Last Lap Finish for the Win in Darlington for Xfinity Series

Xfinity Series

The Xfinity Series kicks off a doubleheader weekend at the track called “too tough to tame” at Darlington Raceway with the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200.

Cup Series regulars Ross Chastain, Kyle Larson, Ty Dillon, and Christopher Bell join the field of 38 drivers. Denny Hamlin was originally scheduled to run in the race but citing soreness withdrew after being involved in one of the many “big ones” last week in Daytona. Christopher Bell is taking over the driving duties of the number 18 car. Ty Gibbs, Daniel Hemric, and JJ Yeley will also be running the doubleheader this weekend.

Brandon Jones put his number 19 car on the pole with Noah Gragson alongside on the front row.

The starting lineup for the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200:
Brandon Jones
Noah Gragson
Sheldon Creed
Austin Hill
Ty Gibbs
Justin Allgaier
Kyle Larson
Riley Herbst
Landon Cassill
Daniel Hemric
Ross Chastain
Sam Mayer
Jeremy Clements
Stefan Parsons
Josh Berry
Kyle Weatherman
John Hunter Nemechek
Jeb Burton
AJ Allmendinger
Joe Graf Jr
Myatt Snider
JJ Yeley
Ty Dillon
Ryan Sieg
Ryan Vargas
Mason Massey
Brennan Poole
Josh Williams
David Starr
Ryan Ellis
Brandon Brown
Tommy Joe Martins
Kris Wright
Dawson Cram
Christopher Bell
Anthony Alfredo
Kyle Sieg

Stages one and two of the race are 45 laps each with stage three lasting 57 laps for a total of 147 laps around the mile and a third track. The drivers can run 65 to 70 laps on a single load of fuel but the track is very abrasive and the tires will run out before the fuel; but the teams only have four sets of tires in the pits.

With three races remaining in the regular season, there are seven drivers locked into the playoffs. While he maintains the win, Jeremy Clements is no longer a part of the playoffs after the post race inspection revealed an illegal intake manifold. The team has appealed the ruling.

There is some talk of possible inclement weather in the area.

While warming up their tires on the pace laps, Justine Allgaier and Ty Gibbs make contact.

Brandon Jones brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the outside lane and gets out in front going into turn two.

Lap two, Brandon Jones leads the race with Noah Gragson in second; Sheldon Creed Austin Hill, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap four, Brennan Polle is on pit road.

After starting the race at the back of the field due to an engine change Christopher Bell has moved up seven spots.

Noah Gragson takes the lead on lap five.

Lap seven, Noah Gragson leads the race with Brandon Jones in second; Sheldon Creed, Austin Hill, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 10, Kyle Larson passes Justin Allgaier for fifth.

Noah Gragson has pulled out to a half second lead on Brandon Jones.

Lap 12, Christopher Bell is up to 22nd. Noah Gragson continues to lead the race with a half second lead on Brandon Jones.

Justin Allgaier has dropped to seventh place; reporting some issues with his car.

Lap 20, Noah Gragson leads the race with Brandon Jones in second with Christopher Bell up to 17th place and running some of the fastest laps in the race.

Lap 22, Noah Gragson has a lead of over a second on Brandon Jones; Kyle Larson, Sheldon Creed, and Austin Hill round out the top five. Brennan Poole is off the track.

Lap 25, Christopher is up to 15th. Noah Gragson’s lead over Brandon Jones is down to half a second with Kyle Larson, Sheldon Creed, and Ty Gibbs rounding out the top five.

Lap 27, leaders have encountered slower traffic and is beginning to lap cars.

Lap 29, Noah Gragson has once again pulled out to a one second lead on Brandon Jones; Kyle Larson, Ty Gibbs, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 31, there are 33 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 32, Noah Gragson has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second and a half on Brandon Jones who is in a battle for second with Kyle Larson; Ty Gibbs and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Lap 39, Noah Gragson has a half second lead on Brandon Jones; Kyle Larson, Ty Gibbs, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five with 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 43, Noah Gragson’s lead is down to under half a second after being mired in traffic.

Noah Gragson is reporting a brake issue in the car.

Lap 44, Kyle Larson is slowed on the track and is headed for pit road with a flat tire.

Two laps remain in stage one and Noah Gragson is getting a challenge form Brandon Jones.

Noah Gragson wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Noah Gragson
Brandon Jones
Ty Gibbs
Justin Allgaier
Sheldon Creed
Riley Herbst
Austin Hill
Christopher Bell
Kyle Weatherman
Ross Chastain

Drivers come down pit road for service with a number of drivers reporting issues with the cars. NoahGragson wins the race off of pit road.

Anthony Alfredo has been charged with an uncontrolled tire on pit road and Jeremy Clements was charged with removing equipment from pit road. John Hunter Nemechek and Riley Herbst were charged with speeding on pit road.

Anthony Alfredo and John Hunter Nemechek made contact on pit road under caution; causing damage to both cars. Alfredo is on the six minute “crash clock”.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 54 from the inside lane. Teammate Justin Allgaier gives Gragson a push, putting him out in front with Allgaier taking second and Brandon Jones in third.

Lap 55 Noah Gragson leads the race with Justin Allgaier in second; Brandon Jones, Christopher Bell, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

Kris Wright gets into the wall and brings out the caution flag on lap 56, Myatt Snider, Joe Graf Jr, and Riley Herbst also sustained some damage to their cars.

Landon Cassill took advantage of the caution flag and made a trip down pit road with a loose tire.

The skies have darkened considerably since the race started.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 62 and jumps out in front for the lead with Brandon Jones in second; Justin Allgaier, Sheldon Creed, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Joe Graf Jr brings his car down pit road with a flat tire.

Christopher Bell passes Sheldon Creed for fourth.

The caution flag comes out on lap 64 for rain. While there are just a small amount of rain, NASCAR is quick to throw the caution flag after the big crash due some rain last week at Daytona in the Cup Series.

Caution laps are counting toward the end of the race with halfway at lap 74. Lap 68 NASCAR brings the field down pit road to wait out the rain that Justin Allgaier says is not happening. He noted that they drove an entire laps and there was not a single drop of rain.

NASCAR displays the red flag at 4:11pmEDT. Several crew chiefs along pit road are pleased with the decision to halt the race and wait out the rain.

The teams have covered the cars as the rain begins to fall.
At 4:51pmEDT the rains have abated and track drying is in progress.

5:35pmEDT, the sun is out and track drying continues.

At 6:02pmEDT the covers are off of the cars and the drivers have been called to return to their cars as track drying continues.

At 6:22pm the sun has begun to set and will become an issue for the drivers as they head into the evening.

At 6:30pm the drivers are climbing into their cars and getting ready to return to the track.

At the infield care center, Anthony Alfredo reported that he wasn’t feeling well in the car and was fighting an upset stomach when the wreck with John Hunter Nemechek occurred.

At 6:46pm NASCAR gives the order to re-fire the eninges after a rain delay of over two and a half hours.

The drivers are moving once again with 80 laps remaining in the race.

Only three drivers came down pit road for fresh tires.

Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart from the inside lane on lap 78 and jumps out in front for the lead with teammate Justin Allgaier in second; Brandon Jones, Sheldon Creed, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Brandon Jones and Christopher Bell battle for third with Bell taking the spot.

Lap 80, Justin Allgaier has caught up to leader Noah Gragson and is riding his bumper.

With nine laps remaining in stage two, Justin Allgaier passes Noah Gragson for the lead.

There are 22 cars on the lead lap with 32 cars on the track. Brennan Poole has returned to the track and is 41 laps down.

With three laps remaining in stage two, Justin Allgaier leads the race.

The caution flag comes out for JJ Yeley’s number 66 car that is on fire. Yeley quickly gets out of the car. Before the restart, Yeley had difficulty in getting the car re-fired and had to be pushed down pit road to get it moving. He has left a great deal of fluid on the track.

Justin Allgaier wins stage two under caution for his seventh stage win of the season.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Justin Allgaier
Noah Gragson
Christopher Bell
Brandon Jones
Austin Hill
Sheldon Creed
Ty Gibbs
John Hunter Nemechek
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry

And Kyle Larson is back on the lead lap.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Austin Hill edging out the wins of of pit road with Justin Allgaier on his bumper.

Noah Gragson reports that all of the lights on his dash have gone out.

Austin Hill brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three from the inside lane with 50 laps remaining in the race and gets into a side by side battle with Justin Allgaier who gets out in front for the lead.

Sheldon Creed comes up on the outside to take the lead from Justin Allgaier.

The top five are Sheldon Creed, Austin Hill, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson and John Hunter Nemechek.

Lap 100, 47 to go, Sheldon Creed has pulled out to a half second lead on Austin Hill; Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.

After getting back on the lead lap, Kyle Larson is now nin 21st place.

There are 24 cars on the lead lap.

Coming into the race, Sheldon Creed was below the cut line to make the playoffs. If he wins, it will guarantee him a spot in the playoffs.

With 42 laps remaining in the race, Sheldon Creed has a lead of over half a second on Austin Hill; Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, and John Hunter Nemechek round out the top five.

Lap 112, Sheldon Creed has pulled out to a lead of over a second on Noah Gragson; Austin Hill, Justin Allgaier, and Ty Gibbs round out the top five.

With 31 laps to go, Noah Gragson is cutting into Sheldon Creed’s lead; which is now down to just one second.

Twenty-eight laps to go, Sheldon Creed’s lead is now under a second over Noah Gragson; Justin Allgaier, Ty Gibbs, and Christopher Bell round out the top five.

Just 25 laps to go with Sheldon Creed leading the race by under a second on Noah Gragson; Justin Allgaier, Ty Gibbs, and Christopher Bell rund out the top five.

With just 20 laps remaining in the race, Brandon Jones gets loose and brings out the caution flag. He was in ninth place at the time of the spin.

Drivers come down pit road for fresh tires with Sheldon Creed winning the race off of pit road followed by Noah Gragson.

Leader Sheldon Creed has never won a race in the Xfinity Series; while he has won a couple of races in the Camping World Truck Series.

Sheldon Creed brings the field down for the green flag restart with 14 laps remaining in the race from the outside lane iwht Noah Gragson on the inside but it is Noah Gragson who edges out in front but once they reach turn one, Sheldon Creed edges out for the lead.

The top five are Sheldon Creed, Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgiaer, and Kyle Larson.

Brennan Poole is off the track.

Ten to go, Sheldon Creed has a quarter of a second lead on Noah Gragson; Kyle Larson, AJ Allmendinger, and Justin Allgaier round out the top five.

Third place driver Kyle Larson is running the fastest laps on the track.

Six to go, the top three drivers – Sheldon Creed, Noah Gragson, and Kyle Larson are separated by just half a second.

Five to go, Noah Gragson is on leader Shedon Creed’s bumper and is challenging for the lead.

Kyle Larson comes up on the inside and takes second place with Sheldon Creed holding on to the lead.

Three to go, Kyle Larson is challenging Sheldon Creed for the lead.

Sheldon Creed takes the white flag. Sheldon Creed and Kyle Larson battle for the lead but it is Noah Gragson who comes up on the inside and takes the win after Creed brushes the wall. This is Gragson’s fourth win of the season. He gives an impressive burnout that buries the car in smoke before climbing from the car to rousing cheers. He does a little stage dive into the arms of his crew members jumping off the car. And to top it off, Noah and the crew climbs the fence.

The unofficial results of the Sports Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Veteran 200:
Noah Gragson
Sheldon Creed
AJ Allmendinger
Justin Allgaier
Kyle Larson
Ty Gibbs
Christopher Bell
Josh Berry
John Hunter Nemechek
Austin Hill
Sam Mayer
Landon Cassill
Daniel Hemric
Brandon Jones
Ross Chastain
Kyle Weatherman
Stefan Parsons
Ryan Sieg
Bayley Currey
Mason Massey
Jeremy Clements
Ryan Ellis
Kyle Sieg
Jeb Burton
David Starr
Josh Williams
Ryan Vargas
Myatt Snider
Brandon Brown
Dawson Cram
Brennan Poole
JJ Yeley
Joe Graf Jr
Riley Herbst
Ty Dillon
Kris Wright
Alfredo Anthony
Tommy Joe Martins

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