During the NASCAR XFINITY Series’ first weekend of racing without the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Jeremy Clements and his small, single-car team pulled off the insurmountable after taking on the giants and pulling off their first-ever win in 256 NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at Road America.
While the grandson of famed NASCAR owner and renowned engine builder Crawford Clements spends the majority of his days assisting in the development of high-performing race engines for other teams, the young driver had his chance to enjoy the sweet taste of victory following Sunday’s Johnsonville 180.
While 18-year-old Brad Keselowski Racing driver Austin Cindric led the 40-car field to the wave of the green flag at the Wisconsin road course, sports car standout James Davison would eventually take over the lead and the Stage 1 win.
Although the road course ringer showcased his dominance during the opening laps of this race, his luck ran out on the final lap of Stage 2 after his No. 20 Toyota tagged the retaining wall in turn 6 on Lap 19, forcing the Australian to the garage.
Following Cindric’s misfortune, Richard Childress Racing driver Daniel Hemric raced to a Stage 2 victory, but also found himself falling back in the field as the laps wound down in this 45-lap race.
From one large team to another, 21-year-old Joe Gibbs Racing driver Matt Tifft led six of the most important toward the end of the race – that is until Tifft, who was battling a loose car in the braking zones, was caught up in a spinning crash with race winner Clements on the second-to-last-lap of the Johnsonville 180.
The co-owner of Clements Racing would come back from this spin to seize the lead and the victory in the final go-around.
“This all feels like a dream,” said Clements, who started 24th in the 40-car field. “I was licking my chops. I couldn’t believe that the win was right there in my grasp and that we were able to pull this off.”
With his first-time win, the 32-year-old driver has earned a berth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs heading into NASCAR’s throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for all the latest in NASCAR news.