John Hunter Nemechek took the lead with seven laps to go and drove away to earn his seventh win of the season and lock himself into the Round of 8 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs. It is the second win for Nemechek at Texas Motor Speedway with Joe Gibbs Racing (2021).
Sammy Smith continued his strong early Playoff run with a third-place finish. Going into the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL cut off race, Smith holds an 18-point advantage over the cutline.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Texas Motor Speedway
Race 28 of 33 – 300 miles, 200 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
2nd, Parker Kligerman*
3rd, SAMMY SMITH
4th, Chandler Smith*
5th, Justin Allgaier*
16th, PARKER CHASE
26th, JOEY GASE
29th, KAZ GRALA
33rd, TREVOR BAYNE
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 20 Romco Equipment Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
Can you talk about the final restart?
“Well, I messed up that final restart. It bounced out of third gear. That one was on me. I knew that I had to push hard and try to recover right there, but hats off to the 20 team, Joe Gibbs Racing. It is absolutely amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish so far this year and I don’t think we are done yet. We set a lot of goals with this 20 team coming into this year and still yet to accomplish all of those, but win number seven – Romco back in victory lane here in Texas. Thank you to Toyota, TRD, Pye-Barker – all of our great sponsors that help us out. This thing at the end was as fast as Xfinity 10 G – that’s for sure. The best thing is there is some great fans here – and thank you, every single one of you for coming out and supporting us. Penelope (Nemechek’s daughter) is here. One of the first times that she has travelled to the race track with Taylor (Nemechek’s wife), Aspen (Nemechek’s daughter) and me. First victory lane for her – let’s go.”
What does the next two weeks look like for you and this team as you look forward to the Round of 8?
“Preparing for the Round of 8. My goal coming into today was to lock ourselves in to the next round. Our road courses haven’t been very great with me this year. Joe Gibbs Racing as an organization has been really good on road courses, but going into the ROVAL and not having to worry about that is definitely a relief. We are still going to go there and try to play strategy, try to win the race and get some more Playoff points, but focus on Vegas, Miami and Martinsville and then on to Phoenix.”
SAMMY SMITH, No. 18 Allstate Peterbilt Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 3rd
How was your race?
“My cool shirt broke at the end of stage one, and it was just miserable. I had a good Allstate Peterbilt Toyota GR Supra all day I thought, equally as good as the 48 (Parker Kligerman) or John Hunter (Nemechek) there, needed to be a little cooler I guess.”
TREVOR BAYNE, No. 19 Interstate Batteries Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 33rd
Can you tell us what happened?
“I was so loose in all day in turn three that I backed the corner up. If I could drive it deep, I could get it to be tight on the right front. On the restart with Josh (Berry) on the outside, I just had to lift a little early and when I did to unlock the rear end, I got loose. He gave me room, and I hate it for him, because he did. He moved up a lane. Still slid up and got his left rear, and when we made contact, we were both going around. It’s pretty unfortunate. I love being at these races – love running up front. I don’t know if we had anything for the 7 early in that race, but we definitely had a top-three, top-five Interstate Batteries Supra. Track position is so important, that is what makes these restarts so wild. Everyone knows you’ve got to get those spots in the first couple of laps, or you are going to ride behind them for the next 20. Had to go for it but hate that it affected the 8 (Josh Berry), 21 (Austin Hill) and those guys. Thankful to be here.”
Toyota Racing PR