Chandler Smith Secures a Dominant Win at Phoenix Raceway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series

Written by Adrian Beecher

Phoenix Raceway was the scene of exhilarating racing action as Chandler Smith, piloting the No. 81 QuickTie Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, clinched an impressive victory at the Every Dig. Every Time. 200. This win marks a significant milestone in Smith’s career, being his second in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and his first victory of the 2024 season. His performance at Phoenix has been consistently strong, with this race being his third top-10 finish at the venue in as many starts.

The event stretched over 205 laps on the one-mile track, with Smith commanding the race for 88 laps. Jesse Love, a newcomer driving the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet, also made headlines by finishing second, achieving his first top-10 placement in the series and at this track.

Adding to the podium finishers was Sheldon Creed in the No. 18 Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota, who secured third place, continuing his streak of strong performances with his fifth top-10 finish in six starts at Phoenix.

The race was characterized by multiple strategic interruptions, with six cautions that significantly impacted the race’s dynamics. A particularly dramatic moment was a multi-car collision on the backstretch that necessitated a red flag, halting the race for over 11 minutes.

As the race neared its conclusion, the intensity on the track surged. Smith navigated through a closely fought battle with Cole Custer, ultimately regaining the lead and securing his victory. Custer, who also showcased a commendable performance, ended up finishing in fourth place, contributing essential points to his season’s standings.

The day was not without its setbacks for some notable competitors. Justin Allgaier and John Hunter Nemechek both experienced mishaps that led to their early withdrawal from the race.

With this victory, Chandler Smith moves to the forefront of the point standings, edging past Austin Hill by a mere point. The 2024 season of the NASCAR Xfinity Series is shaping up to be fiercely competitive, as drivers challenge each other in pursuit of the coveted championship.

The excitement of the NASCAR Xfinity Series is set to continue at the Circuit of The Americas, where the drivers will face the unique challenges of a road course in their next outing. The series promises more thrilling races and strategic depth as the season unfolds, keeping fans on the edge of their seats.

Image Credit: AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 09: Chandler Smith, driver of the #81 QuickTie Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Call Every Dig. Every Time. 200 at Phoenix Raceway on March 09, 2024 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

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