NASCAR: Joe Gibbs Racing driver inherits points lead mid-week

Chandler Smith now leads the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, thanks to a penalty issued to Austin Hill after the race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Chandler Smith, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR
Chandler Smith, Joe Gibbs Racing, NASCAR / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages

Joe Gibbs Racing's Chandler Smith was sitting in second place in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings after Saturday's BetMGM 300 concluded at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Now he finds himself in the points lead.

Richard Childress Racing's Austin Hill owned a four-point lead in the standings over Smith following Saturday's 200-lap race around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Concord, North Carolina oval. But Hill has since been fined $25,000 and docked 25 points.

As a result, Smith now owns a 17-point lead over Stewart-Haas Racing's Cole Custer, with Hill a further four points behind in third place.

Chandler Smith takes NASCAR Xfinity Series points lead

Hill, who appeared to cause a wreck with Stewart-Haas Racing's Cole Custer late in the race, then decided to intentionally spin Custer into the inside retaining wall on the back straightaway. The driver of the No. 21 Chevrolet was penalized under Section 4.4B in the NASCAR Rule Book, which deals with NASCAR’s Member Code of Conduct.

The rules state that a driver may be penalized for "wrecking or spinning another vehicle, whether or not that vehicle is removed from Competition as a result" and "any actions deemed to compromise the safety of an Event or otherwise pose a dangerous risk to the safety of Competitors, Officials, spectators, or others". Hill was in clear violation of both.

Hill initially scored 24 points in this race: four for his seventh place finish in the first stage, eight for his third place finish in the second stage, and 12 for his 25th place finish in the race. Following his penalty, he was officially credited with (-1) point at Charlotte.

It is worth mentioning that Hill's No. 21 Richard Childress Racing team was not penalized, so the No. 21 team still leads the owner standings. Smith's No. 81 team sits four points out of the lead, with Custer's No. 00 team a further 17 points back in third place.

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The 13th race on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule is the Pacific Office Automation 147, which is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from Portland International Raceway beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET this Saturday, June 1. Start a free trial of FuboTV now and don't miss any of the action!