This past weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) headed back out west to ISM Raceway for the running of the iK9 Service Dog 300. The 1 mile, newly reconfigured, relatively high-speed track just outside Phoenix proved to be a race of attrition.
Ross Chastain, driver of the No. 4 EZ Angus Ranch/RM Parks Inc. Chevrolet Camaro SS, started the day off with a 16th place run in Qualifying. For the majority of the race, he positioned himself within the Top 15 positions, occasionally breaking into the Top 10 at some points in the race. It was an “under the radar” type of day for the No. 4 team, solid nonetheless. At the end of the day, Ross came home with a respectable 17th place finish. He currently sits comfortably in the 11th spot in the points standings.
BJ McLeod, driver of the No. 15 Camaro SS, started in the 25th position, and raced consistently in the Top 25 for most of the afternoon. On the last pit stop, veteran crew chief Wayne Carroll made a chassis adjustment that helped McLeod pick up some spots late in the race. At the end of the day, the No. 15 crew came home with a solid 21st place finish, helping McLeod jump to 21st in the season standings.
Garrett Smithley, driver of the No. 0 Camaro SS, picked up the most positions out of the JD Motorsports crew after starting from the 28th position. Smithley ran a mostly conservative campaign, running around the 25th spot for the bulk of the race. However, when it came to the last stage, he was able to position himself near the Top 20, ultimately coming home with a 22nd place finish. This was Smithley’s fourth Top 25 result of the season, and he currently sits 17th in the season standings.
Unfortunately, the of bad luck for Stephen Leicht didn’t come to an end in the desert. Leicht, driver of the No. 01 Camaro SS, was having his best run of the season by a considerable margin early on. He managed to stay on the lead lap for the most part of the race, sitting comfortably in the 19th position, until his engine grenaded on lap 129. The freak accident was enough to take himself out of the race, finishing in the 31st position. He currently sits in the 31st position in points as well, and certainly wants to turn his luck around next weekend in Fontana.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Sunny Southern California with the running of the Production Alliance Group 300 at the Auto Club Speedway on Saturday, March 16th. This will be the third and final leg of the West Coast Swing, so be sure to tune in to FOX Sports 1 to watch live coverage at 5:00 PM Eastern Time (2:00 PM local).
11th. Ross Chastain (43 behind leader)
17th. Garrett Smithley (-102)
21st. BJ McLeod (-113)
31st. Stephen Leicht (-140)