Noah Gragson led 127 of 200 laps to earn his eighth win of the season and secure a spot in the championship race Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“We just kicked their ass, baby!” Gragson said. “I wanted this one so bad.”

That makes two JR Motorsports drivers in the title race, which will be held in two weeks at Phoenix Raceway. Josh Berry earned a spot in the championship race by winning last weekend’s race at Las Vegas. 

Ty Gibbs finished second. AJ Allmendinger placed third, Daniel Hemric was fourth and Sam Mayer completed the top five. Gibbs’ result puts him 30 points above the cutline.

Allmendinger entered the race 16 points behind Justin Allgaier for the final transfer spot. Allgaier had flat tires at two different times after hitting the wall and had to pit under green. He also had a jack problem on another green-flag stop. Allgaier finished 10th and fell out of a transfer spot.

“I’m glad it’s over,” Allgaier told NBC Sports’ Kim Coon of the race. ” … Our team definitely had some adversity tonight.”

Allmendinger leads Allgaier by five points for the final transfer spot heading into next weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway.

Austin Hill is seven points below the cutline. Mayer is 28 points below the cutline. Brandon Jones is 38 points below the cutline.

Stage 1 winner: Noah Gragson

Stage 2 winner: Noah Gragson

Who had a good race: Noah Gragson was dominant, winning both stages. He pulled away from the field on a late restart to score the victory. … AJ Allmendinger bounced back from a 22nd-place finish at Las Vegas to finish third on Saturday night and put himself back in a spot to move on to the title race. The 49 points Allmendinger scored were second only to Gragson’s 60. … Chandler Smith finished a career-high seventh.

Who had a bad race: Justin Allgaier had two flat tires and had to pit under green and had a jack problem on another stop that hindered his night. He finished 10th and fell out of a transfer spot. … Austin Hill had a fast car but had to give up second to pit for a loose wheel with about 45 laps left and never had a chance to get back to the front. … Brandon Jones wasn’t a factor and finished 15th, leading to a must-win situation next week at Martinsville to advance.

Notable: Julia Landauer finished 28th in her second career Xfinity start.

Next: The final race in the Round of 8 will be Oct. 29 at Martinsville Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBC)


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