Xfinity Championship: No wins? No problem!

Your first race win ever, and it's for a championship.  

Can you imagine? 

Daniel Hemric nailed the backflip Saturday night.  He also nailed the championship without ever winning a race all year.   

The four contenders for the Xfinity championship were Austin Cindric, Daniel Hemric, AJ Allmendinger and Noah Gragson. The man who hasn't ever won an Xfinity race, or any other NASCAR race, won on Saturday. In overtime. 

At the start of the race, fellow Championship contender Austin Cindric sits on the pole. Besides him and Hemric, the other two finalists vying to win here in Phoenix are AJ Allmendinger and Noah Gragson. 

Cindric jumps out to an early lead after a brief John Hunter Nemechek surge. The future driver of the Penske No. 22 wins the first stage, with Hemric close behind.  The No. 18 car is told it was faster in the last 10 laps, but cannot quite snag the stage win. Gragson finishes fifth for the stage and Allmendinger gets seventh. 

Starting Stage 2, Hemric gains a lap off of pit road, with Cindric and Gragson falling behind him.  As the first caution of the night is called when Jeffrey Earnhardt spins out and then exits the car for the end of his night and season, Nemechek grabs the lead. Hemric takes it back a few seconds before the stage ends. Cindric finishes second, Gragson fifth, and Allmendinger sixth.   

On Lap 96, Gragson drops to 10th after a slow stop.  Hemric restarts on the outside, but almost immediately there's another caution, this time for Joe Graf Jr. who has smacked an outside wall hard and also has to exit the race. On Lap 125, after another caution, Cindric leads, Hemric is close behind. Cindric continues to lead the pack when on Lap 154, Nemechek moves to second. Hemric is now in third. Allmendinger tells his crew chief that the "rear's gone." At Lap 160, Allmendinger is still struggling and now thinks he has a vibration. And it gets worse: on Lap 183, he goes for a big spin. 

Lap 189 sees the race leaders pitting. Gragson and Hemric make some minor contact, and then a caution comes out for Jeb Burton. The race restarts with only nine laps to go. Cindric is still leading, with Hemric in second. Gragson is third, but kisses the wall. Again, a caution comes out further back in the pack, and NASCAR cleans the track. The race goes to overtime. 

The final lap is number 204. Cindric is in front on the outside, Hemric is behind him but it quickly goes side to side.  This is Hemric's chance, and he makes contact with Cindric to pull ahead and win what is probably the most exciting race of his career, by just 0.03 seconds. 

“I’d take all the heartbreaks again to live this moment,” Hemric said after his huge burnout, referencing his many near-wins this season that were often marred by something out of his control ruining the day.

Congratulations to our 2021 Xfinity Series Champion, Daniel Hemric.
Xfinity Championship: No wins? No problem! Xfinity Championship: No wins? No problem! Reviewed by laweez on Sunday, November 07, 2021 Rating: 5