Gragson and Safelite AutoGlass® Team Earn Hard-Fought Fifth-Place Finish
In a race that started Saturday and finished Monday, Noah Gragson and the Safelite AutoGlass team came from the 11th starting position to finish fifth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Stage One Recap:
- Gragson had gained one position Saturday when precipitation prevailed and NASCAR postponed the race to Sunday after 23 laps were completed. The race was then postponed to Monday after three inches of snow fell overnight Saturday.
- When the race resumed on Monday, Gragson picked up two spots over the first five laps to move up to eighth. As the opening stage proceeded caution free for the final 56 laps, the No. 18 Tundra remained eighth as the field cross the stripe on lap 70.
Stage Two Recap:
- When pit road opened, crew chief Rudy Fugle summoned his young driver to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel with a chassis adjustment to try and improve the handling for Gragson. The Safelite Tundra was scored in the seventh position when Stage Two went green on lap 82.
- Gragson moved up to the fourth spot with a strong restart and when the top three drivers made contact, he had to swerve to miss a spinning Stewart Friesen. While he went high to avoid contact, three trucks made their way to the inside of his Tundra before the caution flew.
- The Las Vegas native restarted from the seventh position on lap 92 and would remain there when Stage Two ended on lap 140.
Final Stage Recap:
- The NASCAR Next alum brought his Toyota to the attention of his over-the-wall crew who administered a four-tire and fuel stop with a trackbar adjustment and returned Gragson to the track scored in the eighth position.
- After the field went three wide to start the Final Stage, Gragson got caught in the middle and subsided to the ninth position. With passing at a premium, the Safelite Tundra had only advanced back to the eighth position when the field was slowed for the seventh time on lap 215.
- Fugle elected to put on four scuffed tires to try and give the No. 18 team an advantage for the final 35-lap battle. After restarting ninth on lap 220, Gragson advanced three spots over the next three laps.
- Gragson took the final restart of the race from the fourth position on lap 243, but lost one spot in the closing laps and crossed the stripe fifth. It was the talented youngster's second top-five finish across four starts this season.
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