NASCAR Xfinity: Cole Custer winner in Portland; Alex Labbé 11th for his return to the series (+ video)


Saturday, June 3, 2023 by Julie Bouchard

While the NASCAR Cup and Craftsman Truck series are on track in Illinois, on the oval of Madison this weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity series performed on the permanent road circuit of Portland International Raceway (Oregon) this Saturday. Under the sun and in the heat of the west coast, Cole Custer won a long race of more than 2 hours, with many twists and turns.

The race ended in overtime and Custer took his Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to the top with two laps remaining, taking advantage of the collision between Sheldon Creed, Justin Allgaier and Parker Kligerman at the chicane marking the first corner. Once the dust, bits of bodywork and grass cleared on this tumultuous restart, Custer found himself in the lead and despite the threat from Allgaier, he took his first win of the season.

Allgaier crossed the finish line just 142 thousandths of a second while Sam Mayer and Josh Berry completed a hat-trick for JR Motorsports in places 2, 3 and 4 within 3 seconds of the winner.

Austin Hill (Chevrolet/Richard Childress Racing) finished 5th, ahead of Myatt Snyder, the first Toyota driver. Sheldon Creed, Connor Mosack, Chandler Smith and championship point guard John Hunter Nemechek rounded out the Top 10. Nemechek also had some voluntary contact with teammate Sammy Smith.

The race, which only had 5 different leaders, also saw the return of Quebecer Alex Labbé, after several missed races due to budget problems. Finding the Chevrolet No.91 of DGM Racing, Labbé qualified 15th before finishing the race 11th. He lost 8th place during the last restart, there were many jostlings in the peloton.

“A solid race but I’m disappointed with the result. I was in a good position to attack at the end, but the restarts really didn’t help me, » says Alex Labbé, who adds: « I had trouble getting the tires up to the right temperature during the restarts, which was costing me places every time. Then, on the last restart, Kligerman came back on track just ahead of me and I had to brake to avoid him, which cost me two places. But overall, to be able to fight in the Top 12 the whole race for my return to the series is great. It hasn’t often happened to me in my career with DGM Racing to be at the forefront during an entire race”.

Labbé had finished the 1st segment, reported by Creed, 12th and the second, won by Custer, 11th. 30 of the 38 pilots at the start finished the race. For the full ranking, click here. The Xfinity Series continues its journey across the western coast of the United States next week as the road course in Sonoma, California will host the series this time. The race will take place on Saturday, June 10 (departure at 5:15 p.m. local, 8:15 p.m. Quebec time).


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