Ty Gibbs was looking to win a NASCAR Xfinity Series road course race for the eighth time and second in a row on Saturday at Watkins Glen International, and things shaped up to be that way for 84 laps. Unfortunately, the race was 86 laps long.
Gibbs dominated the race from the pole as he led 70 laps and claimed both stages. A wreck that began when Justin Allgaier spun in front of the field with five laps remaining set up overtime, with Gibbs on the front row alongside Austin Hill. Although Gibbs had the early advantage, Sam Mayer tried to move his move on the inside entering turn one, resulting in contact that spun Gibbs.
Sheldon Creed, barely hanging on to the final playoff spot and seeking a win to clinch his place, snuck by to take the lead. Mayer chased down Creed before passing him shortly before the final lap and cruising the rest of the way. Interestingly, Mayer and Creed respectively finished 1–2 in the #1 and #2 cars, which last occurred at the Xfinity level in 1990 when Mark Martin and L.D. Ottinger did so at Myrtle Beach; Martin and Ottinger also accomplished it at Bristol the year prior.
The win is Mayer’s second of his Xfinity career, the first coming at another road course in Road America three rounds prior; he also finished second to Gibbs on the Indianapolis infield circuit. While Mayer stated the bump with Gibbs was incidental, the two had scuffled at Martinsville in April 2022 after overtime contact there.
“I wheel-hopped it,” began Mayer. “That’s unfortunate and I feel bad for doing that. Obviously, you don’t want to take out any car like that. Just trying to get another win in the Xfinity Series. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. I was in there, I put my nose in there and that’s part of it.
“That’s an accident, but I think everyone can agree it’s okay for an Xfinity Series regular to win this race.”
Gibbs, a Cup Series driver, sarcastically said one could “call it a racing incident” if a driver was to “race out of desperation like that and you wheel hop and clean the leader out.” With the spin, he finished seventeenth.
Although the main victim of Mayer’s move, Gibbs was not the only driver dissatisfied with the winner. Austin Hill restarted second alongside Gibbs before running wide in an attempt to avoid the spin, only to be spun himself amid a cloud of smoke. After finishing fourteenth, Hill said Mayer could “kiss my ass.”
Eleven drivers failed to finish the race, the most for an Xfinity event at Watkins Glen since twelve bowed out of the 2019 edition. Among the retirements were Max McLaughlin in his Xfinity début after crashing on lap 47 and Kyle Busch, the victim of a transmission failure.
|1||5||1||Sam Mayer||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|2||13||2||Sheldon Creed||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|3||14||48||Parker Kligerman||Big Machine Racing Team||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|4||17||91||Ross Chastain*||DGM Racing||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|5||19||24||Connor Mosack||Sam Hunt Racing||Toyota||86||Running|
|6||12||20||John Hunter Nemechek||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||86||Running|
|7||4||00||Cole Custer||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||86||Running|
|8||18||16||Chandler Smith||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|9||2||17||Alex Bowman*||Hendrick Motorsports||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|10||25||27||Jeb Burton||Jordan Anderson Racing||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|11||24||9||Brandon Jones||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|12||32||6||Brennan Poole||JD Motorsports||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|13||33||4||Kyle Weatherman||JD Motorsports||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|14||11||21||Austin Hill||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|15||21||45||Sage Karam||Alpha Prime Racing||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|16||3||7||Justin Allgaier||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|17||1||19||Ty Gibbs*||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||86||Running|
|18||9||18||Sammy Smith||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||86||Running|
|19||37||28||Kyle Sieg||RSS Racing||Ford||86||Running|
|20||7||8||Josh Berry||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||86||Running|
|21||26||39||Ryan Sieg||RSS Racing||Ford||86||Running|
|22||36||38||Joe Graf Jr.||RSS Racing||Ford||85||Running|
|23||6||11||Daniel Hemric||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||84||Running|
|24||22||08||Alex Labbé||SS-Green Light Racing||Chevrolet||83||Running|
|25||28||7||Josh Bilicki||JR Motorsports||Ford||83||Running|
|26||29||31||Parker Retzlaff #||Jordan Anderson Racing||Chevrolet||82||Running|
|27||8||10||Kyle Busch*||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||78||Transmission|
|28||15||26||Kaz Grala||Sam Hunt Racing||Toyota||78||Accident|
|29||20||25||Brett Moffitt||AM Racing||Ford||66||Suspension|
|30||35||43||Ryan Ellis||Alpha Prime Racing||Chevrolet||65||Running|
|31||27||78||Anthony Alfredo||B.J. McLeod Motorsports||Chevrolet||61||Axle|
|32||38||35||Stanton Barrett||Emerling-Gase Motorsports||Toyota||56||Suspension|
|33||23||44||Stefan Parsons||Alpha Prime Racing||Chevrolet||45||Brakes|
|34||31||96||Max McLaughlin||FRS Racing||Chevrolet||43||Accident|
|35||10||98||Riley Herbst||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||37||Suspension|
|36||34||92||Josh Williams||DGM Racing||Chevrolet||23||Accident|
|37||16||51||Jeremy Clements||Jeremy Clements Racing||Chevrolet||21||Suspension|
|38||30||02||Blaine Perkins||Our Motorsports||Chevrolet||11||Transmission|
|DNQ||53||Patrick Emerling||Emerling-Gase Motorsports||Chevrolet|
|DNQ||74||Casey Carden*||CHK Racing||Chevrolet|
* – Ineligible for points