Gimme 5: Ty Gibbs gets fifth Xfinity win of season


Ty Gibbs scored his fifth NASCAR Xfinity Series win of the season on Saturday at Michigan International Speedway.

Pole sitter Noah Gragson swept both stages and appeared to have the dominant car. But after he pitted during the Stage 2 break, Gibbs cycled to the front and took control of the race.

He kept the lead through green flag pit stops around 25 laps to go and held on for a 1.2-second victory over Justin Allgaier.

MORE: NASCAR Xfinity Series at Michigan – Race Results

When asked if Saturday’s win was a statement victory as the playoffs loom, Gibbs told NBC Sports that “it depends on how you look at it.”

“I just race, week in and week out,” Gibbs said. “But (there’s) people who get all excited and think they’re making a huge statement and then they get in the playoffs and suck.

“I’m just doing what I can, week in and week out.”

Gragson finished third after a decision to stay out near the end of Stage 2 proved costly.

During a caution at Lap 52, he and his No. 9 JR Motorsports team did not pit and instead chose to go for the stage win and playoff point. Gibbs, on the other hand, chose to pit under that caution.

Gragson was able to track down and pass A.J. Allmendinger on the final lap to win Stage 2. But Gragson then pitted during the Stage 2 break. He climbed back into the top five but never saw the lead again.

“I felt like we had a good enough car to be able to get back up there – just kind of struggled on the short run,” Gragson told NBC Sports. “… We won the first stage and kind of got shuffled back on the restarts in the second stage and decided to stay out.

“We ended up winning that second stage, but once everything cycled through and we pitted after the stage, those guys started up front on the tires they took… You’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. We got two playoff points, but I felt we were good enough to win.”

Brandon Jones (fourth) and Austin Hill (fifth) completed the top five finishers.

Stage 1 winner: Noah Gragson

Stage 2 winner: Noah Gragson

Who had a good race: Josh Berry recovered from both an early run-in with the wall and a mid-race speeding penalty on pit road to finish sixth… A.J. Allmendinger suffered a cooling shirt issue for the second weekend in a row, but was able to soldier on and finish seventh.

Who had a bad race: After losing an engine in morning practice, Matt Mills crashed out of the race at Lap 40. Mills got on the brakes for C.J. McLaughlin‘s wreck ahead of him in Turn 2, but then lost control and went into the Turn 2 wall himself.

Next: Watkins Glen International – Saturday, Aug. 20, 3 p.m. ET, USA Network

COTA Xfinity starting lineup: AJ Allmendinger takes pole


AJ Allmendinger, who won this race a year ago, will start on the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas.

Allmendinger earned the pole with a lap of 92.173 mph Friday on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Xfinity starting lineup

He will be joined on the front row Sammy Smith (91.827 mph).
Ty Gibbs (91.665) will start third. Sheldon Creed (91.652) qualified fourth. Parker Kligerman (91.195) will start fifth.

Cup driver William Byron will start ninth. Byron’s time was disallowed for cutting the esses. Cole Custer, who will start 10th, didn’t make a lap in the final round of qualifying.

Cup driver Aric Almirola (91.269) qualified 13th. Truck Series racer Carson Hocevar (90.669) will start 17th. Alex Labbe (90.476) will start 23rd. He’s filling in for Josh Williams, who is serving a one-race suspension for parking his car at the start/finish line of last weekend’s race at Atlanta.

COTA Truck starting lineup: Ross Chastain wins pole


Ross Chastain will start on the pole for Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Chastain earned the top starting spot in Friday’s qualifying with a lap of 91.877 mph. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (91.490 mph).

More: COTA Truck starting lineup

Ty Majeski qualified third with a lap of 91.225 mph. Rookie Nick Sanchez (90.993) will start fourth, and Christian Eckes (90.937) will complete the top five.

Alex Bowman failed to make the race. Bowman had a flat right front on his qualifying lap.

Tyler Reddick leads Cup practice at COTA


Tyler Reddick posted the fastest lap in Friday’s Cup practice at Circuit of the Americas.

Reddick, who won two road course races last season, topped the field in his 23XI Racing Toyota with a lap of 92.989 mph. Kyle Larson was next, posting a lap of 92.618 mph around the 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Cup practice results

Ross Chastain, who won this race a year ago, was third on the speed chart in practice with a lap of 92.520 mph. He was followed by Kyle Busch (92.498 mph) and Daniel Suarez (92.461 mph).

Jordan Taylor, subbing for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, was 10th on the speed chart in practice after a lap of 92.404 mph.

Former world champion Jenson Button, driving for Rick Ware Racing, was 28th in practice with a lap of 91.759 mph. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, driving the Project 91 car for Trackhouse Racing, was 32nd in practice after a lap of 91.413 mph.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, driving in his first race for Legacy Motor Club since the Daytona 500, was 36th in practice after a lap of 91.072 mph. IndyCar driver Conor Daly was last among the 39 cars in practice with a lap of 90.095 mph.

Cup qualifying is Saturday. The series races Sunday.


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


Austin Hill, the dominant driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series through the early weeks of the season, will be looking for his first Xfinity road course win Saturday.

Hill has won three of the season’s first five races, scoring victories at Daytona, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Hill has been close in previous road course runs. He has a second at COTA, a third at Portland, a fourth at Road America and a ninth at Indianapolis.

MORE: Dr. Diandra takes a look at top Cup road course drivers

Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger own wins in the previous Xfinity races at COTA.

Allmendinger and three other Cup Series regulars — Aric Almirola, William Byron and Ty Gibbs — are scheduled to race in the Xfinity event.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 5:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled at 5:19 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 2 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Jordan Thiessen of Pit Boss Grills at 5 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by recording artist Payton Keller at 5:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 46 laps (156 miles) on the 3.41-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 14. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. … NASCAR RaceDay airs at 4 p.m. on FS1. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. and can be heard at …SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Mainly sunny. Temperature of 82 at race time. No chance of rain.

LAST TIME: AJ Allmendinger won last March’s Xfinity race at COTA. Austin Hill was two seconds behind in second place. Cole Custer finished third.