sunny.png
Sunday August 7th, 2022 8:58PM

Gragson holds off Gibbs for Pocono Xfinity victory

By Holly Cain-NASCAR Wire Service
  Contact Editor

Noah Gragson ultimately held off Ty Gibbs by the blink of an eye to take the victory in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Pocono Raceway.

Gragson crossed the finish line at the storied 2.5-mile track by a mere .281-seconds ahead of Gibbs, with the duo staying within .3-seconds of one another over the last 15 laps.

Gibbs earned three of his four race wins this season on a last lap pass, but Gragson didn’t allow it Saturday.

“I had to work for it,” Gragson said. “It was tough. Kept getting tight, tight, tight and with 15 to go I didn’t think I could hold him off. But we just keep digging.”

That summed up a dramatic ending to an action-packed day.

Justin Allgaier started from pole position and led the first 23 laps to win Stage 1. Gragson was seventh and Gibbs fourth in the opening run. But Gragson took the lead on the ensuing pit stop and won Stage 2 – his seventh and the JR Motorsports series’ best 21st stage win of the year.

Ultimately, good pit strategy made the difference for Gragson, as he benefited from a four tire and gas stop with 38 laps to go. He re-started sixth behind Gibbs who did not take tires – and worked his way forward, taking the lead for good with 22 laps to go.

“It definitely hurt us giving him a tire advantage,” Gibbs said. “But I was so surprised to be able to hang with the 9 (Gragson) when he was on (fresh tires). Had a great car, just didn’t put it together. I just made some mistakes and we’ll come back next weekend.”

Gragson’s teammate Berry finished third, followed by series points leader A.J. Allmendinger, and rookie Sheldon Creed.

Two more JR Motorsports drivers, Sam Mayer and Allgaier finished sixth and seventh – a particularly impressive comeback for Allgaier who was penalized for speeding on pit road during his last pit stop.

Winston, Georgia’s Austin Hill, Daniel Hemric and NASCAR Cup Series regular Cole Custer rounded out the top 10.

It was a dramatic race from start to finish, including a red flag period during Stage 2 for a high-speed accident involving five cars. Santino Ferrucci’s car got loose exiting turn 3 and was hit from behind by Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. Stenhouse’s car was catapulted toward the pit road wall, colliding with Jeb Burton’s car, sending Burton spinning and flipping over onto its roof.

The NASCAR AMR Safety Crew immediately responded, checked that Burton was okay and then carefully righted his car. Burton climbed out unassisted and the wreckage was cleaned up. The red flag lasted a little more than eight minutes and the race resumed.

“Man, that was not good,” said Burton,. “Hate if for my guys, those guys work hard on these race cars.

“But appreciate the safety crew, they got to me fast,” he added. “It’s been a tough year, but we’ll keep digging.”

Gragson’s victory marked the seventh win in the last 11 races for JR Motorsports, which is enjoying a summer of success. Allmendinger now leads Allgaier by 16 points atop the series driver standings.

NASCAR Xfinity Series
Pocono Raceway – Long Pond, PA
Explore the Pocono Mountains 225 – July 23, 2022

1. (9) Noah Gragson, Chevrolet, 90.
2. (2) Ty Gibbs, Toyota, 90.
3. (7) Josh Berry, Chevrolet, 90.
4. (4) A.J. Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 90.
5. (6) Sheldon Creed #, Chevrolet, 90.
6. (12) Sam Mayer, Chevrolet, 90.
7. (1) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 90.
8. (8) Austin Hill #, Chevrolet, 90.
9. (13) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, 90.
10. (16) Cole Custer(i), Ford, 90.
11. (21) Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 90.
12. (14) Riley Herbst, Ford, 90.
13. (26) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 90.
14. (28) Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 90.
15. (15) Ryan Sieg, Ford, 90.
16. (24) Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 90.
17. (3) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 90.
18. (17) Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 90.
19. (25) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 90.
20. (27) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 90.
21. (33) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 90.
22. (20) Kyle Sieg #, Ford, 90.
23. (30) Stefan Parsons(i), Chevrolet, 90.
24. (29) Mason Massey, Chevrolet, 90.
25. (35) Ryan Vargas, Chevrolet, 89.
26. (23) Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, 89.
27. (34) David Starr, Ford, 89.
28. (38) J.J. Yeley, Ford, 89.
29. (36) Patrick Emerling, Chevrolet, 89.
30. (37) Timmy Hill(i), Toyota, 89.
31. (5) Sammy Smith, Toyota, Accident, 53.
32. (18) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, Accident, 48.
33. (19) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, Accident, 46.
34. (10) Ricky Stenhouse, Jr.(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 45.
35. (11) Santino Ferrucci, Toyota, Accident, 45.
36. (31) Ronnie Bassett, Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 45.
37. (22) Alex Labbe, Chevrolet, Accident, 1.
38. (32) Rajah Caruth(i), Chevrolet, Accident, 1.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 123.438 mph.

Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 49 Mins, 22 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.281 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 5 for 18 laps.

Lead Changes: 9 among 8 drivers.

Lap Leaders: J. Allgaier 1-22;A. Alfredo 23-25;N. Gragson 26-41;A. Hill # 42-45;N. Gragson 46-50;T. Gibbs 51-53;B. Moffitt 54-55;R. Herbst 56-59;J. Berry 60-68;N. Gragson 69-90.

Leaders Summary: (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led) Noah Gragson 3 times for 43 laps; Justin Allgaier 1 time for 22 laps; Josh Berry 1 time for 9 laps; Austin Hill # 1 time for 4 laps; Riley Herbst 1 time for 4 laps; Anthony Alfredo 1 time for 3 laps; Ty Gibbs 1 time for 3 laps; Brett Moffitt 1 time for 2 laps.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 7,19,16,54,2,8,9,18,11,21

Stage #2 Top Ten: 9,54,19,2,8,7,16,10,11,21

Playoff Standings: 1. Ty Gibbs – 725 (4 Wins); 2. Justin Allgaier – 731 (3 Wins); 3. Noah Gragson – 657 (3 Wins); 4. A.J. Allmendinger – 747 (2 Wins); 5. Josh Berry – 660 (2 Wins); 6. Austin Hill – 600 (2 Wins); 7. Brandon Jones – 574 (1 Win); 8. Sam Mayer – 543; 9. Riley Herbst – 518; 10. Daniel Hemric – 497; 11. Ryan Sieg – 461; 12. Landon Cassill – 451.

(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series

  • 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.