Ross Chastain Scores First NASCAR Xfinity Series Win in Las Vegas

Chastain dominated the DC Solar 300, leading 180 of 200 laps on his way to the win.

NASCAR Xfinity Series DC Solar 300
Jonathan Ferrey—Getty Images

Ross Chastain made the best of his opportunity with Chip Ganassi Racing to claim his first-career NASCAR Xfinity Series win Saturday in the DC Solar 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He did so in dominant fashion, winning both of the 45-lap stages in the first half of the race and leading all but 20 laps of the 200-lap race.

“Holy cow. I’m just a watermelon farmer from Florida. I’m not supposed to do that,” Chastain said. “Man, that is a testament that anything in life is possible.”

Justin Allgaier, the winner of five races so far this season, took runner-up honors and was named the regular season champion. He was the only driver other than Chastain to lead more than 10 laps Saturday, running up front for 16.

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Justin Allgaier is recognized as the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season champion after the DC Solar 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sept. 15, 2018.

Allgaier battled back-and-forth with Chastain for the lead after a Lap 124 caution, taking command of the top spot on Lap 135 and running up front until Chastain retook the position on Lap 149. Allgaier continued to challenge Chastain for the lead throughout the remainder of the race.

Cole Custer and Daniel Hemric were the only other two lap leaders. Custer started on the pole and led the first two laps before Chastain took his first lead on lap three. Custer also was credited with leading Lap 12.

Hemric claimed his lone lap led on a restart after the third caution of the race that came out on Lap 65. But he was collected in a multi-car crash on Lap 189, along with Tyler Reddick, Shane Lee, and Bradon Jones. That wreck resulted in the eighth and final caution of the race.

With the Las Vegas race being the last race of the 2018 regular season, the 12-driver field for the seven-race playoffs was set. Allgaier, Christopher Bell, Reddick, Custer, Hemric, Sadler, Jones, Matt Tifft, and Ryan Truex had already clinched their playoff berths prior to Saturday’s race. Chastain, Ryan Reed, and Austin Cindric were in the three provisional advancing positions, and at the end of the race, the three officially claimed their playoff positions.

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2018 playoff lineup set

The 12 drivers in the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff drivers gather for a group photo at Las Vegas Motor Speedway after the DC Solar 300 on Sept. 15, 2018.

Cindric finished ninth. Reed wound up 35th after being involved in a wreck on Lap 65 where extensive damage to his car resulted in his retirement from the race.

“That was a tough one,” Reed said. “Knocked the wind out of me pretty bad. The right side is all banged up. I am all good. Nothing broken or anything. I will just be sore tomorrow.”

DC SOLAR 300 RESULTS:

1. Ross Chastain, No. 42 Chevrolet
2. Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Chevrolet
3. Cole Custer, No. 00 Ford
4. Christopher Bell, No. 20 Toyota
5. Elliott Sadler, No. 1 Chevrolet
6. Ryan Preece, No. 18 Toyota
7. Brandon Jones, No. 19 Toyota
8. Ryan Truex, No. 11 Chevrolet
9. Austin Cindric, No. 22 Ford
10. Spencer Gallagher, No. 23 Chevrolet
11. J.J. yeley, No. 38 Chevrolet
12. Ryan Sieg, No. 39 Chevrolet
13. Jeremy Clements, No. 51 Chevrolet
14. Landon Cassill, No. 4 Chevrolet
15. Joey Gase, No. 35 Chevrolet
16. Alex Labbe, No. 36 Chevrolet
17. Ray Black Jr., No. 8 Chevrolet
18. Garrett Smithley, No. 0 Chevrolet
19. B.J. McLeod, No. 15 Chevrolet
20. Josh Williams, No. 90 Chevrolet
21. Cole Rouse, No. 78 Chevrolet
22. Spencer Boyd, No. 76 Chevrolet
23. Max Tullman, No. 26 Ford
24. Bayley Currey, No. 55 Toyota
25. Chad Finchum, No. 40 Chevrolet
26. Vinnie Miller, No. 01 Chevrolet
27. Josh Bilicki, No. 45 Toyota
28. Tyler Reddick, No. 9 Chevrolet
29. Daniel Hemric, No. 21 Chevrolet
30. Shane Lee, No. 3 Chevrolet
31. Chase Briscoe, No. 60 Ford
32. David Starr, No. 52 Chevrolet
33. Mike Harmon, No. 74 Chevrolet
34. Timmy Hill, No. 66 Dodge
35. Ryan Reed, No. 16 Ford
36. Matt Tifft, No. 2 Chevrolet
37. Stan Mullis, No. 13 Dodge
38. John Jackson, No. 72 Toyota
39. Jeff Green, No. 93 Chevrolet
40. Michael Annett, No. 5 Chevrolet

UP NEXT: The NASCAR Xfinity Series will kick off its 2018 playoffs with a night race Sept. 21 at Richmond Raceway. Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver Brad Keselowski is the defending winner of the race, but with the fall Richmond contest now being a part of the Xfinity Series playoffs, Keselowski, as a Cup driver, is prohibited from competing in it. Christopher Bell won at Richmond earlier this year.