RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Noah Gragson held onto the lead after a restart with seven laps to head and held off Justin Haley on Saturday to win his 2d consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series flee.
Gragson, using in the flee with JR Motorsports proprietor Dale Earnhardt Jr., ended a 49-flee winless sprint closing weekend at Darlington. His 2d victory of the season and fourth of his profession offers him momentum into the playoffs.
Appropriate one flee remains before the sphere is space for the 12-driver postseason.
“We’re starting up to salvage momentum at the excellent time,” an emotional Gragson acknowledged, alongside side that the day modified into more about honoring the victims and heroes of the Sept. 11 terror attacks that were remembered on its 20-yr anniversary.
“Lately isn’t any longer about this crew or this win. It’s about everybody who lost their lives 20 years ago,” he acknowledged. “, you obtained a lot of heavy hearts. At least in The united states, we are able to reach together on at the demonstrate time … but it absolutely’s an it’s emotional day.”
Haley held on for 2d, adopted by John Hunter Nemechek, Gragson teammate Justin Allgaier and Riley Herbst with correct one flee left before the 10-flee playoffs inaugurate up.
“We turned a substandard day, gambled on the strategy and made it adequate,” acknowledged Haley, whose crew opted no longer to pit when plenty of the leaders did late and modified into ready to rally. “I mediate that’s a championship caliber effort that we attach forth.”
Nemechek, a unique in the NASCAR truck sequence, modified into using for Sam Hunt Racing, a crew owned by VCU graduate and former racer Sam Hunt, a native of Midlothian, about 15 miles from the track.
“I don’t mediate we had ample of a automobile to win there, but we positively made the most out of the day,” acknowledged Nemechek, who leads truck sequence unique with five victories this season. “It’s good to perceive that here’s his home track and we were ready to crawl actually properly.”
Earnhardt, making his annual lone inaugurate in the sequence, rose to as high as third by playing on dilapidated tires with about 60 laps to head, but quick aged to 21st because plenty of the flee leaders had brisker tires. He and others obtained the caution they wanted with correct over 20 laps to head, but Earnhardt modified into caught rushing in pit avenue and most effective modified into ready to rally for a 14th-space raze.
“We didn’t comprise the automobile I mediate that I modified into having a look for and per chance I correct couldn’t determine the manner to salvage it around the track,” Earnhardt acknowledged before heading to alternate and be portion of the printed crew for the evening Cup Series flee.
“I’m hoping I haven’t lost any credibility being 14th currently,” he acknowledged.
Defending sequence champion Austin Cindric started the day trailing A.J. Allmendinger by a level with two races final in the unique season. Both ran up entrance with regards to all day, but obtained shuffled support in a chain of late cautions.
Cindric accomplished 16th, Allmendinger 18th, but he quiet expanded his features outcome in five over Cindric. They are amongst nine elephantine-time drivers who comprise clinched a postseason berth. Three spots remain up for grabs.
The loud cheers started when Dale Earnhardt Jr. emerged from the driving force introduction tunnel holding 3-yr-dilapidated daughter Isla. For the 2d time since his retirement, Earnhardt ran his one flee for the yr at Richmond.
He accomplished in the head five in every of his outdated one-flee seasons, alongside side a fourth at Richmond in 2018.
The sequence wraps up its 26-flee unique season, and sets the 12-driver field for the 10-flee playoffs, on Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway.
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