 30 laps remaining.

Hemric was the hard-luck runner-up again, finishing second for the fourth time in his Xfinity Series career without a win. Hemric started from the pole and led a race-high 128 laps, but was unable to fend off Nemechek’s final charge.

Nemechek is running a partial season in the Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 Chevrolet and is not eligible for the championship. The Nemechek victory denied Hemric’s hopes of automatically advancing to the season-ending title race Nov. 17 at Homestead-Miami Speedway for the second straight year.

Hemric leads from pole at the start
Hemric leads from pole at the start
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Elliott Sadler took third place with Shane Lee and Tyler Reddick rounding out the top five positions.

Four of the remaining eight championship-eligible drivers were tangled up in a Lap 1 crash that unfolded in Hemric’s mirror shortly after the green flag flew. Justin Allgaier lost control of his No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, sliding into the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of fellow postseason contender Christopher Bell in Turn 2.

Several cars in close formation piled in behind them, including playoff hopefuls Austin Cindric and Cole Custer. Of the four postseason drivers, only Custer was able to continue. Michael Annett, Chase Briscoe, Ross Chastain, Spencer Gallagher and Ryan Truex were also involved.

Bell finished 37th with Allgaier 38th and Cindric 39th — all damaging results for their playoff chances. Custer limped home in 26th place, losing several laps to repairs and a replacement of the power steering unit.

The series’ next event — the fifth in the seven-race playoffs — is scheduled Nov. 3 at Texas Motor Speedway.

Results

Pos St No. Driver Car Laps Status
1 13 42 John Hunter Nemechek Fire Alarm Services Inc. Chevrolet 200 Running
2 1 21 Daniel Hemric (P) South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet 200 Running
3 11 1 Elliott Sadler (P) Textron Off Road Wildcat XX Chevrolet 200 Running
4 8 3 Shane Lee Childress Vineyards Chevrolet 200 Running
5 6 9 Tyler Reddick # (P) BurgerFi Chevrolet 200 Running
6 9 2 Matt Tifft (P) American Ethanol e 15/ Sorghum Chevrolet 200 Running
7 16 16 Ryan Reed Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford 200 Running
8 18 60 Ty Majeski Ford Ford 200 Running
9 19 39 Ryan Sieg Frank Foster 'Til I'm Gone Chevrolet 199 Running
10 40 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 199 Running
11 14 11 Ryan Truex LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 198 Running
12 27 36 Alex Labbe # AlphaPrimeUSA.com Chevrolet 197 Running
13 23 0 Garrett Smithley teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 196 Running
14 31 15 Quin Houff teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 196 Running
15 20 35 Joey Gase Absarokatuff.com Chevrolet 195 Running
16 33 40 Chad Finchum # Smithbilt Homes/The Preserve Toyota 195 Running
17 34 52 David Starr Wilkerson Crane Rental Chevrolet 194 Running
18 32 8 Ja Junior Avila ART General Contractor LLC / JW Transport LLC 193 Running
19 35 76 Spencer Boyd # Grunt Style Chevrolet 192 Running
20 37 45 Josh Bilicki # Prevagen/GNC Toyota 191 Running
21 7 18 Ryan Preece Craftsman Toyota 189 Running
22 36 78 Vinnie Miller # CorvetteParts.net Chevrolet 189 Running
23 29 01 BJ McLeod teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 189 Running
24 28 90 Josh Williams Sleep Well/Star Tron Chevrolet 187 Running
25 22 4 Ross Chastain teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 182 Running
26 10 00 Cole Custer (P) Haas Automation Ford 181 Running
27 30 66 Bobby Earnhardt HABCO Toyota 133 Fuel Pump
28 38 74 Mike Harmon The Journey Home Project Chevrolet 129 Running
29 39 38 Angela Ruch Connecting Families Chevrolet 98 Oil Leak
30 12 98 Chase Briscoe Nutri Chomps Ford 79 Suspension
31 25 13 Timmy Hill OCR Gaz Bar Toyota 54 Vibration
32 24 99 Stephen Leicht Chevrolet 26 Steering
33 17 23 Spencer Gallagher Allegiant Chevrolet 24 Accident
34 26 93 Jeff Green RSS Racing Chevrolet 16 Rear Gear
35 21 37 JJ Yeley RSS Racing Chevrolet 16 Brakes
36 5 19 Brandon Jones Game Plan For Life Toyota 12 Accident
37 2 20 Christopher Bell # (P) Rheem Toyota 2 Accident
38 3 7 Justin Allgaier (P) BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet 1 Accident
39 4 22 Austin Cindric # (P) Menards/Richmond Ford 0 Accident
40 15 5 Michael Annett Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 0 Accident

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