Noah Gragson Loses Out on $100,000 Bonus as NASCAR Disqualifies Him After Xfinity Race at Darlington

Published 05/09/2021, 7:15 AM EDT
DOVER, DE – MAY 04: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Switch Chevrolet, stands by his car during qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Allied Steel Buildings 200 at Dover International Speedway on May 4, 2019 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)


After finishing in fourth place in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Darlington, the day quickly went from good to bad for Noah Gragson. Despite missing out on a win and a top-three finish, Gragson was the highest-placed driver among the Dash 4 Cash Xfinity contenders.

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He won the $100,000 prize for winning the Dash 4 Cash. However, minutes after the race, NASCAR levied a penalty on Gragson and his No. 9 team, and they were disqualified for failing post-race inspection.

As a result, Gragson lost the $100,000 bonus and received points equivalent to a 40th-place finish instead of fourth place. This was Gragson’s second victory in the Dash 4 Cash this season, but Saturday’s prize went to Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger, who finished highest among the four contenders, after Gragson.

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The JR Motorsports driver will also not be eligible for the big bonus next weekend at Dover. Allmendinger, Josh Berry, Saturday’s race winner Justin Allgaier, and Brandon Jones will compete for the $100,000 prize in that race.

Why did NASCAR penalize Noah Gragson and disqualify him?

NASCAR found issues with Gragson’s No. 9 car after the race and certain factors violated the NASCAR Xfinity Series rule book’s Rule 20.14.c.

“All suspension mounts and mounting hardware must not allow movement or realignment of any suspension and/or drivetrain component beyond normal rotation or suspension and/or drivetrain travel,” the rule book states.

Feb 27, 2021; Miami, FL, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson (9) leads the field during the Contender Boats 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

In response to the penalty, JR Motorsports owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. retweeted one of his own tweets from 2018 when Allgaier was penalized.

I want our teams to always be aggressive with the rule book and I always want @Nascar to be extremely strict in enforcing it. Sometimes those lines are gonna cross. Shake it off and get ready for the next one,said the tweet from Dale Jr.

JR Motorsports continues strong run in NASCAR Xfinity Series

Meanwhile, Allgaier won the race on Saturday evening after an overtime restart to earn his second victory this season. Josh Berry, another rising star at JR Motorsports, finished in second place behind Allgaier. Brandon Jones, Daniel Hemric, and Jeremy Clements completed the top-five spots.

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Before the race, JRM owner Dale Jr. himself gave fans a moment to remember as he drove the pace lap in his father Dale Sr‘s Chevrolet Nova.

Gragson’s original fourth place finish meant that JR Motorsports had three drivers inside the top-four on the day. This continues a strong season so far for Dale Jr’s Xfinity Series team.

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Aayush Majumdar

1006 articles

Aayush Majumdar is a NASCAR content strategist, a Tennis Writer, and a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. He is well-tenured as a tennis and NASCAR writer, with over 900 articles across both sports. After pursuing a Post Graduate program in Sports Management, Aayush explored various roles in Sports Media, including a Sports Reporting role at a leading English daily.

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