Following a two-hour rain delay Wednesday night at Bristol Motor Speedway, Noah Gragson was strong early in the race, but a pit road penalty at the end of Stage Two hurt his track position, which he could never quite get back. Despite a valiant effort, he finished the race in 15th place.
Date: August 16, 2017
Event: UNOH 200 (Race 14 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (0.533-mile oval)
Format: Three Segments; 55 laps/55 laps/90 laps
Start/Finish: 4th / 15th (running, completed 202 of 203 laps)
Winner: Kyle Busch of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
Stage One Recap:
- Gragson started his Switch Tundra fourth for the first 55-lap stage. With a great start, he jumped up to second place and remained there the entire stage. The Switch Tundra was pretty neutral, so after four tires and fuel he returned to the track in fifth for the second stage.
Stage Two Recap:
- Gragson restarted fifth since a few trucks stayed out which had pitted before the stage ended. He said the truck was a bit free on entry. He ended the stage in sixth place and pitted for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. He was fifth out of the pits, but a pit road penalty for a crew member over the wall too soon sent him to the tail end of the lead lap trucks.
Stage Three Recap:
- After the penalty, Gragson restarted 19th for the final 90-lap stage. With 20 to go he was still back in 16th and struggled to gain track position. A final caution with a handful of laps would send the race into overtime. Crew chief Marcus Richmond called Gragson to pit road for left-side tires. With a green-white-checker restart, Gragson gained one position in the closing laps to finish 15th.
NOAH GRAGSON, driver of the No. 18 Switch Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Talk about your race?
“That was a pretty disappointing finish. Our Switch Tundra was really strong early in the race, although Kyle (Busch) was in a different zip code than the rest of us. We got a pit road penalty on the pit stop following the second stage, which we could never recover from all the way. The way I see it, we win as a team and lose as a team. We’ll learn from this and move on to Canada in a couple weeks. I’ve been looking forward to that race all year, so I wish we didn’t have to wait so long to go.”
UNOH 200 Recap:
- Kyle Busch won his final NCWTS race of the season followed by Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Grant Enfinger and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured five cautions for a total of 31 laps. There were six lead changes among four drivers. Kyle Busch led a race high 109 laps.
How Gragson’s KBM Teammates Fared:
Christopher Bell, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 7th
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 46 Toyota, finished 1st
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 18th
NCWTS Driver Championship Standings:
Gragson is 10th in the Truck Series Championship Playoff Standings, but now is 34 points behind eighth place, the final playoff position.
The Truck Series returns to action north of the border on Labor Day weekend on Sunday, September 3 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. Live coverage of the race begins with the NCWTS Setup Show at 2:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1.