After a battle in the last lap with Joe Gibbs Racing teammate John Hunter Nemechek, 19-year-old Ty Gibbs took home his third checkered flag of the season, remaining the only driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series with multiple wins this season thus far.
This win marked the seventh in his Xfinity Series career after posting four wins in his 18 starts last season (Daytona Road Course, Charlotte, Watkins Glen and Kansas). After winning the pole for the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond last weekend, he became the 13th different Xfinity Series driver at Richmond Raceway to win from the first starting position.
With two back-to-back poles under his belt (Austin and Richmond), Gibbs will look to make it three next weekend at Martinsville Speedway where he started on the front row the last time the Xfinity Series was there in October 2021.
With his win at Richmond, Gibbs racked-up another 56 points to bring his total to 283 in the series driver standings, just 20 points behind veteran AJ Allmendinger in the standings lead. Noah Gragson, who had been leading the standings up until this past weekend, is now tied with Gibbs with 283 – Gibbs owns the tiebreaker of most wins on the season.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Next Race: Call 811 Before You Dig 250 Powered by Call811.com
The Place: Martinsville Speedway
The Date: Friday, April 8
The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
The Purse: $1,501,956
TV: FS1, 6:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Distance: 131.5 miles (250 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60),
Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 250)
NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to the ‘Paperclip’ of short tracks
The NASCAR Xfinity Series will be back in action this Friday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR radio for the Call 811 Before You Dig 250 Powered by Call811.com.
The track has produced 23 different race winners and 18 different pole winners in 37 races since its Xfinity Series inception in 1982. Sam Ard won the inaugural race and went on to win four more times (1982 sweep, 1983 sweep), holding the record for most Xfinity Series wins at the track.
The most recent winner at Martinsville Speedway is driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, Noah Gragson, who has only gotten better every time he has gone out on the short track. In his first Xfinity Series stint at the track in 2020, he placed third and led for 23 of 250 laps. In the 2021 spring race, he placed second and in the fall race of that same year, he led 153 laps and finally made his way to Victory Lane.
With the success Gragson has had thus far in the 2022 season (one win, five top fives and five top 10s) and with his history competing in Martinsville, he is a good contender to take home the checkered flag this weekend but there might be some tough competition.
His JR Motorsport’s teammate, Sam Mayer, had a rough start to the season but seems to have found his groove. In the last two races, he has posted top five finishes and even beat Gragson, AJ Allmendinger and Austin Hill for the Dash 4 Cash $100,000 bonus at Richmond Raceway. Last season at Martinsville, he posted a top-five finish, proving he can find his way around a short track. With another $100,000 on the line for him at Martinsville and a hunger to post his first Xfinity Series win, he just may inch his way to a first-place finish.
AJ Allmendinger has been on his A-game all season long, posting one win (COTA), four top fives and seven top 10s. Although he doesn’t have too much history in Martinsville, he did post a top-15 finish in the 2021 spring race and a top-10 finish in the fall race.
Josh Berry might be on track to post his first win of the season (third of his Xfinity Series career) at Martinsville Speedway this weekend. Although he struggled some in Atlanta and Austin, he came back to finish seventh in Richmond this past weekend and had three consecutive top-five finishes at Auto Club, Las Vegas and Phoenix earlier this season. Not only that, but he also worked his way to the checkered flag at Martinsville’s spring race last year after starting in the 29th position. With 227 points, he’s fighting to make his way to the top.
Xfinity’s Dash 4 Cash continues at Martinsville
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 / recognize NASCAR Xfinity Series regular competitors.
The first qualifier was at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) where we saw AJ Allmendinger, Austin Hill, Noah Gragson and Sam Mayer secure their spots for a chance to win the $100,000 at Richmond Raceway. Ultimately, it was Mayer who took home the prize with his third-place finish, just barely squeezing by Allmendinger who finished fourth.
At Martinsville, we will once again see Mayer and Allmendinger dash for their chance to win, joined by Ty Gibbs and Riley Herbst.
All drivers have taken their shot at the Martinsville short track and have placed at least once in the top 10.
Sam Mayer: Competed last year and posted a fourth-place finish
AJ Allmendinger: Ran in both Martinsville races in 2021, posting a 13th-place and a seventh-place finish.
Ty Gibbs: Worked his way up to a fourth-place finish after starting in the 16th position in the 2021 spring race
Riley Herbst: Friday’s race will be his fourth in Martinsville. He has posted two top-10 finishes in his three previous races.
The next Dash 4 Cash race will be at Talladega Superspeedway on April 23 followed by Dover Motor Speedway on April 30.
NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update – Current Sunoco Rookie of the Year leader Austin Hill didn’t quite have the race he was hoping for at the ToyotaCare 250 after finishing 18th but is still leading the pack with one win, three top fives, three top 10s and 193 points.
Sheldon Creed also didn’t have his best race at Richmond Raceway but with four top 10s and 164 points on the season, he’s still fighting for his chance to make it to the Playoffs and to be named the 2022 Sunoco Rookie of the Year.
Kyle Sieg is looking to post first Xfinity Series top-10 finish. He comes in behind Hill and Creed with 75 points.
Jesse Iwuji has not competed in the last two races (Austin and Richmond) so he remains with 24 points.