Gragson wiggles past Allgaier to win Xfinity race at Bristol

Full Screen
1 / 8

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Noah Gragson (9) drives to victory past Chase Briscoe (98) during NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Bristol Motor Speedway Monday, June 1, 2020, in Bristol, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Noah Gragson squeezed past JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier with four laps remaining, a move that caused Allgaier to crash, and Gragson held on at Bristol Motor Speedway for his second win of the season.

Gragson also won the season-opening race at Daytona to begin his second year with Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s race team. Gragson was winless in 2019 in his first full season in NASCAR's second-tier series.

His victory Monday night was set up by a caution with 13 laps remaining that wiped away Allgaier's lead. The Chevrolet teammates lined up side-by-side for the restart with seven laps remaining but Allgaier cleared him on the restart.

Gragson chased him and as he passed Allgaier for the lead, Allgaier wiggled into the wall and crashed for a caution.

“I really apologize to Justin and the (number) 7 team, that’s not how I want to race,” Gragson said. "I saw a position open up, he kind of slipped off the bottom and I tried to slip to the bottom and I just got too loose.

“This track is like ice right now. We are slipping and sliding.”

Gragson had to race Chase Briscoe and Brandon Jones in a two-lap overtime finish but beat them both to claim the checkered flag. Gragson climbed the fence at empty Bristol in celebration.

He joined Briscoe as the only drivers with two Xfinity Series victories this year and praised crew chief David Elenz for sticking with him and helping him improve at Bristol. He had one top-10 in two Xfinity races at Bristol last year, and one top-10 in a pair of visits to the bullring in the Truck Series in 2018.