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Texas Xfinity results: Noah Gragson wins playoff opener NASCAR Power Rankings: Denny Hamlin returns to first place Long: NASCAR needs to quickly correct officiating issue from Texas Texas shuffles NASCAR Cup playoff standings Winners and losers at Texas Motor Speedway

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Noah Gragson rolling down the NASCAR Xfinity Series like a bowling ball headed for impact.

Gragson won his fourth straight race on Saturday, taking the lead with 11 laps to go to win the 300 mile race at Texas Motor Speedway. The win took Gragson to the second round of the playoffs.

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Behind him in the top five finished Austin Hill, Ty Gibbs, AJ Allmendinger as well as Riley Autumn.

Texas Xfinity results

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The race was riddled with crashes that blew through the 12-rider playoff field.


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Noah Gragson remains the points leader after the win. He has 2107 points. A.J. Allmendinger is next, 26 points behind.

Sam Mayer as well as Ryan Sieg hold the last two transfer places. They are one point ahead of Riley Herbst, eight points ahead of Daniel Hemrick13 points ahead Brandon Jones and 29 points ahead Jeremy Clements.

Texas Xfinity Driver Glasses

The Xfinity Playoffs will continue on October 1st at Talladega Superspeedway (2pm ET, US Network).

Four races in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs, and drivers eligible to win the championship remain 0-for-4 in pursuit of race wins.

Tyler Reddick was the No. 4 winner on this list Sunday night at Texas Motor Speedway.

And now we’re heading to Talladega Superspeedway, where the outfield racers have the potential to emerge victorious given the impact of the draft and, more importantly, crashes.

Sunday’s tire-blast, wall-hit, and car-scramble madness at Texas Motor Speedway has once again shuffled the playoff standings, and the same is true of the NBC Sports NASCAR Power Rankings, which has a new leader. Denny Hamlin.

MORE: Winners and Losers in Texas

Hamlin could be busy until the end of the season. His potential retaliation list expanded on Sunday with the addition of William Byron after serious controversy.

This is what the ranking looks like in the middle of round 12:

NBC Sports NASCAR Power Ranking

1. Denny Hamlin (#3 last week) “Against all odds—tyres, wreckage, hassle, weather, and the William Byron hype—Hamlin finished 10th on Sunday and is sixth in the playoff standings to enter Talladega. He has the best average of 5.75 in playoff races. If his “roster” doesn’t hurt, Hamlin might be ready to seriously challenge for his first world title.

2. Kyle Larson (#4 last week) “Larson led Texas for 19 laps and probably should have led more in one of the best cars in the race. He is now fourth in points and he believes he will play an important role in the last two weeks of the round.

3. Chase Elliott (#2 last week) – Elliott wasn’t happy after crashing a wall with a tire problem and stopping a burning car. He finished 32nd.

four. Joey Logano (#6 last week) — Logano was chasing the winner Tyler Reddick on the last laps in Texas. He climbs to first place in the playoff standings and moves up two spots in the NBC rankings.

5. William Byron (5th last week) Byron could be #1 on Denny Hamlin’s list here he slides at number 5.

6. Christopher Bell (#1 last week) – Bell had a lousy Sunday in Texas, crashing not once but twice due to tire problems and finishing 34th, causing his rankings to plummet.

7. Ross Chastain (#7 last week) Chastain’s team used tires and warnings correctly and probably deserved more than 13th on Sunday.

eight. Ryan Blaney (#8 last week) – Mr Winless (other than the All-Star costume) is moving on. A run in fourth place (and 29 laps of the lead) on Sunday keeps it relevant.

9. Chase Briscoe (#9 last week) – The Briscoe race in Texas started poorly but ended well with a fifth place finish.

10. Tyler Reddick (Unranked last week) Reddick Sunday is the only non-Chase Elliott driver to have more than two race wins this year. Now with three wins, he took his first oval victory in Texas.

Dropped: Alex Bowman (#10 last week).

NASCAR’s admission that it didn’t see William Byron spin Denny Hamlin with care during Sunday’s Cup playoff race is alarming.

With video evidence of the rule violation and Hamlin’s team’s spirited easing up, series officials had reason enough to be more careful about putting Hamlin back in second place before the race returned to green flag conditions. Or some other remedy even after the race is restarted.

Add to that the series officials’ lack of access to Byron’s vehicular camera… something that fans could easily see on and on the NASCAR mobile app. — and changes need to be made ahead of this weekend’s playoff race at Talladega Superspeedway.

While NASCAR should make every effort to resolve issues between drivers regardless of their playoff status, the fact that two playoff drivers were involved in the incident requires more attention. With three races per round, one wrong move could mean the difference between promotion or elimination.

Just as more is expected of riders and teams in the playoffs, the same is to be expected of officials.

“If we saw this (contact) well enough to respond to it in real time, which we should have done, like no excuses, we would probably have two options,” said Scott Miller, senior vice President of NASCAR Competitions. Sunday evening. “First, you had to get Hamlin back in place, and second, you had to get William to stand in the back.”

Here’s how the incident played out:

The warning was lifted on lap 269 Martin Truex Jr.crash at 8:19 pm ET.

As Hamlin slowed down, Byron moved in and hit him from behind.

Byron admitted after the race that the contact was deliberate, although he didn’t want to beat Hamlin. Byron was upset by how Hamlin overtook him on lap 262. Byron felt Hamlin push him into the wall as they exited turn two side by side. Byron expressed his displeasure during the warning.

Approximately 90 seconds after the warning lights came on, a US broadcast showed a replay of Byron from a low angle right behind Hamlin’s car and obvious contact.

Contact can take place in several ways. This can happen because the lead car slammed on the brakes and forced the car behind to hit them, or because the trailing car hit the car in front. The first video replay did not clarify what caused the contact, making it difficult for any official to make a decision based solely on it.

This is also the time when NASCAR officials have been monitoring safety vehicles on the track, checking lineups, and making sure pit road is ready for reopening. This is what NASCAR does effortlessly most of the time. Just not this time.

Another replay was shown in the US 11 minutes and 16 seconds after the warning, showing Byron and Hamlin’s car together. This replay aired about a minute before the green flag went up at 8:31 pm ET. Throughout the warning, Hamlin’s crew chief, Chris Geibhart, argued that Hamlin should have restarted second.

But once the race resumed, it was all over for NASCAR. Or so it seemed.

Three minutes after waving the green flag, a video from the car was posted to NASCAR’s Twitter account showing Byron crashing into the back of Hamlin’s car when the warning was lifted. Such an action is usually a punishment – often parking the driver until the end of the race. Instead, Byron was allowed to continue and nothing was done for the remainder of the event.

After the race, Miller told reporters that series officials had not seen Byron’s contact.



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