By: Ashley McCubbin
“All of the drivers did a good job in the field racing hard, except for a few.”
Noah Gragson crossed the finish line in second just behind A.J. Allmendinger, but it was a journey to get to that point. After all, he had to drive through the field a couple times.
Close to the end of the second stage, he had found his way to the front in putting the No. 9 Chevrolet into the lead. However, it did not last, as contact from behind courtesy of Riley Herbst sent Gragson around and into the tire barrier.
“I don’t know,” he said of the incident. “I don’t want to waste my time talking about people like that. My focus on guys that can win races and come here to compete to win. I don’t really have a comment.”
It doesn’t mark the first bit of contact between the pair, as it was Gragson initiating the contact five laps into the event at Texas Motor Speedway, ending Herbst’s day early.
“We talked on the phone a little bit,” Herbst told POPULAR SPEED shortly thereafter. “I don’t know. It’s kind of agree to disagree about the situation. We’ll move on to Kansas tomorrow and see how that race unfolds.”
On his drive back through the field, Gragson returned the favor to Herbst, getting into the rear-end of him on the frontstretch. Herbst kept the car straight, and was able to keep going.
When asked whether there will be more between himself and Herbst, Gragson was quiet with his response.
“I don’t know,” he commented. “It depends – nah, I’m not going to say anything.”
Gragson was able to make his way forward halfway into the third stage, before getting loose off of turn one and going around. Another drive through the field, and he found his way within inches of Allmendinger’s bumper across the finish line.
“I told my guys after I got wrecked by that dip dot in the 18 that we were going to have a shot to win this thing,” Gragson said. “I am very fortunate to have a good team that stands behind me under the DVP policy clock. They all stuck behind me no matter what, so just very fortunate to have a really good team. Just kept my head up and got back to the front, somehow wrecked myself once again, and got back to the front again, so I don’t know how many laps I wanted more because I’d probably end up driving off the track doing something stupid trying to run AJ down.”
Gragson did what he had to do, as he will be one of the eight drivers hoping to be part of the Championship 4 come Phoenix Raceway in November. Looking ahead to the events moving forward, the sophomore competitor is ready.
“All of them are good race tracks – Kansas, Texas, and Martinsville,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “It’s going to be a heck of a good time with this No. 9 group, a lot of fun racing our competitors in the Xfinity Series. Everybody wants it so bad, and so do we. It’s going to be pretty wild, exciting for the fans, and I’m ready to go for it.”
Categories: NASCAR Xfinity Series
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