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Substitutes recover, struggle after early multi-car wreck

LINCOLN, Ala. — Sunday’s Yellawood 500 at Talladega featured an early wreck involving the field’s substitute drivers who each ended the race with different fates.

Noah Gragson had the best fate, as he recovered from the Lap 25 wreck to be the highest-finishing substitute. After the wreck, Gragson worked back into the top 15/20 and finally finished 19th in Alex Bowman’s No. 48 Ally Chevrolet.

Noah Gragson races in the No. 48 Ally Chevrolet, alongside Corey LaJoie’s No. 7 Schluter Systems Chevrolet, during the October 2 Yellawood 500 at Talladega Superspeedway. Gragson filled in for Alex Bowman in the race. Photo: Jonathan Fjeld/TRE

Gragson filled in for Bowman, who was out with concussion-like symptoms, which moved Justin Allgaier into the Beard Motorsports No. 62 Chevrolet that Gragson was supposed to drive.

Allgaier’s fate wasn’t as good as Gragson’s fate after the wreck they were involved in.

Photo: Jonathan Fjeld/TRE

Allgaier received the free pass on Lap 46 and finished the 60-lap first stage on the lead lap but struggled in Stage 2. On Lap 106, he fell off the lead lap – for good – after losing the main draft, which dropped him to a 30th-place finish, two laps down.

In his 11th race filling in for Kurt Busch, Ty Gibbs wrecked out and posted his second-career last-place finish, in 37th.

Photo by Marcus Leno/TRE

Gibbs started 10th but dropped back to 34th at the start to ride around. After this, he only ran as high as 20th until he wrecked while running 22nd.

While Kurt Busch is likely to miss the October 9 NASCAR Cup Series race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, Alex Bowman’s return is more likely but is still up in the air. Ty Gibbs will likely fill in for Busch but it is unclear if Gragson will continuing filling in for Bowman if he misses the Charlotte Roval race.

Alex Bowman is still eligible to race for the championship but will need to get medically cleared for the race. To advance to the Round of 8, Bowman will need to win the race as he’s 54 points out of a spot to advance.

Photo by Dominic Aragon/TRE
  • Next race: Bank of America Roval 400 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
  • Time: 2 p.m. ET
  • TV: NBC, Peacock
  • Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Ch. 90

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