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2021 NXS Pit Boss 250: Race Highlights and Storylines

AUSTIN CINDRIC LEADS FRIDAY’S XFINITY PRACTICE AT COTA

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – JUNE 13: Austin Cindric, driver of the #22 PPG Ford, waits on the grid prior to the NASCAR Xfinity Series Hooters 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on June 13, 2020 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion and expert road racer, Austin Cindric, paced the field in Friday Afternoon’s only practice session for the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Circuit of The Americas, putting down the fastest lap in the dry conditions of Austin, Texas. Daniel Hemric, Tyler Reddick, Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top-five.

Kris Wright, Bayley Currey and Brandon Brown each ran into mechanical issues throughout the 50-minute session, each of which caused a stoppage in the session. Ryan Sieg’s No. 39 Ford Mustang also suffered engine issues, but never made it onto the racetrack.

ROSS CHASTAIN REPLACING JOE GRAF JR. FOR NXS EVENT AT COTA

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – NOVEMBER 08: Ross Chastain, driver of the #45 CarShield Chevrolet, stands by his truck during qualifying for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Lucas Oil 150 at ISM Raceway on November 08, 2019 in Avondale, Arizona. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)

On Saturday Morning, SS Green Light Racing announced that NASCAR Cup Series driver, Ross Chastain, would be taking over the driving duties of the No. 07 G-Coin Chevrolet at Circuit of The Americas on Sunday, as the team’s usual driver – Joe Graf — determined he was unable to race because of a knee injury from earlier in the week.

Chastain would qualify the car on the front row for the event, before running over the turtles and breaking an axle on the opening lap of the event, ultimately finishing 30th.

KYLE BUSCH CLAIMS 69TH CAREER POLE IN XFINITY RACE AT COTA

Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Skittles Gummies Toyota, drives during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of The Americas on May 22, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch and the No. 54 Skittles Gummies Toyota Supra put down a flying lap in Saturday Morning’s damp and soggy qualifying session at Circuit of The Americas, ensuring that he’d lead the field into the 3.41-mile road course’s daunting first corner for the first-time. Ross Chastain posted the second-fastest lap in the session, with Cole Custer, Alex Labbe and Tyler Reddick rounding out the top-five qualifiers.

Other Noteables:

  • No. 23 – Andy Lally – 13th
  • No. 8 – Miguel Paludo – 15th
  • No. 6 – Spencer Pumpelly – 16th
  • No. 77 – Austin Dillon – 17th
  • No. 19 – Brandon Jones – 19th
  • No. 9 – Noah Gragson – 20th
  • No. 2 – Myatt Snider – 23rd
  • No. 13 – Boris Said – 24th
  • No. 18 – Daniel Hemric – 26th
  • No. 98 – Riley Herbst – 29th

Failed to Qualify:

  • No. 0 – Jeffrey Earnhardt
  • No. 47 – Kyle Weatherman
  • No. 61 – Stephen Leicht
  • No. 74 – Bayley Currey
  • No. 78 – Jesse Little
  • No. 90 – Caesar Bacarella
  • No. 92 – Josh Williams

ENGINE ISSUE DERAILS NOAH GRAGSON’S DAY IN COTA

(PC : JR Motorsports Social)

Noah Gragson’s weekend was already off to an iffy start, with the No. 9 Back Rifle Coffee Company | Bass Pro Shops | True Timber Chevrolet Camaro already being down on speed compared to teammates Justin Allgaier and Miguel Paludo, but then – and quite randomly I may add — Gragson experienced a major issue with his entry, as entering the corner, the car caught fire and burst into a small fire, leaking oil and fluid everywhere. That would be the end of Gragson’s day, relegating him to a 36th-place finish.

KYLE BUSCH TAKES INAUGURAL XFINITY SERIES VICTORY AT COTA

Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Skittles Gummies Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of The Americas on May 22, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Kyle Busch claimed the 98th NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of his career on Saturday Afternoon, totally schooling the field in Saturday’s Pit Boss 250, the inaugural NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Circuit of The Americas. Busch extended his command of the event to a whopping eleven seconds by the conclusion of the race – the largest margin of victory in the series since the end of 2017.

AJ Allmendinger finished in the runner-up position, with Justin Allgaier, Kevin Harvick and Austin Cindric rounding out the top-five. The back-half of the top-10 featured some surprises as well, with Harrison Burton, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick, Justin Haey and Jeb Burton rounding out the top-10.

Exiting COTA, Brandon Jones holds the final playoff spot by 26 poitns over Brandon Brown, with Riley Herbst sitting 42 points back.

Other Noteables:

  • No. 77 – Austin Dillon – 13th – Best finish for Bassett Racing
  • No. 48 – Jade Buford – 15th – Best finish for Big Machine Racing
  • No. 6 – Spencer Pumpelly – 19th – NASCAR Xfinity Series Debut | Career-Best
  • No. 07 – Ross Chastain – 30th – Replaced Joe Graf Jr. in on-track activities on Saturday.
  • No. 13 – Boris Said – 31st – First Start of 2021

INSPECTION COMPLETE: BUSCH WINS, NO. 16 WITH ONE LOOSE LUG

AUSTIN, TEXAS – MAY 21: Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Skittles Gummies Toyota, drives during practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of The Americas on May 21, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

The NASCAR Xfinity Series process of post-race technical inspection has been completed, with Kyle Busch’s No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry being determined legal and has passed inspection, meaning he is the official winner of the inaugural Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of The Americas.

AJ Allmendinger’s No. 16 for Kaulig Racing had one loose lug nut, which will result in a monetary fine to crew chief Jason Trinchere – expected to be announced by NASCAR early next week.

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