Texas Xfinity results: Noah Gragson wins playoff opener

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Noah Gragson is rolling through the NASCAR Xfinity Series like a bowling ball headed toward a strike.

Gragson won for the fourth consecutive race Saturday, taking the lead with 11 laps left and winning the 300-mile race at Texas Motor Speedway. The victory put Gragson in the second round of the playoffs.

Finishing behind him in the top five were Austin Hill, Ty Gibbs, AJ Allmendinger and Riley Herbst.

Texas Xfinity results

The race was pockmarked by wrecks, scrambling the 12-driver playoff field.

POINTS REPORT

Noah Gragson remains the points leader after his win. He has 2,107 points. AJ Allmendinger is next, 26 points behind.

Sam Mayer and Ryan Sieg hold the final two transfer spots. They are one point ahead of Riley Herbst, eight points ahead of Daniel Hemric, 13 points ahead of Brandon Jones and 29 points ahead of Jeremy Clements.

Texas Xfinity driver points

The Xfinity playoffs will continue Oct. 1 at Talladega Superspeedway (2 p.m. ET, USA Network).

Brandon Jones wins Xfinity pole at Texas Motor Speedway

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Playoff driver Brandon Jones won the pole position Saturday morning for Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Jones was clocked at 185.637 miles per hour. He has won three of the past four Xfinity poles.

MORE: Texas Xfinity qualifying results

MORE: Texas Xfinity starting lineup

Scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday on the USA Network, the race is the opening event of the Xfinity playoffs.

Following Jones in the top five were Noah Gragson (winner of three consecutive Xfinity races), Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek and Sam Mayer.

MORE: Post-race celebration? Try the Waffle House

The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile track. Drivers will be battling heat in the mid-to-high 90s.

 

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

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The Xfinity Series playoffs begin this weekend. Noah Gragson and Ty Gibbs enter as the favorites. They’ve combined to win 11 of the 26 races this season.

Gragson, who has six wins this season, seeks to win his fourth consecutive victory.

MORE: Noah Gragson’s special celebrations at Waffle House

Gibbs, who has five victories this year, is one of four drivers in the Xfinity playoffs for the first time. The other three are Josh Berry, Austin Hill and Sam Mayer.

Also in the playoffs are reigning series champion Daniel Hemric, Justin Allgaier, AJ Allmendinger, Brandon Jones, Jeremy Clements, Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given by Andy’s Frozen Custard executives Andy Kuntz, Dana Kuntz and Carol Kuntz at 3:38 p.m. … Green flag is scheduled to wave at 3:49 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 8:30 a.m. … Practice begins at 10:30 a.m. … Qualifying begins at 11:05 a.m. … Driver introductions are at 3 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Bret Shisler of Texas Alliance Raceway Ministries at 3:30 p.m. … Janie Balderas will perform the anthem at 3:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (300 miles) on the 1.5-mile speedway.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 45. Stage 2 ends at Lap 90.

TV/RADIO: USA Network will broadcast the race at 3:30 p.m. Countdown to Green begins at 3 p.m. on USA Network. The post-race show will air on USA Network. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 3 p.m. and also will stream at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

STREAMING: NBCsports.com

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Sunny with a high of 96 degrees and no chance of rain at the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Tyler Reddick gave Big Machine Racing its first series win in May. William Byron was second and Sam Mayer was third.

 

Noah Gragson wins Bristol Xfinity race for third consecutive victory

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BRISTOL, Tenn. — Noah Gragson held off Brandon Jones to win his third consecutive Xfinity Series race, AJ Allmendinger won the regular season title and Ryan Sieg raced his way into the playoffs Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Gragson was the only car not to pit with 25 laps to go and inherited the lead. He held off a furious challenge by Jones, who will take over Gragson’s car next year JR Motorsports.

The victory is Gragson’s sixth of the year.

MORE: Xfinity race results, driver points

Austin Hill placed third and was followed by Sam Mayer and Riley Herbst. Justin Allgaier, who led a race-high 148 laps, finished ninth after a speeding penalty on the final pit stop.

Sieg, who entered the race 19 points behind Landon Cassill for the final playoff spot, finished 10th to advance.

Sheldon Creed saw his chances to make the playoffs end with a crash on Lap 129. He was racing side-by-side with Ty Gibbs for the lead when Gibbs was hit from behind by Noah Gragson. The contact sent Gibbs up the track into Creed’s car. Both went into the wall and were eliminated.

“Man, that’s the way my year has gone,” Creed told NBC Sports’ Dave Burns. “We have speed at times and then stuff like that happens.

That incident happened less than 20 laps after Landon Cassill, who entered the race holding the final playoff spot, went behind pit road for repairs after a mechanical issue. Cassill returned to the race 112 laps behind the leaders and moved ahead of Creed and Gibbs but could not gain on any other drivers. Cassill finished 35th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Ty Gibbs

STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Brandon Jones’ runner-up finish is his best result in 13 starts at Bristol. … Riley Herbst’s fifth-place finish is his first top five since Nashville in June. … Stefan Parsons finished a career-best eighth.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Sheldon Creed, who entered the race 32 points out of the final playoff spot, was battling for the lead and the automatic transfer to the second round when he was collected in an incident. … A mechanical issue sent Landon Cassill behind pit wall for repairs and cost him a shot at making the playoffs.

NEXT: The Xfinity playoffs begin Sept. 24 at Texas (3:30 p.m. ET on USA Network)

Brandon Jones to join JR Motorsports in 2023

Brandon Jones JR Motorsports
Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images
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Brandon Jones will join JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series in 2023, the team announced Wednesday morning.

The 25-year-old Jones will drive the No. 9 car at JR Motorsports. He replaces Noah Gragson, who will drive for Petty GMS in the Cup Series in 2023.

Jones, who has been at Joe Gibbs Racing since 2018, has five career Xfinity Series wins, including a victory this season at Martinsville Speedway.

“Brandon’s been a tough competitor over the years, and he’s a talented addition to JR Motorsports,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, JRM co-owner and general manager, in a statement. “He’s a series veteran that brings a lot of experience, and we’re going to see big things from Brandon and the 9 team in 2023.”

Jones said in a statement: “To watch how competitive JRM has been over the years is really impressive. They’re a threat to win every week, and one of the premier teams in our series. I’m so thankful to Dale (Earnhardt Jr.), Kelley and Mr. Hendrick for allowing me to be part of it.”

Sponsorship and Jones’ crew chief will be announced later.