rain.png
Friday December 9th, 2022 2:38PM

Noah Gragson clinches title berth with Homestead win

By Holly Cain-NASCAR Wire Service
  Contact Editor

Noah Gragson has led plenty of laps at Homestead-Miami Speedway with three top 10 finishes in his four starts before this weekend.

On Saturday night – at long last – Gragson earned the Xfinity Series winner’s trophy to go with all his statistical success at the South Florida track.

Gragson led a dominating 127 of the 200 laps – at one point he was out front by more than 9-seconds. Ultimately it took a strong restart with five laps remaining for Gragson to ensure the victory – .550-seconds over fellow championship challenger Ty Gibbs.

The win is Gragson’s automatic ticket to the Championship 4 at Phoenix Raceway in two weeks – a fitting placement for the young driver who leads the series with eight wins, more than doubling his previous career high single-season win tally.

“I wanted this one so bad,” Gragson said, raising his hand in celebration with the cheering crowd. “The last three years. … Words can’t describe how thankful I am for everybody at JR Motorsports.”

The Xfinity Series race wrapped up a huge NASCAR doubleheader Saturday with the dominating Gragson victory. He won both stages giving him 16 stage wins on the season – more than twice as many as any other driver.

Gragson now joins his JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry – last week’s winner – with the automatic Championship 4 berth with two positions still to be decided.

Gibbs’ runner-up finish places him third in the championship standings. He’s a healthy 30 points ahead of fourth place A.J. Allmendinger with next week’s Martinsville Speedway race settling which four drivers will be racing for the title at Phoenix on November 4.

“We were just battling our race car all day, we made great adjustments and my guys never gave up,’’ said Gibbs, who was making his Homestead-Miami Speedway debut.

“We’ll move on to Martinsville. I feel like that’s a place we were really fast at earlier this year and probably had a shot to win it so I’m excited to back there.”

Justin Allgaier, who had an eventful day, finished 10th after coming back from being a lap down. He now trails Allmendinger by only five points for that final Playoff berth. Winston, Georgia’s Austin Hill sits seven points below the cutoff line with a ninth-place Homestead finish.

Sam Mayer, who finished fifth Saturday, is now 28 points behind Allmendinger and Atlanta, Georgia’s Brandon Jones is 28 points back after finishing 15th.

Gibbs and Allmendinger were among the seven race leaders on the day. But if not for that late race caution, it looked like a sure Gragson runaway.

Allmendinger finished third, with Daniel Hemric fourth. Mayer was fifth. Trevor Bayne finished sixth – his 47 laps led second only to Gragson’s high mark.

Talking Rock, Georgia’s Chandler Smith, who hours earlier at Homestead earned a Championship 4 position in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, finished seventh. Riley Herbst, Hill and Allgaier rounded out the top 10.

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Homestead-Miami Speedway – Homestead, FL
Contender Boats 300 – October 22, 2022

1. (2) Noah Gragson (P), Chevrolet, 200.
2. (3) Ty Gibbs (P), Toyota, 200.
3. (13) A.J. Allmendinger (P), Chevrolet, 200.
4. (4) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 200.
5. (6) Sam Mayer (P), Chevrolet, 200.
6. (1) Trevor Bayne (P), Toyota, 200.
7. (9) Chandler Smith(i), Toyota, 200.
8. (15) Riley Herbst, Ford, 200.
9. (10) Austin Hill # (P), Chevrolet, 200.
10. (20) Justin Allgaier (P), Chevrolet, 200.
11. (12) Josh Berry (P), Chevrolet, 200.
12. (16) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 200.
13. (23) Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, 200.
14. (24) Brennan Poole(i), Chevrolet, 200.
15. (5) Brandon Jones (P), Toyota, 199.
16. (29) Parker Retzlaff, Chevrolet, 199.
17. (7) Sheldon Creed #, Chevrolet, 199.
18. (35) Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 199.
19. (21) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 199.
20. (8) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 198.
21. (31) David Starr, Ford, 198.
22. (19) Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 198.
23. (30) Patrick Emerling, Toyota, 198.
24. (17) Joe Graf, Jr, Ford, 198.
25. (11) Nicholas Sanchez, Chevrolet, 198.
26. (26) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 197.
27. (34) Kris Wright(i), Chevrolet, 196.
28. (37) Julia Landauer, Chevrolet, 196.
29. (22) Timmy Hill(i), Ford, 195.
30. (32) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 195.
31. (38) C.J. McLaughlin, Ford, 195.
32. (36) Matt Mills(i), Chevrolet, 195.
33. (25) Ryan Sieg, Ford, 190.
34. (18) Stefan Parsons(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 189.
35. (33) Kyle Sieg #, Ford, Accident, 183.
36. (27) B.J. McLeod, Chevrolet, Electrical, 115.
37. (28) Mason Massey, Chevrolet, Engine, 62.
38. (14) J.J. Yeley, Ford, Accident, 3.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 124.884 mph.

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 24 Mins, 8 Secs. Margin of Victory: .550 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 4 for 24 laps.

Lead Changes: 13 among 7 drivers.

Lap Leaders: T. Bayne (P) 1-22;N. Gragson (P) 23-47;L. Cassill 48-50;N. Gragson (P) 51;T. Gibbs (P) 52;N. Gragson (P) 53-54;A. Hill # (P) 55-70;N. Gragson (P) 71-97;A. Hill # (P) 98-100;T. Bayne (P) 101-124;N. Gragson (P) 125-140;A. Allmendinger (P) 141;J. Berry (P) 142-144;N. Gragson (P) 145-200.

Leaders Summary: (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led) Noah Gragson (P) 6 times for 127 laps; Trevor Bayne (P) 2 times for 46 laps; Austin Hill # (P) 2 times for 19 laps; Landon Cassill 1 time for 3 laps; Josh Berry (P) 1 time for 3 laps; AJ Allmendinger (P) 1 time for 1 lap; Ty Gibbs (P) 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 9,10,54,18,16,21,11,1,34,7

Stage #2 Top Ten: 9,16,21,18,1,54,10,11,26,45

Playoff Standings: 1. Noah Gragson* – 3169 (8 Wins); 2. Josh Berry* – 3095 (3 Wins); 3. Ty Gibbs – 3138 (7 Wins); 4. A.J. Allmendinger – 3113 (5 Wins); 5. Justin Allgaier – 3108 (3 Wins); 6. Austin Hill – 3106 (2 Wins); 7. Sam Mayer – 3085; 8. Brandon Jones – 3075 (1 Win).

*Locked into the Championship Round

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (P) Playoff driver

  • Associated Categories: Sports, NASCAR News, Xfinity Series
  • Associated Tags: nascar, motorsports, xfinity series, Auto Racing, Stock Car, Asphalt, Motorsports Live On WDUN
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.