FORT WORTH, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — All four spots in the championship round of the NASCAR Xfinity Series are still up for grabs after non-playoff qualifier John Hunter Nemechek overcame a late penalty Saturday to win at Texas Motor Speedway.
Nemechek won the first of three races in the round of eight, leaving the playoff drivers with two more races in the semifinals at Kansas and Martinsville.
"[Spotter] Stevie Reeves and [crew chief] Chris Gayle kept me calm. I've grown a lot as a driver and been put in positions like that in the truck series as well.
Man, I can't say enough about this whole team. The 54 has been fast every single week. My goal coming in was to win. I had to win to prove to myself I can do this."
Daniel Hemric led seven of the eight playoff qualifiers across the finish line next, taking second in the 117th race of his career without a victory.
"Congratulations to those guys," Hemric said. "We just weren't quite good enough."
The championship finale is in Phoenix.
(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
for more features.