Gragson Scores his First Top-Five Finish at Martinsville

Noah Gragson recorded a fourth-place finish, a career-best NASCAR Camping World Truck Series result and his first career-series top five at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday. He was also the highest-finishing rookie of the race, which was impressive for his first time at the track with limited practice.
Stage One Recap:
  • Gragson started ninth after only having one hour of practice due to rain on Friday. He spent much of the first stage finding a rhythm to get around the flat, paperclip-shaped track. He was eighth when the first 70-lap stage ended and was up to seventh after a quick pit stop by the Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) team for the restart on lap 82
Stage Two Recap:
  • Following a restart on lap 97, Gragson had jumped up to fifth place. Just three laps later he was hit in the rear quarter-panel by fellow rookie Chase Briscoe and spun in turn two. Crew chief Marcus Richmond called him to pit road for four new tires and luckily the Switch Tundra sustained no damage. Gragson was 22nd, the last truck on the lead lap, when the race resumed on lap 106. He did not waste any time moving back up through the field. By lap 128 he was back in the top 10 and still charging to the front. When a caution came just three laps before the end of stage two, Richmond called Gragson to the pits for the final time for four tires and fuel. He came off pit road eighth to start the final stage of the race.
Stage Three Recap:
  • Gragson was pleased with the handling of his Switch Tundra and he moved into fourth place on lap 166. He was as high as third, but eventually let the faster truck of Johnny Sauter get by him rather than take the chance getting moved out of the way. Things got a little wild in the closing laps as race leader Christopher Bell made contact with the lapped truck of Austin Cindric, which allowed Chase Elliott and Sauter pass him. Bell got in line in front of Gragson when the race resumed with 12 to go, and that is also how they finished the race.


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Steven B. Wilson

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