The NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 field is set, with Noah Gragson leading the way to Phoenix Raceway next weekend. The JR Motorsports driver had the best finish in the semifinal round and will be the top seed in the season finale.
Noah Gragson, who won Stage 2 and led a race-high 153 laps, will be joined by race runner-up and Stage 1 winner Austin Cindric, third-place finisher Daniel Hemric, and AJ Allmendinger, who finished seventh. Hemric is the only non-winner with a chance to win the Xfinity Series title.
Missing the cut were Justin Haley, Brandon Jones, Harrison Burton and Justin Allgaier, who made the final four the last three years.
Noah Gragson started the day needing to overcome a 24-point deficit if he had to have any chance of advancing to the championship round. He went one better by winning the Dead On Tools 250 at Martinsville Speedway outright. His margin of victory was a mere .064-seconds, the closest in track history.
Noah Gragson never lost hope
After his third win of the year and fifth of his career, Gragson said:
“It’s been a rough, rough season. We had a couple of wins there, at Darlington and Richmond. After that deal last weekend, I was pretty fired up. I told my guys we still have an opportunity. We’re still in it.”
The reference to last weekend was a P35 where he crashed out just 22 laps from the end at Kansas. That followed a solid third in the Round of 8 opener in Texas.
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It took two overtime restarts for Noah Gragson to secure the victory. Passing Daniel Hemric on the first one, he held off a charging Austin Cindric to take home his second grandfather's clock. His other Martinsville triumph came in the Camping World Truck Series in 2017.