Event: 37 Kind Days 250, Race 6 of 23, 167 Laps – 40/40/87; 250.5 Miles
Location: Kansas Speedway in Kansas City (1.5-mile tri-oval)
Date/Broadcast: May 11, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need to ‘Noah’bout
- Coming off an unkind finish in last week’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, Noah Gragson hopes that this week’s 37 Kind Days 250 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City will provide a happier ending. Gragson started from the pole, won Stage One and regained the race lead with 12 laps remaining in last week’s JEGS 200 at Dover. Unfortunately, while battling side-by-side with eventual winner Johnny Sauter with two laps remaining, contact between the two resulted in Gragson’s Safelite AutoGlass Tundra spinning and sliding backwards up the banking into the outside wall.
- Despite a 20th-place result in last week’s race, the Las Vegas native moved up two positions to third in the NCWTS championship standings. He enters this week’s race 58 tallies behind points leader Johnny Sauter. Gragson has earned three playoff points through the first five races in 2018, winning the First Stage at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway and again last week at Dover. The 19-year-old driver has led at least one lap in four of the five races this season and boasts a best finish of second at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway.
- Gragson qualified fourth in last year’s NCWTS race at Kansas but was relegated to a 28th-place finish after a clutch issue forced him to the garage after completing just 68 of the 167 laps.
- Crew chief Ryan “Rudy” Fugle called the shots for William Byron’s victory in Truck Series action at the 1.5-mile tri-oval in 2016. Fugle’s drivers have led at least one lap in each of his five Truck Series races atop the pit box at Kansas and have combined to lead 240 laps overall.
- 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.
Noah Gragson, Driver Q&A
How has the start of your 2018 season gone for you?
“So far, we’ve led laps in every race but one, so I feel really confident going into Kansas. We’ve run up front in each and every race, so I feel really good about our Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundras that we bring to the race track. My crew — they are the best team out there — so thanks to Kyle Busch and the rest of the organization here at Kyle Busch Motorsports. It definitely makes it a lot easier on a driver when you know you can unload and have fast Toyota Tundras. Ready to get to Kansas — hopefully we can lead some more laps and get ourselves the checkered flag.”
How does Kansas compare to the other mile-and-a-half tracks on the Truck Series schedule?
“Kansas is very fast. It’s a little bit different than most of the other tracks we go to mile-and-a-half wise, but it’s really fast. It’s got a lot of grip. I don’t feel like it has a ton of banking, kind of like Las Vegas a little bit, just a little bit less grip and a little less banking. Overall, very high speeds — almost wide open around the entire track in the race. It’s pretty racey — you can move around a little bit, so it should be a lot of fun.”
Do you have a favorite memory of your mother at the track?
“First of all, I want to say Happy Mother’s Day to my mom and all the moms out there. I’m very thankful to have a mom that supports me, so I want to say thank you mom for doing that — I love you. I probably don’t say that enough, I actually know that I don’t say it enough — I’m going to start saying it more. My favorite memory is after I won my first K&N race and my mom came down and was super excited. That just made me feel really good and accomplished. I hope I make you proud — I try and strive to do that every day, no matter if it’s on the race track, or off the track — so I love you.”
Noah Gragson Career Highlights
- In 30 career NCWTS starts has collected one win, four poles, 303 laps led, six top-five and 15 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-038: The No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass team will unload KBM-038, for Friday night’s race at Kansas. The Tundra nicknamed “38 Special” has won four times in seven career starts and has an average finish of 1.7. Gragson started third, won Stage One, led 43 laps and finished second with the Toyota earlier this year at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway.
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected three wins, three poles, 468 laps led, seven top-five and 11 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.6 across 18 starts at Kansas
- Owner-driver Kyle Busch collected two of the wins at Kansas (2014 & 2017), while William Byron scored KBM’s win in 2016
- A KBM Tundra has led at least one lap in seven of the eight races that the team has entered at Kansas since its inception in 2010
- 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, which was the number that was on the first Tundra that went to victory lane for KBM in 2010, has 20 career victories
- KBM holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (66) 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)