‘It is superior’: Smith, 18, wins Xfinity Collection race

AVONDALE, Ariz. — Sammy Smith gained the Xfinity Collection race at Phoenix Raceway on Saturday, the primary victory for the 18-year-old highschool scholar who’s taking courses on-line so he could be a full-time driver.

Making his thirteenth begin previously two years for Joe Gibbs Racing, Smith led the ultimate 52 laps and held off Cup Collection star Kyle Busch on two restarts to take the checkered flag for the primary time in a NASCAR nationwide sequence occasion.

“It is wonderful. It is a dream come true,” Smith stated. “It is superior.”

Ryan Truex completed second, adopted by Sheldon Creed, Riley Herbst and Chandler Smith. Busch was second following a closing restart with 15 laps to go, however he made contact with Chandler Smith on the ultimate lap and ended up ninth.

Sammy Smith put JGR in Victory Lane in Phoenix for the sixteenth time within the second-tier sequence and for the sixth consecutive yr — with six completely different drivers. Christopher Bell (2018), Busch (2019), Brandon Jones (2020), Daniel Hemric (2021) and Ty Gibbs (2022) beforehand celebrated on the mile-long observe within the desert.

Smith additionally grew to become the youngest Xfinity Collection winner at Phoenix. He did so with seemingly relative ease, main 92 of 200 laps within the United Leases 200 and never dealing with any vital challenges down the stretch.

Busch briefly handed him following a restart with 24 laps to go, however Smith went proper again by for good.

After driving 9 races for Gibbs final yr, Smith is now operating a full slate for JGR. He had to surrender his senior yr of highschool to make it occur.

Additionally within the occasion, Justin Allgaier failed to increase his streak of top-three finishes. The JR Motorsports driver crashed with 22 laps remaining when he made contact with Kaz Grala and slammed into the skin wall. He completed thirty sixth in a 38-car subject.

It was a disappointing ending for Allgaier, who gained the primary two phases of the race. He additionally had completed third or higher in 4 consecutive Xfinity Collection races. He was third within the 2022 season finale at Phoenix, third within the 2023 opener at Daytona, third at Fontana and second final week at Vegas.

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