Michael Annett

Harrison Burton wins first career Xfinity Series race

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Harrison Burton held off teammate Riley Herbst to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Auto Club Speedway and claimed his first career win in the series in his 12th start.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver led the final 19 laps under green and beat Herbst by less than half a second.

Burton, 19, is the son of former Cup driver and current NBC Sports analyst Jeff Burton. He victory comes after he went winless last year as a full-time driver at Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series.

“So proud of our guys,” Burton told FS1. “All we’ve heard is we can’t do it, we can’t do it. We’ll never do what last year’s 20 (Christopher Bell) did. We’re off to a good start. It’s awesome, it feels so good to win. There’s times when you go through a little bit of a drought, you just doubt yourself. To get a win it feels so good, especially after last year, we struggled a little bit. … Once we moved up to the top at the end it was going to be really hard for (Herbst) to pass us. Just trying to be smart and not put it in the wall while leading.”

The top five was completed by Austin Cindric, Ryan Sieg and Justin Haley.

Burton is the second first-time winner in the first three races of the season. Noah Gragson was the first in the season-opening race at Daytona.

Burton led 40 of the race’s 150 laps. After going caution free in the first two stages, there were six cautions in the final stage of the event.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Brandon Jones led every lap in the stage and won over Chase Briscoe

STAGE 2 WINNER: Brandon Jones led every lap in the stage and won over Daniel Hemric

More: Race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Justin Haley finished fifth after he spun from a flat right-rear tire as he tried to enter the pits on Lap 82. Haley’s tire was cut from contact with Anthony Alfredo … Alfredo finished sixth in his first career Xfinity start … Ryan Sieg earned his second straight top five. He has finished in the top 10 in all three races this year.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Brett Moffitt triggered a wreck that collected Michael Annett and Brandon Brown on a restart. Annett finished 17th and Brown finished 33rd … On a restart with 54 laps to go, Noah Gragson and Ross Chastain wrecked on the backstretch. Gragson had to check up as he bore down on Alfredo. That resulted in Gragson hitting Chastain and triggering the wreck. Gragson placed 26th and Chastain finished eighth … After leading 16 laps, Chase Briscoe finished 19th after he spun with 25 laps to go.

NOTABLE: Harrison Burton’s win came on Leap Day (Feb. 29). His uncle, Ward Burton, earned his first Xfinity win on Leap Day in 1992 at Rockingham … 20 Years, 2 Months, 12 Days is average age of the top-two finishers, third youngest top-two ever in the Xfinity.

WHAT’S NEXT: LS Tractor 200 at Phoenix Raceway at 4 p.m. ET March 7 on FS1

 

Rain postpones Las Vegas Xfinity race to 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday

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Rain has forced the conclusion of today’s Xfinity Series race in Las Vegas to be postponed until Sunday after the Cup Series race at approximately 7:30 p.m. ET. The race will resume on FS2.

The race had been red flagged since late Saturday afternoon, with the race paused on Lap 51 of 200, only six laps after Chase Briscoe won Stage 1.

The top 10 is currently scored as:

  1. Joe Graf Jr. (stayed out of pits)
  2. Chase Briscoe
  3. Austin Cindric
  4. Ross Chastain
  5. Brandon Jones
  6. Justin Allgaier
  7. Michael Annett
  8. Justin Haley
  9. Harrison Burton
  10. Brett Moffitt

Noah Gragson wins Xfinity opener at Daytona for first series victory

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Noah Gragson won Saturday’s Xfinity Series opener at Daytona, taking the victory in a three-lap shootout that ended under caution and claiming his first career Xfinity Series win.

The victory comes in his 37th career start.

Gragson, 21, led 15 laps and beat Harrison Burton, Timmy Hill, Brandon Jones and Chase Briscoe.

It is JR Motorsports’ third straight win in the season-opening race at Daytona and its fifth win in the last seven.

Gragson is the seventh Xfinity driver to earn his first win at Daytona.

The Las Vegas native took his time getting to victory lane.

His lengthy celebration on the frontstretch saw him: fan a flame on the track caused by his burnout, climb the catchfence with his crew, execute an impressive Bo Duke hood slide across his car, try multiple times to toss a water bottle into the stands before he finally planted the checkered flag atop his car before driving to victory lane.

“I’m so thankful for this opportunity,” Gragson told FS1. “Man, I’m speechless right now, I didn’t think this would come. … I spent a lot of time with (team owner) Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. this week, talking for about two hours. Wanted to be a better speedway race. He told me ‘go have fun, wreckers or checkers, you got to manage you gaps, be there at the end and just go lead the damn the thing.’ That’s what we did.”

Later in the media center, Gragson said “Without that talk I don’t think I’d be sitting here.”

Gragson had to bounce back from a Lap 32 speeding penalty. It’s the fifth time in the last seven Daytona races that the winner rebounded from an in-race penalty.

The race ended under caution due to a large wreck on the backstretch on the final lap.

The finish was setup by a wreck on a restart with seven laps to go.

It collected Jeb Burton, Austin Cindric, Ryan Sieg, Brett Moffitt and others. It began after Briscoe took the lead and he moved up to  block Gragson as they neared Turn 3. Burton, running behind Gragson, checked up and was turned by Cindric. He bounced off Jones before turning back into the wall, causing a chain reaction.

The wreck resulted in a seven minute and 50 second red flag.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Jeb Burton led a 1-2-3-4 sweep by JR Motorsports to end the first stage.

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier won the stage under caution following a wreck by Riley Herbst, pole-sitter Myatt Snider and Chris Cockrum on the last lap.

More: Race results, point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Harrison Burton earned his best finish in 10 Xfinity starts and his second top five … Timmy Hill earned his best finish and his first top five in 185 career Xfinity starts. It came hours after his MBM Motorsports team received a L2 level penalty for an improper body modification, which included a six-race suspension for his crew chief.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Caesar Bacarella finished 29th after he spun on his own exiting Turn 4 on the first lap of the race … Jeremy Clements finished 28th after the hood on his No. 51 car tore apart on Lap 19 and caused a debris caution … Defending race winner Michael Annett got loose and spun on Lap 38 and collected Austin Hill and rookie Joe Graf Jr in a wreck. Annett was later in the last-lap crash … Justin Allgaier finished 30th after he was involved in a wreck with Josh Bilicki and Clements with 13 laps to go.

NOTABLE: The top three lap leaders of the race – Jeb Burton (26 laps), Justin Allgaier (23) and Myatt Snider (22) all were eliminated in crashes.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You know, don’t expect I’ll ever (go to victory lane at Daytona) again as a driver, so I’ll take these whenever they’re coming, right.  If I can get in here as an owner or part of any kind of success like this, it’s a great feeling.” – Dale Earnhardt Jr. to FS1 after Gragson’s win.

WHAT’S NEXT: Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway at 3:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 22 on FS1.

Check back for more.

Myatt Snider wins pole for Xfinity Series opener at Daytona

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Myatt Snider claimed the pole for today’s Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1).

The son of NBC Sports reporter Marty Snider, the 25-year-old Richard Childress Racing driver earned the pole in his first career Xfinity start. He posted a top speed of 188.430 mph.

Snider is the 12th driver to win the pole in their Xfinity debut.

It is the third consecutive pole for RCR in the season-opening race at Daytona, following Tyler Reddick in 2019 and Daniel Hemric in 20018. It is RCR’s 10th Xfinity pole at Daytona, which leads all teams.

Snider, the 2018 Truck Series rookie of the year, is driving RCR’s No. 21 car part-time this year.

“The last couple of days have been interesting,” Snider told FS1. “I’ve about gone to school basically. This is completely different from the truck series and how the truck series races. But I’m just blessed with the opportunity to race at Richard Childress Racing. … But we’ve got an insanely fast race car, obviously. I’m so stoked to be with these guys. … I can’t put it into words. First career start, first career pole.”

More: Myatt Snider’s European racing adventure

Snider will be joined on the front row by defending race winner Michael Annett.

The top five is completed by Justin Haley, Jeb Burton and SS Greenlight Racing’s Joe Graf Jr.

The Kaulig Racing cars driven by Ross Chastain and AJ Allmendinger each suffered similar mechanical issues in the left front during their qualifying runs, according to team general manager Chris Rice. It resulted in them posting the two of the slowest speeds in qualifying. With a lack of owner points, Allmendinger and Chastain failed to make the race.

Chastain will still get to race with Ryan Sieg‘s team allowing him to drive Jeff Green‘s 38 car.

The other DNQ drivers were Tommy Joe Martins, Chad Finchum and Colin Garrett.

Prior to qualifying NASCAR announced a L2 level penalty against MBM Motorsports and its No. 66 team for an improper body modification on the nose.

Crew chief Sebastian LaForge has been suspended for six Xfinity races effective immediately and fined $50,000.

The team has also been docked 75 owner points.

The No. 66 car, driven by Timmy Hill, qualified 26th for today’s race.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Today’s Xfinity race at Daytona: Start time, lineup and more

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The Xfinity Series gets its 2020 season underway today with the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona International Speedway.

This will be the first chance for drivers to establish themselves following the departure of the “Big 3” of Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Christopher Bell.

Here’s all the info you need ahead of the race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 2:37 p.m by Richard Petty. The green flag is scheduled to wave at 2:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Qualifying is 11 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 12:15 p.m. Driver introductions are at 2:05 p.m. The invocation will be given at 2:30 p.m. by Sonny Gallman, pastor at Central Baptist Church in Daytona Beach. The National Anthem will be performed at 2:31 p.m. by Catina Mack.

DISTANCE: The race is 120 laps (300 miles) around the 2.5-mile oval.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 30. Stage 2 ends on Lap 60.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will televise the race. Coverage will begin at 2:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage will begin at 2 p.m. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com forecasts partly cloudy skies, a temperature of 83 degrees and no chance of rain for the start of the Xfinity race.

LAST TIME: Michael Annett won this race, beating Justin Allgaier and Brandon Jones. Ross Chastain won the July race last year over Justin Haley and Christopher Bell.

TO THE REAR: Ross Chastain will start from the rear after mechanical issues resulting in him failing to qualify in his Kaulig Racing car. But he’ll step into Ryan Sieg Racing’s No. 38 car, replacing Jeff Green.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.