Xfinity Series News

Xfinity Series News (6465)

NASCAR Xfinity Series News

Veteran driver Joe Nemechek survived a wild NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Raceway to finish in 23rd place driving the No. 15 Fleetwing / D.A.B. Chevrolet Camaro for team JD Motorsports with Gary Keller.

Nemecheck qualified 16th for the Powershares QQQ 300, ran in the top-ten and top-five for much of the race, and had a chance at the win. Unfortunately, the No. 15 Chevy was the victim of one of the record number of crashes in Saturday’s race. Hard work by the JDM pit crew kept the car on track, and Nemechek was able to salvage a top-25 finish.

“I had a great run in Daytona in the No. 15 Fleetwing / D.A.B. Chevy fielded by my friend Johnny Davis,” said Nemechek. “I had a lot of fun out there. It was nice to have a car that was competitive, was fast on the race track, and was very race-y. It was fun to be able to go to the front anytime I wanted to, and I very much thought that we had a shot at a top-five if not a win. It’s unfortunate that we were involved in a wreck there at the end because it was going to be interesting to see how it all turned out.”

Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 24th, 2018.


JR Motorsports will support Nationwide Children’s Hospital in a prominent way during the NASCAR Xfinity Series season in 2018. One of America’s largest pediatric healthcare and research centers delivering care for more than 1.4 million patient visits each year, Nationwide Children’s will have five primary paint schemes with the No. 9 team and driver Tyler Reddick this season.
The primary branding space in those events was made possible by the generous support of one of JRM’s partners, which made a donation to Nationwide Children’s in memory of one of its founders, Carolyn Brown. The concept is a familiar one, as several team partners have elected to donate paint schemes to worthy causes over the years, most recently in 2013 and 2015 when the No. 7 team carried Nationwide Children’s colors in two events, including a win at Mid-Ohio.
“Our relationship and commitment to Nationwide Children’s Hospital goes much deeper than this partnership,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports. “The work they do is invaluable, and we are honored to partner alongside them and be continued advocates of their mission. Theirs is a cause that all of us at JR Motorsports, and our partners, are firmly supportive of.”
A five-time winner across NASCAR’s top-three series, Reddick will drive the No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet Camaro in races at Atlanta Motor Speedway (Feb. 24), ISM Raceway (formerly Phoenix International Raceway, March 10), Auto Club Speedway (March 17), Watkins Glen International (Aug. 4) and Mid-Ohio (Aug. 11). He’ll also carry Nationwide Children’s as an associate partner for the balance of the year.
“I know how important Nationwide Children’s Hospital is to Dale and Amy, Kelley and everyone at JR Motorsports,” said Reddick. “I’m proud to be supporting their cause and it’s been eye-opening to learn about the tremendous work they do for children and their families across the country. I’m looking forward to visiting the hospital and meeting their Patient Champions.”
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide Children’s is an international pediatric referral center for children facing some of the most challenging pediatric illnesses. Research conducted at Nationwide Children’s is shared to improve care for children everywhere. As part of its nonprofit mission, Nationwide Children’s has provided all care to children regardless of ability to pay since its founding in 1892.  
“On behalf of the patients, families and staff at Nationwide Children’s, we are incredibly grateful for the continued generosity of Nationwide, Dale and Amy Earnhardt and JR Motorsports,” said Niki Shafer, senior vice president, outreach, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Foundation. “We are equally excited and appreciative for the newest partnership with the No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet Camaro team and Tyler Reddick. This ongoing support provides an opportunity for the hospital to share its mission to help kids everywhere.”
The Earnhardt family has a long-standing relationship with Nationwide Insurance, which is the namesake benefactor to Nationwide Children’s Hospital. In 2016, Nationwide Children’s renamed its Activity Room on the hospital’s rehabilitation floor after Dale and Amy Earnhardt. Last November, the Earnhardts, along with The Dale Jr. Foundation, created the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund, which champions the cause of pediatric injury rehabilitation, research and prevention at Nationwide Children’s.

Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway was a record-breaking race and one that Garrett Smithley and JD Motorsports with Gary Keller will never forget.

The Powershares QQQ 300 saw a record twelve cautions and five attempts at an overtime finish, all of which Smithley’s No. 0 Flex Tape Chevrolet Camaro survived to finish in the top-five. His fifth place finish is the best so far in Smithley’s career, and it is the fourth top-five for team JD Motorsports.

“I’m so proud of my JD Motorsports team for what we accomplished this weekend,” Smithley said. “It means everything to me to be able to give my ‘Number Nuthin’ team the finish that they deserve. You will not find a harder-working group of guys in the garage. I can’t thank Flex Seal, Flex Tape, and KSDT enough for all of the support that they give this team, and JDM team owner, Johnny Davis, for giving another chance to race this year.”

Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 24th, 2018.


Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway was rookie driver Vinnie Miller’s first time racing at the “World Center of Racing.” Despite a few bumps in the road, Miller came home with a solid 20th place finish.

Miller qualified in 26th place position for the Powershares QQQ 300. The No. 01 Flex Glue Chevrolet Camaro was fast, and Miller was soon racing his way into the top-ten before being caught up in one of the many multi-car crashes. Quick work by the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller pit crew kept the car on track, and Miller raced around several more crashes to finish in the top-20.
“Wow, what an exciting weekend,” said Miller. “We had a rough start to the weekend in the No. 01 Flex Glue Camaro, but it got better once we started the race. I think the best we were running was 7th. We had a really good restart and we were starting to pick up positions then someone turned into us and we got wrecked. We came down pit road and the JD Motorsports pit crew was able to fix the damage.  At that point, my team had worked so hard all weekend, I worked so hard and we weren’t going to quit, so we just kept digging.  We ended with a decent finish in my first race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona. 20th place was right where I said I wanted to be. I was approved to run Atlanta, and I can’t wait to get there Friday! Thank you to all my family and friends that came to see this me run my first race. Huge thanks to Flex Seal and JAS Expedited Trucking! I appreciate all of your support!”

Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 24th, 2018.


Ross Chastain will start the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season with a top-ten weekend at Daytona International Speedway in the Powershares QQQ 300.

Saturday's race saw a record-breaking twelve cautions and five attempts at an overtime finish, and Chastain managed to avoid all of them with his No. 4 Flex Seal Chevrolet Camaro fairly unscathed. Chastain survived the wild, four-wide finish in ninth place.

“It was a crazy race for sure, but we made it work,” Chastain said. “I’m so proud of my No. 4 Flex Seal team for giving me such a fast car. These guys are the class of the field, and they deserve more finishes like this. Gotta thank Phil Swift at Flex Seal for all of his support this weekend. This will be a big year for the JD Motorsports with Gary Keller team, and we are off to a great start!”

Next up for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on February 24th, 2018.


Ryan Reed returned to Daytona International Speedway looking to defend his win from one year ago.  Reed suffered damage early on but rebounded and had his No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford in contention at the end.  A record five overtime restarts extended the scheduled race distance by 23 laps.  Reed led the field during one of the five cautions to end the race before settling for a third-place finish.

“Daytona is such an up and down race,” said Reed.  “You never know what you are going to get when you come here. I got involved in someone else's mess early on and just tried to recover all day. We picked the right lanes late in the race and got up to the top-10, then the leaders wrecked and the next thing you know we are on the front row. I didn’t think we had a good enough car to lead there with all the damage but we could push really well. I focused on that and my Ford Mustang had a lot of power. Thanks to Roush Yates, Jack, Lilly Diabetes and everyone that supports this deal. What a great way to start the season.”

The two-time Daytona winner started the race 15th but suffered damage just 10 laps in from an incident that unfolded in front of him on the track.  Reed visited pit road twice under caution for tires and to repair the damage to the left-front fender of his Ford. By the conclusion of Stage 1, Reed had rebounded to 23rd.

Stage 2 went caution free for the field.  Reed started the Stage 15th and drafted his way to the top five during the segment but ultimately finished 11th.  After a pit stop for four tires and fuel, Reed lined up 12th for the final Stage. 

Reed had worked his way up to the top 10 when just before the 100-lap mark, NASCAR issued him a penalty for blocking.  The Lilly Ford had gotten loose and in an effort to avoid the No. 16 another car ducked below the yellow line.  The penalty was a pass down pit road.  Reed opted to pit for four tires and fuel while serving the penalty.

The field went back to green flag racing with 16 laps remaining and with Reed on a mission to make his way to the front.  Reed worked his way up and to the front and was in the hunt for the win during the five cautions that closed out the race.  Reed took the final restart from the second position and held his ground with the leaders to cross the finish line third.   


Spencer Gallagher

No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro

Daytona International Speedway


Start: 5th

Stage one: 9th

Stage two: 5th 

Finish: 6th

Points: 3rd


Additional Info

- Gallagher captured his NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) career-highest qualifying effort of fifth place.

- Gallagher got spun to force triple overtime and still brought home sixth for his best career NXS result.

- The No. 23 team collected a total of eight stage points after finishing 9th in stage one and 5th in stage two.



“What a weekend for this No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet team. I want to thank everyone at GMS Racing for the amazing car they brought down to Daytona. This weekend's success was a result of a lot of hardwork during the off season. I have never felt that confident in an Xfinity car and needless to say that was a lot of fun. This sixth-place finish is a real confidence booster for the whole team. Collecting my highest NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying effort of fifth, finishing sixth in the first race of the 2018 season and sitting third in the points, it was an overall great weekend. You are going to see a lot more out of the No. 23 this year, I can promise you that.”


GMS Racing PR

Daytona International Speedway always seems to bring a certain level of energy and excitement that is unlike anything else in motorsports. In a race that sported a record setting 12 cautions, 5 overtimes, and the closest finish ever in NASCAR history, the World Center of Racing again did not disappoint.
Boyd would roll off 34th for the season opener. It only took nine laps for the carnage to begin as Austin Cindric and Christopher Bell brought out the first caution. Boyd would move up to 28th after the first pit stop. In effort to protect the car, Boyd played it safe for the remainder of stage one. Kyle Larson won the first stage as Boyd rode back in 31st.
Stage two would prove to be similar to the first, as Boyd continued his conservative approach. As the leaders jockeyed for position, Boyd rode back around the 25th-28th positions. Chase Elliott won stage two and Boyd finished 25th. After 4 tires, an air pressure adjustment, fuel, and a tear-off, Boyd was set for the third and final stage of the race.
The time for riding around was over as, spotter Hayden Reeves called for Boyd to “get aggressive” with 30 laps to go. Boyd masterfully weaved his way up to as high as 17th before he would be required to make an incredible maneuver around the spinning cars of Daniel Hemric and Jeff Green on lap 98 of the 120 lap event. Boyd managed to keep the car in one piece, but would have to come to pit road to address slight damage. Too many men working on the car cost Boyd a two-lap penalty.
Wreck after wreck would force five overtime attempts to complete the race. After the dust finally settled Tyler Reddick edged Elliott Sadler by mere inches to win the closest ever race in the history of NASCAR.  Meanwhile, Boyd never gave up and despite the setbacks of the penalty, managed to finish 25th with the car intact.
After the race Boyd reflected, “ It was a roller coaster of emotions all day for us. We had a game plan of just hanging back to avoid the wrecks and I think we executed well. We got into a little trouble there with about 20 to go I think, and ended up getting that penalty. Unfortunately, that was a bit of a set back for us, but we never gave up and managed to fight back after all those wrecks at the end. This race was a great foundation for us as a team to start the season.  I can’t wait to get to Atlanta.”

Boyd will take the next few days to rest and then help the team prepare for the second race of the year at Atlanta Motor Speedway next Saturday

Spencer Boyd PR

Matt Tifft and the No. 2 Nexteer Automotive Team Earn Top-20 Finish After Surviving Daytona Carnage

"The No. 2 Nexteer Automotive Chevrolet Camaro had some good speed this weekend on its own, but we were just too loose the whole day. Part of the problem was we were set up too much for qualifying compared to a race trim setup. We'll look back at our notes from this weekend and work on getting our race balance right for the restrictor plate races. We got a little bit beat on driveability since it was hard to be aggressive with what we had. We finally got it balanced really well after we adjusted the radiator pan and started to make some headway through the pack. Unfortunately, that's when the 'Big One' hit. We made it through the wreck but then got slammed into from behind by a car with no brakes. Not much we can do about that, but the No. 2 team didn't give up. We made multiple stops to fix what we could and hung in there through multiple wrecks to get a top-20 finish." 
-Matt Tifft 
Austin Dillon and the No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's Team Eliminated from Daytona Season-Opener Early Following Late-Race Wreck

"I knew we were sitting in a bad position there. You never want to be past fourth or fifth in the pack on the last restart because you know the top two are going to block, and they did. The No. 42 car kept coming. The No. 98 car had a little gap maybe and they just collided. From there on, if I would have cut left I would have probably wrecked more people so I opted to stay straight. I tore up our Bass Pro Shops/Cabela's Chevrolet. I still had fun today. I started at the back but I was able to race right up to the front. I made a couple of mistakes that prevented me from getting a little bit of track position. It's a bummer that we weren't able to finish the race but we'll have a few more opportunities to get a win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season."  
-Austin Dillon
Penalty Hinders Daniel Hemric's Debut in South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet After Starting From the Pole

Penalty Hinders Daniel Hemric's Debut in South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet After  Starting From the Pole


"We had a really strong South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, and that showed when we were able to win the pole early in the day. These guys on the No. 21 team worked hard on Friday to get the car fixed after we got some damage in opening practice. The car was really good in the draft; we had a strong first two stages and were able to earn points. They started wrecking up ahead of me and I thought I had it clear but got clipped and got a little bit of damage to the nose. We had too many crew guys working on the car to make repairs and were hit with a penalty. After that we just rode around trying not to tear up the car anymore. We'll take today as a learning lesson for the rest of the year and move on. Our Atlanta car is fast and ready to go. I can't wait to get there and show everyone what this South Point Hotel & Casino team is made of."
-Daniel Hemric


Tyler Reddick endured a flurry of late-race incidents and five “NASCAR Overtimes” to win the PowerShares QQQ 300 on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

The season-opening race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series was scheduled for 120 laps (300 miles). By the time things wrapped up, a total of 143 laps had been run on the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Reddick, a rookie driver in the No 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet partially owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., edged his JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler (No. 1 OneMain Financial Chevrolet) in a door-rubbing photo finish. Officially, the margin of victory was listed as 0.000 seconds, the closest finish in NASCAR national series history. Two-time race winner Ryan Reed (No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford) finished third.

If the case of a late-race caution period using up the scheduled race distance, a NASCAR Overtime extends the race by two laps, via a “green-white-checkered” finish. But if a caution flag then comes out prior to the race leader crossing the line to begin the last lap – the white-flag lap – another OT is required. That happened four times Saturday.

“This feels amazing,” Reddick said. “Helluva way to start the year off with JR Motorsports … and get my first win for JR Motorsports.

“This is an amazing opportunity. Me and [crew chief] Dave [Elenz] are going to get along great. It’s going to take a little bit of time to really get honed in, but I guess we’re getting along pretty good, right off the bat.”

The PowerShares QQQ 300 has its own rich history that runs parallel to the race it always precedes, the DAYTONA 500. Through the years, many of NASCAR’s top drivers have run both events. That was the case again this year, with seven Monster Energy Series regulars who are in the DAYTONA 500 also racing Saturday, giving the PowerShares QQQ 300 an “all-star” flavor. There were also five former NASCAR Xfinity Series champions in the field: Daniel Suarez (2016), Chase Elliott (2014), Austin Dillon (2013), Jeff Green (2000) and Joe Nemechek (1992).

Two Monster Energy Series drivers, Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott, led the first two of the race’s three stages, each 30 laps. Those first 60 laps were relatively uneventful with only one incident, that coming on Lap 10 with eight cars tangling in the frontstretch. That provided no indication of what to come, however, with 10 caution periods jammed into the final stage of 60 laps.

Prior to the PowerShares QQQ 300, a final practice session was held for Sunday’s 60th annual DAYTONA 500, set for 3 p.m. ET. (TV – FOX; Radio – MRN, Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.)  Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., a heralded rookie driving for Richard Petty Motorsports, topped the session with a speed of 198.954 in the No. 43 Click ‘n Close Chevrolet. Wallace will start seventh Sunday, the first time a Petty car has had a top-10 DAYTONA 500 start since 2006.

Pole winner Alex Bowman (No. 88 Nationwide Chevrolet) and 2016 DAYTONA 500 champion Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota) will lead the 40-car DAYTONA 500 field to the green from the front row on Sunday, to open the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.

Other notable DAYTONA 500 starting positions:

  • Starting fifth, 2015 DAYTONA 500 champion Joey Logano (NO. 22 Shell/Pennzoil Ford);
  • Starting sixth alongside Logano, 2007 DAYTONA 500 champion and former Monster Energy Series champion Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Jimmy John’s Ford).
  • Starting 11th, defending DAYTONA 500 champion and former Monster Energy Series champion Kurt Busch (No. 41 Haas Automation/Monster Energy Ford);
  • Starting 12th, former Monster Energy Series champion Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota), next to his his older brother;
  • Starting 24th, reigning Monster Energy Series champion Martin Truex Jr. (No 78 Bass Pro Shops/5-Hour Energy Toyota);
  • Starting 28th, Danica Patrick (No. 7 GoDaddy Chevrolet), racing in the DAYTONA 500 for the last time;
  • Starting 35th, two-time DAYTONA 500 champion – and seven-time Monster Energy Series champion – Jimmie Johnson.

Tickets for the 60th annual DAYTONA 500 and other Speedweeks events can be purchased online at or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP. Fans can stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and Snapchat, and by downloading Daytona International Speedway’s mobile app, for the latest Speedway news throughout the season.


Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-30):

Aric Almirola started Stage 1 in the 13th position and reached the top-10 before completing it in 15th.

The Tampa, Florida, native pitted on lap 10 for fuel, four tires and adjustments.

Almirola pitted at the conclusion of Stage 1 for fuel and adjustments to improve the No. 98 machine’s handling.

Stage 2 Recap (Laps 31-60):           

The Ford driver began Stage 2 from the fourth spot, and finished second.

At the end of the stage, Almirola made his third pit stop of the day for two right-side tires and fuel only.

Final Stage Recap (Laps 61-143): 

The 33-year-old started the final stage in the first position.

After jockeying for positions throughout the final stage Almirola restarted fourth with five scheduled laps remaining in the race.

Unfortunately, Almirola was caught up in a multi-car accident during the first overtime attempt which ultimately ended his day.


This marks Almirola’s 10th NASCAR Xfinity Series start at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway and 101st career Xfinity start.

Almirola led one time for four laps in the Smithfield/DenBeste Water Solutions Ford, bringing his Xfinity Series Daytona laps led total to 16.

12 cautions slowed the race for 49 laps

The race went 23 laps past the scheduled 120-lap distance. 

Tyler Reddick won the Powershares QQQ 300 to score his second careerXfinity Series victory, first of the season and first at Daytona. His margin of victory over second-place Elliot Sadler was .001 seconds.

Aric Almirola, driver of the No. 98 Smithfield/DenBeste Water Solutions Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi DenBeste:               

“I hate that we got caught up in a wreck.  Our Ford Mustang was really fast and I thought we were going to get us another Xfinity victory, but unfortunately we didn’t.  I’m really proud of everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing with Biagi-DenBeste.  They brought some really nice race cars for speedway racing.”

Next Up:               

The next event on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Atlanta 250 on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race starts at 2p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1.