Split fortunes for NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff drivers at Texas
While NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff drivers made up eight of the top nine finishing positions in the Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway, the other four drivers finished 27th or worse.
Noah Gragson led the way with his fourth straight NXS win. Gragson is the second driver in NXS history to win four races in a row and the first since Sam Ard in 1983.
In 1983, Ard began his streak of four wins in a row on September 17 and continued it with his second win in a row on September 24 – 39 years before Gragson tied Ard’s eventual record-four straight wins.
Noah Gragson will advance to the second round of the playoffs. Including this year, Gragson has moved to the second round in all four of his NXS playoff appearances.
Gragson’s teammate Justin Allgaier had to wait for his chance to automatically advance as he finished 29th following a wreck on Lap 118.
Exiting turn two, Allgaier was behind leader John Hunter Nemechek, who was three-wide to the outside of Gragson and Austin Hill, when Allgaier appeared to take the air off of Nemechek’s spoiler. Nemechek got loose, hit Allgaier and triggered a wreck that knocked playoff drivers Brandon Jones and Daniel Hemric out of the race and took out Brennan Poole, Mason Massey and Josh Williams.
Jones, Allgaier and Hemric finished 27th, 29th and 30th, respectively. While Allgaier stayed above the cutline – 6th, +20 to advance to the second round – Hemric and Jones sit 10th and 11th in points, 8 and 13 points out of a spot with Talladega and the Charlotte Roval still to come in the round.
Jeremy Clements is 12th in points, 29 points out of a spot, after finishing 36th with an ignition issue Saturday at Texas. Riley Herbst is also below the cutline in 9th, one point out of a spot, after finishing fifth.
Playoff driver finishers:
1. Noah Gragson (Led 85 Laps, finished 4th and 2nd in the stages)
2. Austin Hill (Led 1 Lap, finished 3rd and 6th in the stages)
3. Ty Gibbs (Led 3 Laps, finished 9th and 5th in the stages)
4. A.J. Allmendinger (Led 34 Laps, finished 5th in Stage One, won Stage Two)
5. Riley Herbst
6. Josh Berry (finished 6th in Stage One)
8. Sam Mayer (finished 10th in Stage Two)
9. Ryan Sieg (finished 8th in each stage)
27. Brandon Jones (finished 9th in Stage Two, OUT at Lap 117)
29. Justin Allgaier (finished 2nd and 7th in the stages, OUT at Lap 116)
30. Daniel Hemric (Led 12 Laps, Won Stage One, finished fourth in Stage Two, OUT at Lap 116)
36. Jeremy Clements (OUT at Lap 79)
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