XFINITY Series Las Vegas Motor Speedway

NASCAR XFINITY Series

Results

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)
John Hunter Nemechek celebrates after winning
Las Vegas, Nevada - March 2, 2024 : John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the #20 Safeway/Albertsons Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series The LiUNA! at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Chris GraythenGetty Images
The LiUNA! at Las Vegas Motor Speedway results
FIN ST # DRIVER MAKE TOT PTS FIN PTS STG PTS PO PTS LAPS LED X LED S1 S2 STATUS
6 3 16 AJ Allmendinger Chevrolet 42 31 11 0 200 0 0 6 5 Running
12 10 19 Aric Almirola Toyota 25 25 0 0 200 0 0 0 0 Running
24 22 14 JJ Yeley Chevrolet 13 13 0 0 198 0 0 0 0 Running
10 36 7 Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 38 27 11 0 200 11 1 7 4 Running
11 7 48 Parker Kligerman Chevrolet 32 26 6 0 200 0 0 8 8 Running
30 38 35 Joey Gase Chevrolet 7 7 0 0 195 0 0 0 0 Running
23 21 27 Jeb Burton Chevrolet 14 14 0 0 198 0 0 0 0 Running
32 24 78 BJ McLeod Chevrolet 5 5 0 0 195 0 0 0 0 Running
22 23 43 Ryan Ellis Chevrolet 15 15 0 0 199 0 0 0 0 Running
7 6 39 Ryan Sieg Ford 33 30 3 0 200 0 0 9 10 Running
21 20 91 Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet 16 16 0 0 199 0 0 0 0 Running
19 18 44 Brennan Poole Chevrolet 18 18 0 0 199 0 0 0 0 Running
2 1 00 Cole Custer Ford 43 35 8 0 200 0 0 5 9 Running
29 33 6 Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 8 8 0 0 195 0 0 0 0 Running
1 12 20 John Hunter Nemechek Toyota 0 0 0 0 200 99 5 2 2 Running
4 5 21 Austin Hill Chevrolet 46 33 13 0 200 6 1 3 6 Running
9 13 9 Brandon Jones Chevrolet 29 28 1 0 200 0 0 10 0 Running
33 34 38 CJ McLaughlin Ford 4 4 0 0 194 0 0 0 0 Running
25 17 51 Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 12 12 0 0 197 0 0 0 0 Running
14 32 11 Josh Williams Chevrolet 23 23 0 0 199 10 1 0 0 Running
5 11 98 Riley Herbst Ford 47 32 15 0 200 0 0 4 3 Running
16 37 5 Anthony Alfredo Chevrolet 21 21 0 0 199 0 0 0 0 Running
28 30 07 Patrick Emerling Chevrolet 9 9 0 0 196 0 0 0 0 Running
26 9 18 Sheldon Creed Toyota 11 11 0 0 197 0 0 0 0 Running
31 29 29 Blaine Perkins Ford 6 6 0 0 195 0 0 0 0 Running
20 27 28 Kyle Sieg Ford 17 17 0 0 199 0 0 0 0 Running
38 14 1 Sam Mayer Chevrolet 1 1 0 0 7 0 0 0 0 Accident
34 26 4 Dawson Cram Chevrolet 3 3 0 0 192 0 0 0 0 Running
36 35 32 Sage Karam 1 1 0 0 104 0 0 0 0 Transmission
3 2 81 Chandler Smith Toyota 56 34 20 2 200 74 4 1 1 Running
15 28 15 Hailie Deegan Ford 22 22 0 0 199 0 0 0 0 Running
13 16 26 Corey Heim Toyota 0 0 0 0 200 0 0 0 0 Running
35 4 31 Parker Retzlaff Chevrolet 2 2 0 0 115 0 0 0 0 Fuel Pump
27 31 92 Nick Leitz Chevrolet 10 10 0 0 197 0 0 0 0 Running
8 8 8 Sammy Smith Chevrolet 29 29 0 0 200 0 0 0 0 Running
18 19 42 Leland Honeyman Jr Chevrolet 19 19 0 0 199 0 0 0 0 Running
17 15 2 Jesse Love Chevrolet 24 20 4 0 199 0 0 0 7 Running
37 25 97 Shane van Gisbergen Chevrolet 1 1 0 0 27 0 0 0 0 Engine

Race Infractions

Penalties imposed prior to or during the race.

Driver Infraction Penalty Lap Lap Assessed Flag
Anthony Alfredo Pre-Race to the Rear Backup Car Tail End 0 0 White
Justin Allgaier Pre-Race to the Rear Unapproved Adjustments Tail End 0 0 White
Blaine Perkins Pre-Race to the Rear Unapproved Adjustments Tail End 0 0 White
Pre-Race to the Rear Unapproved Adjustments Tail End 0 0 White
Sam Mayer Pitting before pit road is open Garage Tail End 8 0 Yellow
Shane van Gisbergen Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area Garage Pass Thru 28 0 Green
CJ McLaughlin Crewmember(s) over the wall too soon Tail End 50 53 Yellow
Parker Retzlaff Too many crewmember(s) in contact with pit service area Tail End 50 53 Yellow
Blaine Perkins Tire violation Tail End 94 96 Yellow
Parker Retzlaff Tire violation Tail End 94 96 Yellow
Parker Retzlaff Pitting before pit road is open Tail End 95 96 Yellow
Parker Retzlaff Pitting before pit road is open Garage Tail End 124 0 Yellow
Dawson Cram Speeding on pit road Pass Thru 154 160 Green
Dawson Cram Unspecified Equipment over the wall too soon Pass Thru 158 160 Green
Jeb Burton Speeding on pit road Pass Thru 170 177 Green