Ty Gibbs gets help to beat Gragson for Las Vegas Xfinity win
With an assist from Justin Allgaier, Ty Gibbs passed Noah Gragson with five laps remaining at Las Vegas and held on for his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win of the 2022 season.
Gragson lined up as the leader with five of 200 laps to go with Gibbs sharing the front row. Allgaier, Gragson’s teammate at JR Motorsports, lined up behind Gibbs and gave him a big push allowing Gibbs to clear Gragson for the lead off Turn 2.
Gibbs quickly got away from Gragson and his win was secured when a wreck erupted on the last lap, which brought out a caution and froze the field.
The win is the first this season for Gibbs, 19, the grandson of NASCAR and NFL Hall of Famer Joe Gibbs. It’s his fifth win in just 21 series starts dating back to last season.
Gibbs’ race got off to a rocky start when he hit Ryan Sieg on Lap 3, which sent Sieg up into the wall. During a red flag for a rain delay, the two drivers had an animated discussion on pit road.
On Lap 29, right after he was black-flagged for not meeting minimum speed, Sieg attempted to run Gibbs into the wall but instead spin and collected two other cars in an accident.
“First of all, thank you to my lord and savior Jesus Christ. Second, want to apologize to the No. 39 team (Sieg), my mistake putting them in the fence, so I want to say sorry,” Gibbs said. “It was my fault and it ended their day.
“Justin Allgaier pushed me, so thank you to him. Had fun racing with the JRM cars today, so thank you to Justin for pushing me there.”
Gragson was credited with second, Daniel Hemric third, Josh Berry fourth and Allgaier rounded out the top-five.
Gragson, a Las Vegas native, said he was “bummed” with his finish as he hoped to securehis first hometown win. “Obviously, I wanted to be in Victory Lane but it could be a hell of a lot worse,” he said.
Completing the top-10 were Landon Cassill, Sheldon Creed, Brett Moffitt, A.J. Allmendinger and Brandon Jones.
Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, the lead-lap cars all pit with Sam Mayer the first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 95, Brandon Brown, who stayed out, led the way followed by Mayer, Austin Hill and Gragson.
Mayer moved quickly to regain the lead on the restart.
Hill got around Mayer on Lap 97 to take the lead for the first time in the race.
With 90 laps remaining, Allgaier ran down Hill and got around him to take the lead for the first time in the race.
On Lap 139, Gragson was forced to pit under green as his had a tire cording. Gragson’s move, however, appeared to kick off a round of green-flag stops.
Creed was penalized for speeding on pit road and had to serve a pass-through penalty while Jeb Burton was penalized for an uncontrolled tire.
Once the cycle of stops was completed on Lap 148, Gragson moved into the lead. However, his No. 9 JRM team reported he was about two laps short of making it to the end of the race on fuel.
With 50 laps remaining, Gragson maintained about a half-second lead over Allgaier as Gibbs ran third, Hemric fourth and Allmendinger fifth.
On Lap 153, after a side-by-side battle with Gragson, Allgaier went to the inside of Gragson and reclaimed the lead.
Jesse Iwuji spun off Turn 4 on Lap 172 and the cars of Ryan Vargas and Stefan Parsons, who were behind him, plowed into each other trying to avoid the spin.
All the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Allgaier the first off pit road. On the restart on Lap 181, Allgaier was followed by Gibbs, Gragson and Allmendinger.
With a shove from Hemric, Gragson went three-wide and powered to the lead on the restart.
Mayer wrecked on Lap 182 after contact with Jones to bring out the ninth caution of the race. The race returned to green on Lap 189 with Gragson out front followed by Hemric, Allgaier and Gibbs.
Shortly after the restart, Ryan Truex shot up the track and slammed into Hill in an incident that also collected several other cars including Riley Herbst, John Hunter Nemechek and Allmendinger.
Gragson led the way on the restart on Lap 196 followed by Gibbs, Hemric, Allgaier and Cassill.
With a shove from Allgaier, Gibbs powered to the lead on the restart.
Gragson took the Stage 2 victory under caution as a late-stage accident on the backstretch required an extensive cleanup.
Gibbs was second, Mayer third, Hill fourth and Jones rounded out the top-five.
Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Mayer the first off pit road. Anthony Alfredo was penalized for an uncontrolled tire and Kyle Sieg was penalized for speeding on pit road, sending both to the rear on the restart.
On the restart on Lap 55, Creed – who stayed out – led the way followed by Mayer, Berry and Gragson. Mayer quickly powered to the lead after the restart.
Iwuji spun of Turn 2 on Lap 66 to bring out a caution. The race resumed on Lap 71 with Mayer out front followed by Gragson and Hill.
Gragson quickly got around Mayer on the restart and reclaimed the lead.
Kyle Weatherman spun off Turn 2 on Lap 74 to bring out the sixth caution of the race. The race resumed on Lap 79 with Gragson still out front.
With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Gragson maintained a small lead over Gibbs as Mayer ran third, Hill fourth and Jones rounded out the top-five.
On Lap 84, while trying to avoid Mason Massey – who had just hit the wall – Joe Graf Jr. got into Matt Mills, sending Mills car down the track and nose-first into the inside retaining wall.
Mills’ No. 5 suffered extensive damage and he was slow exiting his car. The extensive cleanup did not allow enough time for the stage to resume.
Gragson cruised to the rain-delayed victory in Stage 1, holding off his JR Motorsports teammates Mayer and Berry.
Gibbs was fourth and Ryan Truex rounded out the top-five.
Allmendinger started on the pole and took command early but three laps in, Gibbs hit Ryan Sieg from behind and sent him into the wall, but no caution was called.
NASCAR did display a caution on Lap 4 after Brennan Poole’s car blew an engine. The race restarted on Lap 13 with Allmendinger out front, followed by Berry and Gragson.
The race went back under caution on Lap 15 after some debris came off Sieg’s car and landed on the track in Turn 1. During the caution, rain – and even some snow – developed around the track which eventually forced NASCAR to halt the race.
The red flag was lifted after nearly 42 minutes. Cassill had to restart from the rear of the field after his team made tire pressure adjustments under the red flag.
The race resumed on Lap 23 with Allmendinger out front, followed by Berry and Hemric.
On Lap 29, after Ryan Sieg had been black-flagged for not meeting minimum speed, he tried to run Gibbs up into the wall and spun out, collecting Creed and Moffitt in the process.
Sieg took his car directly to the garage and was done for the day. The race resumed on Lap 33.
Shortly after the restart, Mayer got around Allmendinger to take the lead for the first time in the race as Gragson moved into second.
With seven laps remaining in the stage, Gragson went to the inside of Mayer and grabbed the lead as JRM teams ran 1-2-3.
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