Over the last two years, Noah Gragson has been untouchable at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finding himself in a position to win the series’ last three races at the track. But, due to various circumstances, the Las Vegas native was never able to close it out.
Gragson once again had that same dominant speed in his JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, running against the outside wall like nobody else in the field to dominate the event, leading 127 of 200 laps.
Although, it was a late-race caution – for an incident between Kyle Sieg and Stefan Parsons – that gave the 24-year-old deja-vu to Homestead races of the past, as the No. 9 Bass Pro Shops entry had been notoriously inadequate on the short runs.
With 14 drivers on the lead lap to end the event, Gragson was able to maintain the top spot throughout the race’s final five-lap run, holding back Ty Gibbs and AJ Allmendinger to lock down a trip to victory lane at Homestead.
The victory marks the eighth of the season for Gragson, and the 13th of his NASCAR Xfinity Series career, all for JR Motorsports. More importantly, though, the victory ensures that he’ll go to Phoenix Raceway in two-weeks time, with a chance at the Xfinity Series title.
Ty Gibbs was able to take away the runner-up position from AJ Allmendinger in the closing laps of the event, leaving Gragson’s fellow championship favorites to finish behind him in second and third place.
Daniel Hemric was able to post a solid fourth-place result on Saturday, marking one of Kaulig Racing’s best intermediate track races of the season, by a longshot, with two of the team’s cars in the top-five, and the other – Landon Cassill – showing considerable speed.
Sam Mayer completed the race’s top-five finishers, putting forward another solid result in hopes of finding a chance to advance to the ‘Championship Four’ with a victory – or major misfortune for others – at Martinsville Speedway.
Trevor Bayne rebounded from a speeding penalty to finish in sixth, with Chandler Smith securing a career-best seventh-place result for Sam Hunt Racing. Riley Herbst came home in eighth, while Austin Hill, and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top-10.
Brandon Jones was the lowest-finishing driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs, recording a 15th-place finish, leaving him in – pretty much – a must-win situation heading to the series’ elimination event at Martinsville Speedway.
Next weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series will determine the four drivers that will contend for the series title at Phoenix Raceway, with a 250-lap door-to-door duel at Martinsville Speedway, where fenders and tempers have a history of flaring.