Gragson Scores Big with Daytona Victory

JR Motorsports | 2/15/2020

American Heart Association Bass Pro Shops Black Rifle Coffee Brandt Daytona Jeb Burton Justin Allgaier LS Tractor Michael Annett News Noah Gragson Pilot Flying J TrueTimber XFINITY Series

Noah Gragson picked up his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win Saturday afternoon after getting the lead on a late restart at Daytona International Speedway.

Race Results Xfinity Series Points

Race 1 of 33: NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona International Speedway
Track Specs: 2.5-mile oval / 120 laps
Weather: Mostly cloudy; 70 degrees
Race Winner: Noah Gragson

Gragson's Finish: 1st
Annett's Finish: 11th
Burton's Finish: 23rd
Allgaier's Finish: 30th

Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson scored his first NASCAR Xfinity Series victory on Saturday in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway. Gragson, who overcame a pit road speeding penalty during Stage 2, took advantage of a late-race restart to charge into the lead on the final lap and hold off the field until a caution halfway down the backstretch secured the victory for the Bass Pro Shops/True Timber/Black Rifle Coffee team. With the win, Gragson becomes just the seventh driver to claim his first NXS victory with JR Motorsports.

Stage One Finish: 4th 

Gragson fired off in 12th for the 120-lap event and quickly wheeled his way into the top five within the opening 10 laps. The first yellow flag of the day would fly on lap 19 and Gragson reported to crew chief Dave Elenz that his car was too loose. The team took four tires, fuel and adjusted the trackbar as a result during the caution period to help tighten up the No. 9 Camaro. Gragson would restart in 20th using an alternate pit strategy but would rally in the closing laps of the stage to finish Stage One in the fourth position, earning seven stage points.

Stage Two Finish: 28th 

Lining up in the 30th position, after a pit road penalty for speeding, Gragson would rapidly move his way to the top 15 before a yellow on lap 37. The team opted to pit for fuel only during this caution, moving Gragson back to 27th for the restart.  Gragson would work the high and low lines as he drove up to the top 10 with minimal laps remaining in the stage. The No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Camaro would finish Stage 2 in ninth, earning an extra two stage points.

Final Stage:

Elenz would bring Gragson back to pit road at the stage break for another fuel only stop. The No. 9 would jump to second, riding behind teammate Jeb Burton, as the green flew. Gragson would ride behind Burton until a pit stop on lap 81, in which Gragson would leave the pits first among the group. After the pit strategies cycled out, Gragson would take the lead with less than 20 laps remaining. A late-race yellow would fly with 13 laps to go and the team would stay out on track. After falling to second, behind Chase Briscoe on the restart, another yellow would come out, this time with seven laps remaining. Briscoe and Gragson would battle for the last three laps of the race, with Gragson prevailing as the victor, earning five playoff points.

Noah Gragson, driver No. 9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet

“I can’t believe I just won at Daytona. I’m just a kid from Nevada who started racing at 13 years old in Bandeleros and now I am a champion at Daytona. It’s unbelievable and it’s not supposed to happen. This team at JR Motorsports gave me the best car possible and Dave Elenz made some great calls to get me out to the front. Spotter Earl Barban called a great race for me and I couldn’t have done it without him and everyone’s support at JRM, Hendrick Motorsports, Chevy along with our partners Bass Pro Shops, TrueTimber and Black Rifle Coffee Company who came on board this year. I’m going to soak this one in but also get ready to get back to victory lane again soon.

Michael Annett

Michael Annett made it through three different accidents on Saturday at Daytona International Speedway, but ended the NASCAR Racing Experience 300 in 11th place after being caught in a fourth on the last of 120 laps. Annett, who won this NASCAR Xfinity Series race a year ago, was running sixth as the field flowed off Turn 2 but an aggressive push from Brandon Brown turned his No. 1 Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet head-on into the outside wall and brought out the caution flag that ended the race. It also gave JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson his first victory in the series, the seventh for the team at the 2.5-mile superspeedway and the third consecutive triumph in the season opener.

Stage One Finish: 2nd   

Annett put his No. 1 Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet in second spot after qualifying just behind polesitter Myatt Snider and ran in the top five for the first 13 laps before the draft got figured out. With 12 laps remaining in the 30-lap Stage One, Annett hooked up with JRM teammates Justin Allgaier and Gragson and the trio was moving forward when the caution waved for debris on the backstretch. At that point, both Allgaier and Gragson came to pit road, but crew chief Travis Mack elected to keep Annett on the track in an attempt to win the first stage of the season.

Restarting third, Annett used the draft to stay in the mix and battled with another JRM teammate, Jeb Burton, for the top spot at the green-checkered. Annett finished the stage in second place just behind Burton, earning nine extra points for his effort and telling Mack that he did everything he could to win it, but couldn’t get a push at the right time to do so. Mack called him to pit road on the break for four tires and fuel with no adjustments, and he lined up ninth for Stage Two.

Stage Two Finish: 11th 

Annett resumed his pursuit of the leaders when Stage Two went green and was running 10th on lap 38 when contact at the top of Turn 1 shot his Pilot Flying J Chevrolet down the track in the middle of a huge pack of cars. Annett slid down onto the apron and back up through several cars, doing mostly cosmetic damage despite some contact. He was able to get the car re-fired and back to the pits, where Mack and the No. 1 team started in on the damage. The toe-in was off, but the bodywork was patched back together and despite a couple of stops, Annett hung onto the lead serial and returned to the track in 30th place. At the green, Annett started moving forward again and in nine laps, he’d risen to 15th place. Eight laps later, when Stage Two ended, Annett was 11th.

On pit road, Annett told Mack he needed the nose to work better. The crew changed four tires and freshened up the tape repairs while making a chassis adjustment to improve the battered Camaro’s handling for the run to the checkered flag.

Final Stage:

Annett took the green in 25th place on lap 64 and despite the damage, cracked the top 10 seven laps later. On lap 82, Annett went back to pit road with his three JRM teammates for fuel only in a strategy play, hoping to ride together as the laps wound down, but Burton and Gragson got out two cars ahead of Annett and Allgaier. That set up a long period of dueling strategies. The three-car pack of Annett, Allgaier and Justin Haley ran in the middle of the top 20 until lap 100, when the cars on sequence hit pit road. That elevated the group into the top 10 with less than 20 laps remaining. The good news was short-lived, however, as Allgaier came upon the aftermath of a spin in Turn 4 and slammed into the rear of a car moving slowly along the outside wall. Annett, trailing his teammate, narrowly missed both his teammate and the outside wall in squeezing through the aftermath.

Mack called Annett to pit road under the caution to fit four tires and add fuel as well as trim up the body repairs and Annett started 14th on the restart. As the field reached Turn 3, Austin Cindric’s aggressive push sent Burton sideways and into the wall to bring out another caution, which turned into a red-flag stoppage when the majority of the field piled in. Annett was involved as well, but the damage was minimal to his machine despite more contact. That set up the final restart, when Brown gave the No. 1 Chevrolet a long, hard push off Turn 2 and ended Annett’s race half a lap before the checkered.

Michael Annett, driver No. 1 Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet team

“We had a fast Pilot Flying J/American Heart Association Chevrolet today, and we had the speed to win here again, but we kept getting in the middle of all the action. I had a lot of fun today. I still don’t know what happened on the first incident, because it just turned left at the top of the corner. The second one, when Justin (Allgaier) hit the slow car at the top, I don’t know how I missed hitting him or the wall, but I did. We battled today, with all the damage, and we still had a chance to finish in the top five. Hats off to Travis (crew chief Travis Mack) and the No. 1 team today, because they worked hard and kept us in the game. Congrats to Noah and the No. 9 team on their first win. It’s a great feeling.”

Jeb Burton

Jeb Burton, driver of the No. 8 LS Tractor Chevrolet, had a strong-run cut short in Saturday afternoon’s season-opening NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Daytona International Speedway after getting collected in a multi-car incident with less than seven laps remaining, ultimately leading to a 23rd-place finish. Burton, who had led a career-high 26 laps, scored a victory in the opening stage and battled for position inside the top five throughout the event prior to the incident.

Stage One Finish: 1st

Burton took the green flag for the 120-lap event from the fourth position and wasted little time charging forward, drafting up to second by the completion of lap 12. Burton’s march toward the front didn’t end there, as the driver of the No. 8 LS Tractor Chevrolet took advantage of a lap 23 restart to draft into the race-lead with the help of his JR Motorsports teammate Michael Annett. Burton remained in the top spot for the final six laps, holding off fellow teammates Annett, Justin Allgaier and Noah Gragson to claim the victory in the opening stage of the 2020 season.

Stage Two Finish: 3rd

Following the Stage One victory, crew chief Taylor Moyer called Burton to pit road for four tires and a slight chassis adjustment in the hopes of alleviating a loose-handling condition. Burton returned to the track in 10th for the beginning of Stage Two after a handful of cars opted to stay out on the racetrack. Once back underway, the Halifax, Va. native again pressed forward, utilizing the inside line to methodically draft back into the top five and up to the third position by the time the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed to end Stage Two on lap 60.

Final Stage:

After a quick two-tire stop during the stage-ending caution, Burton lined up for the start of the third and final stage as the race leader. The driver of the LS Tractor Chevrolet maintained the race lead for the 15 laps that followed before heading to pit road for the lone round of green flag pit stops on lap 81. While on pit road, the call was made to take fuel only, which sent Burton back out directly behind JRM teammate Gragson. With a variety of strategies unfolding amongst the race leaders, Burton and Gragson remained in lock-step formation, biding their time until the remainder of the field came to pit road for service. Once the pit stop cycle was complete on lap 101, Burton found himself scored in the second position, amidst a lead pack of just five cars. However, that small lead pack was short-lived as a caution on lap 107 bunched the field back up once again.

Then, while attempting to make a move on the outside line on the ensuing restart, Burton was collected in a multi-car incident that badly damaged the LS Tractor Chevrolet. After initially driving back to pit road, it was decided that the damage was too severe to continue, forcing Burton to head behind the wall and end his afternoon prematurely. Burton was ultimately scored with a 23rd-place finish.

Jeb Burton, driver No. 8 LS Tractors Chevrolet team

“We had such a fast LS Tractor Camaro today and I can’t thank Taylor (Moyer, crew chief) and all of the guys on this JR Motorsports team enough. We were up there and in contention all race long and I just hate it that we got collected in that deal and had our day get cut short. I’m just really proud of all of our effort this weekend. We’ll rebound from this and keep moving forward.”

Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier had a promising start to Saturday’s NASCAR Racing Experience 300 at Daytona International Speedway, leading 23 laps and winning the second stage. However, a late-race wreck caused too much damage to his BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro and forced him to retire from the race with less than 15 laps to go. Allgaier was scored with a 30th-place finish and currently sits 13th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings after the opening race of the season, just 24 points outside the lead.

Stage One Finish: 3rd

The 33-year-old driver qualified 13th for the 120-lap race and began working with his teammates early to try to get to the front. He was running in the fifth position when the first caution of the race came out on lap 19 and crew chief Jason Burdett called the driver in for four tires, fuel and adjustments. With some cars opting to stay out, Allgaier restarted in 20th on lap 24. He wasted little time using the draft to get back inside the top 10 and continued to work with his teammates in the closing laps to give JR Motorsports a first-fourth finish to end Stage One. Allgaier took the green-and-white checkered flag in third.

Stage Two Finish: 1st

While many teams opted to come to pit road, Allgaier and the BRANDT crew decided to stay out and start the second stage from the point position on lap 36. He maintained the lead at the drop of the green flag, but lost the position before a caution came out on lap 38. He restarted in second on the bottom line and lost ground to start, but got a good run with help from the cars behind him to retake the lead on lap 45. Allgaier held off the field for the remainder of the stage, making blocks in the closing laps to win Stage Two and earn a coveted playoff point. Under the stage-ending caution, Allgaier came to pit road for four tires and more fuel.

Final Stage:

Allgaier took the green flag for the final stage in the sixth position on lap 67 and continued to race inside the top 10. Needing to pit one more time for fuel to make it to the end of the race, the JRM driver joined much of the field in pitting under the green flag within the same couple laps near lap 82. Allgaier rejoined the field after his stop in the 20th position and had worked his way up to 17th by lap 88. Due to varying pit strategies, there were multiple packs of cars on the track. With the final cars finally hitting pit road, Allgaier found himself in seventh, a little more than nine seconds behind the leader. He tried his best to rejoin the lead pack, but when the No. 51 slowed just ahead of Allgaier after another car spun, the driver of the No. 7 Camaro had nowhere to go and slammed into the back of the No. 51, causing severe damage to the BRANDT Camaro. Allgaier limped the No. 7 Chevy back to the garage and his day was done. He was relegated to a 30th-place finish after a strong start in the season-opening event.

Justin Allgaier, driver No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet team

“I saw the car spinning up in front of us and at that point, I knew we had a big pack of cars behind us and the last thing we needed to do was jump on the brakes immediately because I knew those guys were going to be right there and I didn’t want to get myself wrecked. Unfortunately, by time everybody dispersed enough to be able to put on the brakes, Jeremy (Clements) was already slowed more than we were. With the No. 11 to my inside, at that point there was nowhere to go. It’s just a shame. A terrible way to end Speedweeks. Obviously to get the stage win was huge and to run as well as we had all day in our BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro was good. It was just a disappointing ending to a decent day.”



XFINITY Series Schedule

  • April 20 04:00 PM ET
    Ag-Pro 300Talladega Superspeedway
  • April 27 01:30 PM ET
    A-GAME 200Dover International Speedway
  • May 11 01:30 PM ET
    NXS Spring Race at DarlingtonDarlington Raceway
  • May 25 01:00 PM ET
    NXS Spring Race at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway
  • June 1 04:30 PM ET
    Pacific Office Automation 147Portland International Raceway

XFINITY Series Standings

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Results are not available.