Ty Gibbs knocked his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate John Hunter Nemechek out of the lead on the final lap to win his third NASCAR Xfinity Series race of the season.
Ty Gibbs knocked his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate John Hunter Nemechek out of the lead on the final lap to win the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway by 0.116 seconds over Nemechek.
The two JGR drivers dominated the afternoon, leading all but one of the 250 laps over the 0.75-mile track, which was the season’s first short-track test.
In the No. 18 JGR Toyota, Nemechek led the field for a race-high 135 laps and was close to the checkered flag when Gibbs ran into him, shoving Nemechek’s Toyota high up the track and then driving on for his series-best third win of the season and seventh of his young career.
19-year-old Gibbs had only led seven laps in his previous two triumphs (at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Atlanta Motor Speedway) this season. On Saturday, he was in front of 114.
“I definitely deserve one back but we‘re racing for wins and they are hard to come by so you have to take it,” said Gibbs, after climbing out of his No. 54 JGR Toyota.
“Short-track racing,” he added with a smile.
“Got our third win so want to keep it going. What a great car!”
“I deserve one back for sure but we‘re racing for wins and I‘ve got to do what I can to win.”
Nemechek, a second-generation driver who competes full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, hopped out of his car and smiled for the cameras, but the 24-year-old was plainly irritated with his colleague.
“Him and I will settle it one day,” Nemechek said.
“I don‘t want to say too much and get myself in trouble… Just got drove through… he didn‘t even try and make the corner there.”
“But racers never forget, that‘s for sure.”
Another youngster was also having a career day. Sam Mayer, 18, of JR Motorsports, not only finished third for the first time in his career, but he also won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash reward presented by series sponsor Xfinity.
“By the end of the day our Chevrolet Camaro was as fast as Xfinity internet, so that‘s a really good, feels-good moment for us and obviously, my career-best finish,” Mayer said.
“Unbelievable! This team definitely deserves it.”
The top four qualifying drivers from Saturday’s race in Richmond were Mayer, race winner Gibbs, fourth-place finisher AJ Allmendinger, and fifth-place finisher Riley Herbst — will now compete for the prize money at Martinsville Speedway next weekend.
Daniel Hemric, the defending series champion, had to be pleased with his Saturday results, even though he won’t be eligible for bonus money.
Josh Berry, Brandon Brown, Ryan Sieg, and Parker Retzlaff followed Hemric, who finished sixth after rallying from the back of the grid.
Noah Gragson was leading the points heading into the weekend, but his No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet had brake issues all afternoon and finished 21st, a lap down. He lost the championship lead as a result of his tragedy.
Allmendinger, the only driver to finish in the top ten in each of the seven races this season, currently leads Gibbs and Gragson by 20 points at the top of the standings.
The Call 811 Before You Dig 250 is the following race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Friday night (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Berry is the defending champion, having won the series for the first time in 2021.