BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) _ Noah Gragson held off Brandon Jones over the closing laps Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway to win his third consecutive Xfinity Series race. Gragson won his series-high sixth race of the season driving a Chevrolet for JR Motorsports. He was aided when teammate Justin Allgaier was flagged for speeding during the final pit stops under caution. Gragson did not pit and restarted the race in the lead. AJ Allmendinger finished sixth to clinch his second consecutive regular season championship. Ryan Sieg claimed the last spot in the Xfinity Series playoff field when Landon Cassill had mechanical issues that sent Cassill behind the wall for more than 100 laps.


BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) _ Aric Almirola continued NASCAR’s trend of non-playoff drivers stealing the show with a pole-winning run Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. The Saturday night race at Bristol is the first playoff eliminator and the 16-driver field will be cut by four. Christopher Bell is the only driver locked into the next round because non-playoff drivers Erik Jones and Bubba Wallace won the first two rounds. Now it will be Almirola leading the field to the green flag after Stewart-Haas Racing teammate Chase Briscoe couldn’t knock him from the pole in Friday final run.