Noah Gragson Dominates in the Desert, Cruises to Win at Phoenix

AVONDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 12: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Bass Pro Outlets/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after successful the NASCAR Xfinity Collection United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway on March 12, 2022 in Avondale, Arizona. (Image by Logan Riely/Getty Visuals) | Getty Photographs

Noah Gragson came heartbreakingly shut a 7 days ago to his 1st NASCAR Xfinity Collection victory of the 2022 time. On Saturday, his No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet remaining no question as to who would be hoisting the winner’s trophy.

Gragson led 72 of the closing 87 laps – a race finest 114 of 200 laps on the day – to gain the get in the United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway. He handed race runner-up Brandon Jones with 15 laps remaining, negotiated lapped targeted visitors and in the end pulled absent to an spectacular 2.555-next earn.

The 23-year outdated Las Vegas indigenous and his group celebrated the victory by scaling the wire fence on the front straightaway and pumping their fists at the cheering group. It was not only the initial gain of the yr, but it was the fourth straight best-5 end for the team and enhanced his Xfinity Collection championship direct to a extra significant 39 factors more than rookie Ty Gibbs, who finished sixth Saturday.

“Feels great,’’ said a grinning Gragson, who now has six occupation Xfinity Sequence wins.

“Pit crew executed great and this group has been on a roll so far this calendar year,’’ he included. “Top a few finishes in all 4 races. Simply cannot thank everyone ample for all their difficult operate.’’

Jones, who employed a shorter-pit strategy to close out the race, just couldn’t hold off Gragson in the remaining laps of a race that had only four caution intervals – and none in the remaining 101 laps of competitiveness.

“I’m even now all-in-all very joyful to occur home next,’’ stated Jones, whose season obtained off to a tough start out with a crash two weeks in the past and a 17th spot in the Daytona year-opener.

There had been 16 direct modifications – principally among the Gragson, Jones – a former Phoenix winner – and Trevor Bayne, who received the 2011 DAYTONA 500 in his first consider, but has raced sparingly in the last number of several years. Bayne gained the pole position for Saturday’s race and his third-spot end is his second top-5 in as a lot of begins in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota this yr.

Gragson’s teammate Josh Berry, Bayne, and John Hunter Nemechek rounded out the top rated-five. The 19-yr previous Gibbs, who races for his grandfather Joe Gibbs’ staff, gained past 7 days at Las Vegas and concluded sixth on Saturday. The a few Kaulig Racing teammates A.J. Allmendinger, reigning Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric and Landon Cassill completed seventh, eighth and ninth respectively and Gragson’s veteran JR Motorsports teammate, Justin Allgaier finished the best-10.

Allgaier, a two-time Phoenix winner, had been operating top rated-five all day – even leading five laps – but was penalized for a pit infraction on the remaining pit cease and had to race back by means of the field.

Bayne gained Stage 1 and Gragson received Phase 2 for a collection most effective third phase victory of the period.

The Xfinity Collection races future at Atlanta Motor Speedway with the Nalley Automobiles 250 scheduled for next Saturday (5 p.m. ET, FS1, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Allgaier is the defending race winner.

— NASCAR Wire Assistance —

See race specifics at: Race Outcomes, Motorists Details Standings, House owners Factors Standings, Cumulative Report, Penalty Report

For comprehensive race facts, see the Phoenix Race Site.