Time was of the essence on Saturday as a thunderstorm was barreling toward Talladega Superspeedway in the middle of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race. The competition was fierce but as the skies opened up, it was Kaulig Racing’s Jeb Burton that was able to hold onto the lead just before the final caution came out before the race was red-flagged and ultimately called because of weather securing his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series win.
Burton’s win marked the third straight win at Talladega Superspeedway for Kaulig Racing as Justin Haley swept both races at the Alabama track last season.
The first two stages had no incidents. Haley won the first stage and JR Motorsport’s driver Noah Gragson won the second stage.
Series standings leader and Team Penske driver Austin Cindric finished second at Talladega followed by AJ Allmendinger, Riley Herbst and Ryan Sieg rounding out the top five.
Not only did Gragson grab a stage win at Talladega, but he also pocketed another $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash bonus as the highest finisher among the four eligible drivers. He won the money at the previous Dash 4 Cash event at Martinsville Speedway as well bringing his 2021 Dash 4 Cash bonus total to $200,000.
Jeb Burton, Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger and Noah Gragson have all qualified for the next round of the Dash 4 Cash that will take place at Darlington Raceway on May 8 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.
Next Race: Steakhouse Elite 200
The Place: Darlington Raceway
The Date: Saturday, May 8
The Time: 1 p.m. ET
TV: FS1, 12:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 200.1 miles (147 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 45),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 90), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 147)
Doubled Up: Gragson wins back-to-back Dash 4 Cash checks, Darlington is next
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash program was designed to add elements of unpredictability and drama leading up to and during four designated races, increase on-track competition, engage fans and reward and recognize NASCAR Xfinity Series regular competitors.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash will take place at four tracks in 2021 – Martinsville Speedway (April 9), Talladega Superspeedway (April 24), Darlington Raceway (May 8) and Dover International Speedway (May 15).
JR Motorsports’ Noah Gragson took home both Dash 4 Cash prizes so far this season at Martinsville and Talladega bringing his Dash 4 Cash bonus total to $200,000 this season.
Gragson and the next three highest finishing full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers (Allmendinger, J. Burton, and Cindric) have qualified for the next round of the Dash 4 Cash program at Darlington Raceway (May 8).
The format will then continue to Dover International Speedway, with the Dash 4 Cash winner and the highest three finishing NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers at Darlington qualifying for the final round.
Dash 4 Cash Qualifiers at ‘Darlington:
Noah Gragson will make his fourth start at Darlington on May 8. He has finished in the top-10 in all three of his previous starts at the track and has a best finish of fifth in this race last season. He started on the pole, too. Gragson has led 46 laps at the track and has an average start of 7.7 and an average finish of 6.7.
Jeb Burton and AJ Allmendinger will make their Xfinity Series debuts at Darlington on May 8.
Austin Cindric will be making his fifth start at Darlington this season. He has one top five and two top 10s in those four previous starts at the track. He also, has an average start of 7.8 and an average finish of 16.5.
New sponsor, paint scheme for Brandon Jones
Yee Yee, a brand that was created by country music artist Granger Smith, will be the primary sponsor for Joe Gibbs Racing’s Brandon Jones and the No. 19 Toyota for two NASCAR Xfinity Series events in 2021.
Yee Yee is based in Georgetown, Texas which is right outside of Austin, Texas where the highly-anticipated, first-ever NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Circuit of the Americas will take place. The debut of the Yee Yee Toyota will be at their home track on May 22. They will also be on board the No. 19 again at the Xfinity Series Playoff cutoff night race at Bristol Motor Speedway in September.
Brett Moffitt declares for Xfinity Series points
Last week, Brett Moffitt announced that he changed his series declaration for points, going from NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points at Niece Motorsports to his No. 02 Our Motorsports Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series.
The news broke prior to last weekend’s race at Talladega Superspeedway, meaning that Moffitt started acquiring points at the track. Because Moffitt has competed in all of the Xfinity Series events this season, he’s eligible for the Playoffs.
In his six NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts this season, Moffitt was in 15th in the points standings, 39 points below the cutline prior to switching series points.
At Our Motorsports, they’re ranked 14th in the owner standings and Moffitt has a best finish of second from the season opener at Daytona and three top-10 finishes.
Moffitt finished 18th at Talladega last weekend.
Joey Gase declares Xfinity Series points for 2021
Prior to last week’s event at Talladega Superspeedway, Joey Gase announced that he was pulling double duty in both the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Xfinity Series. Since Gase wanted to run both events and the Xfinity event was a Dash 4 Cash event with only Xfinity drivers eligible to compete, he had to switch to declaring for Xfinity points.
In three starts in the Cup Series this year, Gase has a best finish of 20th at Daytona. He will still run a partial Cup Series schedule for the remainder of the season, too.
Gase finished 26th in the Xfinity Series race at Talladega.
Xfinity Sunoco Rookie Update
The NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco rookie standings tightened up after Talladega Superspeedway.
|Sunoco Rookie of the Year|
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs still leads the way in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings after only starting three of the eight races this season. He has 128 points and has scored two Sunoco Rookie of the Race awards in his three starts. He has also collected a win in his debut at the Daytona RC and hasn’t finished outside of the top-five in all three starts.
JR Motorsport’s Josh Berry is two points behind Gibbs in second in the rookie standings. Berry scored his first career Xfinity Series win at Martinsville Speedway a few weeks ago. Berry is also running a part-time schedule, having made seven starts this season posting a win and three top 10s.
JD Motorsport’s Ryan Vargas is still sitting in third in the rookie standings with 68 points. In eight starts so far this season for JD Motorsports, Vargas has a best finish of 18th from the season-opener at Daytona.
Jordan Anderson and Sam Mayer have still not made any starts this season, so they are fourth and fifth respectively with no points or awards, yet.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Jeffrey Earnhardt running Dale Earnhardt scheme: JD Motorsports with Gary Keller announced that Jeffrey Earnhardt will run the legendary Olympics paint scheme at Darlington. The original car run by Dale Earnhardt at the 1996 NASCAR All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway was a one-off with the Hall of Famer. Jeffrey will run his Forever Lawn Throwback Chevrolet at Darlington and the patriotic color scheme will be recognized by diehard Dale Sr. fans.
Vargas to honor Mark Martin at Darlington: JD Motorsports with Gary Keller also announced that Ryan Vargas and Monarch Roofing will begin their new partnership starting at Darlington for Throwback Weekends. The No. 6 team will honor NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin by running a paint scheme from 1994. He finished second in the championship standings that year. The iconic paint scheme is known as one of the most dominant cars in history and fans will remember it right away when it hits the track.
Justin Haley honoring LeafFilter at Darlington: Justin Haley will pilot the No. 11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet honoring the award-winning company started by team owner Matt Kaulig and their first NASCAR Cup Series race in 2014. The race was run for Go Fas Racing in 2014 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Jeb Burton honoring father, Ward, for Throwback Weekend: Jeb Burton and the No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet team will honor Jeb’s father, Ward, and his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series win. Ward earned his first win at Rockingham Speedway in 1995 for the AC Delco 400. “Dad and my uncle (Jeff Burton) have had a lot of success at Darlington, so it’s a special track for our family. I’ve only raced there once in the Cup Series about six years ago, so I am excited to get back there. It’s a great looking car, and I appreciate Nutrient Ag Solutions for allowing it to happen. Hopefully, it will be a good weekend for our team,” Jeb said in a press release.
Michael Annett recognizing Gatorade at Darlington: Michael Annett, who has primary sponsor Pilot Flying J onboard his No. 1 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, will run a 1979 Gatorade paint scheme in honor of Darrell Waltrip. In 1979, Waltrip won seven races and finished second in the championship standings to Richard Petty. So far this season, Annett has three top 10s and is 14th in the points standings. He will make his 10th start at Darlington on May 8 and has two top 10s to his name at the track.
Jeremy Clements honoring Dale Jarrett for Throwback Weekend: Jeremy Clements Racing and All South Electrical announced that they will be honoring NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett and his 1999 NASCAR Cup Series Championship for Throwback Weekend at Darlington. The No. 51 will also have sponsorship from various other companies such as Fox Sports Spartanburg 1400, RE Goodson, Whitetail Smokeless, etc.