Chris Estrada

Pocono Xfinity race results, driver points

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Noah Gragson fended off a last-lap attack from Ty Gibbs to win Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway.

MORE: NASCAR Xfinity Series at Pocono – Race Results

Gibbs finished second. Josh Berry, Gragson’s teammate at JR Motorsports, finished third.

A.J. Allmendinger finished fourth. Sheldon Creed finished fifth.

DRIVER POINTS

Allmendinger remains Xfinity Series regular season points leader by 16 points (747-731) over Justin Allgaier (finished 7th Saturday). Gibbs (725) is 22 points behind Allmendinger in third place.

MORE: Xfinity Series regular season standings after Pocono

Farther back in the standings are Berry (660) in fourth place and Gragson (657) in fifth place.

Noah Gragson holds off Ty Gibbs for Xfinity win at Pocono

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Noah Gragson came out on top of a compelling late-race battle with Ty Gibbs to win Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway.

The battle peaked on the final lap when Gibbs got side-by-side with Gragson for the lead down the Long Pond straightaway heading into Turn 2. But on the entrance to the turn, Gibbs briefly got loose on the inside, allowing Gragson to retain the lead on the outside.

Gragson then pulled away to his third win of the season. Gibbs finished second, followed by Josh Berry in third, A.J. Allmendinger in fourth, and Sheldon Creed in fifth.

MORE: NASCAR Xfinity Series at Pocono – Race Results

The victory comes one week after Gragson (along with Landon Cassill) was disqualified at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Gragson finished fourth in that race, but his car was found to be too low in the front during post-race inspection. He was instead credited with a 38th-place finish.

“I had to work for it. It was tough,” Gragson told NBC Sports on Saturday. “[The car was] just getting tight, tight, tight. With 15 [laps] to go, I didn’t think I could hold him off.

“But we just keep digging. This team is unbelievable. I’m fired up. Our third win of the year… Man, I’m exhausted.”

As for Gibbs, he admitted that the momentarily bobble in Turn 2 was the difference.

“We both went in there side by side and I just lost my side force and got loose under him, but that’s racing,” he told NBC Sports.

“I put myself in that position. I feel like I’ll definitely have to look back and see what other options I had.”

The race was red-flagged at Lap 46 for a multi-car crash off Turn 3. Santino Ferrucci spun off the corner, collecting Cup regular Ricky Stenhouse Jr. As Stenhouse slid toward the inside front stretch wall, Jeb Burton tried to squeeze between him and the inside front stretch SAFER Barrier.

But Stenhouse made contact with Burton, launching Burton off the ground and onto his roof.

Burton slid to a stop on the front stretch. Minutes later, safety workers were able to turn Burton’s No. 27 car right-side up, allowing him to climb out and walk away.

“Man, that was not good,” Burton told NBC Sports. “I hate it for my guys. Those guys work really hard on our race cars. We don’t have a lot of cars, and to tear up another car – two weeks in a row – isn’t good.

“I appreciate the safety crew that got to me fast… The main thing is we can build another race car. Glad I’m OK, and thanks to the safety crew.”

Stage 1 winner: Justin Allgaier

Stage 2 winner: Noah Gragson

Who had a good race: Sam Mayer rallied from two flat tires in the early stages of the race to finish sixth… Justin Allgaier salvaged a seventh-place finish after being penalized for speeding on pit road during the Lap 52 caution (spin and crash by Sammy Smith).

Who had a bad race: Rajah Caruth and Alex Labbe were the day’s first eliminations at Lap 2. Coming off Turn 3, Caruth made contact from behind with Labbe. Both drivers then lost control and made hard impact with the inside front stretch SAFER Barrier. They were both OK after the incident.

Next: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course – Saturday, July 30, 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC

Teams of Ty Dillon, Erik Jones hit with L1 rules penalties

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NASCAR announced Saturday that the No. 42 and No. 43 Petty GMS Motorsports teams of Ty Dillon and Erik Jones have been assessed L1 penalties for rules violations regarding rocker box assemblies.

Dillon and Jones, along with their respective teams, have been docked 35 driver and owner points.

Additionally, Dillon and Jones’ respective crew chiefs, Jerame Donley and Dave Elenz, have been ejected from Pocono Raceway, where the Cup Series will race Sunday.

NASCAR cited Section 14.6.5.e of the Cup Series rule book, which is as follows:

“The rocker box vent hole in the front tire extraction area must have metal screen installed to the inner surface with a minimum 0.25 inch opening size. The screen may be bonded or mechanically fastened to the internal surface of the rocker box.”

In a statement, Petty GMS announced it would not appeal the ruling. Petty GMS competition director Joey Cohen will serve as Dillon’s interim crew chief on Sunday. Danny Efland will fill the same role for Jones.

Earlier on Saturday, Dillon’s No. 42 team lost a crew member after the No. 42 car failed twice in pre-race inspection. The team also lost its choice of pit selection for Sunday.

NASCAR Cup Series starting lineup at Pocono

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Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch will lead the field to green in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.

MORE: NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono – Starting Lineup

Hamlin won the pole with a lap of 169.991 miles per hour in the final round of qualifying on Saturday afternoon.

Another set of teammates, Hendrick Motorsports’ Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, will line up behind them in Row 2.

Pre-race coverage begins Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on USA Network, leading up to race coverage starting at 3 p.m. ET.

Denny Hamlin claims Cup Series pole position at Pocono

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Denny Hamlin has won the pole position for Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Pocono Raceway.

Hamlin’s lap of 169.991 miles per hour in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota was fastest among the 10 drivers that advanced to the second round of qualifying on Saturday.

MORE: NASCAR Cup Series at Pocono – Starting Lineup

“We just made some big strides from practice, honestly,” Hamlin told NBC Sports. “That was the biggest thing. The team just did a phenomenal job getting this thing ready for qualifying, I made some adjustments, and it was all better.”

Joe Gibbs Racing locked out Row 1 with Kyle Busch (169.498 mph) claiming the outside front row position. Busch, whose future at Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota has become a hotter topic in recent days, won the second race in last year’s doubleheader at Pocono.

Hendrick Motorsports claimed Row 2 with Chase Elliott (169.364 mph) and reigning Cup Series champion Kyle Larson (169.014 mph). Row 3 features Chris Buescher (168.922 mph) and Ryan Blaney (168.360 mph).

Bubba Wallace (168.312 mph) and Martin Truex Jr. (167.976 mph) make up Row 4, followed by Daniel Suarez (167.942 mph) and Kurt Busch in Row 5.

However, Kurt Busch may not be in Row 5 for long on Sunday. His qualifying attempt ended before it began, as he lost control of his No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota on his warm-up lap and crashed into the Turn 3 SAFER Barrier.

As for William Byron, his team has confirmed he will go to the rear on Sunday. That’s due to impending repairs to the “underneath portion” of his car, which the team says was damaged during a spin in his preceding group practice session.

Byron still made a qualifying attempt for the sake of pit selection.

Coverage of Sunday’s Cup Series race from Pocono begins at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network. The race will also stream live on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com.