XFINITY Series Las Vegas Motor Speedway

NASCAR XFINITY Series

Loop Data Box Score

The LiUNA!

Saturday, March 2nd, 2024

Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, NV

  • 26 Chevrolet
  • 5 Toyota
  • 7 Ford

  • Saturday, March 2nd, 2024
  • NASCAR Wire Service - Reid Spencer
John Hunter Nemechek wins desert duel of Joe Gibbs Racing teammates

Chandler Smith won the battle. John Hunter Nemechek won the war. 

The Joe Gibbs Racing teammates spent most of Saturday afternoon racing each other for the top spot in The LiUNA!, a 300-mile NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was Nemechek who proved superior in the long run. 

After Smith won the first two stages of the race—the second with a deft last-lap pass of Nemechek’s No. 20 Toyota—Nemechek asserted his dominance. 

By the time Nemechek crossed the finish line at the end of Lap 200, he held a 4.360-second lead over pole winner Cole Custer, who had charged into second place after a late cycle of green-flag pit stops. 

“Hats off to all the guys on this 20 team for Joe Gibbs Racing, said Nemechek, who led a race-high 99 laps in securing his first victory of the season, his first at Las Vegas and the 10th of his career. 

“Man, it’s awesome to come out here and win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with a limited number of starts. Our goal is to come and win as many as we possibly could. Nothing else matters. 

“Congrats to Tyler (Allen). He’s the crew chief this year on the 20 car—his first win as a crew chief. Our spotter, Ryan Blanchard—his first win as well… Man, it feels so good to win here in Las Vegas. Got to rest for tomorrow., so I’m excited.” 

Now full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series with Legacy Motor Club, Nemechek will race in Sunday’s Pennzoil 400 (3:30 p.m. ET on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). 

Smith arguably had the best car in the race until he pitted with the rest of the field at the second stage break. 

“We just over-adjusted a little bit,” said Smith, who led 74 laps, including the first 49, and came home third. “(We were) trying to stay ahead of the race track, and it feels actually like it might have gotten a little colder as well. 

“It felt like track definitely freed up, and we went in that same direction, thinking it was going to tighten up. So you live and you learn… We were pretty dominant and we just over-adjusted, but I’m happy that a Joe Gibbs Racing car still won.” 

Austin Hill, who triumphed in the first two races of the season, at Daytona and Atlanta, was fourth, with Riley Herbst finishing fifth after dominating the Las Vegas race last fall. AJ Allmendinger, Ryan Sieg, Sammy Smith, Brandon Jones and Justin Allgaier completed the top 10. 

Hill retained his series lead by 22 points over Smith in second. Hailie Deegan was the top Sunoco rookie with a 15th-place finish. 

For the second time in three races, ill fortune beset JR Motorsports’ Sam Mayer, who completed just 22 of 120 laps in the season opener at Daytona. 

Mayer was running 10th on Lap 8 on Saturday when the No. 31 Chevrolet of fifth-place qualifier Parker Retzlaff turned sideways in front of him and slammed into the right side of Mayer’s car, knocking him out of the race. 

“It’s just the year from hell,” Mayer said. “Very frustrating and unfortunate and can’t wait to get to Phoenix (for next Saturday’s race).” 

Another early casualty was New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen, who took his Kaulig Racing Chevrolet behind the wall with overheating problems after completing 27 laps. 

Van Gisbergen and Mayer finished 37th and 38th, respectively, in the 38-car field.

  • Drivers Entered: 38
  • Laps Scheduled: 200
  • Margin of Victory: 04.360 Seconds
  • Time of Race: 2 Hours 11 Minutes 15 Seconds
  • Average Speed: 137.143
  • Cautions: 4 for 22 laps
  • Lead Changes: 12
  • Green Flag Passes: 1,772 (10.0 passes per green flag lap)
Cole Custer celebrates in victory lane
Avondale, Arizona - November 4, 2023 : Cole Custer, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway.
Jared C TiltonGetty Images
The LiUNA! at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Loop Data Box Score results
DRIVER ST MID CLO FIN HI LOW ARP PL DIF GFP GFxP PD QPS % QPS FST % T15 LED % LED LAPS DR TOT PTS
John Hunter Nemechek 12 2 3 1 1 12 2.0 11 38 27 11 34 89.47 44 100.0 99 49.5 200 145.20 0
Cole Custer 1 7 8 2 1 19 6.3 -1 51 54 -3 47 92.16 6 99.0 0 0.0 200 108.40 43
Chandler Smith 2 1 7 3 1 22 2.8 -1 45 40 5 32 71.11 54 98.5 74 37.0 200 130.70 54
Austin Hill 5 4 6 4 1 16 4.3 1 42 47 -5 37 88.10 6 99.5 6 3.0 200 113.60 46
Riley Herbst 11 3 5 5 1 15 4.5 6 57 52 5 52 91.23 21 100.0 0 0.0 200 114.10 47
AJ Allmendinger 3 6 9 6 2 18 6.4 -3 43 46 -3 37 86.05 13 98.0 0 0.0 200 109.10 42
Ryan Sieg 6 10 10 7 5 24 9.4 -1 61 57 4 48 78.69 2 96.5 0 0.0 200 98.00 33
Sammy Smith 8 8 11 8 5 23 9.9 0 71 78 -7 58 81.69 1 95.5 0 0.0 200 93.80 29
Brandon Jones 13 11 13 9 8 25 11.7 4 74 75 -1 58 78.38 3 93.5 0 0.0 200 90.00 29
Justin Allgaier 36 5 2 10 1 36 6.7 26 58 31 27 33 56.90 10 95.5 11 5.5 200 100.40 38
Parker Kligerman 7 13 15 11 4 21 10.2 -4 54 56 -2 43 79.63 3 93.5 0 0.0 200 91.30 32
Aric Almirola 10 12 12 12 2 36 13.0 -2 76 53 23 47 61.84 0 82.5 0 0.0 200 82.00 25
Corey Heim 16 14 16 13 12 23 15.0 3 57 57 0 40 70.18 0 76.5 0 0.0 200 80.20 0
Josh Williams 32 19 1 14 1 32 16.0 18 71 58 13 21 29.58 0 31.0 10 5.0 199 77.00 23
Hailie Deegan 28 17 17 15 7 28 19.7 13 67 66 1 13 19.40 0 19.5 0 0.0 199 67.30 22
Anthony Alfredo 37 18 20 16 5 37 20.4 21 83 57 26 8 9.64 0 4.0 0 0.0 199 65.00 21
Jesse Love 15 9 19 17 5 24 13.0 -2 84 85 -1 50 59.52 6 74.5 0 0.0 199 80.10 24
Leland Honeyman Jr 19 24 22 18 4 25 19.7 1 74 74 0 10 13.51 0 7.5 0 0.0 199 64.70 19
Brennan Poole 18 22 4 19 3 25 18.1 -1 62 73 -11 10 16.13 0 9.0 0 0.0 199 65.50 18
Kyle Sieg 27 23 23 20 13 31 21.6 7 61 52 9 2 3.28 0 1.5 0 0.0 199 61.00 17
Kyle Weatherman 20 20 14 21 6 25 18.7 -1 51 52 -1 15 29.41 0 17.0 0 0.0 199 63.00 16
Ryan Ellis 23 21 21 22 9 26 22.6 1 51 50 1 0 0.00 0 2.0 0 0.0 199 55.80 15
Jeb Burton 21 16 24 23 9 25 17.9 -2 67 75 -8 25 37.31 0 18.0 0 0.0 198 67.80 14
JJ Yeley 22 25 25 24 13 30 24.4 -2 38 48 -10 4 10.53 0 3.0 0 0.0 198 49.50 13
Jeremy Clements 17 27 26 25 17 29 25.6 -8 26 34 -8 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 197 52.70 12
Sheldon Creed 9 15 18 26 3 26 14.4 -17 48 67 -19 28 58.33 0 76.5 0 0.0 197 71.30 11
Nick Leitz 31 31 27 27 27 34 29.2 4 41 32 9 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 197 44.20 10
Patrick Emerling 30 28 28 28 22 33 28.1 2 28 37 -9 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 196 45.20 9
Garrett Smithley 33 32 30 29 26 35 30.4 4 38 29 9 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 195 38.30 8
Joey Gase 38 30 31 30 27 38 31.9 8 23 25 -2 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 195 30.80 7
Blaine Perkins 29 34 29 31 28 37 32.0 -2 30 32 -2 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 195 33.80 6
BJ McLeod 24 33 32 32 20 34 30.4 -8 24 39 -15 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 195 39.80 5
CJ McLaughlin 34 26 33 33 26 35 32.4 1 20 29 -9 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 194 33.00 4
Dawson Cram 26 29 34 34 25 34 29.9 -8 34 42 -8 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 192 41.30 3
Parker Retzlaff 4 35 35 35 4 36 33.9 -31 6 12 -6 5 83.33 1 4.5 0 0.0 115 39.70 2
Sage Karam 35 36 36 36 35 38 36.6 -1 2 2 0 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 104 25.20 1
Shane van Gisbergen 25 37 37 37 23 35 35.2 -12 12 26 -14 0 0.00 0 0.0 0 0.0 27 31.80 1
Sam Mayer 14 38 38 38 11 14 37.0 -24 4 2 2 4 100.00 0 3.5 0 0.0 7 26.50 1