(MRN.com) Ty Gibbs continued his phenomenal NASCAR Xfinity Series rookie season on Saturday with his fourth victory of the year in the Kansas Lottery 300 at Kansas Speedway.
Gibbs passed reigning series champion Austin Cindric on Lap 190 and 200 and beat the driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford to the finish line by .759 seconds to earn his ninth top-five finish in his 16th start.
Gibbs’s victory as a non-playoff driver means that at least three drivers will advance to the Championship 4 on points after next Saturday’s race at Martinsville Speedway. That’s good news for Cindric and AJ Allmendinger (third Saturday), who have made a habit of swapping the series lead this year.
Cindric and Allmendinger leave Kansas 47 points above the cutoff for the Championship 4, and barring disaster at NASCAR’s shortest track, both will earn spots in the title race Nov. 6 at Phoenix Raceway.
Noah Gragson or Harrison Burton wrecked out of the race on Lap 179 when a misjudged move by Sam Mayer sent Burton’s Toyota spinning into Gragson’s Chevrolet, and both cars clobbered the outside frontstretch wall.
Burton and Gragson finished 34th and 35th respectively, dropping Gragson to sixth in the playoff standings (24 points below the cut line) and leaving Burton eighth (51 points out of fourth and needing a win next Saturday at Martinsville).
Ninth-place finisher Justin Allgaier is nine points above the cutoff for the Championship 4, two points ahead of Saturday’s polesitter, Daniel Hemric, who recovered from a spin with Gragson on Lap 97 to finish 15th.
Justin Haley improved his chances of qualifying for the championship race with a fourth-place result, leaving him fifth in the standings and seven points behind Hemric. Non-Playoff drivers Ryan Sieg, Brett Moffitt, Michael Annett and Sam Mayer finished fifth through eighth, respectively.
For more on Saturday’s race, plus updated standings and more, follow this link.