Chandler Smith Secures Phoenix Xfinity Victory Following Allgaier’s Unexpected Departure

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Chandler Smith wins Phoenix Xfinity race after Allgaier’s shock exit

In Saturday’s race, Justin Allgaier seemed destined for victory, boasting a comfortable lead of more than two seconds over Chandler Smith. However, misfortune struck as a flat left-front tire sent Allgaier’s No. 7 Chevrolet crashing into the Turn wall with only five laps to go.

The unexpected turn of events led to a dramatic finish, with the race extending into a two-lap overtime. Smith capitalized on a strong start, fending off a determined Jesse Love by a mere 0.365 seconds to clinch the surprising win.

This triumph marks Smith’s second career victory and, notably, his first since joining Joe Gibbs Racing during the offseason. Reflecting on the race, Smith expressed a rollercoaster of emotions, acknowledging moments of dominance followed by setbacks yet ultimately seizing the opportunity for victory.

Chandler Smith Secures Phoenix Xfinity Victory Following Allgaier's Unexpected Departure
Chandler Smith (Credits: Speed Sport)

“I hate that happened to him,” Smith remarked regarding Allgaier’s unfortunate incident, acknowledging his competitor’s strong performance. “He definitely had it in the bag.”

Smith praised his team at Joe Gibbs Racing for their efforts, emphasizing the importance of securing this initial win with his new team and expressing determination to continue their success.

Smith’s teammate, Sheldon Creed, secured third place, followed by Austin Hill in fourth and Cole Custer in fifth.

The top 10 finishers included notable names such as three-time Supercars champion Shane van Gisbergen, Brandon Jones, Parker Kligerman, Sammy Smith, and Anthony Alfredo.

Stage 1 saw Chandler Smith dominate, leading all 45 laps and securing a commanding victory over Custer. Allgaier trailed in third place, with Aric Almirola and Riley Herbst rounding out the top five.

In Stage 2, Custer narrowly held off Allgaier’s late surge to claim victory by 0.457 seconds, marking his first stage win of the 2024 season. Almirola, Chandler Smith, and Herbst completed the top five positions.

As the race progressed into Stage 3, Custer led the pack with Allgaier and Herbst close behind. However, caution was prompted by debris on the track, which resulted from Hailie Deegan brushing against the wall. This led to a pit stop for all lead lap cars, with Custer emerging first off the pit road.

The final stage saw an intense battle unfold, marred by a multi-car wreck triggered by contact between Chandler Smith and John Hunter Nemechek. Despite the disruption, Allgaier maintained his lead until a devastating tire issue forced him into a spin, ultimately leading to Chandler Smith’s victory in overtime.

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