Jeb Burton scores first-career Xfinity win in rain-shortened Talladega race

Jeb Burton earned his first-career win in the NASCAR Xfinity Series after the race was called with 23 laps remaining due to a heavy rainstorm. It is his second win in NASCAR as he won a Camping World Truck Series race back in 2013 at Texas Motor Speedway. He becomes the fifth driver in the Xfinity Series to clinch a spot into the playoffs. 

Burton’s win is also the third-straight superspeedway win for Kaulig Racing. 

Poor weather threatened the Xfinity Series at Talladega Saturday afternoon, but that didn’t stop the completion of the race. 

There were no surprises in stage one as the first 25 laps went caution-free. Daniel Hemric led 18 laps in the stage, but the intensity picked up and the lead was shuffled a handful of times between Noah Gragson, Austin Cindric and the eventual stage winner, Justin Haley, who swept the Talladega races in 2020. 

The intensity amplified in the second stage as the race was nearing its official point, meaning that if rain came and stopped the race, NASCAR has the authority to call and end the race. 

At one point during the second stage, Gragson fell out of the lead draft, but was able to catch the back of the pack and get a big run to get back into the top 10. He was able to rally at the end of the stage to earn his second stage victory of the season. 

Storms continued to stay away from Talladega, but it didn’t prevent drivers from racing hard for the lead. 

Josh Berry was able to work his way to second and catalyzed the single-file train with Cindric in the lead. 

Green-flag stops began and went almost incident-free before Jeffrey Earnhardt went for a spin on pit entry, but straightened out quickly to prevent a caution. A few laps later, Berry brought out the first incident caution of the day after cutting a right-rear tire. 

On lap 84, the first major incident of the day happened off turn two as Joe Graf Jr. cut a tire and ran up into Michael Annett. Annett spun, which turned into a multi-car incident, eliminating the Joe Gibbs Racing cars of Brandon Jones and Ty Dillon.

Dillon’s bad luck continues in 2021 as he’s now been involved in an incident or suffered a mechanical issue in all four of his Xfinity Series starts this year. 

Rain started hitting the track as they were about to restart and as it began to pour, NASCAR swiftly made the decision to call the race, which netted Burton the victory. 

Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Riley Herbst and Gragson rounded out the top five. For Herbst, it is his third top-10 finish in his last four outings. 

Ryan Sieg, Brandon Brown, Haley, Harrison Burton and Myatt Snider rounded out the top 10. 

The Xfinity Series will take another week off and return on Sat, May 8 at Darlington Raceway.

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