Noah Gragson takes Martinsville Xfinity victory to earn a spot in title race

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Noah Gragson, facing an inescapable situation to reach Championship 4, fended off defending Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric in a drag race to the checkered flag to win Saturday night’s race in overtime at Martinsville Speedway.

Gragson joins Cindric, AJ Allmendinger and Daniel Hemric to advance to the title race on November 6 at Phoenix Raceway.

“I want to cry now,” Gragson told NBCSN’s Marty Snider.

Gragson ended the interview by shouting, “We’re going into the bottom four!

MORE: Martinsville Race Results

Gragson, who entered the race 24 points below the cut line, knocked out his JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier from last transfer place with the win.

“It just wasn’t enough,” Allgaier told NBCSN’s Dave Burns.

Gragson and his team climbed the fence to celebrate his third victory of the season and the fifth of his career. He then pulled out a beer.

Cindric was second. Hemric placed third. Sam Mayer was fourth. Allgaier completed the top five.

Harrison Burton’s hopes ended about 50 laps from the finish. Cindric, third, touched the back of Gragson, second. This sent Gragson behind Ty Gibbs, who was leading. The impact turned Gibbs into Turn 4 and Burton had nowhere to go, hitting the side of Gibbs’ car.

Justin Haley, who entered the race seven points below the cut-off line, saw his hopes of returning to the title race end with a brake fire. He lost three laps on the pit lane for the situation just after the halfway point of the race.

WINNER OF STEP 1: Austin Cindric

WINNER OF STEP 2: Noah Gragson

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Sam Mayer’s fourth place marked his first career top five. … Alex Labbe’s eighth place was his best of the year. … Jeremy Clements’ ninth place was his eighth top 10 of the year, extending his career high.

WHO HAD A BAD RUN: Playoff driver Justin Haley was 33rd due to brake issues. … Ty Gibbs was 27th after his car was damaged when he was hit from behind and sped past the field as he led. Harrison Burton tagged Gibbs’ car. Burton, a playoff driver, was 20th.

NOTABLE: Noah Gragson has won three of the last nine Xfinity races.

FOLLOWING: Xfinity Season ends November 6 at Phoenix Raceway (8:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

Source link

About Michael Sample

Check Also

Wall Street backed by technology; Tesla extends its losses

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *