June 29, 2024 | By Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service

John Hunter Nemechek takes the checkered flag at Nashville Superspeedway

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

LEBANON, Tenn. — John Hunter Nemechek survived a steamy hot afternoon and held off a highly-motivated field to win the Tennessee Lottery 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Nashville Superspeedway Saturday afternoon.

It’s the second Xfinity Series win of the season for Nemechek in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota – and 11th of his career in the series. The 27-year-old North Carolinian won Stage 2 and led a race best 76 of the 188 laps, including the final 46 after taking the lead on a re-start from Cole Custer, who navigated a corner too high allowing Nemechek to get by.

“Feels good to be back in the 20-machine, we’ve been close to winning a lot this year in this thing,’’ said Nemechek, who will make his first NASCAR Cup Series start at Nashville on Sunday when he competes in his fulltime ride, the No. 42 Toyota for Legacy Motor Club.

“Being able to capitalize on it is huge. … it’s great to get it done here in Nashville.

It was a Joe Gibbs Racing 1-2 with Nemechek’s teammate Chandler Smith rallying to a runner-up finish – 1.234-seconds behind Nemechek – on a day that left many in the field standing outside their cars on pit road after the checkered flag taking water and resting after in-car in-race temperatures neared 130 degrees. Several of the drivers either didn’t wear a “cool suit” or had malfunctions with the one they did use.

Much of the hard work came from the rear of the starting grid where championship contenders such as Jesse Love, Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed rallied to race up front after starting from the rear for technical issues.

Creed’s No. 18 JGR Toyota ran among the top 10 after starting at the back of the 38-car field, only to have engine issues in the closing laps.

The Richard Childress Racing teammates Love and Hill certainly had impressive hard-earned finishes in their Chevrolets despite the weather challenges and positions on the starting grid – rallying to third and fourth place finishes, respectively.

NASCAR Cup Series regular and former Xfinity Series title contender Noah Gragson rounded out the top five in the No. 30 Rette Jones Racing Ford – his second start in the car this season.

“I have no idea,’’ a smiling Love said of how he passed 69 cars on the day and finished top five when his cool suit was not working properly.

“Just proud to be part of a team that doesn’t give up,’’ he continued. “That was probably the hottest I’ve ever been. Just proud of my guys.’’

Another driver suffering from the heat when his cool suit didn’t work was Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst, who still managed a sixth-place finish despite the circumstances. The 2023 Nashville race winner, A.J. Allmendinger finished seventh, followed by Justin Allgaier, Cole Custer and Sam Mayer.

Custer holds on to the Xfinity Series championship lead by 15 points over Chandler Smith but was – as expected – frustrated not to come away with his first victory of the season after leading an impressive 64 laps himself. He fell all the way back to fifth losing the lead to Nemechek on that race-deciding restart and ultimately had his work cut out to stay among the top 10.

“I think I over-drove on that restart a little bit into Turn 1,’’ said the Stewart-Haas Racing driver Custer. “There’s a couple things I could have done better.

“Everyone’s got dirty air and man, it was hard to make speed. I felt like we were solid when we were in the top-three cars but once we got back there it was tough to get the car to handle.

“I can’t say enough about our guys. We’re bringing cars that compete for wins every week, it’s just heartbreaking every week not to win. We’re bringing good cars and leading laps, we’ll get it eventually. We’ll keep digging.’’

The NASCAR Xfinity Series joins the NASCAR Cup Series for a summer-time double-header on the streets of Chicago in next Saturday’s The Loop 110 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Custer won last year’s inaugural race from pole position.



NASCAR Xfinity Series Race Number 17
Race Results for the Tennessee Lottery 250 - Saturday, June 29, 2024
Nashville Superspeedway - Nashville, TN - 1.33 - Mile Concrete


Total Race Length - 188 Laps - 250.04 Miles

Provided by NASCAR Statistics - Saturday, 6/29/2024 @ 07:47 PM Eastern

Fin Str Car Driver Team Laps Stage 1 Pos Stage 2 Pos Pts Status Tms Laps Playoff Pts
1 15 20 John Hunter Nemechek(i) Pye Barker Fire & Safety Toyota 188 8 1 0 Running 2 76
2 8 81 Chandler Smith Barger Precast Toyota 188 9 5 43 Running  
3 38 2 Jesse Love # C4 Ultimate Energy Chevrolet 188  7 38 Running  
4 5 21 Austin Hill Global Industrial Chevrolet 188   33 Running  
5 7 30 Noah Gragson(i) Priestly Demolition Ford 188 6 6 0 Running  
6 9 98 Riley Herbst Monster Energy Ford 188 7 10 36 Running  
7 4 16 AJ Allmendinger Celsius Chevrolet 188 2 2 48 Running  
8 6 7 Justin Allgaier Hellmann's/On Track to Read Chevrolet 188 5 9 37 Running  
9 2 00 Cole Custer Haas Automation Ford 188 4 3 43 Running 2 64
10 24 1 Sam Mayer Huck's Market Chevrolet 188   27 Running  
11 3 39 Ryan Sieg Sci Aps Ford 188 10  27 Running  
12 30 88 Carson Kvapil Clarience Technologies Chevrolet 188   25 Running  
13 13 9 Brandon Jones Menards/Best Air Chevrolet 188 3 8 35 Running  
14 11 26 Tyler Reddick(i) Yahoo! Toyota 188   0 Running  
15 28 97 Shane van Gisbergen # WeatherTech Chevrolet 188   22 Running  
16 10 48 Parker Kligerman Spiked Lite Coolers Chevrolet 188   21 Running  
17 21 31 Parker Retzlaff FUNKAWAY Chevrolet 188   20 Running  
18 17 5 Anthony Alfredo Dude Mint Chill Chevrolet 188   19 Running  
19 19 27 Jeb Burton Hawkins Homes/Screaming Eagle Chevrolet 188   18 Running  
20 1 19 Ty Gibbs(i) He Gets Us Toyota 188 1 4 0 Running 1 48
21 18 44 Brennan Poole Macc Door Systems Chevrolet 188   16 Running  
22 16 51 Jeremy Clements All South Electric/One Stop Chevrolet 188   15 Running  
23 23 43 Ryan Ellis Classic Collision Chevrolet 188   14 Running  
24 26 11 Josh Williams Alloy Employer Services Chevrolet 187   13 Running  
25 25 42 Leland Honeyman # Hardscape Contractors Chevrolet 187   12 Running  
26 27 28 Kyle Sieg Reliable RV Parts and Service Ford 187   11 Running  
27 20 92 Ross Chastain(i) Use Your Melon Chevrolet 187   0 Running  
28 31 15 Hailie Deegan # AirBox Ford 187   9 Running  
29 22 38 Matt DiBenedetto Rema Ford 187   8 Running  
30 12 8 Sammy Smith Pilot Flying J Chevrolet 187   7 Running  
31 29 91 Kyle Weatherman DriveSmartWarranty.com Chevrolet 186   6 Running  
32 37 35 Logan Bearden Key Heating and Cooling Chevrolet 185   5 Running  
33 14 18 Sheldon Creed Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota 185   4 Running  
34 35 14 Chad Finchum Ted Russell Ford of Knoxville Ford 184   3 Running  
35 34 29 Blaine Perkins AutoParkit.com Ford 184   2 Running  
36 36 6 Garrett Smithley Trophy Tractor Chevrolet 183   1 Running  
37 32 4 Dawson Cram(i) Wilderness at the Smokies Chevrolet 183   0 Running  
38 33 07 Patrick Emerling 70 Acre Farm Motorsports Chevrolet 183   1 Running  

Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 57 Mins, 36 Secs. Average Speed: 127.571 MPH Margin of Victory: 0.366 Seconds

Stage 1 Top 10: 19, 16, 9, 00, 7, 30, 98, 20, 81, 39
Stage 2 Top 10: 20, 16, 00, 19, 81, 30, 2, 9, 7, 98

Failed to Qualify: (1) 74 Jade Buford.

Caution Flags: 3 for 17 laps; Laps: 47-51 (Stage 1 Conclusion [91]); 92-97 (Stage 2 Conclusion [15]); 137-142 (Nos. 19, 7, 81, Incident Turn 4 [38]).

Lead Changes: 4 among 3 drivers; T. Gibbs(i) 1-48; C. Custer 49-70; J. Nemechek(i) 71-100; C. Custer 101-142; J. Nemechek(i) 143-188.

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

Next Race: July 6, 2024 - Chicago Street Race

NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications @ P.O. Box 2875, Daytona Beach, FL 32120-2875

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