Chandler Smith wins the Toyota Care 250 at Richmond

                                                             Photo by Carol D'Agostino for Skirts and Scuffs
Richmond Raceway is known for its action-packed long green flag runs, but the fans watching the ToyotaCare 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series race were treated to a little bit of everything, including milestones, two familiar faces, and even a memorable rear bumper cover toss.

In the end it was Joe Gibbs Racing driver Chandler Smith who ultimately won the race, his second of the 2024 season. It was Smith’s third career Xfinity Series victory and his second at Richmond Raceway. Last year’s spring race marked his first win in the Xfinity Series.

Smith led the second most laps with 76 laps and also led a 1-2-3 sweep for Joe Gibbs Racing with Aric Almirola, finishing second and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series driver Taylor Gray, making his Xfinity Series debut, finishing third.

A jubilant Smith addressed the Media Center explaining why Richmond Raceway has always been his favorite track. “Even as a kid I’ve always loved Richmond,” said Smith. “This track more than any other track we go to is the closest thing to traditional grass roots racing,” he added.

Ironically, Almirola started the race in the number 10 position, the car number he ran in NASCAR Cup Series for Stewart-Haas Racing. Almirola led the most laps with 95, and won stages one and two.

In addition to Almirola, former NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Cup Series driver Matt DiBenedetto made his first 2024 Xfinity Series appearance. DiBenedetto, driving the No. 38 for Viking Motorsports, finished in 18th place. Both Almirola and DiBenedetto will make a handful of appearances this year in the Xfinity Series.

Also making his debut NASCAR Xfinity Series debut at Richmond was late model standout Bubba Pollard, who was behind the wheel of the No. 88 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. Pollard finished sixth.

Not to be upstaged was full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Parker Retzlaff who earned his first career pole. Retzlaff finished in 16th.

One of the strangest moments of the race came at Lap 174 when the No. 38 car of Joey Gase collided with the No. 33 car of Dawson Cram. During the caution, a frustrated Gase ripped off the rear deck bumper cover of his car and threw it on to the hood of Cram’s car as it passed by. If you missed the toss, don’t worry, it made the highlights.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series rolls into Martinsville Speedway with Smith leading the driver’s standings 10 points ahead of Austin Hill. The DUDE Wipes 250 will race under the lights next Saturday, April 6th at 7:30 p.m.

                                                                Photo by Carol D'Agostino for Skirts and Scuffs

Chandler Smith wins the Toyota Care 250 at Richmond Chandler Smith wins the Toyota Care 250 at Richmond Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Saturday, March 30, 2024 Rating: 5