Gragson Dominates, Wins at Phoenix for JRM

JR Motorsports | 3/12/2022

NASCAR Xfinity News Noah Gragson Phoenix Raceway

Noah Gragson dominated the United Rentals 200 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars at Phoenix Raceway, leading 114 laps and extending his points lead after four races. It was the first victory of the young season for Gragson and JRM.

Race Results 

Race 4 of 33: United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway
Track Specs: 1-mile oval / 200 laps                     
Race Winner: Noah Gragson

Gragson's Finish: 1st

Berry's Finish: 3rd

Allgaier's Finish: 10th

Mayer's Finish: 22nd 

 


Noah Gragson

Noah Gragson saw last week’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway slip away from him in the final laps. The 23-year-old Las Vegas native responded with a dominant performance on Saturday at Phoenix Raceway, leading 114 laps in his Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber® Camo/Black Rifle Coffee Chevrolet to take the United Rentals 200 for his first triumph of the 2022 season. Gragson becomes the third NXS driver to start a season with four straight top-three finishes and the first to do so since 2012. The triumph also extended Gragson’s lead in series points to 39 and added six more playoff points to his total.

Race Rundown

  • Gragson qualified second for the 200-lap event on the 1-mile desert oval and stalked polesitter Trevor Bayne for much of the 45-lap Stage One. He took the lead on lap 42 and dueled with Bayne over the remaining three laps, losing out to a late lunge at the finish line as the green-and-white checkered flag waved to end the stage in second position.
  • The second-place finish ended Gragson’s streak of consecutive stage victories at two after he won both stages last week at Las Vegas, but it added nine stage points to his total for the day.
  • As Stage Two got under way, Gragson raced Brandon Jones for the lead and took the top spot away into Turn 1 at lap 55. Jones got back around five laps later as the two dueled on the tight oval, but Gragson powered past to lead lap 70 and held it until the end of the stage at lap 90. In addition to the 10 stage points, Gragson received another playoff point for use later in the season.
  • Under caution, Gragson told crew chief Luke Lambert that he felt his brakes heating up near the end of the stage. On the pit stop at stage end, Gragson had some of the brake-duct tape removed to cure that problem and added four tires, fuel and both chassis and air-pressure adjustments for the 101-lap final segment.
  • Starting third to begin the final stage, Gragson felt out the changes in his No. 9 Chevrolet and closed on Jones in second. In just three laps, Gragson got past for the position and started to reel in leader John Hunter Nemechek. Gragson passed Nemechek to lead lap 113 and started to widen his advantage over Jones.
  • Once in the lead, Gragson clicked off lap after lap in the top spot, building a lead of nearly three seconds. As the laps spun down, green-flag pit stops began with 35 laps remaining in the race. Gragson came down pit road at lap 169 for four tires, fuel and another round of adjustments.
  • With the field in flux, Gragson remained on the lead lap and worked his way around cars that were not on the lead serial. Jones assumed the lead once the stops were complete, and Gragson set about running him down. With the gap initially at almost two seconds at lap 173, Gragson needed just 13 laps to overtake for the lead.
  • Over the remaining 15 laps, Gragson built his advantage at the front of the field to an eventual 2.555 seconds at the checkered flag. For Gragson it was his sixth career NXS victory and the fourth top-three finish to start the 2022 season.
  • For Lambert, in his first season with Gragson and JR Motorsports, it was the fifth series victory for the North Carolina native and his first since July 22, 2012 at Chicagoland Speedway. It was also his third at Phoenix Raceway. Earlier in 2012, Lambert was on the box when Elliott Sadler won at Phoenix, and in 2017, while in the NASCAR Cup Series, Lambert led Ryan Newman to victory on the 1-mile oval.
  • In the opening four races of the season, Gragson has finished third, second, second and first, becoming the third driver to have top-three finishes over that span. The others are Kevin Harvick in 2005 and Sadler in 2012.
  • After four races, Gragson is locked into the NXS playoffs in both the driver and owner points. He also has a three-point advantage in playoff points with eight.

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

“It feels great to get the 50th Anniversary Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet in Victory Lane, and thanks to all the race fans who came out here at Phoenix. They’re awesome. The team, the pit crew, everybody who makes this possible...Johnny Morris, TrueTimber® Camo and Black Rifle Coffee. I caught the track on fire on the burnout, which was awesome as well. The pit crew executed great, and this team has been on a roll this year with all top-three finishes. I can’t thank everybody enough for all their hard work, and we’re going to try to keep it going.”


Josh Berry

Josh Berry, driver of the No. 8 PUBG MOBILE Chevrolet, drove from the rear of the field after the team was forced to make an unapproved adjustment following his qualifying run to finish third in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Phoenix Raceway. With the result, the JR Motorsports driver has now recorded three consecutive top-five finishes. Berry, who ran inside the top five for much of the day, earned a combined eight stage points en route to the third-place finish.

Race Rundown

  • Berry and the No. 8 PUBG MOBILE team qualified eighth but had to start from the rear of the field due to unapproved adjustments for Saturday afternoon’s 200-lap event at the 1-mile oval in Phoenix.
  • Berry drove inside of the top 10 by lap 40 and crossed under the green-and-checkered flag on lap 45 in the ninth position to earn two stage points to begin the day.
  • Restarting from the bottom of row three to start Stage Two, Berry entered the top five on lap 56 as the caution waved.
  • The No. 8 PUBG MOBILE Chevrolet consistently rode in the fifth position throughout the green flag run that followed and ended the second stage in the fifth position to earn six additional stage points.
  • Restarting the final stage from the bottom of row three, Berry once again drove inside the top five and up to fourth until pitting on lap 165 under green for four tires and fuel. Berry cycled out to the third position.
  • The caution-free final stage saw Berry run in the third position for the final 35 laps to end the race on lap 200 in the third position.
  • The top-five result is Berry’s third consecutive top-five finish and the third in four races to start the 2022 season.

Josh Berry, driver No. 8 PUBG MOBILE Chevrolet team

“We had a great car today but there’s still a lot that I have to learn in these races, but we are getting closer every weekend. The PUBG Mobile team worked hard to keep us upfront all day after having to start from the rear but they never gave up and got us another top-five finish to start this season. We just need to keep this consistency going each week like we have been and everything else will come to us.”


Justin Allgaier

Justin Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet, earned his 16th consecutive top-10 finish on Saturday afternoon in the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Phoenix Raceway. Racing inside the top three throughout the final stage, Allgaier rallied back from a pit road penalty and a late-race pit stop to secure the hard-fought 10th-place finish. With the result, Allgaier improves to third in the NXS standings, 42 markers behind JR Motorsports teammate and points leader Noah Gragson.

Race Rundown

  • Allgaier took the green flag for the 200-lap event from the rear of the field after an issue was discovered on the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet following qualifying, forcing the team to make what NASCAR deemed an unapproved adjustment.
  • Despite starting in the back, Allgaier charged forward in the opening run, improving 24 positions to 12th before the first caution of the day was displayed on lap 21.
  • Taking the lap-33 restart on the inside line, Allgaier continued his march toward the front, improving an additional five positions over the closing laps of Stage One to take the green-and-white checkered in sixth on lap 45 and earn five stage points to begin the afternoon.
  • Restarting fourth following a strong stop on pit road, Allgaier quickly made his way to third and maintained his track position until the final lap of the stage, as the driver of the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet narrowly got ahead of the No. 19 of Brandon Jones in a photo finish to take the green-and-white checkered flag in second. The stage-ending result netted Allgaier an additional nine stage points on the day.
  • Pitting for four tires and adjustments prior to the start of the third and final stage, Allgaier returned to the track with the race lead. The JRM driver held on to the top spot for the ensuing five laps before contact from behind shuffled Allgaier back to as far as seventh.
  • Undeterred by the loss of track position, Allgaier again ascended up the leaderboard, as the Illinois native powered back up to the third position over the green flag run that followed.
  • Then, during the lone round of green flag pit stops on lap 165, Allgaier was forced to serve a pass-through penalty after the BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet exited the pit stall with pit equipment still attached.
  • Undaunted by the task at hand following the penalty, Allgaier climbed back to the seventh position before having to make an unscheduled pit stop in the closing laps for a loose wheel.
  • Following the unscheduled stop, Allgaier fought back on the final lap to earn his 16th consecutive top-10 finish, taking the checkered flag in 10th.

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

“We had a great BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet today and I can’t thank Jason (Burdett, crew chief) and everyone on this JR Motorsports team enough. We had to fight throughout the day today and it was great to overcome having to start at the rear of the field to be in the race lead at the start of the final stage. It’s unfortunate that we ran into some issues in the closing laps, but I can’t say enough for this team. This group of guys never gives up and I’m ready to get back going again next week in Atlanta.”


Sam Mayer

Sam Mayer showed a lot of speed on Saturday at Phoenix Raceway, driving his No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet to a 22nd-place finish in the United Rentals 200 for NASCAR Xfinity Series cars on the 1-mile desert oval. The 18-year-old Wisconsin native overcame several obstacles on his way to the checkered flag, having to drop to the rear of the field for the start after qualifying seventh and being issued pit-road speeding penalties on four occasions. The young second-generation driver drove into the top 10 on all but one of those occasions—the final green-flag pit stop with less than 35 laps remaining.

Race Rundown

  • After a strong run to seventh in qualifying, Mayer was forced to drop to the rear of the field after having to make adjustments to his Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet after the field had been set. Taking the green flag from 32nd position, Mayer needed just 13 laps to advance into the top 20. Seven laps later, the first caution flag of the day waved and Mayer had climbed to 14th.
  • Under caution, Mayer told crew chief Taylor Moyer that his Chevrolet was pretty free overall, good on entry, neutral in the center of the long corners and loose off them. He also reported a shifting issue between second and third gears.
  • Restarting from 15th position on lap 33, Mayer once again moved forward, passing Ryan Sieg at lap 41 for 11th. Three laps later, running the high line, Mayer made his way into the top 10 and finished the 45-lap Stage One there, adding a stage point to his total for the day. On the ensuing pit stop, Mayer took four tires, fuel and adjustments and left pit road in fourth position, but the young driver was called for speeding and was forced back to the rear for the restart.
  • Starting Stage Two from 35th position, Mayer again put his head down and climbed the running order. After a quick caution at lap 55, Mayer had advanced six positions to 29th. By lap 64, the young driver had cracked the top 20 and needed just seven more laps to reach the top 15.
  • As the laps wound down to the end of the stage, Mayer kept his pace and drove into the top 10 with three laps remaining. He would finish there to earn another stage point, telling Moyer that he was getting tight at the end and especially snug in the center of the corners. Despite his rally, the same situation as Stage One played out on the ensuing pit stop, and Mayer was once again called for speeding and sent to the rear of the field.
  • Restarting from 33rd position at lap 99, Mayer once again rallied and advanced back to the top 20 in just nine laps. Another nine laps clicked away and Mayer was in the top 15. By lap 129, the young driver had reached 12th position, telling Moyer that he was managing a tight condition in his handling.
  • Mayer was still 12th when green-flag pit stops began at lap 165. Mayer came down pit road again on that lap for his final stop, taking four tires and fuel to the end, and once again was called for speeding, earning a pass-through penalty that would cost him a lap to the leaders. Unfortunately, he was called for speeding again while serving it and lost another lap.
  • Over the remaining distance, Mayer gained three positions from 25th to 22nd and finished there at the checkered flag. Mayer remained ninth in series points following the event.

Sam Mayer, driver  No. 1 Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevrolet team

“We had a really strong Accelerate Professional Talent Solutions Chevy at Phoenix today. I was proud of how we were able to drive from the rear of the field back into the top 10 on multiple occasions. It shows the effort and resilience of our team. In the end, we just couldn’t rebound from those speeding penalties. It’s disappointing and we’ll have to look at things when we get back to the shop. I don’t know if my tach lights were off or it was just an error, but it’s really hard to come back from that.” 

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • October 1 04:00 PM ET
    Sparks 300Talladega Superspeedway
  • October 8 03:00 PM ET
    Drive for the Cure 250Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
  • October 15 03:00 PM ET
    Alsco Uniforms 302Las Vegas Motor Speedway
  • October 22 04:30 PM ET
    Contender Boats 250Homestead-Miami Speedway
  • October 29 03:00 PM ET
    Dead On Tools 250Martinsville Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Andy’s Frozen Custard 300

Texas Motor Speedway | 9/24/2022
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Noah Gragson (P)21070
2AJ Allmendinger (P)2081-26
3Ty Gibbs (P)2080-27
4Austin Hill # (P)2064-43
5Josh Berry (P)2058-49
6Justin Allgaier (P)2054-53
7Sam Mayer (P)2035-72