By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer
Saturday night was a happy night for Noah Gragson. But if you ask him, it could have been better.
Running at his home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the Xfinity Series Alsco 300, Gragson came home second, trailing race winner Chase Briscoe by 1.37 seconds.
With a fast No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet — the quickest Gragson has ever had at Vegas — it still wasn’t quick enough to stop Briscoe from claiming his series-leading eighth win of 2020.
“I felt like we were really good, the best I’ve ever been here. Just didn’t have enough for that No. 98 [Briscoe],” Gragson said. “A lot of racecars out here and only once space shuttle.”
Starting sixth, Gragson was a regular contender for some high stage points on the evening, finishing fourth and second in the stage breaks, respectively. In total, 16 points to his playoffs run.
From there, Gragson only maintained, keeping the second spot on the race’s final restart with nine laps to go.
Scoring his 12th top five of 2020, it was still a disappointment coming at his home track of Las Vegas.
Damn, I wanted to win this one so bad at my hometown,” he said. “We’ll keep on working. These guys did a heck of a job — a really good improvement from where we’ve been these last few weeks.”
The result also came with a mid-race hurdle, as Grgason suffered a bloody nose during the event. The young driver adapted and overcame.
“I pulled the rollbar padding off and shoved it up in my nose. Got that clogged up — it’s a long story. I got a bloody nose during the race and overcame it.
“Whatever, our car looks good, we were fast. Super thankful. Try again at Talladega.”
Gragson will enter Talladega, the second race of the Round of 12 in the Xfinity playoffs, 36 points above the cutline.