Gragson Claims Victory at Martinsville

Noah Gragson added his name to the list of NASCAR winners on Saturday when he claimed his first career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. After getting his first top-five finish at the half-mile track in the spring, he came back to seal the deal with a win this time around. He led the final 10 laps of the race in commanding fashion to take the checkered flag.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • Starting from fifth place, Gragson spent the first 50-lap stage feeling out his Switch Tundra. At lap 25 he was sixth, and said the truck was tight through the center of the corners, but finished the stage where he began it, in fifth place.
Stage Two Recap:
  • Since Gragson did not pit after Stage One ended, he was third when the race resumed. He spent nearly all of the stage in third place, but was putting pressure on NCWTS veteran Matt Crafton for second. He could not quite make the pass before the stage ended at lap 100 and was third when he made his only pit stop of the day for four tires and a wedge adjustment.
Stage Three Recap:
  • With a fast stop by the Switch pit crew, Gragson started the final 100-lap stage in third place. When his KBM teammate, Christopher Bell, brought out the caution on lap 122 as he was spun while leading, Gragson moved up to second place behind Crafton.
  • With 50 to go, Gragson was still holding his own in second, but reigning NCWTS champion Johnny Sauter was closing in on him. Despite a few taps to the bumper from Sauter, Gragson gained some distance from him on the straightaways.
  • A caution with 17 laps remaining set up a 10-lap shootout to finish the race. Gragson restarted second on the outside next to Crafton, which typically is not the best place to start. When the green flag waived, Gragson made the outside work and took the lead from both veterans. He led the final 10 laps pulling away from the field to take his first NCWTS checkered flag with a 1.486-second margin of victory.

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Steven B. Wilson

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