Noah Gragson came to Eldora Speedway with no racing experience on dirt, but seemed to get the hang of it pretty quickly. After only two hours of practice on Tuesday evening, Gragson started on the pole of his qualifying race and ended the night with another top-10 finish bringing his Switch Tundra home in seventh place.
Date: July 19, 2017
Event: Fifth Annual Eldora Dirt Derby (Race 11 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (half-mile oval)
Format: Three Segments; 40 laps/50 laps/60 laps
Start/Finish: 10th / 7th (running, completed 75 of 75 laps)
Winner: Matt Crafton of ThorSport Racing (Toyota)
Stage One Recap:
- Gragson started 10th based on his second-place finish in his qualifying race. The Switch Tundra was loose throughout Stage One, but he was able to finish in 13th He came to the pits for four tires and a chassis adjustment to tighten up his Tundra. Since the pit stops are not timed at Eldora, he returned to the race in 13th to begin Stage Two.
Stage Two Recap:
- Gragson held his own throughout the 50 laps and finished Stage Two in the same position he started, 13th. Since fuel mileage and tires were not a concern, the team opted not to pit and instead gain track position for the final stage.
Stage Three Recap:
- By staying on track during the stage break, Gragson was up to fourth when the race resumed for the final 60 laps. Although he fell back to 10th, he did everything right by keeping the Switch Tundra in one piece and pointed in the right direction. With 10 to go he was up to eighth and gained one more spot in the final laps to earn a seventh-place finish.
NOAH GRAGSON, driver of the No. 18 Switch Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Talk about your race?
“That race was ridiculous, but also so much fun. It was something that really wasn’t in my wheelhouse. I’m used to running short-track asphalt stuff and this was nothing like anything I’d ever done before. The track was constantly changing. It was wild going three or four-wide most of the race. I’m pretty pumped to finish seventh. I have to thank everyone at Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota, Switch, Game of War and Mobile Strike for making this possible.”
Eldora Dirt Derby Recap:
- Matt Crafton won the race followed by Stewart Friesen, Chase Briscoe, Grant Enfinger and John Hunter Nemechek rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured 10 cautions for a total of 59 laps. There were seven lead changes among four drivers. KBM’s Christopher Bell led 22 laps.
How Gragson’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 9th
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 15th
NCWTS Driver Championship Standings:
Gragson remains ninth in the Truck Series Championship Standings, and is still only seven points out of eighth, the final playoff position.
Next weekend the Truck Series returns to action on Saturday, July 29 at Pocono Raceway. Live coverage of the Overton’s 150 begins with the NCWTS Setup Show at 12:30 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.