NASCAR Xfinity Series

Cole Custer wins Portland in chaotic ending

2 Mins read
Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images

Sheldon Creed just cannot catch a break.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series sophomore was hoping to finally get to Victory Lane and appeared to be in prime position to do so when he won his first career pole for Saturday’s Portland International Raceway event, a track where he previously excelled in Stadium Super Trucks. Unfortunately for him, every other contender had the same idea.

After surviving a clash with John Hunter Nemechek in which the latter spun Creed at the end of Stage #2 before he returned the favour the next leg, he chased down Justin Allgaier before Riley Herbst‘s car caught fire in the final three laps to set up overtime. As Creed and Allgaier entered the first chicane on the ensuing restart, Parker Kligerman attempted to create a third line along the inside, but inadvertently caused the three to stack up together and send Allgaier and Creed off course.

“I went for it,” said Kligerman. “It was the correct move to make to win. Just mis-timed.”

Cole Custer, who was running behind the trio, snuck by to assume the lead. Allgaier tried to catch up, but could not find a clean overtaking opportunity as Custer beat him to the finish. The victory is Custer’s first since being demoted to the Xfinity Series from Cup.

“I saw them drive in there so deep, and I did the same thing like two restarts ago,” remarked Custer. “I’m just so happy. I’ve never won a road course race before. I’ve been so close, so many times. It’s just awesome to win this.”

Creed and Nemechek conversed about their clashes after the race, which ended on amicable terms. On the other hand, tensions between Nemechek and team-mate Sammy Smith lingered after the two tangled, though any matter between the two will likely be settled in the team meeting. The same could not be said for Jeb Burton, who argued with Chandler Smith regarding Smith nearly turning him in turn one with four laps remaining until a Kaulig Racing crewman put Burton in a headlock.

While the aforementioned have plenty of reason to leave Portland as angry drivers, others like Connor Mosack were probably more happy as he secured his first career top ten.

Brad Pérez replaced Leland Honeyman after twenty laps as the latter was dealing with food poisoning. Pérez had started the race as a crew member for their team and finished twenty-eigth.

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverTeamManufacturerLapsStatus
1200Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord77Running
257Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet77Running
3361Sam MayerJR MotorsportsChevrolet77Running
438Josh BerryJR MotorsportsChevrolet77Running
5821Austin HillRichard Childress RacingChevrolet77Running
6919Myatt SniderJoe Gibbs RacingToyota77Running
712Sheldon CreedRichard Childress RacingChevrolet77Running
81124Connor MosackSam Hunt RacingToyota77Running
9716Chandler SmithKaulig RacingChevrolet77Running
10420John Hunter NemechekJoe Gibbs RacingToyota77Running
111591Alex LabbéDGM RacingChevrolet77Running
121925Brett MoffittAM RacingFord77Running
13379Brandon JonesJR MotorsportsChevrolet77Running
141448Parker KligermanBig Machine Racing TeamChevrolet77Running
152702Blaine PerkinsOur MotorsportsChevrolet77Running
162892Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet77Running
172331Parker RetzlaffJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet77Running
182439Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord77Running
193145Jeffrey EarnhardtAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet77Running
202953Patrick EmerlingEmerling-Gase MotorsportsChevrolet77Running
211778Anthony AlfredoB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet77Running
222051Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet77Running
233338Joe Graf Jr.RSS RacingFord77Running
24354Garrett SmithleyJD MotorsportsChevrolet77Running
251327Jeb BurtonJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet77Running
261826Kaz GralaSam Hunt RacingToyota77Running
27610Jordan Taylor*Kaulig RacingChevrolet77Running
282143Leland Honeyman/Brad Pérez ^Alpha Prime RacingChevrolet76Accident
292244Dylan LuptonAlpha Prime RacingChevrolet76Running
301618Sammy SmithJoe Gibbs RacingToyota75Running
312508Preston PardusSS-Green Light RacingFord72Running
321298Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord65Engine
331011Daniel HemricKaulig RacingChevrolet47Running
343028Kyle SiegRSS RacingFord46Rear Gear
353235Parker ChaseEmerling-Gase MotorsportsToyota36Tie Rod
363466Mason Maggio*MBM MotorsportsToyota28Transmission
373807Stefan ParsonsSS-Green Light RacingChevrolet17Overheating
38266Brennan PooleJD MotorsportsChevrolet15Accident
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
^ – Pérez replaced Honeyman mid-race; Honeyman is credited with the finish
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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