Justin Haley wins at Talladega to clinch Round of 8 berth

Due to the chaotic nature of Talladega Superspeedway, the pressure was on for NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers to gain positioning in the middle of the round of 12 — the race before the cutoff at Charlotte next weekend. The top superspeedway driver in the Xfinity Series, Justin Haley, would surge to the front late to take the victory, locking him into the round of 8.

At the start of the race, Noah Gragson led the outside lane before going up top, leading him to drop toward the middle of the pack. Chase Briscoe, who already locked himself into the round of 8, led the outside lane while Justin Allgaier led the inside lane.

With 10 laps to go in stage one, the inside lane became the dominant line as Haley slid behind Cindric and Allgaier running sixth. Despite the drivers finishing the stage four-wide, Briscoe would still hold his advantage, winning stage one, his eighth of the season.

At the start of stage two, Brandon Jones led the inside lane while Briscoe led the outside lane. The line became single file with Briscoe out in front. With nine laps left in stage two, Riley Herbst crashed after colliding with Austin Hill, bringing out the caution. Gragson was the one playoff driver to pit during the caution.

Before the restart could occur, Ross Chastain crashed as he was turned by Harrison Burton due to multiple drivers checking up in front of them. This resulted in a red flag. On the one-lap restart, Briscoe held off Cindric to win stage two, sweeping both stages at Talladega.

On the restart, Briscoe and Cindric were caught outside the dominant line and fell toward the back of the pack. AJ Allmendinger led the dominant, singular pack followed by Gragson and Michael Annett. They fell to the very back of the line with 46 laps left.

With 38 laps left, the cars were heading toward pit road when Cindric and others crashed, bringing out another caution flag. Cindric’s day came to an end but he is still in good position to advance heading into the Charlotte Roval.

Annett and Haley suffered penalties for pitting too soon as they got service after the caution was called. The restart saw Jones, Brandon Brown and Chastain at the front with Brown and Briscoe leading the two lines with 28 laps to go. With 23 laps to go, Briscoe led the dominant line but a caution flag came out for Ryan Vargas.

Briscoe retook the lead on the dominant line once again on the restart. Meanwhile, Allgaier had engine problems, forcing him to go to the garage. The last 16 laps were a battle as Briscoe was taken out by Noah Gragson, sliding toward the middle of the pack. Haley took the lead on the outside lane and was followed by Annett and Sieg.

On the final lap, the caution came out after a massive wreck involving Briscoe, Allmendinger and Burton. Haley had the lead and would win the race under caution. This is his third-consecutive superspeedway race win and his second consecutive at Talladega.

Playoff driver finishes:

Justin Haley – 1st

Michael Annett – 2nd

Ryan Sieg – 3rd

Noah Gragson – 4th

Brandon Jones – 5th

Ross Chastain – 7th

Brandon Brown – 10th

Chase Briscoe – 20th

Harrison Burton – 24th

Justin Allgaier – 30th

Austin Cindric – 35th

Riley Herbst – 36th

Below the cutline heading into the final Round of 12 race are Annett (-3), Burton (-6), Brown (-19) and Herbst (-36).

The Xfinity Series heads to Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval next Saturday.

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