Darlington Racecourse and Xfinity Series are combined to provide the finishing touch at all times. Kyle Larson, Sheldon Creed, and Noah Gragson went from toe to toe in a wild final battle, sending sparks, video game action, and a return to ninth place on Victory Lane.
Drivers queued up for the restart with just under 15 laps left in the Xfinity series. Creed jumped to the top in Richard Childress’s #2 Chevrolet Camaro using his short range speed. He looked on his way to his first Xfinity Series win, but Gragson and Larson tracked him down with faster lap times and made things so much fun.
It seemed Gregson would take the lead, but he called Creed and had to check. Larson used the contact to jump to second and went along with Creed while taking the white flag.
The two drivers kept calling on the last lap before Creed realized his tire was cut. He responded by using “Xbox Move” and turning the number 2 into the wall. The rookie tried to ride the wall all the way to the square flag, but Gregson jumped to the lead on the last turn. Creed eventually finished second while Larson finished fifth. AJ Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier worked their way up to third and fourth places, respectively.
“It was just a fun race,” Larson told the media on a pit road. Video from Dustin Long from NBC Sports. “It’s hard. I mean, the hard race to win there. I have a lot of respect for Sheldon. He’s a really tough racer, and it was really nice to fight a fight with him for victory there.”
All the latest NASCAR news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to Heavy on the NASCAR newsletter here!
Subscribe to the NASCAR Heavy Newsletter!
The Xfinity series has had no shortage of exciting finishes over the years. However, the September 3 race at Darlington Raceway took the conversation in a different direction. There were three drivers all vying for victory on the last lap, and there were scenarios where they each got to Victory Lane.
There was also another scenario where they all crashed and Allmendinger celebrated another win. The race was conducted in such a way that its results were kept in doubt until the last minute, which made the finish even more exciting.
Gragson has set a new career mark at Darlington Racecourse
The win was wild in itself, but it also helped Gragson make some key moves. He hit a new personal level with his fourth trip to Victory Lane in the Xfinity Series and his second career win at Darlington Raceway.
The Las Vegas native entered the 2022 Xfinity Series season with five career victories. He won his first two races during the 2020 season, which included the season opening race at Daytona International Speedway. He then added three more wins during the 2021 season in which he reached the fourth championship for the first time in his career.
The 2022 season saw an even better performance for Gregson and the No. 9 team. Joining Luke Lambert’s new crew chief, he started the season with four consecutive podium finishes. This included winning at the Phoenix Raceway.
Gragson has since added wins at Talladega Superspeedway, Pocono Raceway, and Darlington Raceway. He now has 32 break points with two races remaining in the regular season, the most Xfinity Series drivers have. This will only give him an advantage once the playoffs start.
Creed has made great strides for Team #2
The race at Darlington Raceway presented Creed with a great opportunity. He was in the lead with two rounds remaining, and was in a position to win the first Xfinity Series race of his career on a track where he had already won twice in the Truck Series.
If Creed’s video game action had ended, he would have beaten his ticket to the playoffs and joined fellow rookie – and teammate – Austin Hill. Instead, he left the South Carolina track still winless.
Creed entered the weekend in Darlington with a 40-point lead over Ryan Sieg, who sat in the last transfer position. He finished second overall with points in the second stage while Sieg finished his 18th day overall on a day that was relatively calm. Creed is now just 16 points short of the cut-off streak with two regular season races remaining.
Richard Childress Racing’s next opportunity will be at Kansas Speedway. He has no experience with the Xfinity Series on the track or at Bristol Motor Speedway, which will host the regular season final. He has two top 10 places and one runner-up in the Kansas Speedway in the Truck Series.
read the following: Austin Dillon sets expectations for the next NASCAR crew chief
Heavier on NASCAR news
Load more stories