NASCAR Xfinity Series

Brandon Brown scores maiden Xfinity win in shortened Sparks Energy 300

3 Mins read
Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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.”

Race results

11968Brandon BrownBrandonbilt MotorsportsChevrolet107Running
2719Brandon JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota107Running
317Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet107Running
4618Daniel HemricJoe Gibbs RacingToyota107Running
52931Jordan Anderson*Jordan Anderson RacingChevrolet107Running
6811Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet107Running
71410Jeb BurtonKaulig RacingChevrolet107Running
8222Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord107Running
931Josh BerryJR MotorsportsChevrolet107Running
104007Joe Graf Jr.SS-Green Light RacingChevrolet107Running
111739Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord107Running
122648Jade BufordBig Machine RacingChevrolet107Running
132323Blaine PerkinsOur MotorsportsChevrolet107Running
142492Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet107Running
153952Joey GaseJimmy Means RacingChevrolet107Running
163899J.J. YeleyB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet107Running
173326Santino FerrucciSam Hunt RacingToyota107Running
181844Tommy Joe MartinsMartins MotorsportsChevrolet107Running
193517Garrett SmithleySS-Green Light RacingChevrolet107Running
202547Kyle WeathermanMike Harmon RacingChevrolet107Running
213236Alex LabbéDGM RacingChevrolet107Running
221154John Hunter Nemechek*Joe Gibbs RacingToyota107Running
23305Matt MillsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsToyota106Running
241551Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet104Running
25920Harrison BurtonJoe Gibbs RacingToyota101Accident
261602Brett MoffittOur MotorsportsChevrolet101Accident
271398Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord101Accident
283466Jason WhiteMBM MotorsportsFord101Accident
29310Jeffrey EarnhardtJD MotorsportsChevrolet93Accident
3049Noah GragsonJR MotorsportsChevrolet88Accident
31102Myatt SniderRichard Childress RacingChevrolet88Accident
323790Caesar BacarellaDGM RacingChevrolet88Accident
33226Ryan VargasJD MotorsportsChevrolet88Accident
343674C.J. McLaughlinMike Harmon RacingChevrolet88Accident
352778Mason MasseyB.J. McLeod MotorsportsToyota88Accident
362015Bayley Currey*JD MotorsportsChevrolet73Driveshaft
37214Landon CassillJD MotorsportsChevrolet50Engine
38128Sam MayerJR MotorsportsChevrolet24Accident
39516A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet24Accident
402861David StarrMBM MotorsportsToyota20Engine
Bold – Currently in playoffs
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points
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About author
Justin is neither a NASCAR nor off-road racer, but he has covered them for The Checkered Flag since 2018.
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