Jeremy Clements in the No. 51 Chevrolet wins his first career XFINITY Series race at Road America in the Jacksonville 180.
It was a thriller to the very end as the battle for victory ultimately came down to a pair of drivers who have never won a NASCAR XFINITY Series race. For Clements it has taken 256 career starts and is well deserved.
It came down to a classic showdown between Clements and Matt Tift in the final laps. Clements lost the lead with nine laps remaining as he tried to stretch his fuel consumption with the potential opportunity of catching a late race yellow caution flag, he relinquished his lead to Tift.
Clements headed into pit road where he exchanged all four Goodyear tires for fresh ones which allowed him to rocket back to the front of the field and challenge Tift in the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing car.
However, with only two laps remaining in the race, Clements and Tift made incidental contact which sent both drivers spinning as Clements was attempting to pass to retake the lead. Clements was absolutely fortunate, he was able to come out of the spin more quickly than Tift, he jumped back onto the track and took the lead in his No. 51 Chevrolet.
By gaining this victory Clements has now positioned himself to enter the 12 driver XFINITY Series playoffs later this Fall. It’s really amazing how a low budget small family funded driver can overcome adversity and take on a major team like Joe Gibbs head to head and come out on top. This is a win for all those who have a dream and believe they can accomplish and reach the unreachable star. Like Don Quixote, Clements impossible dream has come true at the age of 32.
James Davidson was the big winner in Stage 1, he lead nine of 10 laps and beat second place finisher Justin Marks by more than two seconds. Austin Cindric, Brennan Poole and Justin Allgaier rounded off the top five finishers.
In Stage 2, Daniel Hemric overtook the lead from Elliot Sadler on a restart following a Lap 14 yellow caution flag. Hemric then continued his dominance in the final 10 laps to win the stage unchallenged.
Next week NASCAR XFINITY Series will move on to Darlington Raceway for the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW 200 on Saturday September 2nd at 3:30 PM eastern time. All the exciting racing action can be followed on NBCSN, MRN radio and streaming on NBC Sports.