AVONDALE, AZ- The temperature was definite a scorcher at NASCAR’s United Rentals 200 race today. Ty Gibbs won in Las Vegas last week on a green caution, this week he is hanging in at the 10th spot. His anticipation of coming to Phoenix snagging another win was short lived, he just could not keep up with JR Motor Sports driver Noah Gragson as he produced his first win of the season at Phoenix Raceway.
Gragson’s record is looking great thus far as he has finished second and third in the first three of the Xfinity series competitions. This contest was Gragson’s best race this year as he dominated the course leading the max laps here at the speedway nearing a perfect score winning 59 out of 60 points earning him his sixth career win. Should he have made the first round in place of Trevor Bayne, he would have reached a perfect 60 for 60 record.
Trevor Bayne’s return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series was his first in five years. After replaying his skills on the raceway, Trevor finished top of the Pole in position 1 followed by Gragson, Ty Gibbs, Ryan Sieg, Brandon Jones, and Parker Retzlaff. He was chosen by Joe Gibbs Racing last month to drive the #18 Toyota Supra for seven races at Auto Club Speedway, Phoenix Raceway, Charlotte Motor Sports, Nashville Super Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and finishing at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He has raced with Ford for much of his Cup and Xfinity Series career without driving a Toyota car in over a decade now looking to reclaim a new title after being the youngest driver in NASCAR history to win a Daytona 500.
Bayne had a rough opening in the United Rentals competition when his #18 would not start. It was initially unclear what was wrong later resulting with an issue in the steering wheel. Thankfully, his team tackled the defect before the green flag dropped retaining his pole position after NASCAR deemed the faulty component switch as a safety issue.
The first caution for the night came by way of brake failure on Stewart-Haas Racing driver #98 Riley Herbst’s car causing a hard crash against the barrier. Herbst started out at the 21st position and sped to 12th before his impact raised the caution flag in lap 23. Immediately after the crash, Riley let down his window net, asserting spectators he was ok.
Ultimately, the victor of the festivities Noah Gragson dominated the contest having this to say afterward about his win and network “This team has been on a roll so far this year. All top-three finishes in the first four races. I can’t thank everyone enough for the hard work and we’ll try to keep it going.” His swiftness so far has been agile all season long and evident here at Phoenix Raceway leading 114 of the 200 laps in the race briefly losing the lead during a green flag pit stop.
There were no major penalties on post-race inspection, #18 (Trevor Bayne) and #19 (Stefan Parsons) had one lug nut issue, Stage one winner: Trevor Bayne, Stage two winner: Noah Gragson, Winner of race: Noah Gragson
Next up: Atlanta Motor Speedway