Noah Gragson hopes to add a chapter to the Xfinity Series storybook season
After helping paint the start and finish line pink at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway this week in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Noah Gragson promises not to cloud his work with a burnout of the victory if he wins the Alsco Uniforms 302 NASCAR Xfinity Series playoff race on Saturday.
But he says there are other sections of asphalt on his home track that could probably use a celebratory layer of scorching rubber and tire smoke.
“Hopefully we can win this weekend and burn out and honor people with breast cancer here in Las Vegas,” the full-time driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet for JR said. Motorsports and, more recently, the part-time driver. of race #48 in the Hendrick Motorsports Cup Series replacing the injured Alex Bowman.
“Getting a win in front of my hometown crowd, my last Xfinity race in Vegas, that would be a storybook for me.”
He closed in on the spring race at LVMS, finishing second behind Ty Gibbs before winning at Phoenix the following week and adding victories at Talladega and Pocono.
Next came back-to-back victories at Darlington, Kansas, Bristol and Texas, tying an Xfinity Series record. It was an incredible race that gave him seven wins for the season and made him the man to beat for the championship.
“I think it was a great opportunity to be able to do that and get a record stat. It’s pretty cool and so on,” said Gragson, who finished 10th and third in both races since the streak. and continues to pace the Xfinity rankings.
“For me and our team, we just want to keep winning races,” he said of his approach ahead of the first of three races that will determine the four drivers who will race for the championship in Phoenix next month. “And I feel like we’re in a really good place right now.”
It has emerged that Gragson, who will move full-time to the Cup Series in 2022 to partner Erik Jones at Petty GMS, the team owned by Las Vegas businessman Maury Gallagher, could be joined by a second local driver in round of 16 ahead of Riley. Herbst’s title bid ended last week in Charlotte.
Herbst finished second and fifth in the first two stages on the road hybrid circuit before being literally kicked out of the playoffs by multiple crashes.
Defending Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemrick was also among the eliminated, leaving Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, Gibbs, Justin Allgaier, Josh Berry, Austin Hill, Brandon Jones and Sam Mayer to fight for the final four sports before Phoenix.
Contact Ron Kantowski at email@example.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.
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