Patrick Emerling

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

Our Motorsports finding early success in first Xfinity season

Brett Moffitt
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Why was 2020 the right time for Chris Our to start fielding a full-time Xfinity Series team?

“I don’t know when the right time was,” Our told NBC Sports with a laugh.

When the NASCAR season opened in February, the Xfinity Series arrived at Daytona International Speedway and with it was Our’s No. 02 Chevrolet.

MORE: A viewer’s guide to Monday night’s Xfinity race at Bristol

After dabbling in the Whelen Modified Series – including fielding entries for the late Mike Stefanik – and recording 14 ARCA Menards Series starts from 2016-19, Our set the team’s sights on the Xfinity Series.

The reason?

“You know, a lot of it is the payouts and the way the financial mechanism works,” said Our, a native of the Cape Cod region in Massachusetts, who operates a concrete and construction company.

“We have the ARCA series but there’s an expense there as far as the engines,” Our said. “It’s a lot of the same components as the Xfinity Series, but (ARCA) really doesn’t pay out much. …

“So it’s a big difference. I know there’s more tire bills, but the people don’t recognize the ARCA series like they do the Xfinity, so it’s definitely easier to bring better sponsors to you to help. That’s kind of one of the reasons we stepped up … there was no particular reason we started this year. It would just seem like it all worked.”

It’s worked in part due to aid from GMS Racing. Our bought five of his six cars after GMS shut down its Xfinity operation at the end of 2019.

“With GMS getting out of it, we started talking with them about some of the chassis and cars and it just seemed like it would work, right?” Our said. “Then we were able to pick up Joe (Williams) as the crew chief. We had a lot of the equipment (from the ARCA Series). We had the haulers, we had all the tools. We had all that, it was just the actual chassis and motors that changed.”

One of the most important pieces of the Our Motorsports – which has seven employees including its truck driver – was who would drive No. 02.

“We wanted experience to come out of the box at Daytona,” Our said.

Brett Moffitt has competed in Our Motorsports’ fist six Xfinity Series race. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

That experienced arrived in the form of Brett Moffitt, the GMS Racing driver who won the 2018 Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series championship.

While competing full-time in Trucks, Moffitt has been in the No. 02 for the first six Xfinity races of the season, returning when the series did at Darlington after he recovered from fracturing both his legs in March.

“Honestly it’s been really good,” Moffitt said last week prior to his sixth-place finish at Charlotte, the team’s best finish. “I’ve been quoted in the past and I still own up to it today that I’m not going to drive cars just to drive them and say I’m in the Xfinity race. It has to be a team that I feel like can really go out and compete. And so far this year, Our Motorsports has proven that they can compete.”

Through six races Moffitt has finished outside the top 20 once, in the season opener at Daytona (24th) due to a late-race crash. He placed 11th at Darlington in his first race there since 2015.

“I feel like they’re doing a very, very good job at bringing me competitive race cars for the budget that they have,” Moffitt said. “It’s a lot of fun because we’re beating guys that we should not be beating and it’s motivation all race long to do that. …

“Eleventh place (at Darlington) doesn’t sound like a ton, but if you look at it on paper what Our Motorsports has versus what Joe Gibbs has and we beat two of their cars. It’s a pretty damn good day. So it’s a lot of fun for me and it’s just gaining experience at the end.”

Our hopes his young team can be a fixture “on top of that second tier” of teams. Using equipment from GMS – which finished 13th in the owner standings in 2019 – gives Our a goal of 13th or 14th. The team is currently 16th.

Moffitt won’t be in the No. 02 tonight at Bristol Motor Speedway (7 p.m. ET on FS1). While he’ll be in the car at Atlanta, Talladega and likely Miami, Our Motorsports will field 28-year-old modified driver Patrick Emerling in his first Xfinity start.

A native of Orchard Park, New York, Emerling is a two-time champion of the Race of Champions Asphalt Modified Series. He’s no stranger to Bristol, having won a 2017 NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour race on the track. He’ll start 20th due to a random draw.

“My goal is to go out there and finish the race and not extend myself out of my comfort box,” Emerling told The Buffalo News. “I’m going to be doing a lot of learning. That’s the idea. This being my first Xfinity race, I just need to get laps in and learn more about the cars. I’ve been iRacing on the computer and watched videos. I am talking to people and doing everything I can to find out every little detail I can.”

Our said Emerling is approved by NASCAR to compete on a mile-and-a-quarter length tracks at the moment.

“With everything (related to the COVID-19 pandemic) going on, we didn’t know when (those races were) gonna happen, except we knew Bristol was going to happen right now,” Our said. “So we kind of talked a little bit and I gave him the opportunity to be able to get in the car for Bristol. And hopefully we do well, he has a good finish, you know, stays clean and then he can get approved to maybe go up to a mile-and-a-half (tracks) with NASCAR for later on.”

Of the Bristol race, which will be run without practice, Our said “I’ll be nervous about it, there’s no question. … I’d be nervous even if it was Brett.”

Cup, Xfinity entry lists for Bristol Motor Speedway

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Almost two months it was originally scheduled, NASCAR will finally hold its first Bristol Motor Speedway race weekend of the year.

The Cup and Xfinity Series continue their marathon of races this weekend. The Cup Series will race on Sunday and the Xfinity Series will compete Monday night.

Here are the entry lists for this weekend’s races.

Cup – Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 (3:30 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1)

Forty cars are entered into the race.

JJ Yeley is entered in Tommy Baldwin Racing’s No. 7 Chevrolet.

Gray Gaulding is entered in Rick Ware Racing’s 27 Ford.

Kyle Busch won this race last year over his brother Kurt Busch.

Denny Hamlin won last year’s night race over Matt DiBenedetto.

Click here for the entry list.

Xfinity – Cheddar’s 300 (7 p.m. ET Monday on FS1)

There are 37 cars entered.

Modified driver Patrick Emerling will make his Xfinity Series debut in Our Motorsports’ No. 02 Chevrolet. Brett Moffitt drove the car in the first six races of the season.

Carson Ware makes his Xfinity Series debut driving SS Green Light Racing’s No. 07 Chevrolet.

A.J. Allmendinger is entered in Kaulig Racing’s No. 16 Chevrolet.

Myatt Snider is entered in Richard Childress Racing’s No. 21 Chevrolet.

Christopher Bell won this race last year over Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer. Chase Briscoe, who finished fourth, is the highest finishing returning driver from that race.

Reddick won last year’s night race over Briscoe and John Hunter Nemechek.

Click here for the entry list.