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NASCAR Xfinity: Ross Chastain scores first win at Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV – SEPTEMBER 15: Ross Chastain, driver of the #42 DC Solar Chevrolet, poses withe trophy in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series DC Solar 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 15, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Ross Chastain, normally a driver for the underfunded JD Motorsports team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series recently got a three-race deal to drive the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet for three series races. He was impressive at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway a couple of races ago, leading a race-high 90 laps and winning two stages before a tangle with Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular Kevin Harvick. He bettered that performance Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, leading 180 of 200 laps, winning two stages, and then, claiming his first-career NASCAR Xfinity Series win.

“Holy cow. I’m just a watermelon farmer from Florida. I’m not supposed to do that,” Chastain said. “Man, that is a testament that anything in life is possible.”

Chastain will be in the No. 42 for the third race of his deal with CGR on Friday night at Richmond Raceway.

With the win, Chastain cemented his position in the 2018 Xfinity Series playoffs to begin at Richmond.

After finishing second to Chastain on Saturday, Justin Allgaier was crowned the regular-season champion after a regular season that included five race wins. Allgaier was the only driver other than Chastain to post double digits in the laps-led column at LVMS, running up front for 16 laps.

Allgaier battled with Chastain for the lead from a restart after a lap-124 caution through the remainder of the race. He was able to take the lead on lap 135 and lead significant laps until Chastain returned to the top on lap 149.

Cole Custer finished third, Christopher Bell was fourth, and Elliott Sadler rounded out the top-five. Custer led three laps. He started from the pole and led the first two laps before Chastain took over on lap 3. Custer also was credited with leading lap 12.

Daniel Hemric was the only other driver who led a lap. Hemric led a lap on a restart that followed a lap-65 caution, but he retired from the race after being involved in a multi-car crash on lap 189 that also involved Tyler Reddick, Shane Lee and Brandon Jones. The incident brought out the eighth and final caution of the race.

Other top-10 finishers included Ryan Preece in sixth, Brandon Jones in seventh, Ryan Truex eighth, Austin Cindric ninth and Spencer Gallagher rounded out the top-10

Allgaier, Bell, Reddick, Custer, Hemric, Sadler, Jones, Matt Tifft and Truex already had clinched nine of the 12 playoff berths prior to the DC Solar 300. Chastain, Ryan Reed and Cindric were in the three provisional advancing positions, and at the end of the race, the three officially claimed their playoff positions.

Reed wound up 35th in the race after being involved in a wreck on lap 65.

“That was a tough one,” Reed said. “Knocked the wind out of me pretty bad. The right side is all banged up. I am all good. Nothing broken or anything. I will just be sore tomorrow.”

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Posted by on September 16, 2018. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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