Tuesday, April 23, 2024

John Hunter Nemechek bounces back from early wreck to win Michigan

John Hunter Nemechek‘s Cabo Wabo 250 at Michigan International Speedway began in disaster but ended in dominance. He and Joe Gibbs Racing team-mates Sammy Smith and Ty Gibbs all wrecked together just twelve laps into the race, but Nemechek was able to work his way back through the order to lead the most laps and secure his fifth win of the 2023 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

The accident occurred when Nemechek hit Gibbs’ rear as they exited turn two, with Smith running behind them. As Gibbs went sideways and Nemechek slid into the infield, Smith collided with Carson Hocevar which ended his day. Gibbs gestured at Nemechek in frustration, though he was able to continue the race.

“I have to apologise to Ty and the #19 team. I didn’t mean to get into him,” said Nemechek. “I’m the one that has been preaching about team-mates. It was my fault. I put him in a bad aero spot. It looked like he got loose and then I couldn’t checkup. Just chain reaction type of events, but it is my fault. I take the blame for that. We will move on from it. Him and I will have a discussion about it.”

Despite the incident, Nemechek did not fall a lap down and thus remained in contention. After spending the first stage trying to make up lost ground, he won Stage #2 ahead of Justin Allgaier.

Allgaier, who claimed Stage #1, was eventually taken out of contention after a pit crewman went over the wall too soon during a green-flag stop. With Allgaier no longer a threat, Nemechek dominated the final stage to win.

Besides his fifth triumph of the year, Nemechek also secured the 200th Xfinity win for JGR.

“It’s definitely special being able to win so many races for JGR in the Xfinity Series,” he continued. “I’m just the lucky guy that gets to hold the wheel of these fast Toyota GR Supras every single weekend. Super thankful, super grateful. All the glory to God. Getting 200 is sweet. We’ve been joking about it for the past few weeks, and after the past couple of weeks that we’ve had, we’ve definitely needed to rebound. This is a great rebound.”

Race results

Finish Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Status
1 10 20 John Hunter Nemechek Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 125 Running
2 1 8 Josh Berry JR Motorsports Chevrolet 125 Running
3 14 9 Brandon Jones JR Motorsports Chevrolet 125 Running
4 8 19 Ty Gibbs* Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 125 Running
5 4 1 Sam Mayer JR Motorsports Chevrolet 125 Running
6 5 98 Riley Herbst Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 125 Running
7 11 10 Ross Chastain* Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 125 Running
8 17 48 Parker Kligerman Big Machine Racing Team Chevrolet 125 Running
9 24 31 Parker Retzlaff Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet 125 Running
10 23 27 Jeb Burton Jordan Anderson Racing Chevrolet 125 Running
11 3 21 Austin Hill Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 125 Running
12 15 2 Sheldon Creed Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet 125 Running
13 22 39 Ryan Sieg RSS Racing Ford 125 Running
14 2 7 Justin Allgaier JR Motorsports Chevrolet 125 Running
15 16 11 Daniel Hemric Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 125 Running
16 13 00 Cole Custer Stewart-Haas Racing Ford 125 Running
17 12 25 Brett Moffitt AM Racing Ford 125 Running
18 18 78 Anthony Alfredo B.J. McLeod Motorsports Chevrolet 125 Running
19 21 28 Kyle Sieg RSS Racing Ford 125 Running
20 6 16 Chandler Smith Kaulig Racing Chevrolet 125 Running
21 25 26 Kaz Grala Sam Hunt Racing Toyota 124 Running
22 29 92 Josh Williams DGM Racing Chevrolet 124 Running
23 35 43 Ryan Ellis Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet 124 Running
24 34 45 Jeffrey Earnhardt Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet 124 Running
25 33 66 Sage Karam MBM Motorsports Ford 124 Running
26 27 51 Jeremy Clements Jeremy Clements Racing Chevrolet 124 Running
27 28 38 Joe Graf Jr. RSS Racing Ford 124 Running
28 32 74 Dawson Cram CHK Racing Chevrolet 124 Running
29 37 6 Brennan Poole JD Motorsports Chevrolet 123 Running
30 26 4 Garrett Smithley JD Motorsports Chevrolet 123 Running
31 30 07 Stefan Parsons SS-Green Light Racing Chevrolet 123 Running
32 7 77 Carson Hocevar* Spire Motorsports Chevrolet 123 Running
33 38 02 Blaine Perkins Our Motorsports Chevrolet 123 Running
34 36 35 Patrick Emerling Emerling-Gase Motorsports Ford 120 Running
35 20 91 Kyle Weatherman DGM Racing Chevrolet 91 Electrical
36 19 24 Connor Mosack Sam Hunt Racing Toyota 39 Accident
37 31 08 Mason Maggio* SS-Green Light Racing Ford 16 Accident
38 9 18 Sammy Smith Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota 11 Accident
DNQ 44 Mason Massey Alpha Prime Racing Chevrolet
DNQ 53 C.J. McLaughlin Emerling-Gase Motorsports Chevrolet
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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