By AMANDA VINCENT
The No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing team continued its dominance of the round of eight of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs Saturday with its second win in two races in the round. Ty Gibbs drove the car to his fourth-career series win in only his 17th start in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.
“I’m just at a loss for words right now;this is awesome,” Gibbs said. “To have four wins in my Xfinity rookie season is just unbelievable. I’m very thankful and blessed. This is just awesome.”
Gibbs took his race-winning lead by passing Austin Cindric on lap 190 of the 200-lap race. Cindric finished second after a dominant performance that included 151 laps led and a stage-two win at lap 90.
A.J. Allmendinger, Justin Haley and Ryan Sieg finished third through fifth after taking new tires during the 10th and final caution of the race for a wreck involving playoff drivers Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson after contact between Sam Mayer and Burton.
“I was trying to get to the 20 (Burton) to sidedraft and he just came down,” Mayer told his team over the radio after the incident.
Burton and Gragson, both playoff drivers, finished the race outside the top-30 as a result of the incident.
Mayer, meanwhile, finished in the top-10 in the eighth position.
Allmendinger won the first 45-lap stage, taking the lead on a lap-38 restart. Prior to Allmendinger’s stage-winning lead, Daniel Hemric and Cindric led laps, with Cindric first taking the lead from pole sitter Hemric on lap 10.
Condric was first off pit road during the caution that followed the opening stage and ran up front throughout stage two.
Gibbs and Hemric beat Cindric out of the pits after stage two, but Gibbs was assessed a pit-road speeding penalty, and Hemric spun after contact with Gragson on the lap-97 restart, moving Cindric back into the lead.
Varying pit strategies during a lap-156 debris caution put Gragson in the lead and Cindric in 11th on new tires for the restart. With the newer tireds, Cindric retook the lead on lap 166.
Other top-10 finishers included Brett Moffitt in sixth, Michael Annett in seventh, Justin Allgier in ninth and Myatt Snider in 10th.
Two additional playoff drivers other than Burton and Gragson were outside the top-10 at the checkered flag. Brandon Jones finished 11th, and Hemric was 15th.