FORT WORTH — He didn’t lead the most laps, but led the one that counted most.
Continuing a career-year in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, John Hunter Nemecheck captured his seventh victory of 2023 and the ninth of his career Saturday in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300.
“It is absolutely amazing what we’ve been able to accomplish so far this year and I don’t think we are done yet,” Nemechek said.
Nemechek assumed the lead with seven laps to go after chasing down race leaders Justin Allgaier and Parker Kligerman.
Kligerman, who is also having a career year with 8 Top-5 finishes, finished runner-up for the second time in his career.
Sammy Smith, Chandler Smith and polesitter Justin Allgaier, who led the most laps, rounded out the Top-5 finishers.
Playoff drivers made up the Top-8 finishing positions (Cole Custer in sixth, Austin Hill in seventh, and Sheldon Creed in eighth).
Brandon Jones was the highest finishing non-playoff driver in ninth. Brett Moffitt rounded out the Top-10.
In their series debuts, Daniel Dye and Layne Riggs finished 17th and 19th respectively.
Playoff driver Daniel Hemric was 24th after a late-race accident.
Other playoff drivers had issues including Josh Berry (27th), Jeb Burton (31st), and Sam Mayer, who crashed on lap 1 and finished last (38th).
In two weeks, the playoff field will shrink from 12 to eight drivers after the Charlotte Road Course event. Three drivers are locked into the next round (John Hunter Nemechek, Justin Allgaier, and Cole Custer).
The rest of the grid is as follows: Austin Hill (+44 points), Chandler Smith (+32), Sammy Smith (+18), Sheldon Creed (+9), Daniel Hemric (+1), Parker Kligerman (-1), Jeb Burton (-19), Josh Berry (-27), Sam Mayer (-34).
The race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 7.
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.