Creed Is An Xfinity Series Runner-Up Yet Again

Creed

Sheldon Creed in action Saturday at Sonoma Raceway. (Danny Hansen/LAT for Toyota Racing photo)

SONOMA, Calif. – Joe Gibbs Racing’s Sheldon Creed earned his ninth career runner-up finish in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Saturday at Sonoma Raceway.

Creed started ninth in the No. 18 Toyota GR Supra and short-pitted before the end of stage one, gaining track position for the second stage and earning seven stage points with a fourth-place ranking at that point.

From there, Creed remained in the top six through the final stage, methodically working his way forward inside the final 20 laps. He passed Parker Kligerman for fifth with 17 to go and made his final passes following the last restart with 11 laps left.

Contact with A.J. Allmendinger in the turn-seven braking zone gave Creed the fourth spot, and a move in turn 11 on rookie Austin Green coming to eight to go put him into third.

His last overtake came again in turn 11, when Creed powered inside of Sam Mayer coming to three to go to take control of second. He ended up 1.323 seconds back of winner Shane van Gisbergen.

It was an impressive effort for Creed, who needed unscheduled service during the first stage for a blistered set of Goodyear Eagle tires.

“I don’t even know how many second places that is – number nine or something? I guess I just had a silly set of tires that blistered – made an unscheduled stop there but had really good adjustments,” Creed explained. “I knew we were really good the second half of stage two, and stage three after that first caution came out. Just knew I had a really fast car after the first few laps.

“I had a really fast MRC Construction Toyota GR Supra. Thank you to them for coming on board this weekend, Mike Avila (owner) and his family have been great to work with,” Creed added. “I don’t want to say that we needed more laps, because I know the 97 (van Gisbergen) probably wasn’t going his hardest at the end, but I just wish I could have started on the front row with him and wasn’t part of the chaos there.“

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Creed also took responsibility for the late incident with Allmendinger, who fell from fourth to 17th as a result of the contact at turn seven.

“I wheel-hopped into the 16 (Allmendinger) … and I know an apology doesn’t do much, but that is not what I want to do – wheel hop into a competitor and take them out and ruin their day,” he lamented. “We will move on to Iowa next week and keep trucking along.”

Creed continues to chase his first Xfinity Series triumph. Sonoma marked his 84th series start, dating back to 2017.

As the bridesmaid again, Creed pulls within one second-place finish of the record shared by past series champion Daniel Hemric and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett, both of whom finished second 10 times prior to their maiden Xfinity Series wins.

Leaving northern California, Creed sits eighth in the regular season point standings, 113 behind current leader and defending series champion Cole Custer.

He has earned five top-five and eight top-10 finishes this year, including second at both Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway and at Sonoma.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series season continues Saturday, June 15 at Iowa Speedway. Love has a pole and two top-10 finishes in four ARCA Menards Series starts at the seven-eighths-mile oval.

Coverage of the Hy-Vee Perks 250 is slated for 3:30 p.m. ET, live on USA, the Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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About Jacob Seelman

Jacob Seelman is Motorsports Hotspot’s News Editor and Race Face Digital’s Director of Content, as well as a veteran of more than a decade in the racing industry as a professional, though he’s spent his entire life in the garage and pit area.