• NASCAR Cup Series
  • Xfinity Series
  • NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Darlington Raceway

Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help A Hero 200

September 4th, 2021

RESULTS

START POS

FINAL STATUS

LAPS COMPLETED

LAPS LED

POINTS

PLAYOFF POINTS

1

Noah Gragson

9 |

8

Running

152

40

59

6

2

Harrison Burton

20 |

6

Running

152

0

44

0

3

Austin Cindric

22 |

24

Running

152

1

46

0

4

Justin Haley

11 |

3

Running

152

4

42

0

5

Jeb Burton

10 |

5

Running

152

0

32

0

6

Justin Allgaier

7 |

4

Running

152

19

39

0

7

Tyler Reddick

23 |

28

Running

152

0

0

0

8

Jeremy Clements

51 |

15

Running

152

0

29

0

9

Myatt Snider

2 |

9

Running

152

0

31

0

10

Alex Labbe

36 |

22

Running

152

0

27

0

11

Ryan Sieg

39 |

12

Running

152

0

26

0

12

Denny Hamlin

54 |

14

Running

152

43

0

0

13

Ty Dillon

02 |

10

Running

152

0

24

0

14

Michael Annett

1 |

19

Running

152

0

23

0

15

Josh Williams

92 |

16

Running

152

0

22

0

16

Landon Cassill

4 |

17

Running

152

0

21

0

17

Colin Garrett

26 |

31

Running

152

0

20

0

18

Mason Massey

17 |

26

Running

152

0

19

0

19

Joe Graf Jr

07 |

32

Running

152

0

18

0

20

AJ Allmendinger

16 |

2

Running

152

24

30

0

21

Jade Buford

48 |

20

Running

152

0

16

0

22

BJ McLeod

90 |

39

Running

152

0

0

0

23

Matt Mills

5 |

33

Running

152

0

14

0

24

Daniel Hemric

18 |

1

Running

152

18

29

1

25

Ryan Vargas

6 |

27

Running

152

0

12

0

26

Jeffrey Earnhardt

0 |

21

Running

152

0

11

0

27

Colby Howard

15 |

30

Running

152

0

10

0

28

Brandon Brown

68 |

23

Running

151

0

9

0

29

Austin Dillon

31 |

35

Running

151

0

0

0

30

David Starr

61 |

18

Running

151

0

7

0

31

Carson Ware

74 |

38

Running

151

0

6

0

32

Jesse Little

78 |

34

Running

150

0

5

0

33

Brandon Jones

19 |

25

Running

146

0

7

0

34

Kyle Weatherman

47 |

37

Running

134

0

3

0

35

Ryan Ellis

99 |

36

Running

133

0

2

0

36

Timmy Hill

66 |

29

Accident

116

3

0

0

37

Tommy Joe Martins

44 |

13

Accident

108

0

1

0

38

Riley Herbst

98 |

7

Accident

107

0

1

0

39

Sam Mayer

8 |

11

Brakes

45

0

1

0

40

Gray Gaulding

52 |

40

Electrical

2

0

1

0

  • #1 | LEADER

    Noah Gragson

    #1

    LEADER

    Noah Gragson

    9|

  • #2 | 0.219

    Harrison Burton

    #2

    0.219

    Harrison Burton

    20|

  • #3 | 0.829

    Austin Cindric

    #3

    0.829

    Austin Cindric

    22|

Noah Gragson surges in overtime at Darlington, rolls to first Xfinity win of the season

Fresh from the announcement of his return to JR Motorsports next year, Noah Gragson sped to victory at Darlington Raceway on Saturday, clinching a spot in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs.

After pre-race favorite Denny Hamlin was sent to the rear under penalty for an equipment violation during a pit stop under caution on Lap 139, Gragson grabbed the lead from Daniel Hemric on Lap 143 and held it the rest of the way.

RELATED: Race results | At-track photos

Gragson‘s victory in the Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200 at the 1.366-mile speedway was his first of the season, his first at Darlington and the third of his career.

After debris from a Hemric spin on Lap 144 caused the eighth caution of the afternoon and sent the race to overtime, Gragson surged ahead on the final restart and finished .218 seconds ahead of runner-up Harrison Burton.

Reigning series champion Austin Cindric ran third, closing to a single point his deficit to current series leader AJ Allmendinger, who finished 20th after pitting under the final caution because of a loose wheel.

“It‘s been way too long,” said Gragson, who celebrated by climbing the frontstretch catch fence with his team after climbing from his car. “I hate that the 54 (Hamlin) … something happened to him on pit road. It was pretty fun racing there.

“We made good adjustments on the pit stops … And like you said, it‘s been way too long. A lot of frustration this year, and things haven‘t gone our way, but we‘re getting some momentum when we need to, and I just can‘t thank everybody enough on this No. 9 team.”

Hamlin appeared headed for his sixth Xfinity Series victory at Darlington when teammate Brandon Jones spun off Turn 4 on Lap 138 of a scheduled 147. On the ensuing pit stop for new tires, Hamlin‘s crew was penalized for bringing equipment over the wall too soon, ending the driver‘s chances for a win.

Hamlin — making his first Xfinity Series start of the season — overcame early trouble, spinning out of the top spot on the final lap of Stage 1 while trying to work around the slower car of Carson Ware. That handed the opening stage win to Hemric, who rallied on fresh tires after his team remedied a loose spark-plug wire soon after the start.

Gragson took the checkered flag on Lap 152 at the end of the only overtime attempt. The victory marked his fifth straight finish of seventh or better.

Cindric took advantage of Allmendinger‘s late issue to set up a tight battle for the regular-season championship with two races left before the 12-driver playoff field is set.

RELATED: Xfinity Series schedule

“We did a solid job all day trying to execute but we weren‘t perfect,” Cindric said. “I‘m proud of what we gained today with the Snap-On Ford Mustang. It‘s definitely the best race I feel like I‘ve had at Darlington, just having the strength and not having too many weaknesses.

“As a team, that takes a lot of conversations throughout the week to try to get that right, so we righted a lot of wrongs for me at this race track today. I feel good about that.”

Justin Haley, last weekend‘s Daytona winner, finished fourth, followed by Kaulig Racing teammate Jeb Burton. Justin Allgaier, Tyler Reddick, Jeremy Clements, Myatt Snider and Alex Labbe completed the top 10.

There were eight cautions for a total of 41 laps and 19 lead changes among eight drivers. Hamlin, who finished 12th, led a race-high 43 laps. Gragson was out front for 40 circuits.

According to Cindric, the fresh strip of pavement in Turn 2 seemed to gain grip throughout the race but did not play a significant role in the outcome.

“Today when we showed up it was a construction site, and now it‘s a race track,” Cindric said. “That‘s the way I see it. It‘s dirty. It‘s new asphalt. We‘re the first cars to run on it. It gained grip throughout the day. It got cleaned throughout the day. It got more raceable throughout the day. I don‘t think it will be much of a story line tomorrow (in Sunday‘s NASCAR Cup Series race).”

The Xfinity Series‘ next race, the Go Bowling 250, is scheduled next Saturday, Sept. 11 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Richmond Raceway. Just two events remain in the regular season.

Notes: Post-race inspection was completed in the Xfinity Series garage without major issue, confirming Gragson‘s victory. NASCAR officials announced that the cars of the top four finishers would be brought back to the NASCAR R&D Center for further inspection and testing on the engine dynamometer. … Ty Dillon finished 13th as a late-hour substitute in the No. 02 Our Motorsports Chevrolet in place of Brett Moffitt, held out of Saturday‘s race for medical reasons.

Contributing: Staff reports