Saturday’s NASCAR action at Talladega Superspeedway proved to be a special day for hopeful race winners. Hours after Tate Fogleman secured his maiden Camping World Truck Series victory in wild fashion, Brandon Brown did the same in the Xfinity Series in a race that did not even go the full 300 miles.
The Sparks Energy 300 was shortened from its original 113-lap distance to 107 as darkness hit the track, which does not have lights, a consequence of start times and delays. By the end, Brown led a Brandon 1–2 finish ahead of Brandon Jones as the race ended under caution following a multi-driver wreck. Despite falling short of the playoffs, the win enables him to be the second straight playoff spoiler after Josh Berry did the same at Las Vegas last week.
Justin Allgaier started on the pole, but Austin Cindric had the early advantage and traded the lead with Berry throughout the opening laps. John Hunter Nemechek, who nearly won the Truck race earlier in the day, led until A.J. Allmendinger and Sam Mayer wrecked together on lap 26. The incident resulted in Stage #1 ending under caution and Nemechek scoring the stage win, though he did not receive points as he is a Truck regular. Jeb Burton, Riley Herbst, Cindric, Harrison Burton, Myatt Snider, Allgaier, Jones, Blaine Perkins, and Daniel Hemric rounded out the top ten.
The second stage ran entirely green. As expected out of a superspeedway, the lead was exchanged multiple times with unconventional names included like Joe Graf Jr., who led his first lap since the second race of 2020 and would score his maiden top ten by finishing tenth, and Herbst who dominated the segment. However, it was Perkins who scored his first career stage win ahead of Our Motorsports team-mate Brett Moffitt, Nemechek, Herbst, Allgaier, Jeb and Harrison Burton, Justin Haley, Cindric, and Noah Gragson.
Allgaier kicked off the final segment in the lead, which once again changed hands numerous times as drivers jockeyed for position in their respective lines. On lap 76, Bayley Currey—who had led a lap a few moments prior—stalled on the track for the second race-related caution of the day. A larger incident took place ten laps later when Moffitt was turned and sent down into Gragson, triggering a seven-car accident that also collected Jones, Nemechek, Snider, Caesar Bacarella, and Jeb Burton.
Despite his involvement in the crash, Jones suffered minimal damage and pressed on to take the lead for the ensuing restart. Brown passed him on lap 100.
On lap 103, three-wide racing ended in an explosion when Harrison Burton went sideways and collected Herbst, Moffitt, Nemechek, Jordan Anderson, Alex Labbé, and Josh Williams. As darkness began to fall on the track, multiple drivers reported being unable to see and prompted NASCAR to end the race six laps short.
In addition to his maiden win in NASCAR, Brown scored the first victory for a #68 car in any national series. The Fogleman/Brown victories also marked the first time since 27 August 2016 that there were multiple first-time national series race winners in a day, when Moffitt won in the Trucks at Michigan and Michael McDowell at the Xfinity level at Road America.
Brown exclaimed in his post-race interview, “Oh my God, this is a dream come true! Wow, Talladega! Oh my God, Dad, we did it, let’s go!
“This is just everything we have hoped and dreamed for. This is everything I’ve ever wanted to do was take the trophy home to Mom and Dad.”
|1||19||68||Brandon Brown||Brandonbilt Motorsports||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|2||7||19||Brandon Jones||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||107||Running|
|3||1||7||Justin Allgaier||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|4||6||18||Daniel Hemric||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||107||Running|
|5||29||31||Jordan Anderson*||Jordan Anderson Racing||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|6||8||11||Justin Haley||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|7||14||10||Jeb Burton||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|8||2||22||Austin Cindric||Team Penske||Ford||107||Running|
|9||3||1||Josh Berry||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|10||40||07||Joe Graf Jr.||SS-Green Light Racing||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|11||17||39||Ryan Sieg||RSS Racing||Ford||107||Running|
|12||26||48||Jade Buford||Big Machine Racing||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|13||23||23||Blaine Perkins||Our Motorsports||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|14||24||92||Josh Williams||DGM Racing||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|15||39||52||Joey Gase||Jimmy Means Racing||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|16||38||99||J.J. Yeley||B.J. McLeod Motorsports||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|17||33||26||Santino Ferrucci||Sam Hunt Racing||Toyota||107||Running|
|18||18||44||Tommy Joe Martins||Martins Motorsports||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|19||35||17||Garrett Smithley||SS-Green Light Racing||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|20||25||47||Kyle Weatherman||Mike Harmon Racing||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|21||32||36||Alex Labbé||DGM Racing||Chevrolet||107||Running|
|22||11||54||John Hunter Nemechek*||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||107||Running|
|23||30||5||Matt Mills||B.J. McLeod Motorsports||Toyota||106||Running|
|24||15||51||Jeremy Clements||Jeremy Clements Racing||Chevrolet||104||Running|
|25||9||20||Harrison Burton||Joe Gibbs Racing||Toyota||101||Accident|
|26||16||02||Brett Moffitt||Our Motorsports||Chevrolet||101||Accident|
|27||13||98||Riley Herbst||Stewart-Haas Racing||Ford||101||Accident|
|28||34||66||Jason White||MBM Motorsports||Ford||101||Accident|
|29||31||0||Jeffrey Earnhardt||JD Motorsports||Chevrolet||93||Accident|
|30||4||9||Noah Gragson||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||88||Accident|
|31||10||2||Myatt Snider||Richard Childress Racing||Chevrolet||88||Accident|
|32||37||90||Caesar Bacarella||DGM Racing||Chevrolet||88||Accident|
|33||22||6||Ryan Vargas||JD Motorsports||Chevrolet||88||Accident|
|34||36||74||C.J. McLaughlin||Mike Harmon Racing||Chevrolet||88||Accident|
|35||27||78||Mason Massey||B.J. McLeod Motorsports||Toyota||88||Accident|
|36||20||15||Bayley Currey*||JD Motorsports||Chevrolet||73||Driveshaft|
|37||21||4||Landon Cassill||JD Motorsports||Chevrolet||50||Engine|
|38||12||8||Sam Mayer||JR Motorsports||Chevrolet||24||Accident|
|39||5||16||A.J. Allmendinger||Kaulig Racing||Chevrolet||24||Accident|
|40||28||61||David Starr||MBM Motorsports||Toyota||20||Engine|
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points