Gragson Captures Pole and Stage Win in Eighth-Place Finish at Kentucky

Gragson Captures Pole and Stage Win in Eighth-Place Finish at Kentucky Getty Images for NASCAR
Noah Gragson captured the pole for Thursday night's Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway, led 62 of the first 73 laps, won Stage Two and ended the night with an eighth-place finish. Despite reporting that he had a vibration in the middle of Stage Two, Gragson was able to hold on to win the stage but lost valuable track position when his over-the-wall crew put a wheel spacer on the right-front wheel to fix the problem.
The Safelite Tundra would start the Final Stage from the 13th position and with passing at a premium slowly worked its way back inside the top 10 and would end the day with an eighth-place finish. With his seventh consecutive top-10 finish, 19-year-old maintained second place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings with four races remaining before the start of the playoffs.
Stage One Recap: 
  • Gragson captured his fourth pole of the season after posting the fastest lap in each of the two rounds of qualifying on Thursday afternoon. Within 10 laps the talented teenager had opened up nearly a two second lead.
  • As the Safelite Tundra approached lap traffic with 10 laps to go in the opening stage, Ben Rhodes was able to close the gap and then worked his way around Gragson to lead lap 27. Gragson fought back by Rhodes and led laps 28 to 32, but as he got caught up with a driver trying to remain on the lead lap Rhodes worked his way back to the front with three laps remaining and would hold on to win Stage One.
Stage Two Recap: 
  • After Gragson communicated that his Safelite Tundra was too tight, Crew chief Rudy Fugle summoned his driver to pit road between stages for fresh right-side tires, a full tank of fuel and a trackbar adjustment to try and improve the handling.
  • Stage Two went green on lap 42 with Gragson in the second position, but he quickly made his way back out front. Despite reporting that he had a tire vibration, he would remain out front for the entirety of Stage Two collecting a playoff point.
Final Stage Recap: 
  • When pit road opened, Gragson brought his Toyota to the attention of his over-the-wall crew who administered a four-tire and fuel stop and placed a wheel spacer on the right-front wheel in an effort to fix the vibration.
  • With the stop taking extra time, the Safelite Tundra lined up 13th when the Final Stage went green on lap 76. Gragson returned to the top 10 on lap 90. He was running eighth on lap 123 when he was summoned to pit road under green-flag conditions.
  • After getting right-side tires and fuel, the Las Vegas native returned to the track scored in the 15th spot with 25 laps remaining. Once pit stops cycled through, he was scored in the eighth spot and would remain there to finish the race.


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Steven B. Wilson

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