Noah Gragson made his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at Talladega Superspeedway Saturday in the Fred’s 250. Despite feeling a bit under the weather throughout the weekend, Gragson persevered through the entire race and was in contention for the win in the closing laps. He was in the top five coming to the white flag when he was pinched into the middle lane and spun by another driver. He was still able to finish the race in 14th place.
Date: October 14, 2017
Event: Fred’s 250 (Race 19 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: Three Segments; 20 laps/20 laps/54 laps
Start/Finish: 8th / 14th (running, completed 95 of 95 laps)
Winner: Parker Klingerman of Henderson Motorsports (Toyota)
Stage One Recap:
- Starting from eighth place, Gragson came to pit road early in the stage when he felt a vibration on lap 13. After changing all four tires, the team found a loose wheel had caused the vibration and he returned to the track in 26th place, two laps down. When the stage ended, he was able to stay out and take the waive around to get one lap back.
Stage Two Recap:
- Gragson started Stage Two in 23rd place, one lap down. He worked his way up to 18th and pitted for right-side tires before the stage ended, so he would be able to stay out and take the waive around again to be back on the lead lap. The Switch team’s strategy worked and he was on the lead lap for the final stage.
Stage Three Recap:
- When the race resumed on lap 47, Gragson was scored in 22nd A great run on the outside moved him up to 13th, and then up to fourth by lap 50. When a caution came on lap 55, crew chief Marcus Richmond called him to pit road for his final four-tire stop. Instructed to save fuel the remainder of the race, Gragson fell into line pushing his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, Christopher Bell, while riding in third place. Of course, races at Talladega are always unpredictable, and this one was no exception. A caution late in the race forced a green-white-checker finish. Gragson was in an ideal spot, but coming to the white flag, he was hit from behind and spun. The Switch Tundra sustained damage, but he was able to bring it back around to finish the race in 14th place.
NOAH GRAGSON, driver of the No. 18 Switch Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Talk about your race?
“Our Switch Tundra was really good today. I have to thank all my guys at KBM since we had a lot of speed. I learned a lot today and it was exciting to get out there and mix it up a little bit, being that I hadn’t done much superspeedway racing before. I’m really proud of our effort. We had some trouble at the end, but we had a shot at the win and that’s all you can ask for with a couple laps to go.”
Fred’s 250 Recap:
- Parker Klingerman won the race followed by KBM’s Christopher Bell and Myatt Snider, Grant Enfinger and Austin Cindric rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured six cautions for a total of 27 laps. There were 17 lead changes among 11 drivers. KBM’s Christopher Bell led four times for nine laps.
How Gragson’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 2nd
- Myatt Snider, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 3rd
NCWTS Driver Championship Standings:
Gragson remains 11th in the Truck Series standings.
After a weekend off, the Truck Series returns to action Saturday, October 28 at Martinsville Speedway. Live coverage of the race begins with the NCWTS Setup Show at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.