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NASCAR Xfinity: Noah Gragson wins Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – OCTOBER 30: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Dead on Tools 250 at Martinsville Speedway on October 30, 2021 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


Noah Gragson was in the position of needing to win at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway on Saturday late in the running of the Dead On Tools 250, the penultimate race of of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, to advance to the championship round of the playoffs. He did just that, taking his race-winning lead on the first of two overtime restarts that extended the race from a scheduled 250 laps to 257 laps.

“I want to cry right now,” Gragson said.

Gragson led a race-high 153 laps, including a stage-two win on lap 120. He took his first lead on lap 65 when he stayed out during the caution that followed the first 60-lap stage after pitting during a lap-48 yellow flag.

Austin Cindric started on the pole and led the first 64 laps, including the stage-one win.

“We actually had to re-establish our track position after stage one with all of those cars flipping stages, so almost got a chance to win the race there,” Cindric said. “It’s tough when you’re trying to race for a championship. I said it after Bristol. I have one way I intend on having to race for a championship, and I feel like that’s as close as you can get to clean racing. Noah earned it. Noah deserved it. I think a couple more laps and the 22 car would be in victory lane.”

Cindric finished the race in the second position, and Daniel Hemric was third after leading late in the race.

All three of the top-three finishers advance to contend for the 2021 series title Nov. 6 at Phoenix Raceway.
The other driver advancing is regular-season champion A.J. Allmendinger, who finished seventh Saturday.

JR Motorsports teammates Sam Mayer and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top-five in the Martinsville finishig order. Despite the fifth-place finish, Allgaier was one of four drivers eliminated from championship contention.

“Just wasn’t enough,” Allgaier said.

Brandon Jones also was eliminated, despite finishing sixth at Martinsville, as were Justin Hale and Harrison Burton. Burton and Haley were the only two playoff drivers to finish outside the top-10 at Martinsville. Haley wound up 33rd after time in the garage for a brake issue and, then, a spin on lap 244 to send the race into its first overtime. 

Burton finished 20th after being collected in a wreck when Ty Gibbs spun from the lead on a lap-201 restart because from contact between Cindric and Gragson that sent Gragson into Gibbs’ car.

Gibbs had taken the lead from Gragson by beating him off pit road during a lap-179 yellow flag.

Alex Labbe finished eighth, Jeremy Clements was ninth, and Riley Herbst finished 10th at Martinsville.

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Posted by on October 31, 2021. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,Xfinity Series. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.