NASCAR Xfinity Series

Noah Gragson claims Xfinity playoff opener at Texas, pads win streak to four

Noah Gragson collected his fourth win in a row in the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Saturday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway as he led a race-high 85 laps. The win marks Gragson’s seventh of the season and he’s punched his ticket into the postseason’s Round of 8.

According to Racing Insights, Gragson tied the all-time record for consecutive wins, joining Sam Ard, who accomplished the remarkable feat in four consecutive starts back in 1983.

Austin Hill had a clean day and finished runner-up while Ty Gibbs recovered from starting at the rear to finish third. AJ Allmendinger overcame a mid-race incident to finish fourth. He was followed by Riley Herbst, who rounded out the top five.

Josh Berry, Sheldon Creed, Sam Mayer, Ryan Sieg and CJ McLaughlin rounded out the top 10. It’s McLaughlin’s first career top-10 finish in 26 starts in the Xfinity Series.

It was an attrition-filled day for the 12-car playoff field, and many of those making a run for the coveted championship suffered issues or were collected in on-track incidents.

The most notable incident of the day was a multi-car crash that occurred shortly after a restart on Lap 116. John Hunter Nemechek’s No. 18 Toyota got loose near the exit of Turn 2 while battling for the lead. Nemechek was then hit by Justin Allgaier and the two drivers slammed the outside wall hard down the backstretch and blocked the field, catalyzing a nine-car pileup that also involved playoff drivers Daniel Hemric and Brandon Jones, who entered Saturday’s race as the pole-sitter.

On a restart with 91 laps to go, trouble arose for Allmendinger as he made contact with Brandon Brown down the backstretch. The contact spun Brown, initiating a multi-car wreck that involved Sieg and Landon Cassill.

Jeremy Clements’ day came to an abrupt end on Lap 79 after a mechanical issue put the N0. 51 Chevrolet behind the wall.

The Xfinity Series heads to the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway next Saturday as the Round of 12 resumes Oct. 1 with the Sparks 300 (4 p.m. ET, USA Network, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

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