Noah Gragson Nips Harrison Burton for Darlington Xfinity Win

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

DARLINGTON, SC - RIS - Noah Gragson held off Harrison Burton in overtime to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway on Saturday afternoon.  In a race dominated by Denny Hamlin in the famous No.54 Toyota Supra from Joe Gibbs’ shop, Gragson had what it took to hold off the competition.  What it took was a large launch on the restart in the overtime period.  Burton made it a close finish, but in the end Gragson got his first win of 2021 and trip to the playoffs. It looked for a while like a NASCAR Cup Series interloper, Denny Hamlin, might take the victory.  But a penalty on the final pitstop with less than 10 laps to go took him out of contention and opened the door for Gragson.

On his great restart, Gragson took the lead away from Daniel Hemric, and then went on to hold off Burton on the final restart in overtime to record his third career series victory. Unofficially, Harrison Burton finished in second, with Austin Cindric in third, Justin Haley in fourth and Jeb Burton in fifth.

Justin Allgaier, Tyler Reddick, Jeremy Clements, Myatt Snider and Alex Labbe rounded out the unofficial top 10.

Gragson showed strength as the race went on.  He or anyone else seemed to have the upper hand on Hamlin until his penalty for having equipment in the pits too soon.  Hamlin had to start the overtime in the back of the field and ended up finishing 12th.

Gragson wasn’t sure what happened to Hamlin, but thought his team had made the right adjustments on that pit stop to give him the car he needed to compete with Hamlin and anyone else over the final laps.

 “Yeah, after that caution if he would have stayed up there, we would’ve been able to battle, at least had a good shot to win it,” Gragson said.

The overtime victory snapped Gragson’s 49-race winless streak. It is his third career series win. Gragson celebrated by climbing the fence with members of his team.

“It has been way too long,” Gragson said of winning.  Gragson’s last win was June 2020 at Bristol.

Daniel Hemric won the opening stage when Hamlin spun from the lead on the last lap of the stage attempting to lap Carson Ware. After that, Hamlin had contact with David Starr on pit road during the caution for that stage.

The second stage ended spectacularly. Gragson won and Hamlin was second, but the action was for third to seventh. The cars ran three wide on the last lap. Allmendinger lost three spots in the final two laps of the stage and fell to sixth. Justin Allgaier gained three spots to fourth in the final two laps of the stage. Cindric gained two spots in that stretch to finish the stage third.

Unofficial Results: 39th Annual Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200, September 4, 2021, Darlington Raceway, 1.366 - Mile Paved

Fin, St, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 8, Noah Gragson, No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, 152, 2, 1, 5, 40, 6, 59, Running
2) 6, Harrison Burton, No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota, 152, 6, 7, , , , 44, Running
3) 24, Austin Cindric, No. 22 Snap on Ford, 152, 7, 3, 1, 1, , 46, Running
4) 3, Justin Haley, No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 152, 4, 9, 1, 4, , 42, Running
5) 5, Jeb Burton, No. 10 Dynagro Seed Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 32, Running
6) 4, Justin Allgaier, No. 7 Breyers Food Lion Feeds Chevrolet, 152, 10, 4, 2, 19, , 39, Running
7) 28, Tyler Reddick(i), No. 23 Robert B Our Co Inc Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 0, Running
8) 15, Jeremy Clements, No. 51 RE Goodson Construction/FoxSports 98.3 , 152, , , , , , 29, Running
9) 9, Myatt Snider, No. 2 Crosley Furniture Chevrolet, 152, 9, 10, , , , 31, Running
10) 22, Alex Labbe, No. 36 Globocam/WORKPRO Tools Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 27, Running
11) 12, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 CMR Construction and Roofing/A-Game Ford, 152, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 14, Denny Hamlin(i), No. 54 SportClips Haircuts Toyota, 152, 5, 2, 3, 43, , 0, Running
13) 10, Ty Dillon, No. 02 Fr8Auctions Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 24, Running
14) 19, Michael Annett, No. 1 PFJ Thank A Trucker Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 16, Josh Williams, No. 92 WORKPRO Tools Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 17, Landon Cassill, No. 4 Voyager Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 31, Colin Garrett, No. 26 Mohawk Matt Toyota, 152, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 26, Mason Massey, No. 17 AndersonPower/Gerber C&G Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 32, Joe Graf Jr., No. 07 Bucked Up Energy Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 2, AJ Allmendinger, No. 16 Hyperice Chevrolet, 152, 3, 6, 4, 24, , 30, Running
21) 20, Jade Buford #, No. 48 Big Machine Spiked Coolers Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 39, BJ McLeod(i), No. 90 DGM Racing Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 0, Running
23) 33, Matt Mills, No. 5 J.F. Electric Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 1, Daniel Hemric, No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota, 152, 1, 5, 3, 18, 1, 29, Running
25) 27, Ryan Vargas #, No. 6 Monarch Roofing Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 21, Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 0 KSDT CPA/Local Boy Outfitters Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 11, Running
27) 30, Colby Howard, No. 15 Project Hope Foundation Chevrolet, 152, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 23, Brandon Brown, No. 68 TradeTheChain.com Chevrolet, 151, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 35, Austin Dillon(i), No. 31 Swann Security Chevrolet, 151, , 8, , , , 0, Running
30) 18, David Starr, No. 61 Whataburger Toyota, 151, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 38, Carson Ware, No. 74 Jacob Companies Chevrolet, 151, , , , , , 6, Running
32) 34, Jesse Little, No. 78 Shriners Hospitals 4 Children Chevrolet, 150, , , , , , 5, Running
33) 25, Brandon Jones, No. 19 Menards/Bali Toyota, 146, 8, , , , , 7, Running
34) 37, Kyle Weatherman, No. 47 NWTF/Big Frig Chevrolet, 134, , , , , , 3, Running
35) 36, Ryan Ellis, No. 99 CorvetteParts.net/Keen Parts Ford, 133, , , , , , 2, Running
36) 29, Timmy Hill(i), No. 66 Ford, 116, , , 1, 3, , 0, Accident
37) 13, Tommy Joe Martins, No. 44 Capital City Hauling Chevrolet, 108, , , , , , 1, Accident
38) 7, Riley Herbst, No. 98 Monster Energy Ford, 107, , , , , , 1, Accident
39) 11, Sam Mayer #, No. 8 QPS Employment Group Chevrolet, 45, , , , , , 1, Brakes
40) 40, Gray Gaulding, No. 52 Panini America Chevrolet, 2, , , , , , 1, Electrical
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie

Time: 2 Hrs, 1 Mins, 38 Secs.
Distance: 152 Laps, 207.632 Miles

Average Speed: 102.422 MPH
Margin of Victory: 0.219 Seconds

Stage 1 Top 10: 18, 9, 16, 11, 54, 20, 22, 19, 2, 7
Stage 2 Top 10: 9, 54, 22, 7, 18, 16, 20, 31, 11, 2

Comments: Noah Gragson won the 39th running of the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway, his third victory in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

Prior to the start, the following cars dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reasons indicated: Nos. 52 (Missing the Drivers Meeting), 02 (Driver Change).

Failed to Qualify: (1) 13 Chad Finchum.

Cautions: 8 for 41 laps; Laps: 13-15 (No. 74 Spin Frontstretch [None]); 22-25 (Competition Caution [74]); 46-53 (Stage 1 Conclusion/Spin 54 Turn 4 [26]); 60-64 (No. 18, 19 Incident Turn 2 [26]); 92-97 (Stage 2 Conclusion [74]); 110-115 (No. 98, 44 Incident Turn 3 [26]); 139-142 (No. 19 Spin Turn 4 [07]); 146-150 (Debris frontstetch [15]).

Lead Changes: 19 among 8 drivers; D. Hemric 1-10; J. Allgaier 11-24; N. Gragson 25; J. Allgaier 26-30; N. Gragson 31-33; D. Hamlin(i) 34-44; D. Hemric 45-48; A. Allmendinger 49; J. Haley 50-53; A. Allmendinger 54-70; N. Gragson 71-92; A. Cindric 93; N. Gragson 94-97; A. Allmendinger 98-102; D. Hamlin(i) 103-110; A. Allmendinger 111; T. Hill(i) 112-114; D. Hamlin(i) 115-138; D. Hemric 139-142; N. Gragson 143-152.

Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Noah Gragson, No. 9 
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Jade Buford, No. 48

Cumulative Report, 39th Annual Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200 Darlington Raceway

Lap, Running Order (1-10), Speed, Rng, Out, OLL
45, 18, 9, 16, 11, 54, 20, 22, 19, 2, 7, 119.386, 39, 1, 37
90, 9, 54, 22, 7, 18, 16, 20, 31, 11, 2, 109.552, 38, 2, 31
152, 9, 20, 22, 11, 10, 7, 23, 51, 2, 36, 102.422, 35, 5, 27

Lead Changes (19)
#, Car, From, To, Tot.
Pole, No. 18, 1, 10, 10
1, No. 7, 11, 24, 14
2, No. 9, 25, 25, 1
3, No. 7, 26, 30, 5
4, No. 9, 31, 33, 3
5, No. 54, 34, 44, 11
6, No. 18, 45, 48, 4
7, No. 16, 49, 49, 1
8, No. 11, 50, 53, 4
9, No. 16, 54, 70, 17
10, No. 9, 71, 92, 22
11, No. 22, 93, 93, 1
12, No. 9, 94, 97, 4
13, No. 16, 98, 102, 5
14, No. 54, 103, 110, 8
15, No. 16, 111, 111, 1
16, No. 66, 112, 114, 3
17, No. 54, 115, 138, 24
18, No. 18, 139, 142, 4
19, No. 9, 143, 152, 10

Leaders (8)
#, Driver, Car, Times, Laps
1, Denny Hamlin(i), 54, 3, 43
2, Noah Gragson, 9, 5, 40
3, AJ Allmendinger, 16, 4, 24
4, Justin Allgaier, 7, 2, 19
5, Daniel Hemric, 18, 3, 18
6, Justin Haley, 11, 1, 4
7, Timmy Hill(i), 66, 1, 3
8, Austin Cindric, 22, 1, 1

Cautions (8 for 41 Laps)
#, From, To, Tot., Benef, Remarks
1, 13, 15, 3, , No. 74 Spin Frontstretch
2, 22, 25, 4, No. 74, Competition Caution
3, 46, 53, 8, No. 26, Stage 1 Conclusion/Spin 54 Turn 4
4, 60, 64, 5, No. 26, No. 18, 19 Incident Turn 2
5, 92, 97, 6, No. 74, Stage 2 Conclusion
6, 110, 115, 6, No. 26, No. 98, 44 Incident Turn 3
7, 139, 142, 4, No. 07, No. 19 Spin Turn 4
8, 146, 150, 5, No. 15, Debris frontstetch

 

Ron Fleshman with John Davison

RIS NASCAR Editor.  Has been with RIS since the middle 90's. Writes on each of the three main series of NASCAR.

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Volume 2021, Issue 9, Posted 6:44 PM, 09.04.2021