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Race report

Gragson snags fourth straight NASCAR Xfinity win at Texas

Noah Gragson appears to be unstoppable right now in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, winning Saturday's race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Gragson's incredible win streak continues, earning four consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series victories. It’s a feat no one has accomplished since Sam Ard did it back in 1983.

For Gragson, he’s now won a career-high seven races during the 2022 season too, locking himself into the Round of 8 with this victory at Texas.

"We just got a badass Bass Pro Shop team," an elated Gragson after post-race. "This No. 9 team -- man they're on fire. You fans, you keep us motivated to come back and win more races. You guys are awesome. We appreciate you. Thanks for coming out! This pit crew has done awesome, my car was as fast as Xfinity internet all day and just so thankful for the opportunity."

He later added: "Just really, really fun. Just very grateful. Everybody back at JR Motorsports -- we're working really hard. (Grateful to) everybody back at the fab shop. Just really, really solid effort by really all four teams today. Sucks that the No. 7 got wrecked on that one restart but we had some strong cars. We're on fire as a team ... man, I'm driving my ass off but I'm having fun while we're doing it. It's fun when you get to do burnouts and go get some waffles after. Let's go baby!"

Austin Hill, Ty Gibbs, AJ Allmendinger, and Riley Herbst rounded out the top-five. Josh Berry, Sheldon Creed, Sam Mayer, Ryan Sieg and CJ McLaughlin rounded out the top-ten.

Stage 1

Pole-sitter Brandon Jones led the field to the green flag at the start of the race, but almost immediately, it all went wrong. Jones got turned sideways off the nose of Daniel Hemric, who was trying to push.

Jones was able to gather it up without incident, but rejoined the field back in 20th place. In the stack-up, Parker Retzclaff sustained nose damage.

It was now Gragson leading John-Hunter Nemechek, but Nemechek was able to take the lead for himself on Lap 12.

The first caution of the day came as a result of Jeffrey Earnhardt, who lost control while battling for position and slammed the inside wall.

Sam Mayer restarted in the fifth position, but slid up the track and hit the outside wall soon after. 

A spin by McLaughlin then set up a three-lap dash to end the stage. Nemechek, Gragson, Gibbs, and several others sacrificed stage points in favor of pitting.

About a dozen drivers stayed out, led by Hemric. He held on to take the stage win ahead of Justin Allgaier, A. Hill, Gragson, Allmendinger, Berry, Nemechek, Sieg, Gibbs, and Kyle Weatherman.

Stage 2

Although he was about to cycle into the lead following the stage break, Gragson instead had to pit again in order to tighten some lug nuts.

It was now Nemechek and Gibbs left to go back-and-forth for the race lead, with Nemechek ultimately gaining the upper-hand. 

Gragson was charging back through the field, but continued to complain about a vibration.

A cut right-front tire for David Starr set up yet another sprint to end the stage. Gragson led the contingent of drivers who pitted while Hemric once again led about eight drivers who opted to stay out.

During the caution, playoff surprise Jeremy Clements lost power and was forced to go behind the wall.

“No idea (what happened,” said Clements. “I was just riding under caution and our Chevy cut off. And then that was it. Don’t really know what’s wrong with it. What a shame. That really sucks. It hurts bad. Had the same problem in the beginning of last year’s playoffs but it was a wreck, so not where we want to be. Have to go to Talladega and win somehow ... that really stings."

On the ensuing restart, Hemric lost the lead to his Kaulig Racing teammate Allmendinger, who went on to take the stage win. Akinori Ogata also spun just after the restart, but the race remained green.

He was followed by Gragson, Nemechek, Hemric, Gibbs, A. Hill, Allgaier, Sieg, Jones, and Mayer.

Stage 3

Gragson was back in control of the race, leading Nemechek and Gibbs. Another spin by Ogata put the race back under yellow.

Brandon Brown tried to move up on the restart, but wasn’t quite clear of A.J. Allmendinger. They collided on the backstretch, igniting a multi-car accident that collected several other drivers. Among those involved beyond Brown and Allmendinger were Landon Cassill, Ryan Sieg, Stefan Parsons, and Joey Gase.

The race went back green with 84 laps to go, only for absolute chaos to erupt. The leaders battled three-wide for the lead, and Nemechek got loose. Allgaier was close to making it four-wide for the lead and could not avoid Nemechek, which was the beginning of a massive crash that collected fellow playoff drivers Jones and Hemric.

Brennan Poole, Joe Graf Jr., Weatherman, Josh Williams, and Mason Massey were also involved.

“The No. 7 (Allgaier) chose the top behind me," explained Nemechek. "He started pushing, the 21 (Austin Hill) made it three wide. I was in the resin, I think we ended up four-wide at one point, which doesn’t really work, the aero was packed, the track was slick up there. I don’t know, it sucks.”

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The following run did not last long either, as Garrett Smithley wrecked in the back after getting turned by Weatherman, Myatt Snider also got a piece of it.

Eventually, the race got back into the rhythm of green-flag running. Gibbs was in pursuit of Gragson, but slid up the track and lost several seconds.

The leaders kicked off green-flag pit stops with 45 laps to go. Allmendinger and Berry ran long, finally pitting with 18 laps to go. Both went for a fuel-only call. 

Gragson didn’t cycle back into the lead until 11 laps to go, passing Jeb Burton who still needed to pit.

Hill gave chase, but was unable to catch Gragson as he cruised to the checkered flag, securing his seventh win of the 2022 season.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 9 United States Noah Gragson Chevrolet 200 2:38'21.599     85
2 21 United States Austin Hill Chevrolet 200 2:38'22.837 1.238 1.238 1
3 54 Ty Gibbs Toyota 200 2:38'24.351 2.752 1.514 3
4 16 United States A.J. Allmendinger Chevrolet 200 2:38'34.165 12.566 9.814 34
5 98 United States Riley Herbst Ford 200 2:38'35.300 13.701 1.135  
6 8 Josh Berry Chevrolet 200 2:38'35.325 13.726 0.025  
7 2 United States Sheldon Creed Chevrolet 200 2:38'43.606 22.007 8.281  
8 1 Sam Mayer Chevrolet 200 2:38'51.239 29.640 7.633  
9 39 United States Ryan Sieg Ford 199 2:38'25.328 1 Lap 1 Lap  
10 38 CJ Mclaughlin Ford 199 2:38'27.762 1 Lap 2.434  
11 48 United States Nick Sanchez Chevrolet 199 2:38'28.128 1 Lap 0.366  
12 4 United States Bayley Currey Chevrolet 199 2:38'39.696 1 Lap 11.568  
13 45 United States Stefan Parsons Chevrolet 199 2:38'39.960 1 Lap 0.264  
14 44 United States Tommy Joe Martins Chevrolet 199 2:38'46.006 1 Lap 6.046  
15 27 United States Jeb Burton Chevrolet 199 2:38'57.933 1 Lap 11.927 5
16 5 United States Matt Mills Chevrolet 198 2:38'39.231 2 Laps 1 Lap  
17 92 Canada Alex Labbé Chevrolet 197 2:38'36.954 3 Laps 1 Lap  
18 07 Joe Jr. Ford 197 2:38'41.804 3 Laps 4.850  
19 23 Anthony Alfredo Chevrolet 197 2:38'45.338 3 Laps 3.534  
20 31 United States Myatt Snider Chevrolet 196 2:38'28.564 4 Laps 1 Lap  
21 02 Parker Retzlaff Chevrolet 190 2:38'45.560 10 Laps 6 Laps  
22 34 United States Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet 141 2:07'44.149 59 Laps 49 Laps  
23 78 United States Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 132 2:04'47.392 68 Laps 9 Laps  
24 68 United States Brandon Brown Chevrolet 131 2:03'10.533 69 Laps 1 Lap  
25 35 United States Joey Gase Chevrolet 120 1:48'20.003 80 Laps 11 Laps  
26 36 United States Josh Williams Chevrolet 118 1:42'18.060 82 Laps 2 Laps  
27 19 United States Brandon Jones Toyota 117 1:40'53.375 83 Laps 1 Lap  
28 18 United States John Hunter Nemechek Toyota 116 1:39'07.104 84 Laps 1 Lap 60
29 7 United States Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 116 1:39'07.214 84 Laps 0.110  
30 11 United States Daniel Hemric Chevrolet 116 1:39'07.665 84 Laps 0.451 12
31 6 United States Brennan Poole Chevrolet 116 1:39'07.786 84 Laps 0.121  
32 91 Mason Massey Chevrolet 116 1:39'08.029 84 Laps 0.243  
33 10 United States Landon Cassill Chevrolet 109 1:28'22.351 91 Laps 7 Laps  
34 66 United States J.J. Yeley Toyota 99 1:19'22.939 101 Laps 10 Laps  
35 13 Akinori Ogata Toyota 99 1:23'53.931 101 Laps 4'30.992  
36 51 United States Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 79 57'38.099 121 Laps 20 Laps  
37 08 United States David Starr Ford 77 56'42.965 123 Laps 2 Laps  
38 26 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt Toyota 17 9'05.932 183 Laps 60 Laps  

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