Harrison Burton wins Texas Xfinity race with last-lap pass

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Harrison Burton passed Noah Gragson off Turn 4 of the final lap to win Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas and prevent Gragson from securing a spot in the championship race at Phoenix.

Gragson took the lead on the final restart with 15 laps to go but Burton, who spun earlier in the race, chased him down and got by for his third win of the season.

“We had such a fast race car,” Burton told NBCSN. “I’ve never driven anything harder than that last corner in my life.”

MORE: Race results, driver points 

Gragson entered the race last among the eight remaining playoff drivers and appeared to be in a must-win situation to advance. He seemed set to do just that.

“I felt like we had a fast car there, a little tight on exit all day, just frustrated at myself,” Gragson told NBCSN. “I was pretty tight there at the end. I saw (Anthony) Alfredo holding Harrison off. … I knew (Burton) was coming. I just didn’t expect him to get there. Frustrated.”

Instead of securing a spot in the championship race, Gragson is 24 points from the final transfer spot going into next week’s race at Martinsville, the final chance to secure a spot in the title event. Justin Haley holds the final transfer spot.

The playoffs took a dramatic turn with 26 laps to go when a crash collected playoff drivers Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones and Ross Chastain.

Allgaier restarted on the inside of the front row and was leading off Turn 2 when he came up the track and made slight contact with Chastain, slowing both. There was additional contact that sent Allgaier into Jones’ car. Jones hit Chastain’s car, sending it into a slide.

“(Cindric) gave me a great push on the restart and was doing a great job to keep me down into Turn 1,” Allgaier told NBCSN. “I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hang the bottom, so I tried to drift up a little bit, trying to leave (Chastain) as much room as I could. When he got to my quarter panel, we got loose. Then right here (as Allgaier watched a replay), he just decided to hang a left because he’s aggravated and wrecks the whole field. It’s a shame not only for our team but everybody else. Ross is pretty two-faced and says a lot of things outside the race car and drives like this on the racetrack a lot of the times. It’s pretty disappointing.”

Said Chastain to NBCSN about the incident with Allgaier: “It’s my fault. We had a race winner today. … We brought a race-winning racecar to the track today and driver error. I made too many mistakes there. I don’t deserve what I have in front of me, I don’t deserve to drive this race car to be honest. To make those mistakes is absolutely unacceptable.”

Shortly after the ensuing restart, Cindric drifted up the track as he ran beside Gragson for the lead. Gragson motored by, holding the lead until the final lap.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Brandon Jones

STAGE 2 WINNER: Harrison Burton

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Anthony Alfredo finished a career-best third. … Brandon Brown finished a career-high fifth. … Ryan Vargas placed a career-high eighth. … Josh Williams placed ninth, marking his third top 10 in the last four races. … Tommy Joe Martins was a career-best 10th.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Chase Briscoe, who secured a spot in the championship race with his victory last week at Kansas, had mechanical issues and went to the garage in the opening stage, losing 16 laps for repairs. He finished 24th … Playoff driver Ryan Sieg is in a must-win situation after he had mechanical problems and went to the garage early in the second stage. He finished 31st. … Brandon Jones was eliminated in a crash and placed 25th. … Justin Allgaier was eliminated in the same crash and finished 26th.

NOTABLE: Harrison Burton’s last-lap pass for the win marked the sixth time that has happened in the Xfinity Series this season. That ties a series record for most last-lap passes for the win in a season with 2011 and 2012.

NEXT: The series returns to Martinsville Speedway for the first time since 2006 on Oct. 31 (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

Alpha Prime Racing’s road woes don’t keep team from competing


SONOMA, Calif. — Alpha Prime Racing owner Tommy Joe Martins laughs. He can. His Xfinity Series cars all are here at Sonoma Raceway.

At one point last week, it was not certain if his team’s cars would make it to Portland International Raceway.

“It was probably the toughest professional week I’ve had of my NASCAR career,” Martins told NBC Sports on Friday at Sonoma.

MORE: Kyle Larson leads Xfinity practice at Sonoma

The Alpha Prime Racing team had both its trucks break down and one of its haulers have mechanical issues last week on the way to the Pacific Northwest.

“We basically sent four pieces of equipment on the road and three of them broke,” Martins said.

For a time, the car Sage Karam is driving this weekend at Sonoma was left in a hauler in Kansas City because there wasn’t room in the dually Martins sent. It had room only for the car that was needed at Portland and other equipment. Karam’s car, which was to be a backup at Portland, was left behind.

“It’s a very helpless feeling when you feel like your stuff is stuck on the side of the road,” Martins said.

He still has one truck still in St. Louis and another in Oregon. Martins estimates the mechanical issues will cost his team about $50,000 when everything is totaled.

Trouble started well before the team left its Mooresville, North Carolina, race shop for Portland.

The Xfinity Series race at Charlotte was scheduled to run May 27. Rain forced that event to be rescheduled to May 29. Martins said the team had planned to send its trucks to Portland on May 28. With the race pushed back to the 29th, the travel schedule tightened.

It got worse.

After the Xfinity race started, rain came. With the Coca-Cola 600 scheduled for 3 p.m. ET that day – after being delayed by rain from Sunday – the rest of the Xfinity race was pushed back until after the 600. That further tightened the window on Xfinity teams to make it to Portland.

The Xfinity race ended around 11:30 p.m. ET on May 29. Alpha Prime Racing’s haulers left the shop around 6 a.m. ET on May 30.

The two trucks traveled together until issues in St. Louis.

The truck hauling the Nos. 44 and 45 cars had engine issues in St. Louis. The other truck kept going until it had mechanical issues with its hauler in Kansas City. The air bags on the hauler failed.

So, Alpha Prime Racing had a truck that worked in Kansas City with a hauler that didn’t and a truck that didn’t work in St. Louis with a hauler that did.

The truck in Kansas City went back to St. Louis to attach to the hauler and take those cars and equipment to Portland. Martins then had to find something to haul the stranded equipment in Kansas City and a driver. He eventually did. A dually left North Carolina for Kansas City. Once there, what fit in the dually was taken to Portland and what didn’t, including Karam’s Sonoma car stayed behind.

Yet, more trouble was headed for Martins and his team.

The truck that had gone back from Kansas City to St. Louis to take hauler that worked then broke down about 200 miles from Portland.

“I laugh knowing that we’re on the other side of it,” Martins said Friday of all the issues his team had transporting cars and equipment across the country.

“We’ve started to make plans and corrections for it not happening again,” he said.

That hauler that was left in Kansas City? It was repaired and transported to Sonoma, arriving earlier this week.

“Our guys are troopers,” Martins said. “Both of our (truck) drivers were just awesome about the whole thing. … They went through hell week as far as driving somewhere, fly back and pick something up, drive again and now are going to have to do the same thing getting back.”

When the garage opened Friday at Sonoma, Alpha Prime Racing had all its cars.

“I don’t think we had any major issues here, so that was good,” Martins said.

The focus is back on the track. Karam was 24th on the speed chart in Friday’s practice, leading Alpha Prime Racing’s effort. Dylan Lupton was 32nd. Jeffrey Earnhardt was last among 41 cars.

After Saturday night’s race, the team heads back to North Carolina for a well-earned weekend off.

Kyle Larson leads Xfinity practice at Sonoma


SONOMA, Calif. — Kyle Larson posted the fastest lap in Friday’s Xfinity Series practice at Sonoma Raceway.

This is the first time the series has raced at the 1.99-mile road course in Northern California. Teams got 50 minutes of practice Friday.

Larson led the way with a lap of 90.392 mph. He was more than a second faster than the rest of the field.

MORE: Xfinity practice results Sonoma

Sheldon Creed was second on the speed chart with a lap of 89.066 mph. He was followed by AJ Allmendinger (89.052 mph), Cole Custer (89.020) and Ty Gibbs (88.989).

Larson, Allmendinger and Gibbs are among seven Cup drivers are entered in the Xfinity race. Aric Almirola was seventh on the speed chart with a lap of 88.750 mph. Ross Chastain was ninth with a lap of 88.625 mph. Daniel Suarez was 16th with a lap of 88.300 mph. Ty Dillon was 33rd with a lap of 86.828 mph.

Anthony Alfredo will go to a backup car after a crash in practice. He was uninjured in the incident that damaged the right side of his car.

Qualifying is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET Saturday. The race is scheduled to begin at 8:20 p.m. ET Saturday.

Anthony Alfredo’s car after a crash in Xfinity practice Friday at Sonoma Raceway. He was uninjured. (Photo: Dustin Long)

Saturday Sonoma Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather


The Xfinity Series will compete for the first time at Sonoma Raceway this weekend. This is one of eight road course events on the Xfinity schedule this season.

Seven Cup drivers are scheduled to compete in Saturday’s race, including AJ Allmendinger, Kyle Larson and Daniel Suarez, who won last year’s Cup race at this track Allmendinger has won 11 of 25 career road course starts in the Xfinity Series.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Sonoma Raceway

(All times Eastern)

START: Golden State Warrior Patrick Baldwin Jr. will give the command to start engines at 8:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled to wave at 8:20 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 1 p.m. … Qualifying begins at 3 p.m. … Driver introductions begin at 7:35 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Earl Smith, team pastor for the Golden State Warriors and San Francisco 49ers, at 8 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by 9-year-old Isis Mikayle Castillo at 8:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 79 laps (156.95 miles) on the 1.99-mile road course.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 20. Stage 2 ends at Lap 45.

STARTING LINEUP: Qualifying begins at 3 p.m. Saturday

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 8 p.m. ... Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. and can be heard on goprn.com. … SiriusXN NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Mostly cloudy with a high of 72 degrees and a zero percent chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: This is the first time the Xfinity Series has raced at Sonoma.


NASCAR Friday schedule at Sonoma Raceway


The Xfinity Series makes its first appearance Friday at Sonoma Raceway.

Xfinity teams, coming off last weekend’s race at Portland International Raceway, get 50 minutes of practice Friday because Sonoma is a new venue for the series.

Seven Cup drivers, including Kyle Larson and Daniel Suarez, are among those entered in the Xfinity race. Suarez won the Cup race at Sonoma last year.

Xfinity teams will qualify and race Saturday at the 1.99-mile road course.

Sonoma Raceway


Friday: Mostly cloudy with a high of 69 degrees.

Friday, June 9

(All times Eastern)

Garage open

  • 11 a.m. — ARCA Menards Series West
  • 1 – 10 p.m. — Xfinity Series

Track activity

  • 2 – 3 p.m. — ARCA West practice
  • 3:10 – 3:30 p.m. — ARCA West qualifying
  • 4:05 – 4:55 p.m. — Xfinity practice (FS1)
  • 6:30 p.m. — ARCA West race (64 laps, 127.36 miles; live on FloRacing, will air on CNBC at 11:30 a.m. ET on June 18)