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Snider Latest To Get First Major NASCAR Victory

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, February 28 2021

Myatt Snider won his first Xfinity Series race on Saturday at Homestead. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer
RacinToday.com

Three-races into the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity season Myatt Snider’s rather unconventional racing path has led him to victory lane, making him the third different and second first-time winner in the series this season.

The 26-year-old Snider’s double-overtime victory in Saturday’s Contender Boats 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway marked the second straight week the Xfinity Series has had a first-time winner. Eighteen-year-old Ty Gibbs produced an upset win the previous week in his Xfinity Series debut on the Daytona Road Course. 

“It’s just amazing to finally be in this position, having won a NASCAR Xfinity race,” Snider said. 

 Snider notched his first-ever Xfinity victory in just his first full-time season with Richard Childress Racing. Last year, Snider split his time in the series between RCR and RSS Racing. However, the 2020 season provided merely a peak into the unconventionality of Snider’s racing career. 

In 2019, he competed in three NASCAR Truck races for ThorSport, one ARCA event for Venturini Motorsports, two CARS Late Model Stock Tour races in a car owned by his father, NBC sports commentator Marty Snider, and across Europe in NASCAR’s Whelen Euro Elite 2 Series. Even though he competed full-time in the Truck Series in 2018 with ThorSport, it was his eight races with Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2017 that were an “eye-opening experience.”

“I learned how much I didn’t know about NASCAR racing. It was totally different from anything I had ever done,” Snider noted.  

Snider began racing at age 10, claiming rookie honors in the Bandolero Bandits in Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Summer Shootout Series. The following year, he competed in 100 Legend Car races, recording 12 victories and top-five finishes in 88 percent of his events. He won Legends track championships at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Concord Speedway. He also claimed the Legends North Carolina State Championship and was runner-up in the 2012 Legends national standings. In 2013 Snider moved to the late model ranks and the following year obtained a fulltime job at Joe Gibbs Racing working on Matt Kenseth’s Cup team. However, Snider never relinquished his driving dream, despite the obstacles he often faced.

“There were times when I got really, really frustrated with all sorts of things that were going on with racing,” Snider said. “I learned to compartmentalize some of the stuff that racing does to me and it’s helped me to keep things in perspective.”  

On Saturday at the 1.5-mile Homestead-Miami Speedway the frustrations ceased when Snider claimed a 0.085-second, double-overtime victory over Tyler Reddick, who was later disqualified following post-race inspection when his car failed rear heights.   

The race’s first overtime was set-up by an accident involving leader Noah Gragson and David Starr with just two laps remaining in the scheduled 167-lap race. Gragson appeared headed for victory when suddenly he slammed into the rear of Starr, who veered up the track and into the wall due to a cut tire. When the race restarted, Snider was leading, but spun his tires when the green flag waved and Reddick, who was second, shot past him. However, before the field made it through the first turn, A.J. Allmendinger and Brandon Jones collided and Allmendinger spun. That resulted in another caution, sending the event into double overtime. This time Reddick, who was leading, spun his car’s tires on the restart and Snider capitalized.

“I knew if I could lay down just as much power as I could and get ahead of everybody then I would have a great chance,” said Snider, who led twice for five laps. “I tried to play it a little conservative to get as good a launch as I could. 

“One thing I have always noticed … is I’m always better when I have a rabbit to chase. Having Reddick in the same position that I was just in, (I knew it was) easier to screw up.  If you’re the guy who is second, all you have to do is watch that other car, see what they do.  It turned out he made the same mistake I did and I capitalized on it.” 

Before heading to Homestead, Snider sought advice from Dale Jarrett, who secured the 1999 Cup championship at the intermediate track.

“He’s been a really great asset so far,” Snider said. “He’s given me all sorts of perspectives that I should think about. His wisdom in racing is really untapped. He’s helped with the mental side (of racing).”  

 Snider is now second in the point standings with a playoff berth secured as the Xfinity Series moves to Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend.

 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, February 28 2021
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