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Noah Gragson closes in on Gibbs for No. 1 NXS seed with Talladega win

Noah Gragson and his No. 9 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet NASCAR Xfinity Series team celebrate in victory lane after Gragson won the April 23 Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway. (Photo: Jonny Olkowski/TRE)

TALLADEGA, ALA. — Noah Gragson earned his second win of the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season in Saturday’s Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Gragson moved from the No. 3 seed with 2016 playoff points before Talladega and the No. 2 seed with 2023 playoff points afterward. Gragson gained five playoff points for the win and is in position to gain two more after he moved from third to second in the regular-season points.

Ty Gibbs held on to the No. 1 seed even as he fell from second to third in the regular-season points, due in part to wrecking out on Lap 76 with teammate Brandon Jones. Jones held on to the No. 4 seed and fourth in the regular-season points.

Josh Berry maintained the No. 5 seed but improved his playoff point total to 2009 from 2007 as he won the first stage and moved up one spot in the regular-season points – from fifth to fourth.

Justin Allgaier, No. 7, leads the field to the green in Saturday (April 23)’s Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Justin Allgaier was set to take a substantial leap in playoff seeding as he led during the final restart. However, fuel mileage bit him as he ran out of gas right away on the restart. He pulled behind the wall and finished 22nd, two laps down.

Despite this, Allgaier still won the second stage which helped him move from seventh to sixth in the regular-season points. He is now at the No. 7 seed with 2006 points after entering Talladega in the No. 9 seed with 2004 points.

Riley Herbst finished seventh in Saturday’s race and moved up to 10th in the regular-season points. Herbst is in position to earn one playoff point, breaking a tie with Landon Cassil for the No. 11 seed.

Herbst replace Daniel Hemric in the top 10 of the regular season points as Hemric wrecked out in a multi-wreck on Lap 79. Daniel Hemric remains in a playoff spot by 10 regular-season points over Anthony Alfredo. Hemric is in the No. 10 seed with 2002 playoff points, by way of two stage wins at Daytona.

Photo by Feliz Vigil/TRE

NOTE: Playoff points for a driver’s regular season points position are only accrued at the end of the regular season

E.g., If Driver A has three wins and two stage wins – and is second in points – they have earned 15 playoff points for their three race wins and two playoff points for their two stage wins. However, they have not earned 10 playoff points for being second in the regular season points yet – they would earn those points if they were second in points at the end of the regular season.

The playoff points and seeding in the table below are determined by what it would look like if the regular season ended today.

DriverPlayoff Points TotalBase PointsPoints Position/PointsPoints for Race Wins (5 Pts/Win)Stage Wins (1 Pt/Win)
Ty Gibbs202520008 (3rd)15 (Las Vegas, Atlanta, Richmond)2 (Richmond – Stage 2, Martinsville Stage 1)
Noah Gragson2023200010 (2nd)10 (Talladega, Phoenix)3 (Las Vegas – Stages 1 and 2, Phoenix – Stage 2)
A.J. Allmendinger2022200015 (1st)5 (COTA)2 (Atlanta – Stage 2, COTA – Stage 1)
Brandon Jones201220006 (5th)5 (Martinsville)1 (Martinsville – Stage 2)
Josh Berry200920007 (4th)2 (Talladega – Stage 1, Atlanta – Stage 1)
Austin Hill200720002 (9th)5 (Daytona)
Justin Allgaier200620005 (6th)1 (Talladega – Stage 2)
Sam Mayer200420003 (8th)1 (COTA – Stage 2)
Ryan Sieg200420004 (7th)
Daniel Hemric20022000(12th)2 (Daytona – Stages 1 and 2)
Riley Herbst200120001 (10th)
Landon Cassill20002000(11th)

NASCAR Xfinity Series regular-season points standings after Race No. 9, the Ag-Pro 300 at Talladega Superspeedway:

  1. A.J. Allmendinger 384 points (1 win)
  2. Noah Gragson 344, -40 behind Allmendinger (2 wins)
  3. Ty Gibbs 339, -45 (2 wins)
  4. Josh Berry 284 (-100, +64 for a playoff spot)
  5. Brandon Jones (1 win)
  6. Justin Allgaier 263 (+43)
  7. Ryan Sieg 260 (+40)
  8. Sam Mayer 255 (+35)
  9. Austin Hill (1 win)
  10. Riley Herbst 242 (+22)
  11. Landon Cassill 240 (+20)
  12. Daniel Hemric 230 (+10)
  13. Anthony Alfredo 220 (-10 to a playoff spot)
  14. Sheldon Creed 185 (-45)
  15. Brandon Brown 185 (-45)
  16. Jeb Burton 180 (-50)
  17. Brett Moffitt 167 (-63)
  18. Alex Labbe 146 (-84)
  19. Myatt Snider 143 (-87)
  20. Jeremy Clements 143 (-87)
  21. J.J. Yeley 114 (-116)

Bold denotes driver virtually locked into the playoffs with a win
Italics denote driver currently not in a playoff spot

The next race for the NASCAR Xfinity Series is the April 30 A-Game 200 at Dover Motor Speedway (1:30 p.m. ET; TV: FS1; Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

In last year’s race at Dover, Austin Cindric won and picked up five playoff points. Justin Allgaier won stage one and Josh Berry won stage two. Allgaier and Berry each picked up one playoff point for their efforts.

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