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Shane Van Gisbergen Goes Back-to-Back with Xfinity Victory at Sonoma

Photo Credit: Aaron Giffin, TobyChristie.com

When the season got underway, it was well documented that the pinnacle of Shane Van Gisbergen’s success in his rookie NASCAR Xfinity Series campaign would be found on road courses.

Now, halfway through the six-race road course slate for the Xfinity Series, the three-time Supercars champion is shining bright, capturing victories at Portland and Sonoma — and in back-to-back weeks, too.

In doing so, the Kaulig Racing driver becomes the eighth driver in Xfinity Series history to win their first two races back-to-back, joining Rick Mast, Steve Grissom, Chad Little, Jamie McMurray, Chase Elliott, William Byron, and Austin Cindric.

RELATED: NASCAR Xfinity Series Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250 Race Results

The Auckland, New Zealand native didn’t necessarily collect the victory with as much ease as expected after the driver of the WeatherTech-sponsored entry gapped the field in both practice and qualifying by a substantial margin.

While he did lead a race-high 32 laps around the 1.99-mile road course, Van Gisbergen had to deal with Ty Gibbs throughout the opening portion of the event, and towards the end, had to maneuver around Austin Hill.

All it took was a late-race restart (ironically for Hill’s teammate) for the now three-time NASCAR winner to make a move, getting to the driver’s right heading into the first corner, and moving the No. 21, allowing him to scurry away with the lead.

Out of that first corner, emerged Van Gisbergen with the lead, being chased by Sam Mayer, and eventually Sheldon Creed, who managed to get second place away from the JR Motorsports driver.

After overcoming adversity, and coming out on top of a pushing, and shoving situation with Hill, SVG was all smiles.

“Our WeatherTech Camaro got beat up again today, but man, what a race,” van Gisbergen said after climbing from his car. “Adventure up and down all day. That last restart, I was just giving it all I had, and two guys going for the same real estate come together. Yeah, it was pretty awesome though. A lot of fun, I hope everyone enjoyed the show. Pretty awesome back-to-back weeks for us.”

It’s the ninth time that Creed has finished runner-up in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, as he continues to search for his first career win. Sam Mayer faded to third place after the 79th lap.

Austin Green continued to impress in his limited starts in the Xfinity Series, driving the No. 32 Chevrolet for Jordan Anderson Racing, bringing his racecar home in fourth place, his second top-10 in three starts this year.

After being nerfed in the first corner on the race’s final restart, Austin Hill recovered to finish in fifth place. While the final restart was awesome for van Gisbergen, Hill wasn’t as pleased.

“I’m just going to leave it to the keyboard warriors on this one,” Hill said with dejection in his voice. “I’ll let them figure out what happened. I’m sure no matter what comment I say, it’ll be wrong. Yeah, we’re sitting here watching it now — I plead the fifth.”

During his post-race press conference, SVG was asked if the on-track contact between he and Hill at Circuit of the Americas earlier this year made him feel that the contact on the final restart was fair game.

“100 percent,” van Gisbergen said with a mischevious smile.

Justin Allgaier was sixth, with Chandler Smith, John Hunter Nemechek, Cole Custer, and Parker Kligerman rounding out the top-10.

During the final stage of the race, a 19-car pileup jumbled the running order, eliminating several cars from the race, while also giving damage to many vehicles that showed real potential.

Leaving Sonoma, the NASCAR Xfinity Series (finally) finishes its West Coast Road Course stretch and heads to Iowa Speedway for the series to return to the short track among the corn fields.

Cole Custer continues to lead the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings by 12 points over Austin Hill and Chandler Smith, who are tied for second place. Justin Allgaier and Jesse Love round out the top five.


Race Results: NASCAR Xfinity Series Zip Buy Now, Pay Later 250 at Sonoma

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