Burton holds off playoff field, wins at Martinsville

Although the playoff field made a late push, non-playoff driver and rookie Harrison Burton pulled out the win at Martinsville Speedway Saturday evening. 

The win is Burton’s fourth of the season and the fourth in his NASCAR Xfinity Series career. The win is also his second consecutive Xfinity Series victory, as the 20-year-old won at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend. 

The race remained relatively uneventful through the first 42 laps, as Austin Cindric maintained the pole position throughout the first part of stage one. Noah Gragson, however, would yank the lead away from Cindric on lap 43 and held it through the conclusion of the opening stage. 

Burton and J.J. Yeley traded off the lead through the beginning of stage two until the former overtook the latter for good on lap 70. Burton kept on leading the field through the green until a lap 72 caution involving four drivers through Turn 3 brought the track under red. 

After debris and mud was cleaned up, Gragson overtook the lead from Burton on the lap 81 restart. Burton, however, swiftly climbed back and grasped the lead from Gragson two laps later. Ross Chastain then found his first lead of the day on lap 93. Fluid on the track from Matt Mills, though, brought out the caution once more. 

Upon the restart with less than 10 to go, Chastain held off Gragson and won stage two of the race. A.J. Allmendinger, meanwhile, began the final stage as the leader after staying out when the majority of the field pitted. 10 laps into the final stage brought out another caution, however, as Yeley and Haley got involved in an incident that saw the former spin out. 

Allmendinger continued to lead until a Bayley Currey caution on lap 181 saw Burton retake the lead after coming out of pit road first. Allmendinger almost immediately retook the lead and held it until Burton again took back the lead after Allmendinger was forced to pit road for a cut left rear tire. Burton maintained the lead through a Myatt Snider and Brandon Brown caution on lap 213. 

Despite navigating through lap traffic, Burton kept the distance in front of Justin Allgaier and picked up the victory. 

Allgaier finished second. The finish locked Allgaier into the Championship 4. Austin Cindric and Justin Haley also locked in their Championship 4 spots after finishing 10th and 12th, respectively. Chase Briscoe locked in his Championship 4 berth when he won at Kansas Speedway Oct. 17.

Chastain, Gragson, Brandon Jones and Ryan Sieg were all eliminated from Championship 4 consideration. Of the quartet, Gragson finished the highest (third). 

The Championship will take place at Phoenix Raceway Nov. 7. Coverage will begin at 5:00 p.m. EST on NBC Sports Network. 

Race results: 

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