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Everything That Happened in the Xfinity Race At Nashville

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What’s Happening?

It’s that time of the week again: time to go NASCAR Xfinity Series racing, this time in the Music City of Nashville, Tennessee. The weather in central Tennessee today is hot at nearly 100 degrees, meaning slick track conditions and brutal in-car temperatures. How did the drivers navigate these severe conditions? Who was strong early? Who faltered late? Which driver was consistent all day long? Let’s talk about it. Here’s everything that happened in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Nashville Superspeedway.

Things To Note:

  • Sweeping the front row of today’s race were the two most recent Xfinity Series champions, Ty Gibbs (polesitter) and Cole Custer. Noah Gragson (in the number 30 Ford), John Hunter Nemechek (driving the JGR 20), Tyler Reddick (in the Sam Hunt Racing 26), and Ross Chastain (driving the number 92 Chevy) were amongst the trophy hunters dipping down from the Cup Series in the race.
  • Something to keep an eye on was whether or not Ford could finally break through and get their first win of the season. Thus far in 2024, Ford has gone winless. At 18 races, this is the longest winless streak to start a season in 35 years for the manufacturer. With Cole Custer on the front row, it was interesting to see if he could deliver in a big way for Team Blue Oval.
  • A majority of NASCAR fans are not in the slightest fans of Toyota and/or Joe Gibbs Racing. So for them, this race was a tough one to watch as this whole race was dominated by JGR drivers. Surprisingly mute today were the JRM Chevy drivers meaning that the legion that is Junior Nation went away from this one massively disappointed.

The Finish

To start the final stage, John Hunter Nemechek checked out with the lead. That was until Lap 102 which saw Cole Custer run him down and pass him down on the apron at the start-finish line. Custer managed to pull away from J. H. N. who seemed to be losing pace. Eventually, the number 20 was passed by A. J. Allmendinger. Slowly, the 16 started to reel in the 00.

As talks were getting serious about green flag pit stops, we got our first caution of the day for incident. The incident came with under 60 laps to go and was the logical outcome from a very intense battle for 4th. Justin Allgaier, carrying a ton of momentum into turn 4, got into the back of the 19 of Ty Gibbs. Gibbs spun around and made light contact with the outside wall from the car’s rear.

The game appeared to change during pit stops under caution. A. J. Allmendinger who came in 2nd lost 7 positions on pit road, putting him back in the 9th position. Custer won the race off pit road with John Hunter Nemechek and his JGR teammate Chandler Smith following closely behind. Meanwhile, experiencing electrical issues, Justin Allgaier elected to pit in order to change the battery of his number 7 Hellmann’s Chevy.

The race restarted with 46 laps to go. Initially, Cole Custer cleared Nemechek for the lead but he washed up the track with some kind of issue. Nemechek passed him to regain the lead as Custer faded down to 5th. The battle for the lead was then between the 20 and the 81 of Chandler Smith. The race stabilized from there until the 20 of John Hunter Nemechek picked up some debris on his grill with 31 laps to go. Luckily for him, he was able to catch the tail-end of the field. The suction off the rear bumper of the lapped number 07 was enough to clear the plastic bottle from his grill.

Nemechek was able to extend his lead to almost a full second with 20 laps to go. Charging late inside 10 to go was Jesse Love from 3rd. But, at over 9 seconds behind the leader and with laps winding down, there was no way he was going to win this race without a caution.

With little fanfare, John Hunter Nemechek went on to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. Congratulations to him and that entire number 20 Joe Gibbs Racing team. It was his second win on the year after winning earlier this season at Las Vegas.

The Layout

The stage breakdown for this race was as follows:

  • Stage 1: 45-Laps
  • Stage 2: 45-Laps
  • Stage 3: 98-Laps

There were a number of high-profile drivers who were forced to start this race in the back. Per Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports, those drivers were:

  • #2 of Jesse Love
  • #18 of Sheldon Creed
  • #21 of Austin Hill
  • #27 of Jeb Burton
  • #29 of Blaine Perkins

Austin Hill was forced to go to the rear due to changing an alternator.

Gibbs Leads Every Lap, Wins Opening Stage

Unlike yesterday’s Craftsman Truck Series race, the Xfinity drivers raced with professionalism and were able to make it through the whole opening stage without so much as a single caution. Ty Gibbs, driving the number 19 Toyota Supra, was able to win the stage handedly. He pulled away from then-second place runner Cole Custer and never really looked back. About halfway through the opening stage, Custer was caught and subsequently passed by veteran A. J. Allmendinger in the Kaulig number 16. He then lost another position to Brandon Jones.

Drivers to watch in this opening stage (other than Gibbs) were Noah Gragson who finished the stage in 6th and Brandon Jones who wound up 3rd. Jones has shown flashes of speed throughout 2024 but has had some of the worst luck throughout the year. Did this mean that his luck was fixing to turn around in Music City?

Since Gibbs is collecting points in the NASCAR Cup Series, he was ineligible for stage points in this stage. Series regulars collecting points in this stage were A. J. Allmendinger (2nd), Brandon Jones (3rd), Cole Custer (4th), Justing Allgaier (5th), Riley Herbst (7th), Chandler Smith (9th), and Ryan Sieg (10th).

During pit stops following the stage, Ty Gibbs lost his lead, falling down to 4th. Cole Custer won the race off pit road with Brandon Jones coming out second. Also having a great pit stop was Riley Herbst who jumped up from 7th all the way to 3rd.

Stage 2

To start the opening stage, Cole Custer elected to choose the inside line. Jones elected to take the outside. The outside line was a little slow to start, giving the advantage to the inside lane. Cole Custer rocketed out to the lead and hot on his trail was the Stage 1 winner, Ty Gibbs. Riley Herbst started falling down to the bottom half of the top10 as he was dealing with his cool suit failing. Meanwhile, in-car temps were reported to be north of 125 degrees, meaning that Herbst was dealing with a lot of discomfort.

Up front, Cole Custer led at about a half a second over Ty Gibbs. The handling on Gibbs’ car as he encountered dirty air seemed to go away somewhat, leading to him being caught by John Hunter Nemechek and A. J. Allmendinger. On the 19th lap of the stage, Nemechek overtook Gibbs who then fell into the clutches of The Dinger. This constat battling allowed for Custer to stretch out his lead to 0.6 seconds and for Brandon Jones and Chandlers Smith to catch the battle for third. Gibbs eventually lost the position to Allmendinger.

Meanwhile, Nemechek set his sights on Cole Custer and the race for the lead was on. With 20 laps to go in Stage 2, J. H. N. passed Custer for the lead. He stretched that lead out to 2 seconds as Custer eventually was passed by A. J. Allmendinger for 2nd. Nemechek went on to win the stage, virtually uncontested.

This was J. H. N.’s first stage win of the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season. But, as with Gibbs, since he’s collecting points in the Cup Series, he was ineligible for stage points in this race. Regulars who earned points include A. J. Allmendinger (2nd), Cole Custer (3rd), Chandler Smith (5th), Jesse Love (7th), Brandon Jones (8th), Justin Allgier (9th), and Riley Herbst (10th).

Around The Garage

Allgaier Spins Gibbs

The only caution for incident today came at Lap 136 when Justin Allgaier got into the back of the 19 car of Ty Gibbs. Gibbs then spun around and made light contact with the outside wall in turns 3 and 4. Watch the incident again in the video below provided by NBC Sports.

Conclusion

That does it for our coverage of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Nashville Superspeedway. Daily Downforce readers: what did you think of this race? Was it exciting? A snoozefest? How’d your favorite driver do? Are you pleased with the winner or horribly disappointed? Let us know all your thoughts and concerns by commenting on all our social media platforms. Be sure to check back in here tomorrow at 3 PM EST for our coverage of the Cup Race in Nashville.

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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