Joining race winner Justin Allgaier in the Championship 4 round are his JR Motorsports teammate Sam Mayer, Hunter Nemechek and Cole Custer.
In addition to Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed, the other two drivers not advancing were Sammy Smith and Chandler Smith.
Richard Childress Racing drivers Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed each had an opportunity to advance into the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship four, but when the smoke cleared after the overtime finish in Saturday’s Dead On Tools 250 at Martinsville Speedway neither had made it into the title round.
Hill, who was wrecked by Creed in the first playoff race at Bristol, was furious after the teammate’s fender banging duel at Martinsville ended both of their championship hopes. However, instead of confronting Creed immediately after the event he was directed to the infield care center due to his involvement in the multi-car crash that occurred behind the top two on the final lap.
“For neither of the RCR guys to make it into the final four it’s just frustrating,” Hill says. “I’m pretty excited for him (Creed) to go to his next adventure over at (Joe) Gibbs and I don’t have to put up with him no more. I can now have Jesse Love as my teammate and hopefully, he races me better, races me cleaner.
“Right there in the middle of (turns) three and four, I don’t know what he was doing. He parked it in the middle of the corner and, obviously, I blew the radiator right then and I had no power off the corner. Just ridiculous.”
Creed said he wasn’t proud of the way he raced the last two laps, but noted it was for a berth in the championship four.
“I didn’t blast him,” Creed says. “I feel like I played pretty fair for the situation. He’s gonna be mad, but it’s for a Championship 4 spot and I want to fight for my guys all the way to the end.”
In the overtime restart, Hill, Creed, John Hunter Nemechek, Sammy Smith and eventual winner Justin Allgaier were the top five, respectively. However, after they chose the lane in which they wanted to restart, Hill was on the inside of the front row with Creed beside him on the outside. Nemechek and Smith chose to restart behind Hill, while Allgaier went to the outside behind Creed.
“I spun the tires a little bit and I over drove my entry into (turn one),” Hill says.
That took Hill’s Chevrolet high as well as Creed and Allgaier. Nemechek stayed low.
“It wasn’t cool for me to do what I did into (turn one), like driving him up the race track, but I still kind of stayed off of him,” Hill said.
The only thing I’m going to say about the situation is @sheldoncreed had every right to move me up the track. The problem I have is watching the replay he completely stops in the middle of the corner causing me to get all the damage. If he doesn’t overslow the middle he wins. lol https://t.co/nmSdimhhUM
— Austin Hill (@_AustinHill) October 28, 2023
Exiting turn two, Hill edged ahead of Creed and Allgaier dove to the inside and took third. Entering turn three, Creed fell in behind Hill and moved him up to get under his left rear as they exited turn four. Hill pulled ahead again and as they received the white flag nose-to-tail, Allgaier smacked the frontstretch wall with his right front but continued. Creed once again moved Hill up the track as they raced into the first turn on the final lap.
“He just did not give me a chance getting into (turn) three and then he didn’t give me a chance getting into (turn) one, just shoved me up the race track,” Hill says.
Hill and Creed charged down the backstretch side-by-side, banging sheet metal as they entered turn three. Creed took the lead and Hill rammed him in the rear as they exited turn four while Allgaier banged against Hill. Allgaier then slammed into the side of Creed as they drag raced to the checkered flag. The two remained glued together as they crossed the finish line with Allgaier winning by half a car length.
“I can’t even describe tonight,” Allgaier said after claiming his first Martinsville victory, fourth win this year and 23rd of his Xfinity career. “I locked my elbows coming off turn four. I said we’re either going to win this thing or I’m probably going to end up upside down. Tonight, honestly, it was really odd. The seas just parted, and it worked out.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Race - Dead On Tools 250
1. (2) Justin Allgaier (P), Chevrolet, 256.
2. (8) Sheldon Creed (P), Chevrolet, 256.
3. (1) Sammy Smith # (P), Toyota, 256.
4. (4) Riley Herbst, Ford, 256.
5. (12) Josh Berry, Chevrolet, 256.
6. (14) Daniel Hemric (P), Chevrolet, 256.
7. (10) Parker Retzlaff #, Chevrolet, 256.
8. (22) Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 256.
9. (38) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 256.
10. (15) Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, 256.
11. (19) Layne Riggs, Chevrolet, 256.
12. (26) Rajah Caruth(i), Chevrolet, 256.
13. (34) CJ McLaughlin, Ford, 256.
14. (24) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 256.
15. (11) Myatt Snider, Toyota, 256.
16. (6) Brandon Jones, Chevrolet, 256.
17. (20) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 256.
18. (5) John Hunter Nemechek (P), Toyota, 256.
19. (3) Cole Custer (P), Ford, 256.
20. (16) Brett Moffitt, Ford, 256.
21. (9) Austin Hill (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 255.
22. (31) Blaine Perkins #, Chevrolet, Accident, 255.
23. (18) Josh Bilicki, Chevrolet, Accident, 255.
24. (32) Ryan Ellis, Chevrolet, Transmission, 245.
25. (17) Sam Mayer (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 244.
26. (29) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, Accident, 244.
27. (30) Chad Finchum, Ford, Accident, 244.
28. (23) Kaz Grala, Toyota, Accident, 243.
29. (33) Joe Graf Jr., Ford, 240.
30. (35) Chris Hacker(i), Chevrolet, Radiator, 237.
31. (25) Connor Mosack, Toyota, Radiator, 232.
32. (27) Brennan Poole, Chevrolet, Engine, 218.
33. (36) Akinori Ogata(i), Chevrolet, Oil Line, 217.
34. (21) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, Accident, 207.
35. (13) Ryan Sieg, Ford, Steering, 203.
36. (7) Chandler Smith # (P), Chevrolet, Accident, 187.
37. (37) Devin Jones, Chevrolet, Engine, 131.
38. (28) Kyle Sieg, Ford, Accident, 40.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 55.294 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 26 Mins, 7 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.032 Seconds.
Caution Flags: 15 for 101 laps.
Lead Changes: 13 among 8 drivers.
Lap Leaders: S. Smith # (P) 1-44;J. Allgaier (P) 45-64;S. Smith # (P) 65-123;M. Snider 124;L. Riggs 125-133;S. Smith # (P) 134-177;C. Custer (P) 178;J. Nemechek (P) 179-195;A. Hill (P) 196-205;J. Nemechek (P) 206-242;A. Hill (P) 243-253;S. Creed (P) 254;A. Hill (P) 255;J. Allgaier (P) 256.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Sammy Smith # (P) 3 times for 147 laps; John Hunter Nemechek (P) 2 times for 54 laps; Austin Hill (P) 3 times for 22 laps; Justin Allgaier (P) 2 times for 21 laps; Layne Riggs 1 time for 9 laps; Cole Custer (P) 1 time for 1 lap; Myatt Snider 1 time for 1 lap; Sheldon Creed (P) 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 7,00,20,21,18,78,98,19,16,91
Stage #2 Top Ten: 18,8,19,2,26,31,16,00,9,98