Ross Chas­tain earns first Xfin­ity win, hold­ing off All­gaier

Times Colonist - - Sports -

LAS VE­GAS — Ross Chas­tain held off Justin All­gaier for his first NASCAR Xfin­ity Se­ries vic­tory on Satur­day, pulling away on the fi­nal restart for a long-awaited break­through in his 132nd se­ries start.

Chas­tain led 180 of the 200 laps, but had to dig in on sev­eral restarts to stay in front of All­gaier, the reg­u­lar-season Xfin­ity cham­pion.

Just two weeks af­ter Chas­tain, 25, had a much-pub­li­cized dustup with Cup se­ries star Kevin Har­vick when the driv­ers hit each other at Dar­ling­ton, he earned a dif­fi­cult vic­tory at Las Ve­gas.

“I’m just a wa­ter­melon farmer from Florida,” said Chas­tain, who in­deed worked on his fam­ily’s wa­ter­melon farm un­til his teens. “I’m not sup­posed to do that! Man, that’s a tes­ta­ment that any­thing in life is pos­si­ble.”

Chas­tain swept all three stages in the sec­ond start of his three­r­ace con­tract with Chip Ganassi Rac­ing Chevro­let, per­se­ver­ing each time the ac­tion slowed in the wreck-filled race.

Cole Custer was third, fol­lowed by Christo­pher Bell and Elliott Sadler.

Vi­o­lent wrecks dom­i­nated much of the ac­tion. Matt Tifft spun with­out con­tact on the 64th lap and wrecked Ryan Reed, with both cars go­ing hard into the wall.

“That was a tough one,” Reed said. “Knocked the wind out of me pretty bad. The right side is all banged up. I am all good. Noth­ing bro­ken or any­thing. I will just be sore to­mor­row.”

The race also had two wrecks in the fi­nal 25 laps, de­lay­ing the fin­ish sig­nif­i­cantly. Chase Briscoe hit the in­side wall of the back stretch and went air­borne while spin­ning af­ter a se­quence of three­wide rac­ing along­side Tyler Red­dick, who hit him. Briscoe safely got out of his flam­ing car.

All­gaier clinched the over­all reg­u­lar-season se­ries ti­tle dur­ing the sec­ond stage in his JR Mo­tor­sports Chevro­let, com­plet­ing an im­pres­sive sec­ond-half surge.

The play­offs be­gin next week at Rich­mond.

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