Chandler Smith was in the right spot at the right time when the leader wrecked in the closing laps and had a great overtime restart to earn his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win with Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) on Saturday evening at Phoenix Raceway. Smith had a strong car throughout – winning the first stage and leading 88 (of 205) laps. With the win, Smith took over the points lead.

Smith’s JGR teammate, Sheldon Creed also bounced back with a strong third-place finish to score his third top-five in four races this season.

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Phoenix Raceway

Race 4 of 33 – 200 miles, 200 laps



2nd, Jesse Love*


4th, Austin Hill*

5th, Cole Custer*




*non-Toyota driver


CHANDLER SMITH, No. 81 QuickTie Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 1st

What was going through your mind when you saw that issue and what was going through your mind on that final restart?

“I truly hate it for them, honestly. They had it in the bag. For something like that to happen, it’s mentally tough. I’ve been in that position myself. All glory to God. Without him, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be with Joe Gibbs Racing, my Toyota family. First win back together. That’s great. It has a great ring to it. Our No. 81 Quick Tie Products Toyota GR Supra was definitely as fast as Xfinity Internet today. I needed a little bit there at the end, but I got some good notes to come back with. Hopefully, we can repeat this in the fall when we are running for the championship.”

What was the key getting the race win today?

“First off, all glory to God. Without him, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I wouldn’t have a beautiful wife at home with amazing kids he’s blessed us with. They are my everything, my whole world. I can’t wait to get back home to you. I can’t wait to see you tonight. What a day. Went from dominating, to wasn’t great to dominating again to wasn’t great again. Just lacked a little bit on the 7 (Justin Allgaier). I hate that happened to him. He definitely had that in the bag, so I definitely hate that for them. Our car was definitely as fast as Xfinity 10G today, and I’m so proud of everyone back at Joe Gibbs Racing. It is good to finally get this first one off my back with these guys, so let’s keep racking them up.”

SHELDON CREED, No. 18 Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 3rd

What more did you need there in the end?

“I tried to get a good restart. If I could have stayed outside of the 81 (Chandler Smith) that would alright. Restart was okay out of the box, and then I don’t know – the distance, or whatever, I was starting to bleed really bad at the end of that green flag run. Just really struggled with grip there. Needed all four tires to fire there, but a top-five after starting in the back, that’s not something to be too upset about. Just need to be a little better to be able to contend all day.”

JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 20 Safeway/Albertson’s Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 32nd

What happened out there?

“I don’t know. There was a little bit of contact. Next thing I know, I was sideways. Part of it.”

Are you angry or if it’s not the series you run in, it takes some of the emotion out it?

“I’m sure we will have good conversations on Monday about the whole situation, and whatnot, but now that I’m out, the only goal was to go win. Now the focus is on tomorrow. We have a really good No. 42 Toyota Camry XSE. I’ve got to figure out how to drive from 19th to the front.”

Toyota Racing PR