Gragson wins 4h straight, wins Xfinity Round of 12 opener at Texas Motor Speedway

Noah Gragson crosses the finish line to win Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Tx, on Saturday, Sept. 24,2022. Photo by David Barks

September 24, 2022

Elliott Stern, Sports Editor

FORT WORTH, Tx – Noah Gragson raced his way into the NASCAR record book Saturday with a victory at the 18th annual Andy’s Frozen Custard 300 at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

In winning his fourth straight race, Gragson joins Sam Ard as the only Xfinity Series drivers to win four straight Xfinity races – Ard did it 39 years ago in 1983.

Gragson also became the first driver to win his way into the Round of 8 in the Xfinity playoffs that wind up on Saturday, Nov. 5 at Phoenix Raceway.

Gragson, who has now won seven races this year, led 85 of 150 laps around the 1.5-mile oval, taking control of the race at the start of the crash-filled Stage 3, holding off several challengers down the stretch.

“Our car was the fastest all day,” said Gragson. “The Number 9 team, man, they’re on fire. (Crew chief) Luke Lambert and the boys executed a great race.”

Noah Gragson does a celebratory burnout after winning the Xfinity Race at the Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, Sept. 24. Photo by David Barks

Austin Hill finished second, 1.23-seconds back, followed by Ty Gibbs, AJ Allmendinger, Riley Herbst, Josh Berry, Sheldon Creed, Sam Mayer, Ryan Sieg, and CJ McLaughlin.

“I think we were faster than the 9. The car was tight and we gave up a little at the end,” said Hill. “It would have been nice to win but it’s nice to start the playoffs like this.”

“We were a little tight today. We were fighting that all day,” said Gibbs. “Our Toyota Supra was fast. We just have to find a little more speed.”

Brandon Jones won the pole but his lead was extremely short-lived.

Jones slid sideways coming out of Turn 2 on the opening lap and, while he didn’t hit the wall, he ended up falling back to 19th place. He worked his way back up to fourth place at the beginning of Stage 2 but fell back again from there and wasn’t a factor at the end.

Daniel Hemric won the first stage and was in the mix until a nine-car accident on Lap 118 took him out of the race.

In the end, only 21 cars from the 38-car field finished the race.

Noah Gragson celebrates in Victory Lane after winning Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway. Photo by David Barks

Allmendinger won Stage 2 and later was part of an eight-car pileup on Lap 111 before recovering the finish fourth.

“We won a stage, got in a wreck, and still managed to finish fourth,” said Allmendinger. “I’m proud of everybody at Kaulig Racing for helping me finish the race today.”

“Anytime you can match the records of Sam Ard and the racing legends, it’s a great thing,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr, the owner of Gragson’s team. “This shows what a great driver he can be. Noah is a great asset to our team going forward.”

“I’m having a lot of fun right now,” said Gragson. “The wins are cool but, for me, the memories that we are making mean so much to me. It’s good to be making these memories and I just appreciate everybody that helps keep me going.

“And it’s good to be locked into the next round of the playoffs.”

Brandon Jones (19) leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Xfinity race in Fort Worth, Tx. Photo by David Barks

The Xfinity playoffs continue with the Sparks 300 at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Ala., on Saturday, Oct. 1.

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