Noah Gragson won Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway by holding off Jeffrey Earnhardt after teammate Justin Allgaier ran out of gas at the start of the third overtime.
In 136 Xfinity starts, Earnhardt’s runner-up result is his best. It comes after he claimed his first series pole of his career on Friday.
AJ Allmendinger came in third and took home the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash prize for the second year in a row. Landon Cassill came in fourth place. The top five were rounded out by Ryan Sieg.
Noah Gragson, driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s JR Motorsports, won the Ag-Pro 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series at Talladega Superspeedway, taking the lead on a restart in the third overtime.
Gragson defeated Jeffrey Earnhardt, the grandson of seven-time NASCAR Cup champion Dale Earnhardt Sr., who was driving a black No. 3 Chevrolet in a special appearance for Richard Childress Racing, which used to field Dale Srvehicle. .’s
Jeffrey Earnhardt finished 0.131s behind Gragson, who won for the first time at Talladega, the second time this season, and the seventh time in his career on the massive 2.66-mile circuit where Dale Sr. set a record 10 wins and Dale Jr. added another six.
When JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier ran out of gas on Lap 123, Gragson took the lead and led the race to the third-overtime restart. Earnhardt made his way up from his eighth-place restarting position to take the lead in the No. 9 Chevrolet for the rest of the race.
Gragson was already arranging his celebration in the infamous Talladega infield moments after the race.
“This team at Jr. Motorsports — they never quit,” Gragson said.
“We’ve had a kind of a rough last month, just not getting the finishes that we wanted…I couldn’t make moves on the top there very much at the beginning of the race.”
“So I just kept running the bottom… running the bottom and we’d get shuffled back and keep moving back up.”
“I’ve got to run in the Cup race [on Sunday], but the Talladaga Boulevard looks a lot more enchanting right now and inviting, so I might have to go out there and then throw some beads.”
Earnhardt sneaked past AJ Allmendinger for second on the second of the two overtime circuits, but couldn’t overtake Gragson through the tri-oval.
“I’m living the dream here—I’m just so thankful to get this opportunity,” said Earnhardt, whose crew chief, FOX Sports broadcaster Larry McReynolds, was serving his first stint on a pit box since 2000.
“Thanks to RCR for building this amazing race car. We were fast all weekend long.”
“We just fell a little short there, but congrats to Noah. He’s good at plate races.”
When Jeremy Clements’ Chevrolet stalled in Turn 2 to bring out the race’s 10th and final caution, Allmendinger was leading and appeared to have control of the race.
Allmendinger, on the other hand, won the $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash prize for the top finisher among four eligible drivers with his third-place performance.
“I thought I crashed about seven times on the last lap,” Allmendinger said. “I really appreciate what Xfinity and Comcast do to allow us to race for 100 grand at these four races.”
“I didn’t realize that the No. 7 [Allgaier] started laying back, and you can’t take off before him. I was really checking up when he ran out of fuel.”
“At that point, the No. 9 [Gragson] had such a run. This Chevy handled really well. We just lacked kind of the top-end speed, so they could get to my bumper, then basically boot me out of the way,” he added.
“I was just hanging on there. Jeffrey did a good job to make the move [for second place].”
Austin Hill, the season opener winner at Daytona, led a race-high 67 laps and was in the lead with less than four laps to go when Sam Mayer lost control of his Chevrolet in the outside lane and slammed Hill’s Chevy into the infield wall. Both cars were too badly damaged to proceed.