TC Daily Pit Stop: Kyle Busch, John Hunter Nemechek Win in Auto Club's Final Day; Highlights from Doubleheader Sunday in California
TC Daily Pit Stop: Monday, February 27th, 2023
Photo Credit: Harold Hinson / HHP for Chevy Racing
Welcome to the newest era of Richard Childress Racing, ladies and gentlemen.
The organization, which has struggled to replicate the level of success it once found with Kevin Harvick, has taken its newest driver, two-time champion Kyle Busch, to victory lane in a historically significant event at Auto Club Speedway.
Driving the No. 8 Lucas Oil Chevrolet Camaro, Busch climbed through the pack rapidly in the opening laps of the event, from a 21st-place starting spot, only to be sent to the tail-end of the field again after a pit road penalty prior to the one-quarter mark of the event.
Having to climb back through the field, Busch was able to inherit the lead for the first time on lap 138, taking it over from Kevin Harvick – who made his 750th consecutive NASCAR Cup Series start in Sunday’s event.
Ultimately, a duel for the victory would come between Busch and Ross Chastain, who led a race-high 91 laps, with the Richard Childress Racing driver getting the advantage off of pit road for the final round of pit stops.
PC: Ben Earp | LAT Images | Courtesy of Toyota Racing
John Hunter Nemechek has helped to put a wonderful bow on the end of Auto Club Speedway’s time as a two-mile speedway in the ranks of NASCAR’s top-three series, after winning Sunday’s Production Alliance Group 300.
The 25-year-old was able to defend against a last-ditch charge from teammates Sam Mayer and Justin Allgaier, spinning his race-high 49 laps led into a victory in Sunday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event.
Nemechek, who embarks on his second full campaign in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season, was able to snatch the lead from Justin Allgaier in the midst of several late-race restarts, putting his No. 20 Vons-Albertsons Toyota GR Supra in the lead.
In the closing laps of what was a bizarre race from multiple different points of view, Nemechek was able to blast away from the pack, while Sam Mayer, still looking for his first career victory, jetted into second.
Oh. My. Goodness. 10 cars have damage after a wild stack-em-up pileup on a restart on Lap 87 of Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Pala Casino 400 at Auto Club Speedway.
It looked like the accident started when Christopher Bell, who had contact from behind, made contact with Ty Gibbs ahead of him, and Kevin Harvick ahead of Gibbs got hard onto the brakes to avoid hitting Chase Elliott in front of him.
As this chain reaction was happening on the outside lane, Todd Gilliland spun Ty Dillon on the inside lane. Before it was all done, a lot of twisted fenders and hurt feelings appeared.
There are probably about five people on the planet that could have made the caliber of save that Sheldon Creed was able to make in Sunday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Auto Club Speedway.
Creed, who was running inside the top-10 at the time of the incident, moved to the inside to defend against Josh Berry, but made the move too late, sending him careening toward the inside wall at a high-rate of speed.
After a sixth-place finish in the Daytona 500, AJ Allmendinger’s return to full-time competition in the NASCAR Cup Series hasn’t gotten off to an amazing start.
Driving the No. 16 for Kaulig Racing, Allmendinger was running inside the top-15 when contact from Ryan Blaney and Corey LaJoie, sent his Chevrolet Camaro spinning to the inside of the track, where it hit the inside wall.
Absolute heartbreak for Cole Custer, who was looking to repeat as the race winner of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Production Alliance Group 300 at Auto Club Speedway. Unfortunately, after winning Stages 1 and 2 in the No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford Mustang, a tire blew on Custer’s car on lap 91.
The cut tire sent Custer into the wall, and Austin Dillon had nowhere to go and piled into Custer.
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