NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview
Event: Eldora Dirt Derby, Race 13 of 23, 150 Laps –40/50/60; 75 Miles
Location: Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (half-mile dirt oval)
Date/Broadcast: July 18, 2018 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need to ‘Noah’bout
- Noah Gragson enters Wednesday’s event at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio riding a streak of seven consecutive top-10 finishes. The 19-year-old driver has also started third or better in each of the last eight races and nine times overall in 12 starts this season. He has captured the pole for the last two events on the schedule and leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with four pole awards and an average starting position of 3.3 in 2018.
- Overall in 12 starts this season, he has posted one win, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes. Gragson has led at least one lap in 11 of the 12 races this season and leads the Truck Series with 450 laps led on the year.
- With his eighth-place finish at Kentucky Speedway, Gragson maintained second place in the NCWTS championship standings. He enters this week’s race 42 tallies behind points leader Johnny Sauter. Gragson has earned 12 playoff points through the first eight races in 2018, including the seven he earned by sweeping all three stages en route to victory from the pole at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City in May. He captured the victory in Stage Two at Kentucky Speedway last week and leads the series with seven stage wins on the year.
- Gragson started 10th and finished seventh in last year’s Eldora Dirt Derby during his rookie campaign in the Truck Series. He posted the fifth-fastest time in time trials and then finished second in Qualifying Race 5 in his first dirt race of his career.
- Safelite AutoGlass, the nation’s largest provider of vehicle glass repair and replacement services, will adorn the hood of Gragson’s No. 18 Tundra for all 23 events on the NCWTS schedule in 2018. Gragson will visit the company’s headquarters, which are located 96 miles east of Eldora Speedway in Columbus, Ohio, Monday and Tuesday before Wednesday’s event at the famed dirt track.
Noah Gragson, Driver Q&A
Without having much dirt experience is it hard to prepare to race at Eldora?
“Eldora is tough because I don’t race dirt — I don’t come from that background. I’ve never really had the opportunity to go out there and race dirt or have really any experience, so it’s going to be tough. Luckily, I was able to race it last year so I kind of have a little bit more confidence going into it this year. Other than that, there is nothing you can really do to prepare yourself if you’re not a dirt racer. It’s going to be challenging, but I’m up for it — it’ll be fun.”
Will you be able to enjoy racing at Eldora more this year since you have already locked up a playoff spot?
“I don’t think so because last year I went into Eldora as a throwaway race in a sense and I really just tried to have fun out in the dirt and learn slipping and sliding. But once you are in that thing and your competitive mindset kicks in and you’re like man I’m running like 15th when I shouldn’t be running 15th even though it’s my first time on dirt, you get out there and your competitive state kicks in. You want to do better and better and you overtry because you are out of your comfort zone. It should be fun. I’m looking forward to this year — it’s going to be a lot more fun just because I don’t have to race and get in the playoffs, so I’m going to go into it as a throwaway race again.”
Noah Gragson Career Highlights
- In 37 career NCWTS starts has collected two wins, seven poles, 637 laps led, nine top-five and 22 top-10 finishes.
- Recorded two top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in average finish of 4.3 across three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts for Joe Gibbs Racing this season
- Finished 10th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) championship standings in 2017 after collecting one win, three poles, 187 laps led, four top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in his rookie campaign. He earned his first NCWTS victory last October at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway outdueling series veterans Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton in the closing laps
- The NASCAR Next alum also competed in three events for KBM’s Super Late Model team in 2017, highlighted by his triumph in the prestigious ARCA/CRA Super Series Winchester 400 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway in October
- The Las Vegas native has collected four NASCAR K&N Pro Series West victories across 27 career starts and two NASCAR K&N Pro Series East victories across 16 career starts
Noah Gragson’s No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra:
KBM-134D: The Safelite AutoGlass team will unload KBM-134D for Wednesday night’s Eldora Dirt Derby. Christopher Bell led 22 laps and finished ninth with the same Tundra in last year’s event.
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected two wins, one pole, 249 laps led, five top-five and eight top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.3 across 14 starts at Eldora
- Darrell Wallace Jr. won the event in 2014 and Christopher Bell was victorious in 2015
- The No. 18 team, which last year was the No. 4 team with Christopher Bell, has won five consecutive NCWTS Owner’s titles for KBM and has produced two championship-winning drivers (Erik Jones, 2015 and Christopher Bell, 2017)
- The No. 18, the number which was on the first Tundra that went to victory lane for KBM in 2010, has 21 career victories
- KBM holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (67) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). In addition to collecting a series-record six Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers; Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017)