Creed Fights Through Frustrating Day At The Lady In Black

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Sheldon Creed climbed out of his Toyota GR Supra after a steamy Saturday at Darlington Raceway and appeared visibly perplexed at his team’s struggles.

Creed’s journey through the Crown Royal Purple Bag Project 200 was a rollercoaster throughout. He fought a tight race car early in green-flag runs, and though his speed would build over the long haul, the Alpine, Calif., native lost too much time from the fire-off to be able to make up on the back end.

It left the 26-year-old ninth at the finish, a relative disappointment after he started third and raced among the top five early on.

“We just ultimately fought [being] way too tight on the short run; we were way too tight to start the race,” Creed explained. “I would just slowly, in the last 10 [or] 15 laps of a run, slowly build laterally free. There were a lot of short runs today, and I don’t know if my turn ever got better, but I finally could slide the rear tires around at the end of runs to move the car around and run right against the wall like I wanted to. That was when I could just do more [of] what I wanted to with the car.

“When it’s really, really tight like that, it’s tough to maneuver. It sounds like most of our teammates were fighting similar issues,” he continued. “But this was a frustrating day at one of my favorite tracks and, I feel like, one of my best tracks. We just had to fight all day for that one.”

Creed has four top-five and seven top-10 finishes this season in his first year with Joe Gibbs Racing, but he’s continued to chase a breakthrough NASCAR Xfinity Series win.

He’s finished second eight times already, second-most among drivers prior to their first Xfinity Series victory. Daniel Hemric and Dale Jarrett share the record with 10.

Despite that, Creed shared plenty of smiles throughout the weekend, where he carried a throwback scheme honoring the colors of 84-time off-road winner and 10-time champion Ivan Stewart.

It was somewhat of a full-circle moment for Creed, who raced in off-road and Stadium Super Trucks early in his career, prior to his move to stock car racing in 2018.

“Overall, I love throwback weekend at Darlington. To be able to throw back to an off-road legend like Ivan was really cool for us,” Creed noted. “We had a great looking Supra. Certainly, wish things would have gone a little better and we could have been faster to start – but ultimately were too tight all day to go up there and battle.

“It’s good to get another top-10, but man, I just want to run better at this place.”

Creed and the remainder of the Xfinity Series field will get a week to rest before doing battle at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway during Memorial Day weekend.

Coverage of the BetMGM 300 is slated for Saturday, May 25 at 1 p.m. ET, live on FOX, the Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.