Gragson Rolls Into Homestead Locked And Loaded

Noah Gragson

Event:                         NCWTS Championship Race, Race 23 of 23, 134 Laps – 30/30/74; 201 Miles
Location:                    Homestead-Miami (Fla.) Speedway (1.5-mile oval)
Date/Broadcast:         Nov. 16, 2018 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need to ‘Noah’bout
  • Noah Gragson secured his spot in Friday night’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway after recording a runner-up finish last week at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. Gragson, who finished 27 points above the elimination line in the Round of 6, was the lone driver to make it into the Championship 4 via points. The other three competitors in Friday night’s event at Homestead-Miami all secured their spots with victories in the Round of 6; Johnny Sauter (Martinsville Speedway), Justin Haley (Texas Motor Speedway) and Brett Moffitt (ISM Raceway).
  • The 20-year-old wheelman is looking to become the third driver out of the Kyle Busch Motorsports’ stable to be crowned the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion. Erik Jones captured the organization’s first driver title in 2015 and Christopher Bell won last year’s championship. Including its two driver championship seasons, in which they also won the owner’s title, KBM has captured a series-record six owner’s championships. The organization has brought home the owner’s title each of the last five seasons (2013-2017) and also won in its inaugural season competing in NASCAR’s third division (2010).
  • Rudy Fugle, Gragson’s crew chief, was the crew chief for both Jones’ and Bell’s championship efforts. He also led multiple drivers to an owner’s championship in 2013 and despite not winning the driver’s championship with William Byron in 2016, the No. 9 team went on to win the owner’s championship that season after Byron’s victory in the season-finale at Homestead-Miami.
  • Gragson leads the NCWTS in stage wins (10), poles (six), driver rating (107.1), laps led (591), average starting position (4.7) and average mid-race position (6.4) this year. He finished second in the NCWTS regular season standings after posting one win, six top-five and 12 top-10 finishes across his 15 starts. Overall in 21 Truck Series starts in 2018, the NASCAR Next alumnus has collected one win, seven top-five and 16 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.7. He was not able to make a start at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa., earlier this year after falling ill moments before qualifying. Former KBM driver Erik Jones filled in for Gragson and earned a runner-up finish for the No. 18 behind KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch.
Noah Gragson NCWTS
2017
2018
Starts
23
21
Wins
1
1
Poles
3
6
Laps Led
187
591
Top Five
4
7
Top 10
13
16
Avg Start
6.7
4.7
Avg Finish
11.6
8.7
  • The Las Vegas native made great strides in his sophomore season in the Truck Series. Going into Friday night’s event, Gragson has already doubled the number of poles he won from last season (three to six), led 404 more laps, collected three more top-five and three more top-10 finishes than a year ago, improved his average starting position by two spots and his average finishing position by nearly three spots. After not qualifying for the playoffs in 2017, he locked his spot in this year’s postseason with a dominant win at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City in May.
  • Gragson will be making his second career start at Homestead-Miami Speedway. He qualified fifth and finished 18th in last year’s event. KBM has scored four victories in the season-ending race at the Florida track; Owner-driver Kyle Busch scored wins in 2010 and 2013, Darrell Wallace Jr., won in 2014 and Byron took home the trophy in 2016.
  • 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. This is Safelite’s third season as a sponsor in the Truck Series and their first opportunity at a championship.
Noah Gragson, Driver Q&A
 
What is it going to take to bring home the championship on Friday night?
“It’s going to take a good Safelite AutoGlass Toyota Tundra and a good effort by the driver. We have to make good changes and be smart throughout the race. I think it’s going to be a long race and we’re going to be battling the race track — that’s for sure. I don’t know really what to expect preparing for that. I have to be smart and not put myself in any positions to get any damage, hit the fence — or anything bad like that. Just need to keep all four tires on the race track pointed in the right direction and we have to battle. We have to battle harder than we have all year — but I think we should be all right.”
What would it mean to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship?
“It would mean a lot. It would be the biggest accomplishment of my career to win the 2018 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship. It’s something I’ve been dreaming about pretty much every night for the last two years. Just trying to make myself the best than I can be and I know it would mean a lot for my team, everyone at KBM, Toyota, TRD, Safelite and Switch. My team guys, they work so hard for the opportunity to compete for a championship down in Homestead. Now it’s all gloves off — we’re going all out to win the race and if you win the race, you’re the champion. Just have to keep working hard. I know it would mean a tremendous amount to myself and definitely be one of the best days of my life.”
 
Noah Gragson Career Highlights 
  • In 46 career NCWTS starts has collected two wins, nine poles, 778 laps led, 11 top-five and 29 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. 
Noah Gragson’s No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Tundra:
 
KBM-55: The Safelite AutoGlass team will unload a brand-new Tundra, KBM-55, for Friday night’s race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
KBM Notes of Interest
  • 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 (68) 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).
Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 18 Toyota Tundra 2018 NCWTS Box Score:
Date
Site
Driver
Start
Finish
Laps
Laps Led
Status
Driver Pts./Pos.
2/16
Daytona
Gragson
5
23
79/100
1
Accident
16/24th
2/24
Atlanta
Gragson
3
2
134/134
43
Running
67/4th
3/2
Las Vegas
Gragson
5
12
134/134
12
Running
107/4th
3/24
Martinsville
Gragson
11
5
250/250
0
Running
146/5th
5/4
Dover
Gragson
1
20
198/210
60
Accident
180/3rd
5/11
Kansas
Gragson
1
1
167/167
128
Running
240/2nd
5/18
Charlotte
Gragson
2
8
134/134
13
Running
270/2nd
6/8
Texas
Gragson
3
10
167/167
19
Running
301/2nd
6/16
Iowa
Gragson
3
2
200/200
7
Running
348/2nd
6/23
Gateway
Gragson
3
10
160/160
63
Running
391/2nd
6/29
Chicago
Gragson
1
4
150/150
42
Running
443/2nd
7/12
Kentucky
Gragson
1
8
150/150
62
Running
491/2nd
7/18
Eldora
Gragson
27
6
153/153
0
Running
522/2nd
7/28
Pocono
Erik Jones
31
2
60/60
1
Running
522/2nd
8/11
Michigan
Gragson
3
4
100/100
18
Running
569/2nd
8/15
Bristol
Gragson
7
9
200/200
7
Running
599/2nd
8/26
Canadian Tire
Gragson
2
9
65/65
35
Running
2070/3rd
9/14
Las Vegas
Gragson
1
18
143/144
33
Running
2107/2nd
10/13
Talladega
Gragson
13
13
93/94
3
Running
2137/3rd
10/27
Martinsville
Gragson
3
7
200/200
0
Running
3073/2nd
11/2
Texas
Gragson
2
10
147/147
2
Running
3105/4th
11/9
Phoenix
Gragson
1
2
150/150
43
Running
3152/4th
11/16
Homestead
Gragson
 TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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