NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview
Event: North Carolina Education 200, Race 7 of 23, 134 Laps – 30/30/74; 201 Miles
Location: Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (1.5-mile quad-oval)
Date/Broadcast: May 18, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need to ‘Noah’bout
- After a dominant performance at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City last week, Noah Gragson will be looking to capture back-to-back NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) victories this weekend as the circuit heads to Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. Gragson captured the pole last week in Kansas and then swept all three stages of the race while leading a race-high 128 laps. The win was the second of his NCWTS career (Martinsville Speedway, 2017) and his first of the 2018 season.
- The Las Vegas native moved up one position to third in the NCWTS championship standings with his win last week at Kansas. He enters this week’s race 35 tallies behind points leader Johnny Sauter. Gragson has earned 10 playoff points through the first six races in 2018. He has been victorious in Stage 1 in four of the last five races, Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway, Dover (Del.) International Speedway and last week at Kansas. The 19-year-old driver has led at least one lap in five of the six races this season and currently tops all Truck Series drivers with 244 laps led this year.
- Gragson qualified 15th in last year’s NCWTS race at Charlotte and brought the No. 18 Tundra home in the ninth position.
- Crew chief Ryan “Rudy” Fugle called the shots for Kyle Busch’s victory in Truck Series action at the 1.5-mile quad-oval in 2013. Fugle’s drivers have led at least one lap in each of his last four Truck Series races atop the pit box at Charlotte.
- Following Friday night’s Truck Series even at Charlotte, Gragson will head north of the border to compete in Sunday’s Clarington 200 NASCAR Pinty’s Series season opener at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ont.
- 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 big of a confidence boost is it to get a win early in the season?
“Last week’s win was a huge confidence booster for myself. Going to the race track this weekend at Charlotte I’m going to be at the top of my game — I haven’t felt more confident before going to a race track. Knowing that I have fast Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundras prepared by my guys – Rudy Fugle (crew chief) and the rest of my guys at Kyle Busch Motorsports — its gives me all the confidence in the world. Just going to try and work hard and run good this weekend.”
Will you approach the rest of the regular season races differently now that you have a playoff spot secured?
“Yeah, I think now we are focused on the playoffs and getting those stage points, earning those points throughout the races and maximizing our races from here on out. We are still looking for wins obviously, but points as well and try to win the regular season points championship and then move onto the playoffs. It gives me some confidence going into the next few races knowing that I am in the playoffs and we don’t have to keep on chasing that and hopefully more wins will come.”
Why are you heading to Canada this weekend to race in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series?
“This week I’ll be running the Charlotte Motor Speedway Truck Series race on Friday night — if the weather holds out and it’s a dry, clear night and hopefully it’s not raining on Friday. Then Saturday if it goes according to plan, I’m going to Canada to race in the NASCAR Pinty’s Series at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park to run with DJ Kennington and his team. I’m going to be running up there just trying to get more laps. It’s going to be one of the races in the first round of the playoffs, so just trying to maximize the most I can get out of that race track, learn a little bit more and try to get better with my road course racing. We finished second there in the trucks last year and with a little bit more learning hopefully we can get that top spot.”
Noah Gragson Career Highlights
- In 31 career NCWTS starts has collected two wins, five poles, 431 laps led, seven top-five and 16 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-047: The No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass team will unload KBM-047, for Friday night’s race at Charlotte. Gragson led 12 laps, won Stage 1 and finished 12th with the same Tundra at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March.
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected five wins, three poles, 524 laps led, nine top-five and 14 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 9.8 across 20 starts at Charlotte
- Owner-driver Kyle Busch has collected all five of his organization’s wins (2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2017)
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 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)