Joe Gibbs Racing teammates John Hunter Nemechek and Chandler Smith battled all Saturday afternoon for the Las Vegas Motor Speedway victory. The two drivers dominated the event by leading 173 of the 200 circuits. Unfortunately for the racing team, however, there could only be one winner.

Chandler Smith, driving the No. 81 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, started second on the leaderboard beside pole sitter Cole Custer while Nemechek, driving the No. 20 entry, started 12th. This allowed Smith to take the lead at the drop of the green flag. 

Smith led the opening 45 circuits to win stage one over Nemechek, Austin Hill, Riley Herbst, and Custer. 

Austin Hill, winner of the opener at Daytona and last week at Atlanta Motor Speedway, grabbed the lead coming off of pit road during pit stops at the end of stage one—marking the first change for the lead in the event.

Hill led a handful of laps until Nemechek took over the top spot shortly after stage two went green. On the white flag lap of stage two, Smith now was knocking on the back bumper of his teammate once again. Smith managed to pass Nemechek for the top spot to sweep both stages of the event with Nemechek, Herbst, Justin Allgaier, and AJ Allmendinger in tow.

On lap 96, with 104 to go, the green flag waved with Smith leading.

Nemechek and Smith again swapped the lead numerous times shortly after the green waved for the final stage. There was one hindrance, however, and that was fuel strategy and the need to make one more pit stop to reach the checkered flag. Teams started making green flag stops with Josh Williams staying out hoping for a caution. That caution did not come out and, once Williams came to pit road with 11 to go, that gave Nemechek the lead he needed.

Nemechek set sail from there to score his 10th trip to victory lane in the NASCAR XFINITY Series—scoring his 35th top-five and 63rd top-10.

Custer came home runner-up after starting on the pole. Chandler Smith, series points leader Austin Hill, and Riley Herbst rounded out the top-five.

Allmendinger took home sixth with Ryan Sieg, Sammy Smith, Brandon Jones, and Justin Allgaier following.

The NASCAR XFINITY Series heads next to Phoenix Raceway on March 9th. You can catch that event live on FS1 and MRN Radio at 4:30p ET.

Brett Winningham
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