Aric Almirola dominated most of the Martinsville NASCAR Xfinity Series race, and made a pass on the final restart to score his first Toyota victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Almirola, who also claimed the Dash 4 Cash bonus, led 148 of the 251 laps.

It was another stellar day for Joe Gibbs Racing as Chandler Smith finished third and Sheldon Creed was sixth. Both Smith and Creed are eligible for the Dash 4 Cash bonus at Texas Motor Speedway.

Smith, who is the only driver to finish inside the top-10 in every NASCAR Xfinity Series race this season, leads the point standings by 35 over Cole Custer.

Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Martinsville Speedway

Race 7 of 33 – 131.5 miles, 250 laps



2nd, Sam Mayer*


4th, Carson Kvapil*

5th, Justin Allgaier*




*non-Toyota driver


ARIC ALMIROLA, No. 20 He Gets Us Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

Finishing Position: 1st

Can you describe that late race restart and getting the lead back?

“The handling of our car went away. I was just kind of holding on there in the end. Our car did not like cycled tires. We had damage on the front and once we got that damage, I felt like oh, no we are out of it – and we weren’t. The car was still decent, and I was able to manage what I had. Just really thankful to Coach (Joe Gibbs) for giving me this opportunity to come back and race for him, and to do it for this organization – all of these people at Joe Gibbs Racing. It is really awesome to come and play, and that is what I really get to do – I get to play, and not a lot of people get to do that and finish their career like that. Just really humbled. Really thankful to Coach, and everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing. Our Toyotas are really fast – any one of our cars can win on any given weekend. I’m just really thankful for the He Gets Us ministry and all of those people to give me this opportunity to semi-retire and still get to come out and race and win.”

How much pressure was there to win and how important was it to find victory lane?

“It was really important. Everybody just automatically assumes that you are going to win. With all the experience in Cup, and going to Xfinity, everybody assumes – Cup veteran, getting in the best cars in the garage – he’s going to win. That is a lot of pressure, so just thankful to be able to do that and kind of get that checkmark, and to be able to do it at Martinsville – a place I absolutely love.”

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

Finishing Position: 3rd

How did you get up there to battle for the win?

“It was really wild. I definitely had the good Lord looking down on me tonight – just helping me guide through all of that traffic there. There was a point with that big pileup where the 9 (Brandon Jones) missed a shift – I was going to take the top, and I ended up taking the bottom and that could have ended our night right there. Just really, really proud of everybody at Joe Gibbs Racing. All of the men and women that put this thing back together last night working through the hours of the night. We had a really fast no. 81 Wheelers Toyota GR Supra. Just got a little behind on my adjustments there in the end, but we have really good notes for when we come back in the fall.”

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

Finishing Position: 6th

How was your race?

“Overall – good night for us. Good qualifying. Really fast at times. Struggled a little bit with balance at times, but overall – able to run pretty much top-three all night, so that was nice, and just to be able to go and learn. That is the first night I felt like I was really comfortable in the car. Just a good day to build off of, and now we kind of know what we need to work on when we come back and things that I like for the future.”

COREY HEIM, No. 26 GEARWRENCH Toyota GR Supra, Sam Hunt Racing

Finishing Position: 35th

What could you see?

“Not much. It looks like the 9 (Brandon Jones) missed a gear. I’m not sure what happened, but just ran into the back of him, and got ran into as well. That was it.”

What did you feel like you learned this weekend in the Xfinity car?

“Just got to qualify better on my part. I felt like we were actually pretty good, but just got taken out.”

What is the next Xfinity Series race for you?

“Next weekend at Texas. Super proud of everyone at Sam Hunt Racing and thank you to GEARWRENCH and everyone at Toyota Racing.”

Toyota Racing PR