Xfinity Series Sets Playoff Field at Bristol

Xfinity Series

It is a huge weekend for all three of the NASCAR Series this weekend with playoff implications in all of the races.  For the Xfinity Series it is the final race of the regular season and all but two of the 12 playoff spots have been secured.

Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Austin Hill, and Brandon Jones have all earned a spot in the first round of the playoffs after winning at least one race.  After his penalty was overturned in an appeal, Jeremy Clements earns a spot in the playoffs for eight race winners.

After the race at Kansas last week Sam Mayer and Riley Herbst have earn a spot in the first round of the playoffs on points.

Defending Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric, Landon Cassill, Ryan Sieg, and Sheldon Creed are all in a battle for the final two spots in the playoffs.  Of the four Hemric is currently in the best position to move on, 37 points above the cut line.

Currently AJ Allmendinger tops the standings and can clinch the regular season championship with its 15 bonus playoff points if he can score 23 points in tonight’s race.

A total of 41 teams brought car to Thunder Valley to fill 38 starting spots.  Chad Finchum, Dawson Cram, and Brennan Poole failed to qualify for the race.

With a qualifying time of 15.653 seconds, Ty Gibbs puts his number 54 car on the pole with Josh Berry starting alongside on the front row.  This is Gibbs fifth career pole and fourth for this season.

The starting lineup for the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway:
Ty Gibbs
Josh Berry
Justin Allgaier
AJ Allmendinger
Sam Mayer
Sammy Smith
Jeb Burton
Daniel Hemric
Noah Gragson
Ryan Sieg
Brandon Jones
Riley Herbst
Brandon Brown
Stefan Parsons
Austin Hill
Landon Cassill
Mason Massey
Jeremy Clements
Anthony Alfredo
Bayley Currey
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Sheldon Creed
Patrick Emerling
Nicholas Sanchez
Alex Labbe
JJ Yeley
David Starr
Ryan Ellis
BJ McLeod
Josh Williams
Ronnie Bassett Jr
Sage Karam
Kyle Weatherman
Kris Wright
CJ McLaughlin
Myatt Snider
Joe Graf Jr
Bobby McCarty

Stages one and two are 85 laps each with stage three lasting 130 laps each around the half mile track for a total of 300 laps.  The drivers can run 140 to 150 laps on a single load of fuel.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag start of the race from the inside lane with Josh Berry alongside.  Ty Gibbs gets out in front for the lead with Josh Berry and Justin Allgaier battling for second.  AJ Allmendinger has some issue with his car.

Lap four, Ty Gibbs leads the race with Joshy Berry one second back in second; Justin Allgaier, Sammy Smith, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

First caution flag comes out on lap six when Nicholas Sanchez has a flat tire and brushes the wall.

What he thought was a transmission issue on the 16 car, AJ Allmendinger missed a shift on the race start.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap eleven from the outside lane with Justin Allgaier alongside.  Gibbs edges out in front of Allgaier to hold on to the lead.

Lap 12, Ty Gibbs leads the race with Justin Allgaier in second; Josh Berry, Sam Mayer, and Sammy Smith round out the top five.

Riley Herbst gets loose and brings out the second caution flag of the race on lap 14.

Sheldon Creed has a “doughnut” on the driver’s side of his car.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart with Justin Allgaier alongside on lap 19 and jumps out in front for the lead.

Lap 20, Ty Gibbs has a near half second lead on Justina Allgaier; Josh Berry, Sammy Smith, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

Lap 24, Noah Gragson and Jeb Burton continue their battle for sixth place.

Lap 27, Ty Gibbs has a one second lead on Justin Allgaier; Josh Berry, Sam Mayer, and Sammy Smith round out the top five.

AJ Allmendinger is concerned whether the car will make it to the end of the race after he over revved the engine.

Lap 33, Brandon Jones reports that his window net is coming down and he is driving one handed while trying to hold the window net in place.

Lap 36, Ty Gibbs leads is down to under a second on Justin Allgaier.

Lap 37, Nicholas Sanchez spins out and brings out the caution flag.  Sanchez reports some on track contact before spinning out.

Brandon Jones comes down pit road to get the window net repaired and service the car.  Several other drivers come down pit road for service.  Any driver who makes a pit stop now can make it to the end of stage one on a single load of fuel.

Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 42 and gets out in front of Justin Allgaier for the lead.

Lap 43, the top five are Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Noah Gragson, and Sam Mayer.

Lap 45, Brandon Brown gets loose, spins out, and hits the wall; bringing out the fourth caution flag of the race.  There is significant damage to Brown’s car.

Lap 51, Ty Gibbs brings the field down for the green flag restart from the outside lane with Justin Allgaier on the inside.  But this time Allgaier goes side by side with Gibbs until Gibbs gets out in front going into turn four.

The top five are Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, and Sam Mayer.

Lap 56, there are 34 cars on the lead lap.  Brandon Brown is on pit road for damage repairs.

Lap 58, Ty Gibbs has a lead of over half a second on Justin Allgaier; Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

Lap 62, Brandon Brown is out of the race.

Lap 69, Ty Gibbs has led every lap so far with Justin Allgaier in second; Noah Gragson, Josh Berry, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

After an earlier tangle on the track, Riley Herbst and Sheldon Creed have once again found each other and do a little door banging.

Lap 75, leader Ty Gibbs has encountered slower traffic; Justin Allgaier closes the gap ot the lead to less than a tenth of a second.

Lap 80, Ty Gibbs has a quarter of a second lead on Justin Allgaier; Noah Gragson, Sam Mayer, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

Ty Gibbs leads every lap and wins stage one.

The top 10 at the end of stage one:
Ty Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger, Josh Berry, Jeb Burton, Daniel Hemric, Landon Cassill, and Ryan Sieg.

Drivers come down pit road for service with Ty Gibbs winning the race off of pit road.

After staying out on the track, Sheldon Creed and Jeffrey Earnhardt bring the field down for the green flag start of stage two on lap 95.  Sheldon Creed takes the lead with Justin Allgaier in second and Ty Gibbs in third; Sam Mayer and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

Lap 98, Justin Allgaier battles Sheldon Creed for the lead.  Going side by side, the two make contact with each other.  Lap 103, Creed gets Allgaier loose and holds on to the lead.

Lap 104, Justin Allgaier holds on to second with Ty Gibbs in third; Sam Mayer comes up on the outside to try and pass Ty Gibbs but fails to do so.

Lap 108, Landon Cassill makes an unscheduled trip down pit road with a flat tire.  The brakes are on fire on the right front of Landon Cassill’s car after he returns to the track.

Lapa 113, Sheldon Creed has a tenth of a second lead on Justin Allgaier; Ty Gibbs, Sam Mayer, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

There are 29 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 115, Landon Cassill is on pit road again, this time to address the car issue.

Landon Cassill is out of the race.

Lap 119, Sheldon Creed holds on to the lead by one tenth of a second on Justin Allgaier; Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

Lap 123, Justin Allgaier continues to challenge Sheldon Creed for the lead.  He gets side by side but so far has been unable to take the lead.  One lap 125, Justin Allgaier passes Sheldon Creed to take the lead.; Ty Gibbs, Noah Gragson, and Sam Mayer round out the top five.

Lap 129, Sheldon Creed and Ty Gibbs battle for second when Gibbs makes contact with Creed and sends him into the wall after Noah Gragson makes contact with Ty Gibbs.

Sheldon Creed becomes the third driver out of the race.

Ty Gibbs is on pit road for crash damage.

Justin Allgaier brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 139 with Noah Gragson alongside.  Allgaier gets out in front for the lead with teammate Noah Gragson in second; Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.  There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 144, Josh Berry gets high and brushes the wall but the track stays green.

Lap 151, Justin Allgaier has a lead of nearly a second on Noah Gragson; Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.  There are 26 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 160, Justin Allgaier has a one second lead on Naoh Gragson; Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger, and Brandon Jones round out the top five.

Lap 163, Sam Mayer passes Noah Gragson for second.

With six laps remaining in stage two, there are 23 cars on the lead lap with four driver out of the race.

The seventh caution flag comes out after a three way battle between Sam Mayer, JJ Yeley, and CJ McLaughlin causes Mayer and JJ Yeley spin out.  Stage two ends under caution with Justin Allgaier winning the stage.

The top 10 at the end of stage two:
Justin Allgaier
Noah Gragson
AJ Allmendinger
Brandon Jones
Riley Herbst
Austin Hill
Jeb Burton
Daniel Hemric
Sammy Smith
Josh Berry

Drivers come down pit road but Bayley Currey and Joe Graf Jr stay out on the track.  Justin Allgaier wins the race off of pit road.

AJ Allmendinger has secured the Xfinity Series regular season championship!

Bayley Currey brings the field down for the green flag start of stage three on lap 180; third place driver Justin Allgaier is the first car with fresh tires.  Justin Allgaier quicky moves to take the lead with Brandon Jones coming up to take second; Bayley Currey, Austin Hill, and riley Herbst round out the top five.

Lap 186, Justin Allgaier has just a tenth of a second lead on Brandon Jones; Bayley Currey, Austin Hill, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Sam Mayer narrowly misses hitting the wall when he gets loose back in 15th place but save the car and the track stays green.

Lap 187, Justin Allgaier holds on to a narrow lead on Brandon Jones; Bayley Currey, Austin Hill, and Noah Gragson round out the top five.

Lap 203, there are now less than 100 laps remaining in the race, Justin Allgaier has a third of a second lead on Brandon Jones; Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Lap 214, Justin Allgaier has pulled out to a lead of nearly a second on Brandon Jones; Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.  There are 22 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 220, Landon Cassill returns to the track 112 laps down.

Lap 225, Justin Allgaier has a lead of over a second on Brandon Jones; Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Seventy to go, Justin Allgaier has a lead of over a second on Brandon Jones with just 16 cars on the lead lap.

Lap 237, the top five are Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones, Noah Gragson Austin Hill, and AJ Allmendinger.

Lap 243, Justin Allgaier continues to lead the race with a three second lead on Noah Gragson; Brandon Jones, Austin Hill, and AJ Allmendinger round out the top five.

With 52 laps to go, Justin Allgaier has lapped all but 14 cars and is nearly two and a half seconds in front of teammate Noah Gragson.

Lap 256, there are only 13 cars on the lead lap with Justin Allgaier over a second in front of Noah Gragson.

With 38 laps remaining in the race, Noah Gragson has closed the gap on leader Justin Allgaier to under a second.

Lap 266, Noah Gragson begins to challenge leader Justi Allgaier.

Lap 271, in a three wide battle between leader Justin Allgaier, JJ Yeley, and Alex Labbe, JJ Yeley gets loose and gets turned around; hitting the inside wall.

Some of the drivers, including leader Justin Allgaier, come down pit road for fresh tires.  Allgaier and Jeffrey Earnhardt were caught speeding on pit road.  Both drivers will have to restart the race from the back of the field.

After staying out on the track, Noah Gragson brings the field down for the green flag restart on lap 281.  Getting a big push from Austin Hill, Noah Gragson takes the lead with Brandon Jones in second; Austin Hill, AJ Allmednger, and Riley Herbst round out the top five.

Seventeen to go, AJ Allmendinger gets loose but saves the car and keeps it off the wall.

Fifteen to go, Noah Gragson has a one second lead on Brandon Jones; Austin Hill, Riley Herbst, and Josh Berry round out the top five.

Lap 288, Justin Allgaier has entered the top 10.

Ten to go, Noah Gragson has a lead of over half a second on Brandon Jones; Austin Hill, Riley Herbst, and Josh Berry round out the top five.

With seven laps to go, Brandon Jones has caught up to leader Noah Gragson and challenges for the lead.  Earlies this week it was announced that Brandon Jones will be taking over the driving duties for the number nine car when Noah Gragson moves on to the Cup Series to driver the Petty GMS number 42 car.

Noah Gragson takes the white flag and the battle for the lead continues.

Noah Gragson wins the race for the third week in a row and his sixth race win of the season.  After a rain shortened win at Kansas that dampened celebrating the win; Noah Gragson can have a proper celebration this week.  The number nine car disappears in the smoke with the burnout that had Gragson hitting the wall.  And then comes the climbing of the fence with the crew.

This is the first time in the history of JR Motorsports that a driver has won three races in a row.

Daniel Hemric and Ryan Sieg earn enough points to fill out the 12 driver player offs.

The unofficial results of the Food City 300:
Noah Gragson
Brandon Jones
Austin Hill
Sam Mayer
Riley Herbst
AJ Allmendinger
Josh Berry
Stefan Parsons
Justin Allgaier
Ryan Sieg
Bayley Currey
Jeffrey Earnhardt
Anthony Alfredo
Sammy Smith
Jeb Burton
Jeremy Clements
Kyle Weatherman
Sage Karam
Ryan Ellis
Daniel Hemric
Josh Williams
Myatt Snider
Joe Graf Jr
CJ McLaughlin
Kris Wright
Alex Labbe
Patrick Emerling
Ronnie Bassett Jr
Nicholas Sanchez
David Starr
Bobby McCarty
Mason Massey
JJ Yeley
BJ McLeod
Landon Cassill
Ty Gibbs
Sheldon Creed
Brandon Brown


The 12 drivers in the Xfinity Series playoffs:
Noah Gragson
Ty Gibbs
Justin Allgaier
AJ Allnendinger
Josh Berry
Austin Hill
Brandon Jones
Jeremy Clements
Sam Mayer
Daniel Hemric
Riley Herbst
Ryan Sieg


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