NXS: Gragson dominates Contender Boats 300 to lock into Championship Four at Phoenix

It was a slow start to the Contender Boats 300 after just a lap of racing when JJ Yeley and Herbst would make contact one another on the backstretch sending Yeley into the wall. Yeley would sustain damage to the front of his No. 66 along with a flat tire forcing NASCAR to throw the caution to clean up from the incident.

Yeley would end up in the garage and done for the day while Herbst would be able to continue with only minimal damage to his car.

Gragson would find himself in third after a battle with Ty Gibbs but would take his time using the outside line to reel Gibbs back in once more to take back the second spot setting his sights on race leader Trevor Bayne.

Bayne for his part would keep the gap open but after finally getting clear of the battle with Gibbs it would be Noah Gragson that would finally take control of the race as just the second leader of the day with just over 20 laps completed.

As Gragson would take the lead Gibbs would follow in the tire tracks to get around Bayne for the second spot. However, by the time Gibbs would get clear over Bayne, Gragson would already be nearly four seconds ahead.

Stage one would end with a caution when CJ McLaughlin would spin his car off turn three with two laps remaining in the stage hanging the stage win to Gragson followed by Cassill, Gibbs, Bayne and AJ Allmendinger.

Gibbs and Gragson would trade spots and split Cassill for the lead as soon as the green flag would fall on stage two. With a drag race to the line, it would be Gragson at first, then Gibbs. Finally, Gragson would get by for the lead but with a head of steam Austin Hill would make his way around Gibbs then with a short challenge on Gragson would take the lead away just a few laps into stage two.

With laps winding down in stage two tires and cars tagging the wall would once again plague teams with Joe Graf, Justin Allgaier, Sheldon Creed not once but twice in the wall and Ryan Sieg all with issues needing to make their way to pit road with damage and tires down.

When stage two was all over with it would be Gragson once again with the stage win over AJ Allmendinger, Austin Hill, Bayne and Mayer.

Bayne would once again take over the race lead as the final stage of the day was getting underway holding onto the lead for just over 20 laps when Gragson dominance would power him past Bayne taking the lead back for what would be the 5th time of the race.

Playoff contender Austin Hill would come in for green flag service only to report a vibration as soon as leaving pit road. Hill would continue to maintain pace with Gragson from the second spot but finally having to relinquish the spot as the vibration continued getting worse only to return to the track at the tail end of the lead lap as the last of the eight playoff drivers.

Allgaier would also get bit by a tire issue with just under 20 laps to go sending him back to pit road for the second time of the event with a tire issue.

Caution would once again fly for the fourth time when Stefan Parsons would go for a spin in turn one with the leaders closing in on 10 to go. While under the caution Nicholas Sanchez would bring his car to pit road with right front damage and a fire in the wheel well and hood area of the car.

The final restart of the night would come with just five laps to go with Gragson in command over AJ Allmendinger.

When it was all over with and in dominating fashion Noah Gragson would take home the Contender Boats 300 victory over Gibbs, AJ Allmendinger, Hemric and Mayer.

Gragson win lock him into the championship four in two weeks in Phoenix and the second of the JR Motorsports cars behind team mate Josh Berry to run for a championship in 2022.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series round of eight finale moves onto Martinsville Speedway next Saturday, October 29th at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC.