The stage is set for the first race of the Dash 4 Cash schedule. There are four NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers that have locked up their spots in the battle for the bonus money that will first take place at Richmond Raceway on April 2.
The Pit Boss 250 at Circuit of the Americas on March 26 determined the four-driver field. Kaulig Racing’s AJ Allmendinger secured his spot by winning the road course race. Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill finished second and locked up a spot while JR Motorsports teammates Noah Gragson and Sam Mayer finished fourth and fifth, respectively. Cup Series driver Cole Custer finished third, but he is not eligible for the Dash 4 Cash due to focusing on points at NASCAR’s top level.
In order to secure the $100,000 bonus prize, one of these four drivers must have the best finishing position. They do not necessarily have to win the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway; they just have to finish ahead of the other three competitors.
The driver that wins the first Dash 4 Cash bonus will automatically have a spot in the second round, which takes place at Martinsville Speedway. The other three spots will go to the drivers with the highest finishing position in the Xfinity Series race.
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Gragson Will Potentially Add More Bonuses
The presence of the No. 9 in the Dash 4 Cash program is nothing new. Gragson took part during both the 2020 and 2021 seasons, winning the bonus money four total times and nearly sweeping one season.
Gragson won the first Dash 4 Cash race during the 2020 season. He finished second overall at Atlanta Motor Speedway and ahead of Harrison Burton (fifth), Brandon Jones (eighth), and Chase Briscoe (ninth). Allmendinger actually won the race and secured his own spot in the second Dash 4 Cash race, which he won at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Gragson made his return to the Dash 4 Cash program during the 2021 season. He won the first three races, which took place at Martinsville Speedway, Talladega Superspeedway, and Darlington Raceway. His teammate, Josh Berry, captured the fourth race at Dover Motor Speedway.
Gragson will now pursue his fifth Dash 4 Cash win at a track where he has a previous win. The driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet captured the checkered flag during the September 11 race at Richmond Raceway, his second straight trip to Victory Lane. Allmendinger finished 18th and Mayer finished 12th. Austin Hill has no previous Xfinity Series starts at the short track.
Allmendinger Only Has 2 Xfinity Series Starts at Richmond
The Dinger, who is currently in his second full-time season with Kaulig Racing, has more than 400 starts across the top three national series. However, he only has two at Richmond Raceway in the Xfinity Series.
Allmendinger made his Richmond debut during the 2007 season for Chip Ganassi Racing. He finished 14th overall in the No. 42 Dodge while running a limited schedule. Allmendinger later returned to Richmond for only the second time during the 2021 Xfinity Series season, where he turned in his 18th-place finish.
Allmendinger will make his third start at Richmond while battling Gragson, Hill, and Mayer for the $100,000 bonus. He will also strive to keep his early-season momentum after finishing inside the top 10 every single week and winning at Circuit of the Americas to punch his ticket to the playoffs.