KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — John Hunter Nemechek drove away from championship contender Daniel Hemric late in the race Saturday to earn his first Xfinity Series victory in a race that gave the playoffs a big shakeup.
An opening-lap crash involving four playoff drivers ultimately knocked Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier and Austin Cindric from the race. Cole Custer lost his power steering and was forced to make a series of repairs, leaving him several laps down and never in contention.
Hemric started on the pole and all that carnage happened right behind him. He wound up leading 128 laps as he chased his first Xfinity win, but was passed by Nemechek with about 30 laps to go.
Elliott Sadler improved his playoff chances in the opening race of the third round by finishing third. He was followed by Shane Lee and fellow contenders Tyler Reddick and Matt Tifft.