Ty Gibbs takes the win in Alsco 300
Ty Gibbs and the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota outlasted 11 caution periods and a 42-minute red flag, for a brief but very unexpected snow storm, to lead the final six laps to take the checkered flag in the 26th annual NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The grandson of team owner and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gibbs grabbed the lead on the final restart with five laps remaining to beat Las Vegas native Noah Gragson and the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet to the finish line by 0.902-of-a-second. It was his fifth victory in 21 series starts.
The rest of the Top-10 finishers were Daniel Hemric (No. 11 JR Motorsports Chevrolet), Josh Berry (No 8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet), Justin Allgaier (No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet), Landon Cassill (No. 10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet), Sheldon Creed (No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet), Brett Moffitt (No. 02 OUR Motorsports Chevrolet), AJ Allmendinger (No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet) and Brandon Jones (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota).
“It was awesome. I want to say thank you to Justin Allgaier for my push, too,” said Gibbs. “That helped me a lot. You know, I had a fun time racing with the JR cars. Hopefully we can keep it going and go out and win some more races. I want to say thank you to Monster Energy, Toyota, my GR Supra was so fast. This is awesome. And let's go Vegas.”
Allmendinger earned the pole with a fast lap of 29.318 seconds at 184.187 mph. It was his fifth NASCAR Xfinity Series pole in 63 races. Berry lined up the No. 8 Chevrolet next to Allmendinger on the front row after his run of 29.508 seconds at 183.001 mph. Race winner Gibbs qualified 11th with a run of 30.016 seconds at 179.904 mph.
The green flag waved at 1:44 p.m. Pacific but multiple early cautions for on-track incidents created a stutter start to the 200-lap, 300-mile race. The most significant came on Lap 4, just as the field got to full speed, when the No. 39 RSS Racing Ford of Ryan Sieg tagged the outside wall after minimal contact from Gibbs. Things went further in the wrong direction when rain then sleet and snow forced NASCAR to throw the red flag and bring the field to a stop on pit road on Lap 20.
When racing resumed on Lap 23 after a nearly 42-minute delay, Allmendinger again led the field into Turn 1 with Berry and Hemric in tow. All was going well until Lap 28 when Sieg seemed to move up to block Gibbs in Turn 4, but it was Sieg who ended up on the losing end as he spun and hit the wall.
The final 13 laps of Stage 1 stayed clean with Gragson taking the green-white-checkered flag after 45 laps for his first stage win of the season. Mayer was second in the No. 1 Chevrolet with Berry third, Gibbs fourth and Ryan Truex fifth in the No. 18 JR Motorsports Chevrolet.
Creed made the decision to not pit, led the field back to green on Lap 55. But old tires immediately proved to be a bad call as Mayer and Gragson moved to the front while Creed dropped to 14th after just one lap. Gragson took over the top spot soon after and held the position through the balance of Stage 2, which ended under caution after a hard hit into the inside retaining wall by Matt Mills in the No. 5 BJ McLeod Racing Chevrolet.
Brandon Brown chose to keep his No. 68 Brandonbilt Motorsports Chevrolet on the track while Mayer lined up second after beating the rest of the field off pit road. Austin Hill (No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet), Gragson, Berry and Gibbs rounding out the top six for the restart on Lap 95. Brown faded quickly and by lap 96 Mayer was out front with Hill and Gibbs second and third, respectively, just before the race’s halfway point.
The lead swapped from Mayer to Hill and then Allgaier who led laps xxx through 145 when he and the rest of the lead cars pitted under caution.
With final scheduled pit stops fully cycled through by Lap 150, Gragson held the top spot though it came after making an early pit stop due a tire issue. Allgaier then challenged Gragson for the lead over three laps before finally moving ahead on Lap 155.
Caution slowed he field again on Lap 172 for a multi-car incident the No. 34 of Jesse Iwuji spun in Turn 3 and gathered up two other cars directly behind him. All the leaders pitted and Allgaier was again out front with Gibbs right next to him for the restart on Lap 181. Gragson quickly jumped from third to first and quickly created a half-second cushion that immediately disappeared when Mayer hit the wall in Turn 4 on the same lap.
Gragson led the field to green on Lap 189 but the lap wasn’t completed before Hill tagged the wall hard after the No. 18 of Ryan Truex jumped hard to the right and into him.
The green flag waved for the final time with five laps remaining and Gragson still at the point, with Gibbs, Hemric, Allgaier and Cassill. Gibbs immediately jumped out front and was able to hold on to take the checkered flag.
Las Vegas native Riley Herbst (No. 98 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) finished 14th and qualifying third.
There were 17 lead changes among nine drivers and 11 cautions for 65 laps.