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NXS bubble battle heats up as Gragson, Burton face issues

Photo: Dominic Aragon/TRE

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff bubble heated up as four of the eight playoff drivers were each involved in an incident that drew a caution during Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.

The biggest incident occurred on Lap 178 when Sam Mayer bumped Harrison Burton exiting turn four, causing Burton to get loose and crash hard into the outside wall with Noah Gragson.

RICHMOND, VIRGINIA – SEPTEMBER 11: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, celebrates in the Ruoff Mortgage victory lane after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway on September 11, 2021 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

Gragson was also involved in a Lap 98 caution with Daniel Hemric who he spun with. Gragson received damage but recovered to be 3 points above the cutline before the wreck.

After the wreck, Gragson finished the race 24 points below the cutline while Burton finished 51 points below the cutline. Gragson entered the race 2 points above the cutline and Burton entered 21 points below the cutline.

Daniel Hemric, who wrecked with Gragson on Lap 98, was one of the two biggest beneficiaries of the Lap 178 wreck. Hemric and Justin Allgaier were tied at the cutline before the wreck. After the wreck, Hemric and Allgaier finished the race 9 and 7 points above the cutline after finishing 15th and 9th, each respectively.

Hemric and Allgaier started the race 2 points below the cutline and 4 points above the cutline.

Photo by Jeff Ames/TRE

Justin Haley also benefited from the wreck. Haley was 23 points below the cutline before the wreck and moved up to 7 points below the cutline after taking tires during the caution for the wreck and moved up to a 4th-place finish.

Photo by Erick Messer/TRE

Brandon Jones recovered from a Lap 161 spin to finish 11th. Jones moved to 40 points behind the cutline after entering the race 32 points behind the cutline.

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES BUBBLE BREAKDOWN

Before the Kansas Lottery 300:

  1. A.J. Allmendinger +30 points above the cutline
  2. Austin Cindric +26
  3. Justin Allgaier +4
  4. Noah Gragson +2
  5. Daniel Hemric -2 below the cutline
  6. Justin Haley -6
  7. Harrison Burton -21
  8. Brandon Jones -32

Before the Lap 178 wreck:

  1. Austin Cindric (WIN)
  2. A.J. Allmendinger +31
  3. Noah Gragson +3
  4. Daniel Hemric +0
  5. Justin Allgaier -0
  6. Justin Haley -23
  7. Harrison burton -26
  8. Brandon Jones – 47

After the Lap 178 wreck/end of the Kansas Lottery 300:

  1. A.J. Allmendinger +47
  2. Austin Cindric +47
  3. Justin Allgaier +9
  4. Daniel Hemric +7
  5. Justin Haley -7
  6. Noah Gragson -24
  7. Brandon Jones -40
  8. Harrison Burton -51

Allmendinger and Cindric can each clinch a Championship 4 spot by finishing 4th or better in the stages.

Jones and Burton will each need to win to get in.

SOURCES:
NASCAR
Racing-Reference.Info

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