Late Contact Shuffles Creed To Fifth At Iowa Speedway

#18: Sheldon Creed, Joe Gibbs Racing, Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota Supra #20: John Hunter Nemechek, Joe Gibbs Racing, Daisy Brands Toyota Supra #00: Cole Custer, Stewart Haas Racing, Haas Automation Ford Mustang

NEWTON, Iowa – Contact with a Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Saturday in the closing stages of the Hy-Vee Perks 250 left Sheldon Creed wondering what might have been.

Creed, who was the runner-up to Chandler Smith in stage one and earned 14 total stage points on the afternoon, briefly battled for the lead at one point and was inside the top 15 for all but three of the 253 NASCAR Xfinity Series laps run at the seven-eighths-mile oval in America’s Heartland.

After running second for a large portion of the final stage, however, the turning point of Creed’s race came following the penultimate restart of the day with 13 laps left.

Creed lined up third for the green flag following the choose, and quickly settled in behind Nemechek and Riley Herbst. Herbst then nudged Nemechek high off turn four and took the lead with 12 to go, opening the bottom lane for Creed to follow the No. 98 Ford Mustang through on the inside.

Racing side-by-side with Nemechek off turn two, Creed powered his No. 18 Friends of Jaclyn Foundation Toyota GR Supra into turn three, but washed up into the middle lane as Nemechek tried to regain momentum on the outside to stay on Creed’s door.

The two got together, both scrubbing the outside wall in the process, and fell out of contention for the win at that point.


Nemechek eventually cut down a right-front tire as a result of the contact, leading to the final caution and a subsequent overtime attempt. Creed continued, however, and ended up finishing fifth.

It allowed the Alpine, Calif., native to move into a tie with rookie Jesse Love for fifth in the regular season standings, 105 points back of current series leader and defending champion Cole Custer.

But after being able to see the lead out his windshield down the home stretch, Creed was still a bit wistful at leaving Iowa still seeking his first Xfinity Series victory.

“I mean overall, this was a pretty decent day for us,” said Creed, a veteran of 85 career Xfinity Series starts. “We ran towards the front most of the day. The biggest thing was [that] I just really struggled on the short runs. We were extremely loose to start, and it was hard for me to keep track position early, but then I’d be one of the fastest cars in 15 laps or so. That made it tough with all the cautions we had there near the end.

“If I could’ve cleared the 20 (Nemechek) … if he wouldn’t have throttled up outside of me there and maybe let me go, maybe it’s a different outcome. But overall, still a good day for us.”

Creed and the rest of the Xfinity Series field will race next at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., during the SciAps 200 at the 1.058-mile oval.

Coverage of that event begins Saturday, June 22 at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, the Performance Racing Network, and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.