Brandon Brown Second First-Time Winner at Talladega

(TALLADEGA, AL – OCT 2, 2021 – RIS) Following North Carolinian Tate Fogleman's first career win in the Camping World Truck Series race earlier, Brandon Brown scored his first career Xfinity Series race when encroaching darkness after a pair of late race cautions forced NASCAR to end the race under caution before the scheduled distance.

Justin Haley's car failed inspection before the race and Haley had to start at the back of the pack, plus make a pass through the pits under the green flag. He would recover to finish in sixth place on the lead lap. The first stage, won by John Hunter Nemechek, ended under caution when Sam Mayer and AJ Allmendinger crashed after Brett Moffitt got into a four-wide and tapped Mayer. The impact damaged the SAFER barrier and required a short red flag to repair the wall.

Riley Herbst Led the restart, just one of 33 lead changes that punctuated the race, with Blaine Perkins taking the second stage win thanks to pit stop timing.

A typical Talladega 'Big One' crash brought out a caution on lap 90, which became a red flag for the extent of the cleanup needed. The crash began when Noah Gragson got tapped by Brett Moffitt's spinning car, sending both hard into the outside wall and collecting at least seven cars in the incident. Gragson commented later that "it felt like a big one… I just got turned. I don't know how exciting it is from outside the car, but it's not exciting inside the car." The two red flags halted the race for about 20 minutes, 

The final caution came out when John Hunter Nemechek, Myatt Snider and Harrison Burton's crash led to the race being called on accountof darkness, awarding the win to Brandon Brown after he was scored as leading at the time the caution flew.

"A dream come true," exulted Brown. "Dad, we did it. This is just everything we hoped and dreamed for," he added, saying that he planned to take the trophy home to his parents.

Unofficial Results: 2nd Annual Sparks 300 at Talladega, October 2, 2021, Talladega Superspeedway, 2.66 Mile

Fin, Str, Driver, Car, Laps, St1, St2, Tms, Laps, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 19, Brandon Brown, No. 68 Original Larry's Hard Lemonade Chevrolet, 107, , , 1, 8, 5, 40, Running
2) 7, Brandon Jones (P), No. 19 Menards/Little Hugs Toyota, 107, 8, , 3, 12, , 38, Running
3) 1, Justin Allgaier (P), No. 7 BRANDT Chevrolet, 107, 7, 5, 2, 7, , 44, Running
4) 6, Daniel Hemric (P), No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota, 107, 10, , , , , 34, Running
5) 29, Jordan Anderson(i), No. 31 Bommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet, 107, , , , , , 0, Running
6) 8, Justin Haley (P), No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, 107, , 8, , , , 34, Running
7) 14, Jeb Burton (P), No. 10 Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet, 107, 2, 6, 3, 7, , 44, Running
8) 2, Austin Cindric (P), No. 22 Carquest Auto Parts Ford, 107, 4, 9, 5, 10, , 38, Running
9) 3, Josh Berry #, No. 1 TMC Transportation Chevrolet, 107, , , 2, 3, , 28, Running
10) 40, Joe Graf Jr., No. 07 G Coin Chevrolet, 107, , , 1, 1, , 27, Running
11) 17, Ryan Sieg, No. 39 CMR Construction and Roofing/A-Game Ford, 107, , , , , , 26, Running
12) 26, Jade Buford #, No. 48 Big Machine Spiked Coolers Chevrolet, 107, , , , , , 25, Running
13) 23, Blaine Perkins, No. 23 CIRCLE B DIECAST Chevrolet, 107, 9, 1, 1, 2, 1, 36, Running
14) 24, Josh Williams, No. 92 Star brite/Star Tron Chevrolet, 107, , , , , , 23, Running
15) 39, Joey Gase, No. 52 Sparks Energy/Cross Eyed Owl Ford, 107, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 38, JJ Yeley, No. 99 Figgers Wireless Chevrolet, 107, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 33, Santino Ferrucci, No. 26 HyVee Toyota, 107, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 18, Tommy Joe Martins, No. 44 AAN Adjusters Chevrolet, 107, , , , , , 19, Running
19) 35, Garrett Smithley, No. 17 Black Draft Farm Chevrolet, 107, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 25, Kyle Weatherman, No. 47 BowHuntersUnited.com Chevrolet, 107, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 32, Alex Labbe, No. 36 Can-Am Chevrolet, 107, , , 1, 1, , 16, Running
22) 11, John Hunter Nemechek(i), No. 54 Sport Clips Haircuts Toyota, 107, 1, 3, 2, 8, , 0, Running
23) 30, Matt Mills, No. 5 J.F. Electric Toyota, 106, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 15, Jeremy Clements (P), No. 51 All South Electric Chevrolet, 104, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 9, Harrison Burton (P), No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota, 101, 5, 7, 1, 2, , 22, Accident
26) 16, Brett Moffitt, No. 02 Fr8Auctions Chevrolet, 101, , 2, 2, 3, , 20, Accident
27) 13, Riley Herbst (P), No. 98 Monster Energy Ford, 101, 3, 4, 4, 26, , 25, Accident
28) 34, Jason White, No. 66 A-Game/CMR Construction Ford, 101, , , , , , 9, Accident
29) 31, Jeffrey Earnhardt, No. 0 Absaroka Chevrolet, 93, , , , , , 8, Accident
30) 4, Noah Gragson (P), No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, 88, , 10, 1, 8, , 8, Accident
31) 10, Myatt Snider (P), No. 2 TaxSlayer Chevrolet, 88, 6, , , , , 11, Accident
32) 37, Caesar Bacarella, No. 90 AP Regimen/AP PRIMEBITES Chevrolet, 88, , , , , , 5, Accident
33) 22, Ryan Vargas #, No. 6 Maintenx Chevrolet, 88, , , , , , 4, Accident
34) 36, CJ McLaughlin, No. 74 Integrated Recycling Tech Chevrolet, 88, , , , , , 3, Accident
35) 27, Mason Massey, No. 78 Gerber Collision & Glass Toyota, 88, , , 1, 4, , 2, Accident
36) 20, Bayley Currey(i), No. 15 TeamJDMotorsports.com Chevrolet, 73, , , 2, 2, , 0, Driveshaft
37) 21, Landon Cassill, No. 4 Voyager Chevrolet, 50, , , , , , 1, Engine
38) 12, Sam Mayer #, No. 8 QPS Employment Group Chevrolet, 24, , , , , , 1, Accident
39) 5, AJ Allmendinger (P), No. 16 Gold Fish Casino Slots Chevrolet, 24, , , 1, 3, , 1, Accident
40) 28, David Starr, No. 61 Whataburger Toyota, 20, , , , , , 1, Engine
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series,(#) Rookie, (P) Playoffs

Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 4 Mins, 55 Secs.
Race Length: 107 Laps, 284.62 Miles
Average Speed: 128.486 MPH
Margin of Victory: Under Caution

Stage 1 Top 10: 54, 10, 98, 22, 20, 2, 7, 19, 23, 18

Stage 2 Top 10: 23, 02, 54, 98, 7, 10, 20, 11, 22, 9

Comments: Brandon Brown won the Sparks 300 at Talladega Superspeedway, his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory.

Prior to the start, the following car dropped to the rear for the reason indicated: No. 11 (Inspection Violation).

Failed to Qualify: (1) 13 Timmy Hill(i).

Caution Flags: 5 for 21 laps;
Laps: 26-30 (#8 and 16 Incident in Turn 3 [11]);
52-54 (Stage 2 Conclusion [Red Flag: 5:38] [None]);
76-79 (#15 Stalled on Pit Road [None]);
90-93 (#02, 2, 9, 10, 19, 26, 90 Incident in Turn 3 [Red Flag: 15:20] [5]);
103-107 (#02, 20, 31, 36, 54, 92, 98 Spin in Turn 4 [None]).

Lead Changes: 33 among 17 drivers;
A. Cindric (P) 1-2;
J. Berry # 3;
A. Cindric (P) 4-6;
J. Berry # 7-8;
A. Cindric (P) 9;
A. Allmendinger (P) 10-12;
B. Jones (P) 13-16;
H. Burton (P) 17-18;
B. Jones (P) 19;
J. Nemechek(i) 20-26;
B. Currey(i) 27;
R. Herbst (P) 28-31;
J. Nemechek(i) 32;
R. Herbst (P) 33-49;
B. Perkins 50-51;
J. Graf Jr. 52;
R. Herbst (P) 53-54;
J. Allgaier (P) 55;
A. Cindric (P) 56-57;
J. Allgaier (P) 58-63;
B. Moffitt 64;
J. Burton (P) 65;
A. Cindric (P) 66-67;
J. Burton (P) 68-70;
A. Labbe 71;
B. Currey(i) 72;
M. Massey 73-76;
R. Herbst (P) 77-79;
N. Gragson (P) 80-87;
B. Moffitt 88-89;
J. Burton (P) 90-92;
B. Jones (P) 93-99;
B. Brown 100-107.

Mobil 1 Driver of the Race:  Brandon Brown, #68 
Sunoco Rookie of the Race:  Josh Berry, #1 

John Davison

Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.

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Volume 2021, Issue 10, Posted 9:54 PM, 10.02.2021