Noah Gragson wins Bristol Xfinity race in overtime
Noah Gragson won Monday’s Xfinity Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway, holding off Chase Briscoe and Brandon Jones in an overtime finish.
The finish was set up by an accident between Gragson and JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier with five laps to go in the scheduled 300-lap distance. Following a restart with seven laps to go, Gragson was challenging Allgaier for the lead when the two made contact in Turns 1 and 2. The contact sent Allgaier up into the outside wall. Unable to collect his car, Allgaier then slid into the inside wall. Allgaier, who led a race-high 156 laps, was unable to finish the race. He placed 18th.
Allgaier has led 47% of the laps in the last three Bristol races but failed to win all three.
The win is Gragson’s second of the year after he won the season-opener at Daytona.
“I really apologize to Justin and the seven team, that’s not how I want to race,” Gragson told FS1. “I saw that position open up, he kind of slipped off the bottom the lap before. I tried to get to the bottom. I just got too loose. All of us top-five guys, really anybody in the field, this track is like ice out there right now. We were slipping and sliding.”
Later in a post-race press conference Gragson was asked if could expect retaliation from Allgaier.
“If it’s going to happen it’s going to happen,” Gragson said. “All I can do is be on the same page as my team and just try to drive that thing balls to the wall and have it hung out sideways and try to go fast. The only thing I can do is try to win races ... When you’re a man and you throw a punch, you better be able to take a punch.”
Around 3 a.m. ET Tuesday, Allgaier hopped onto his Twitch stream to play “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” and relieve some stress after a “disaster” of a race.
With viewers asking him questions, Allgaier addressed the situation with Gragson.
“We did talk after the race was over. Not very much, but we did talk,” Allgaier said. “We’re not allowed to go to the shop, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens in our video conference meeting.”
Allgaier said “Things like (the accident) happen. I made the mistake and left the door open. That’s just kind of what happens. ... Noah and I will still be friends. It might take a while to get back on good terms, but we will figure it out.”
Gragson is the second repeat winner of the year, following Briscoe. He is also the eighth different winner in the last eight Bristol races.
The top five was completed by Harrison Burton and Myatt Snider.
Gragson, Briscoe, Jones and Burton qualified for the first round of the Dash 4 Cash bonus next weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Noah Gragson
STAGE 2 WINNER: Justin Allgaier
WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Chase Briscoe earned his seventh straight short-track top-10 finish ... Harrison Burton has finished in the top 10 in all seven races in 2020 ... Myatt Snider placed fifth for his best Xfinity finish in seventh career start ... Brandon Brown placed seventh for his third top 10 of the year ... Josh Williams finished ninth for his third career top-10 finish and his second of the year.
WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ross Chastain, Austin Cindric and Michael Annett were part of a wreck on Lap 6 that eliminated Cindric and Annett. Chastain finished 28th … Patrick Emerling, making his first Xfinity Series start, finished 29th after he wrecked on Lap 142 … AJ Allmendinger finished 10th after he spun early in the race and then had an unscheduled pit stop with 89 laps to go for a flat tire ... Riley Herbst and Justin Haley wrecked on a restart with 45 laps to go. Herbst had restarted first after taking two left-side tires. He made slight contact with Justin Allgaier that got him out of shape and resulted in the wreck. Herbst was eliminated and finished 27th.
WHAT’S NEXT: Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway at 4:30 p.m. ET June 6 on FOX