NASCAR Xfinity Series News & Notes – Atlanta Motor Speedway

Last week, Las Vegas native Noah Gragson fell short to Ty Gibbs at his home track, Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After winning both Stage 1 and Stage 2, it was a tough loss for 23-year-old Gragson, but he wasn’t knocked down. He came back this past weekend to lead 114 laps and win the United Rentals 200 at Phoenix Raceway by a margin of 2.555 seconds.

Gragson has had an impressive start in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, posting a top-three finish in all four races. His win in Phoenix was the first of the 2022 season and his sixth in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career.

Closing out the top five was Brandon Jones, Gragson’s JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry, Trevor Bayne and John Hunter Nemechek. Las Vegas winner Ty Gibbs came in sixth place.

This win widened the gap between Gragson and Ty Gibbs in the NASCAR Xfinity Series standings. After posting a second-place finish in Las Vegas, Gragson was still ahead of Gibbs by 17 points. Now, Gragson has racked up 203 points, putting him 39 points ahead of Gibbs’ 164 heading to Atlanta.

Fans will get to see Gragson in action twice this weekend as he will be competing at Atlanta Motor Speedway in both the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and the No.16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet for the NASCAR Cup Series.

Gragson has made four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Atlanta posting three top fives and four top 10s. His average finish a 4.5 – best among active drivers this weekend.

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Nalley Cars 250

The Place: Atlanta Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, March 19

The Time: 5 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,232,553

TV: FS1, 4:30 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 251 miles (163 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 40),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 80), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 163)

2021 Race Winner: Justin Allgaier

NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Atlanta   

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be in Atlanta, Georgia this weekend for the Nalley Cars 250 on Saturday, March 19 at 5 p.m. ET (on FS1, PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). The race will be the second of the day as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will kick off a doubleheader at 2:30 p.m. ET.

This will be the 32nd NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The previous 31 races have produced 17 different pole winners and 19 different race winners with Kevin Harvick leading the way with six wins under his belt. Three of those wins were back-to-back-to-back in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Not far behind are drivers Mark Martin and Kyle Busch with three wins each. (Fun fact: Kyle Busch has won 102 NASCAR Xfinity Series races, making him the first driver in Xfinity Series history to hit 100 wins.)

Justin Allgaier won last year’s March Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway He will be competing again this weekend hoping to make his way to Victory Lane once again. Allgaier has had a hot start to the 2022 season, posting two top-five and four top-10 finishes. He is currently third in the series points standings 42 points behind Gragson in the standings lead.

Busch is the most recent winner at the 1.54-mile track, beating second and third place drivers Jeb Burton and Noah Gragson. Both Burton and Gragson will be competing in the Nalley Cars 250 on Saturday for their chance at redemption. Burton is looking to post his first victory this season while Gragson is looking for a back-to-back win and to post his fifth consecutive top-five finish this season.

Playoff Picture: How’s it panning out?

As of right now, Noah Gragson, Ty Gibbs and rookie Austin Hill are leading the pack in the Playoff standings with their wins (Hill in Daytona, Gibbs in Las Vegas and Gragson in Phoenix).

In the fourth-place position currently sits Justin Allgaier with 161 points, followed by AJ Allmendinger (160), Josh Berry (150), Daniel Hemric (135), Brandon Jones (121), Ryan Sieg (98), Sam Mayer 97), Riley Herbst (95) and Brandon Brown (92).

Just outside the Playoff cutoff in points is Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Sheldon Creed (-3) and Landon Cassill (-3) with 89 points each.

With 29 NASCAR Xfinity Series races remaining, a lot can change. For a full Playoff outlook following Phoenix Raceway, click here.

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

Sunoco Rookie Update – Austin Hill is still in the top spot in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year point standings with 94 points. Inching closer is Sheldon Creed (89) just down by five points. Kyle Sieg comes next with 26 points, followed by Jesse Iwuji’s 14 points.

New and familiar faces joining in on the NASCAR Xfinity Series fun – Fulltime NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver John Hunter Nemechek will be returning to Joe Gibbs Racing in its No. 18 Toyota for three NASCAR Xfinity Series races – April 2 in Richmond, April 30 in Dover and September 24 in Texas.

Nemechek also ran three NASCAR Xfinity Series races last year for JGR and posted one victory and two top-10 finishes.

Another driver joining the NASCAR Xfinity Series is Derek Griffith. He will be making his Series debut in the No. 26 Sam Hunt Racing Toyota at Richmond Raceway.

He made his first NASCAR National Touring Series start last year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at World Wide Technology Raceway. He also has 10 ARCA Menards Series starts where he posted three top-five and eight top-10 finishes.

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