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Darlington Is a Success for Gragson, Dillon With More Than Just Completed Races

Revisiting Darlington Raceway, Noah Gragson and Ty Dillon both managed to complete their races this weekend. Gragson’s Sport Clips Haircuts VFW Help a Hero 200 covered 147 laps of the 1.366-mile track, where Dillon’s Cookout Southern 500 consisted of 367 laps on the track. 


Photo by Harold Hinson/Harold Hinson Photography.


Noah Gragson delivered a finish for the ages on the night of Saturday, Sept. 3, at Darlington Raceway, passing both leader Sheldon Creed and second-place Kyle Larson on the final lap to put No. 9 into victory lane for the second straight year in the fall race at the legendary speedway. The victory was Gragson’s career-best fourth of the season, JR Motorsports’ record 10th of the season, and the organization’s fourth consecutive win at the track.


Gragson qualified as second-fastest for the Xfinity Cup Series race and held the top spot for the majority of the 45-lap Stage One. This earned him a playoff point, 10 stage points, and his series-best 12th stage win. Gragson held point again on Stage Two, though more than two hours of rain delay eventually saw Gragson lose the lead near the end of the stage, but he still ended it with another nine stage points. In Stage Three, Gragson fell to fourth place before working up to second position. Near the end of the stage, Gragson made contact with the wall, leaving his car a little worse for wear. But bouncing off with little damage, he succeeded in earning his second straight victory at the raceway.


Photo by Harold Hinson/Harold Hinson Photography.


Gragson’s Saturday race win moves him into the top spot in playoff points, with 872 points for the series, holding second place for the season. There are still two races left in the regular season for the Xfinity Cup Series.


“What a job by everybody on this Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/Black Rifle Coffee team. That was cool; we put on a show for these fans today,” Gragson said. “Sheldon [Creed] was really fast, and so were all the JRM cars, and Kyle Larson came on strong there late. I watched him run the top in turns one and two, and I knew there was a lot of speed there, so I went up and tried it. I got pinched and Larson got by me. I knew Sheldon was going to race hard, he had nothing to lose and Kyle was going for the win. What a job by everybody at JR Motorsports. Hendrick power was awesome today. We won this race here last year, and we put on a heck of a show for everybody here today.”


Photo by Harold Hinson/Harold Hinson Photography.


Dillon kicked off the Sunday race in 29th position. While there were no storm delays for the Cup Series event, there were a few car fires and malfunctions that he managed to stay out of the way of. He finished the race in 22nd place and holds onto 29th position in the series rankings, with 411 points. 



Where to find the drivers next: Next up for Gragson and Dillon is a trip to Kansas Speedway Saturday and Sunday for the Kansas Lottery 300 and Hollywood Casino 400. Matt Crafton will also be back on Friday at the Kansas Speedway.