Noah Gragson Holds Off Harrison Burton To Capture First Xfinity Series Win In Daytonaby Hunter Thomas February 15, 2020 0 comments
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – As the field crashed behind him, Noah Gragson went on to win his first-career NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.
On the final lap of the NASCAR Racing Experience 300, Gragson, driver of the JR Motorsports No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/BRCC Chevy, led the field down the backstretch while holding off Harrsion Burton for the top spot. A bump draft from Brandon Brown sent Michael Annett into the outside wall and ignited a chain reaction. Gragson and Burton had made their way into Turns 3 and 4, when NASCAR threw the caution. Twenty-one-year-old Gragson was announced the winner, earning his first victory in 37 series starts.
“I’m so thankful for this opportunity, and just very, very proud of this team, everybody from JR Motorsports, this 9 team, everybody who works in the fab shop, Hendrick Motorsports, for just allowing this to happen,” Gragson said. “The power was awesome. Thank you to Hendrick power, Hendrick engines.”
In only his 10th series start and his first appearance competing at Daytona, Burton held on for a runner-up finish. Burton ran up front for most of the race. He led 15 laps after being out in front of the pack on two occasions.
“I wish I could have won it,” Burton said. “You know, our Dex Imaging guys really work their butts off to make this car really fast, and even with damage we had a really, really good car. Proud of our guys, proud of our hard work. Hopefully soon we can put this Supra in Victory Lane, though, and finish the deal.”
Timmy Hill captured a career-high third-place finish in his 186th series start. Brandon Jones and Chase Briscoe completed the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 was Justin Haley, Brandon Brown, Ray Black II, Ryan Sieg and Alex Labbe.
Eight leaders swapped the lead 28 times throughout the race. Jeb Burton led a race high of 26 laps.
Throughout the afternoon, there were seven cautions for 28 laps. Five of the cautions were for multicar accidents; however, the largest came on lap 115, when 13 cars piled up along the backstretch and Turn 3. The crash began when Jeb Burton was sent sideways in front of the pack on the backstretch. With nowhere to go, Austin Cindric and others piled into each other. The red flag was displayed for 7 minutes and 50 seconds.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will visit Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 22 for the Boyd Gaming 300. Live coverage will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Performance Racing Network (PRN) at 4 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images