It was a race that will soon have its own page in the Nemechek family scrapbook, as John Hunter Nemechek joined his father, Joe, as NASCAR Xfinity Series winners Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. It was the younger Nemechek’s 10th win in the series.

Nemechek also won the 2021 edition of the NASCAR Truck Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and etched his name next to the elder Nemechek, who claimed the 2003 NASCAR Xfinity Series shootout in Las Vegas.

“I love winning. I love winning races,” said Nemechek. “But to be able to win 10 Xfinity races is a pretty big accomplishment.”

Nemechek started 12th in the No. 20 Safeway/Albertsons Toyota and found his way to the front of the pack quickly to lead just shy of 100 laps on the day.

Pole winner Cole Custer was second well over four seconds behind Nemechek, Chandler Smith took third and Austin Hill’s unbeaten streak to start the year was halted with a fourth-place showing. Las Vegan Riley Herbst tried to make it back-to-back wins at his home track and challenged for the lead late but eventually took fifth.

Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Smith and Nemechek swept all stages as the tandem combined to lead for 173 of 200 laps. It was Smith’s third consecutive top-five finish to open the season to move up to second in the point standings.

When asked what he will remember most about this victory, Nemechek responded, “It’s Vegas. What is there not to remember about Vegas?”

He added, “I’ve always run really well here. Don’t really know what, but I guess it always fits my racing style.”

Facing 32 mph sustains wins with gusts up to 65 mph, Custer led the field from outside on the opening lap and was joined three-wide by Smith and AJ Allmendinger off Turn 1. That set the tone for an aggressive race, as Smith and Allmendinger joined Nemechek to go three-wide again on Lap 14.

Smith, who qualified in the No. 2 spot, won the opening stage and held the lead until Lap 49, when he fell to seventh after jack issues during his pit stop. He went on to capture Stage 2 and paced the field for 74 laps on the day.

Nemechek went to the front on Lap 55 but was caught by Smith on Lap 89. The duo traded leads a half dozen times over the next 20 laps.

After Josh Williams pushed his ride to the limit and pitted on Lap 190, Nemechek regained the lead for good and coasted to the win.

The three-day weekend culminates Sunday with the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube. Tickets remain available at or by calling 1-800-644-4444 with children receiving free admission on Friday and Saturday (and only $10 on Sunday with purchase of an adult ticket). Military discounts are available for single-day tickets, and the college student and educator $19 ticket offer is available for Sunday’s race.