By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – The first stage of the NASCAR Xfinity Series Hisense 4K TV 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway was dominated by Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers as they claimed six of the Top 10 positions when Stage 1 ended.
The stage got off to a rocky start however. Austin Dillon beat pole-sitter Justin Allgaier to the line. Dillon was black-flagged by NASCAR, having to do a drive-thru on pit road.
Two laps into Stage 1, Daniel Hemric slid into the outside wall in his No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet Camaro. Seconds later, Christopher Bell, who is making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut, was spun by Ryan Reed, bringing out the first caution of the race. This was before Dillon could serve his penalty, allowing him to simply drop to the rear of the field.
On the restart, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series regular passed Allgaier for the lead.
The caution waved for the second time when Cale Conley spun in turns three and four on lap 16. Almost as soon as the race restarted, it went back to yellow as Carl Long cut a tire and slammed the outside wall entering turn one.
On the restart, Harvick pulled away from fellow premier series driver Denny Hamlin, Meanwhile, Allgaier began to fall back through the field in his No. 7 Breyers Chevrolet Camaro.
Harvick won Stage 1 by 1.482 seconds over Hamlin. NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie Cole Custer was third with Ryan Blaney fourth and Brennan Poole fifth. Tyler Reddick, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Brad Keselowski, and Ryan Reed rounded out the Top 10. Custer, Poole, Reddick, and Reed were the only Xfinity Series regulars inside the Top 10.
Pole sitter Allgaier finished the stage in 12th.
Custer was hopeful that he could keep his Stewart Haas Racing No. 00 Haas Automation Ford Mustang up front,
“I think we’re pretty good. Hopefully we’ll keep it out front here.”