NASCAR Xfinity Series

Noah Gragson stout on late restarts, wins 2nd straight

2 Mins read
Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

How fitting is it that on the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, cars numbered #9 and #11 finished 1–2?

The #9 of Noah Gragson held off Justin Haley‘s #11 on a late restart with seven laps to go to win for the second straight race.

Despite his Darlington win the previous week, Gragson started third as Austin Cindric was on pole ahead of Harrison Burton. Although Cindric and A.J. Allmendinger, the top two in points, dominated the opening stage, Tommy Joe Martins stole the show on fresher tyres when he took the lead with five laps remaining. When it appeared Martins would score his maiden stage win, David Starr—who was on the verge of being lapped while battling a tight car—impeded his progress which enabled Allmendinger to generate enough momentum to overtake him coming to the finish. Martins settled for a still-best second ahead of Ty GibbsJ.J. Yeley, Burton, Daniel Hemric, Gragson, Spencer Boyd, and Patrick Emerling.

Martins’ race would unravel two laps into Stage #2 due to a spin. Further accidents in the stage took out Jade BufordC.J. McLaughlin, who was driving Mike Harmon’s #74 normally piloted by Bayley Currey, who in turn wrecked out while new JD Motorsports team-mate Landon Cassill retired with an ignition problem in Stage #3. Gibbs ran in front for much of the segment en route to the win.  Burton, Gragson, Hemric, Cindric, Sam MayerRiley HerbstRyan Sieg, and John Hunter Nemechek rounded out the top ten.

Despite a 36-lap run under green that was mainly led by Burton, various wrecks would reduce the next green-flag stretches into the single-digit durations. After Martins suffered terminal damage in a crash, Gragson took the lead on the ensuing restart but additional accidents forced him to stay on the defensive for later resumptions. The final restart came with seven laps to go, and despite an effort by Haley, it was not enough as Gragson held him off for his second win of the year.

It is Gragson’s fourth career win and second straight season in which he notched multiple victories.

“I knew [Haley] had tires, but the thing that really kept us alive were those two cautions at the end,” Gragson commented. “But today’s not about this team or this win, it’s about everyone who lost their lives twenty years ago. We have a lot of heavy hearts and at least in America we can come together on this day and appreciate all you race fans for coming out.”

“It’s an emotional day, it’s a special day. But it’s not about us today.”

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverTeamManufacturerLapsStatus
139Noah GragsonJR MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
2411Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet250Running
32726John Hunter Nemechek*Sam Hunt RacingToyota250Running
457Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
52098Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord250Running
61218Daniel HemricJoe Gibbs RacingToyota250Running
71554Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota250Running
81768Brandon BrownBrandonbilt MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
9220Harrison BurtonJoe Gibbs RacingToyota250Running
10610Jeb BurtonKaulig RacingChevrolet250Running
111902Ty DillonOur MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
123899Sam MayerB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
131139Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord250Running
14308Dale Earnhardt Jr.JR MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
153247Kyle WeathermanMike Harmon RacingChevrolet250Running
16122Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord250Running
173478Mason MasseyB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
18816A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet250Running
191336Alex LabbéDGM RacingChevrolet250Running
201619Brandon JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota250Running
21215Matt MillsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
22101Michael AnnettJR MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
231492Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet250Running
243331Josh BerryJordan Anderson RacingChevrolet250Running
2592Myatt SniderRichard Childress RacingChevrolet250Running
26751Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet250Running
272815Bayley Currey*JD MotorsportsChevrolet250Running
283766David StarrMBM MotorsportsToyota249Running
292917J.J. YeleySS-Green Light RacingChevrolet248Running
30260Jeffrey EarnhardtJD MotorsportsChevrolet248Running
312307Joe Graf Jr.SS-Green Light RacingChevrolet248Running
322223Patrick EmerlingOur MotorsportsChevrolet248Running
333590Spencer Boyd*DGM RacingChevrolet248Running
344052Akinori Ogata*Jimmy Means RacingChevrolet247Running
35256Ryan VargasJD MotorsportsChevrolet246Running
361848Jade BufordBig Machine RacingChevrolet246Running
372444Tommy Joe MartinsMartins MotorsportsChevrolet227Accident
383661Stephen LeichtMBM MotorsportsToyota220Running
39314Landon CassillJD MotorsportsChevrolet179Ignition
403974C.J. McLaughlinMike Harmon RacingChevrolet111Accident
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points
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About author
History major at San Jose State University and lifelong motorsports fan who covers NASCAR and the Stadium Super Trucks.
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