Josh Williams

Xfinity playoff grid after Indianapolis

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Chase Briscoe‘s continued dominance of the Xfinity Series over the weekend on the Indianapolis road course ensured no additional drivers locked themselves into the 12-driver playoff field.

Through 13 races, Briscoe and four other drivers have qualified for the playoffs via race wins. Briscoe, who has five race wins, leads the field with 28 playoff points.

The last two drivers currently in the top 12 are Riley Herbst (+19 points above cutline) and Brandon Brown (+6 points).

The first four drivers outside the top 12 are Myatt Snider (-6), Alex Labbe (-32), Jeremy Clements (-49) and Josh Williams (-57).

Xfinity practice report from Indy road course

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Austin Cindric posted the best lap in the last of two Xfinity Series practice sessions Friday on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.

The Team Penske driver posted a top speed of 97.850 mph around the 14-turn, 2.439-mile course. Cindric recorded 19 laps.

The top five was completed by A.J. Allmendinger (97.344 mph), Justin Haley (96.753), Chase Briscoe (96.534) and Justin Allgaier (96.530).

Anthony Alfredo had his right-rear tire go down with about 40 minutes left in the session. A few minutes later, Joe Graf Jr. spun going into Turn 1.

Jeremy Clements overdrove Turn 7 and went off course 20 minutes into the session. Michael Annett spun off course with 15 minutes left in the session. Both Allmendinger and Allgaier went off course in Turn 7 late in the session.

Click here for final practice report

First practice

Allmendinger posted the best lap with a top speed of 97.392 mph around the 14-turn, 2.439-mile course. Allmendinger recorded five laps during the 55-minute session.

The top five was completed by Austin Cindric (96.804 mph), Chase Briscoe (96.471), Justin Haley (96.213) and Justin Allgaier (95.976).

Michael Annett, who was 18th fastest, recorded the most laps with 19.

Ryan Sieg and Josh Williams went off course in Turn 12 during the early portion of the session. Turn 12 is where the circuit transitions from the oval short chute between Turns 1 and 2 back into road course.

Sieg then went off course a second time in Turn 13. He and Williams were both able to continue.

Allgaier locked up his brakes and missed Turn 12 with about 26 minutes left in the session.

Mike Wallace briefly went off course in Turn 1 late in the session and Brett Moffitt suffered a cut left rear tire with two minutes left.

The second practice session is scheduled for 3 – 3:55 p.m. ET and can be watched on the NBC Sports App.

Click here for the practice report.

Chase Briscoe passes Ross Chastain in OT for fourth Xfinity win of 2020

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Chase Briscoe passed Ross Chastain with two laps to go and held on for his fourth Xfinity win of the season at Pocono Raceway.

The race went two extra laps past the scheduled 90 laps due to a late caution that saw Chad Finchum hit the wall with five laps to go.

Briscoe overcame a spin earlier in the race as well as a speeding penalty on pit road. He now has four wins and nine overall top-10 finishes in 12 races thus far this season.

“We were really not that good in the beginning, we struggled and didn’t have the speed I really anticipated to have here,” Briscoe told FS1. “I was a little worried, but a lot of good cars got tore up so it made it a little easier to get up through the field.

“Ross is always one of the hardest guys to race against and pass. … We’re halfway to eight (wins, his preseason goal).”

Briscoe is No. 1 in the Xfinity point standings with a three-point lead over Noah Gragson.

MORE: Results, standings after Sunday’s Xfinity race at Pocono

Chastain took the lead on the final restart, but Briscoe caught him coming out of Turn 2 and went ahead, never to relinquish the lead the rest of the way. Briscoe adds the win at Pocono to earlier victories at Las Vegas, Darlington and Miami.

But Chastain had some consolation: even though he finished runner-up – for the second straight race – he won the final $100,000 prize in the Xfinity Dash 4 Cash race-within-a-race.

“We did everything right, got the push we needed and cleared him going into (turn) one,” Chastain told FS1. “It’s tough to be upset with second, but I am.

“We’re unloading and are in the top two or three every week. I know how lucky I am but man, it’s the memories we take with us, not the money.”

That means Kaulig Racing drivers A.J. Allmendinger and Chastain the last two weeks — won three of the four Dash 4 Cash $100k prizes. JR Motorsports’ Noah Gragson won the first Dash race.

Jeremy Clements finished third, followed by Myatt Snider and Michael Annett.

MORE: NASCAR penalizes Justin Haley for aggressive driving

STAGE 1 WINNER: Austin Cindric

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

Who had a good race: With his third-place showing, Jeremy Clements earned the second-best finish of his Xfinity career. He earned his sole Xfinity win in 2017 at Road America.

Who had a bad race: Several drivers were involved in Stage 1 incidents that knocked them out of the race including Brandon Jones (who won the Truck Series race earlier in the day), Josh Williams, Joe Graf Jr. and Harrison Burton. Brandon Brown also fell out early due to mechanical issues.

Notable: The race had a record nine cautions for 31 laps under yellow. … Austin Cindric looked like he had the dominant car but was involved in a wreck on Lap 53 that knocked him out of the race. Others involved included Justin Allgaier, Ryan Sieg, Myatt Snider, Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric. … There were no issues in post-race inspection. All cars passed.

What’s next: Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Saturday July 4 at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.

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Brandon Jones goes from Truck race winner to Xfinity race wreck

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The exhilaration of Brandon Jones’ first career win in Sunday morning’s Truck Series race at Pocono Raceway was short lived: just over one hour, to be exact.

To borrow a line from the old TV show, Wide World of Sports, Jones quickly went from the thrill of victory to the agony of defeat, as he wrecked hard on the first lap of Sunday’s Xfinity Series race at Pocono.

It appeared Austin Cindric‘s Ford may have tapped the rear of Jones’ Toyota, sending the driver of the No. 19 spinning and slamming head-on into an inside retaining wall.

Jones was taken to the infield care center to be checked out. He has since been released.

“I’m 10-4 (alright), we’re junk,” Jones told his team on the radio.

Later, Jones told FS1, “From my vantage point, we were trying to go three-wide. …  I’m sure I was a moron for trying to go three-wide and do it early. But there’s got to be some give-and-take. It’s just early. It doesn’t take much when you’re three-wide to get pushed around, but from my vantage point, I got hit from the back.

“We just have to keep going. We had a real good positive, we won the Truck race and I had such high hopes for this one too.”

Cindric said on his team radio, “I think (Jones) got loose, checked up and I couldn’t avoid him.”

Cindric subsequently took the lead in the race but said he wasn’t in too much of a hurry on the opening lap.

“I can tell you one thing, there’s no such thing as too much of a hurry when it comes to racing unless you’re on worn out tires,” Cindric told FS1 during a race stoppage following a subsequent wreck and resulting red flag. “I’m having a lot of fun. We have a fast Ford Mustang and I intend to try and keep us here (in the lead) in the whole race.”

Four laps after Jones’ wreck, Josh Williams and Joe Graf Jr. were involved in another crash.

Then, on Lap 14, in virtually the same place as where Jones wrecked, Xfinity Series rookie of the year points leader Harrison Burton spun exiting Turn 1 and also hit the inside wall head-on. The race was red-flagged at that point for track cleanup. The red flag stoppage lasted nearly 21 minutes.

“The way it happened so fast and the way I spun, it felt like there was oil (on the track),” Burton told FS1. “It’s hard to say. I was racing with the 1 (Michael Annett) and felt good and then just instantly came around. It was a weird place to come around.

“That hit looked harder than it was. I’m alright and thankful my team builds safe race cars. I’ve unfortunately tested that out twice this year. Bummer, but we’ll be back and hopefully win some more.”

Then, on the final lap of Stage 1, Canadian driver Alex Labbe, one of four drivers in contention for the final Xfinity Dash 4 Cash race, spun in Turn 1 and suffered minor damage to his front end.

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Noah Gragson wins Bristol Xfinity race in overtime

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Noah Gragson won Monday’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, holding off Chase Briscoe and Brandon Jones in an overtime finish.

The finish was set up by an accident between Gragson and JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier with five laps to go in the scheduled 300-lap distance. Following a restart with seven laps to go, Gragson was challenging Allgaier for the lead when the two made contact in Turns 1 and 2. The contact sent Allgaier up into the outside wall. Unable to collect his car, Allgaier then slid into the inside wall. Allgaier, who led a race-high 156 laps, was unable to finish the race. He placed 18th.

Allgaier has led 47% of the laps in the last three Bristol races but failed to win all three.

The win is Gragson’s second of the year after he won the season-opener at Daytona.

“I really apologize to Justin and the seven team, that’s not how I want to race,” Gragson told FS1. “I saw that position open up, he kind of slipped off the bottom the lap before. I tried to get to the bottom. I just got too loose. All of us top-five guys, really anybody in the field, this track is like ice out there right now. We were slipping and sliding.”

Later in a post-race press conference Gragson was asked if could expect retaliation from Allgaier.

“If it’s going to happen it’s going to happen,” Gragson said. “All I can do is be on the same page as my team and just try to drive that thing balls to the wall and have it hung out sideways and try to go fast. The only thing I can do is try to win races … When you’re a man and you throw a punch, you better be able to take a punch.”

Around 3 a.m. ET Tuesday, Allgaier hopped onto his Twitch stream to play “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” and relieve some stress after a “disaster” of a race.

With viewers asking him questions, Allgaier addressed the situation with Gragson.

“We did talk after the race was over. Not very much, but we did talk,” Allgaier said. “We’re not allowed to go to the shop, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens in our video conference meeting.”

Allgaier said “Things like (the accident) happen. I made the mistake and left the door open. That’s just kind of what happens. … Noah and I will still be friends. It might take a while to get back on good terms, but we will figure it out.”

Gragson is the second repeat winner of the year, following Briscoe. He is also the eighth different winner in the last eight Bristol races.

The top five was completed by Harrison Burton and Myatt Snider.

Gragson, Briscoe, Jones and Burton qualified for the first round of the Dash 4 Cash bonus next weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Noah Gragson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

MORE: Race results and point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Chase Briscoe earned his seventh straight short-track top-10 finish … Harrison Burton has finished in the top 10 in all seven races in 2020 … Myatt Snider placed fifth for his best Xfinity finish in seventh career start … Brandon Brown placed seventh for his third top 10 of the year … Josh Williams finished ninth for his third career top-10 finish and his second of the year.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric and Michael Annett were part of a wreck on Lap 6 that eliminated Cindric and Annett. Chastain finished 28th … Patrick Emerling, making his first Xfinity Series start, finished 29th after he wrecked on Lap 142 … AJ Allmendinger finished 10th after he spun early in the race and then had an unscheduled pit stop with 89 laps to go for a flat tire … Riley Herbst and Justin Haley wrecked on a restart with 45 laps to go. Herbst had restarted first after taking two left-side tires. He made slight contact with Justin Allgaier that got him out of shape and resulted in the wreck. Herbst was eliminated and finished 27th.

WHAT’S NEXT: Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway at 4:30 p.m. ET June 6 on FOX