AVONDALE, ARIZ. — Landon Cassill closed out his first NASCAR Xfinity season racing for Kaulig Racing with a confident top-5 finish Saturday night at Phoenix Raceway.
Cassill finished fourth after finishing fifth in each stage. He started the day sixth after being 20th-fastest in practice.
“It was a solid race for us, I’m really happy to finish the season like this. We really didn’t post a fast lap in practice but after looking at the data, it gave me some optimism for what we had in the car,” Cassill reflected. “Qualifying sort of indicated that for me so I started the race with some level of confidence.”
“It was probably the best that Alex and I worked together,” he added.
With nine races to go, Cassill began working with crew chief Alex Yontz, who replaced Jason Trinchere. Although Cassill and Yantz missed the playoffs, the duo kept up the mentality of a playoff team and parlayed it into success at Phoenix.
“It’s huge [running well in Phoenix]. This race is going to be circled no matter what as long as I’m running for a team like this in the Xfinity Series and this is the championship race,” Cassill said. “We’re going to treat it like a championship race, even if we’re not in the Final 4. Everything from our preparation this week to maximizing pit road and everything.
“It [the top-5 finish] gives me a lot of confidence that if we were racing for a championship, we would’ve been there,” he stated.
Cassill ended 2022 with five top-5 finishes and 12 top-10s – all career-high marks – including two top-5s and three top-10s with Yontz.
“Alex and I have been getting along well and that gives us a lot to look forward to,” Cassill said. “It’s been up and down and we’ve had our moments. We didn’t end up with a championship or a race win but I feel like we’re close and we’re going to get there.”