Cole Custer wins NASCAR Xfinity race in Portland

Cole Custer wins NASCAR Xfinity race in Portland

Cole Custer took the lead following a late caution to earn his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of the year on the road track at Portland International Raceway.

Cole Custer won Saturday night’s Pacific Office Automation 147 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway when the dust, dirt, and grass cleared following a series of bumps and bruises that affected the entire field.

Custer edged Justin Allgaier by.142 seconds on Saturday to claim his 11th overall victory in the series in the No. 00 Haas Automation Ford. Custer took the lead on the overtime restart after a yellow for track debris with three laps remaining.

It was a clear day and around 80 degrees when the 75-lap race on the 12-turn road track north of Portland was completed on Saturday. It was the second time the Xfinity Series visited Portland. A.J. Allmendinger triumphed last year despite continuous downpours, finishing 2.879 seconds ahead of Myatt Snider.

Allgaier held the lead for the most of the third stage after winning the rain-delayed race in Charlotte last week in the No. 7 Brandt Chevrolet.

With a qualifying lap of 95.694 mph on Saturday morning, Sheldon Creed took the lead in the No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet. It was his first Xfinity Series pole of his professional career. Creed was eliminated from the race last year during the final stage due to a multi-car crash at Turn 1.

Sammy Smith’s No. 18 Toyota became locked in second gear, forcing him to pit after the first lap. Chandler Smith spun out and was forced to make an early pit stop after making contact with Connor Mosack on the opening lap.

On the 18th lap, the No. 07 Chevrolet of Stefan Parsons experienced engine failure, bringing out the first caution. Then, with caution, Daniel Hemric’s No. 11 Chevrolet caught fire. Hemric returned to the track after having his car fixed in order to assist him in getting ready for the Sonoma road course race next week.

The race’s points leader at the time of the caution, John Hunter Nemechek, took the lead, but Creed overtook him on the final turn to win the first stage.

In the second stage, with two laps remaining, Creed spun out after making contact with Nemechek, and Custer, who had come all the way from the back, overtook Nemechek to win the stage.

On the restart, though, Custer veered off course, and Allgaier took the lead to begin the last stage.

Riley Herbst’s engine caught fire with eight laps remaining, bringing out the caution. At the restart, Allgaier was in the lead, but Creed passed Custer and Parker Kligerman to take over second place.

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