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Sheldon Creed Rallies to Third at Phoenix

Sheldon Creed

Sheldon Creed gets a push from Jesse Love in the Call 811. Every Dig. Every Time. 200 at Phoenix. (Landen Ciardullo | The Podium Finish)

AVONDALE, Ariz. — After an rather unremarkable day, Sheldon Creed restarted in NASCAR overtime with a chance to score that elusive first Xfinity series win.

After race leader Justin Allgaier fell victim to a flat tire with five laps to go, Creed made his way to second, lining up to the outside of his teammate, Chandler Smith.

However, despite a good launch, Creed was unable to make a charge and settled for third after losing a drag race to Jesse Love for second.

“I tried to get a good restart,” Creed said. “If I could have stayed outside of the No. 81, that would have been alright. Restart was OK out of the box, and then I don’t know – the distance, or whatever, I was starting to bleed really bad at the end of the green flag run.”

Creed ran second to Cole Custer in the championship race back in November, but didn’t show the same speed in Saturday’s Call 811. Every Dig. Every Time. 200.

Sheldon Creed

Sheldon Creed restarts outside Chandler Smith. (Photo: Landen Ciardullo | The Podium Finish)

The No. 18 Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota rolled off from the sixth position, but was forced to drop to the rear before the green flag due to unapproved adjustments. It was the second straight that Creed scored no stage points.

A crucial moment in the race occurred on lap 143, where in a battle for second, Riley Herbst got loose and into Smith, who slid into Joe Gibbs Racing teammate John Hunter Nemechek. An 11-car pileup ensued as Creed, running seventh, narrowly avoided a spinning Nemechek.

With some major contenders now out of it, Creed looked to be settling for a distant third before Allgaier’s flat tire flipped the race on its head. He ended up with a shot to win and a solid top-five finish, a far cry from where he was for much of the race.

“A top-five after starting in the back, that’s not something to be too upset about,” Creed said. “Just needed to be a little better to contend all day.”

After a week off, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will remain south for their annual trip to Circuit of the Americas. Last year in the running, Creed appeared to have a shot at the win before getting spun out from the lead.

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