Date: October 28, 2017
Event: Texas Roadhouse 200 (Race 20 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (0.526-mile oval)
Format: Three Segments; 50 laps/50 laps/100 laps
Start/Finish: 5th / 1st (running, completed 200 of 200 laps)
Winner: Noah Gragson of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
Noah Gragson added his name to the list of NASCAR winners on Saturday when he claimed his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. After getting his first top-five finish at the half-mile track in the spring, he came back to seal the deal with a win this time around. He led the final 10 laps of the race in commanding fashion to take the checkered flag.
Stage One Recap:
- Starting from fifth place, Gragson spent the first 50-lap stage feeling out his Switch Tundra. At lap 25 he was sixth, and said the truck was tight through the center of the corners, but finished the stage where he began it, in fifth place.
Stage Two Recap:
- Since Gragson did not pit after Stage One ended, he was third when the race resumed. He spent nearly all of the stage in third place, but was putting pressure on NCWTS veteran Matt Crafton for second. He could not quite make the pass before the stage ended at lap 100 and was third when he made his only pit stop of the day for four tires and a wedge adjustment.
Stage Three Recap:
- With a fast stop by the Switch pit crew, Gragson started the final 100-lap stage in third place. When his KBM teammate, Christopher Bell, brought out the caution on lap 122 as he was spun while leading, Gragson moved up to second place behind Crafton.
- With 50 to go, Gragson was still holding his own in second, but reigning NCWTS champion Johnny Sauter was closing in on him. Despite a few taps to the bumper from Sauter, Gragson gained some distance from him on the straightaways.
- A caution with 17 laps remaining set up a 10-lap shootout to finish the race. Gragson restarted second on the outside next to Crafton, which typically is not the best place to start. When the green flag waived, Gragson made the outside work and took the lead from both veterans. He led the final 10 laps pulling away from the field to take his first NCWTS checkered flag with a 1.486-second margin of victory.
NOAH GRAGSON, driver of the No. 18 Switch Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Talk about your first win in the Truck Series?
“All the hard work finally paid off. I’ve had the monkey on my back this whole year. I’ve been asked pretty much every day when are you going to get that win? When are we going to put up a banner at Kyle Busch Motorsports? I’m just thankful for everyone who has brought me up through the ranks racing. I’m so very thankful. Thank you to Switch, Mobile Strike, TRD, Kyle and Samantha Busch, everyone at NASCAR, Texas Roadhouse. We’re going to get a banner up at KBM. We’re taking home the granddaddy watch, or whatever they call it. My crew chief, he likes to call it the granddaddy watch or the granddaddy clock, so we’re taking it home. Thank you, Marcus Richmond, thank you to all these guys on this team. This is huge.
“It’s really tough racing against these veterans. Those last 40 laps with Johnny Sauter being off my back bumper, he did that earlier to us in the spring and I wasn’t going to let him pass me again like that. We got that caution there at the end and you can’t pass on the outside in Martinsville and I did it.”
Texas Roadhouse 200 Recap:
- Gragson won the race followed by Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter, KBM’s Harrison Burton and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured six cautions for a total of 45 laps. There were six lead changes among five drivers. KBM’s Christopher Bell led once for 16 laps, while Gragson led once for 10 laps.
How Gragson’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 8th
- Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 46 Toyota, finished 5th
- Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 4th
NCWTS Driver Championship Standings:
Gragson remains 11th in the Truck Series standings.
Next weekend the Truck Series returns to action Friday, Nov. 3 at Texas Motor Speedway. Live coverage of the race begins with the NCWTS Setup Show at 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.