Gragson Wins Pole and Stage One Before Bad Luck Strikes Late at Las Vegas

Gragson Wins Pole and Stage One Before Bad Luck Strikes Late at Las Vegas Getty Images for NASCAR
Noah Gragson captured his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series leading fifth pole of the year and then led the first 33 laps of the World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway en route to his series-leading 10th stage victory of the season. The 20-year-old drive was in a contention to win at his hometown track late in the race before contact from another competitor's truck crinkled his left-rear fender and a tire rub developed.
Gragson would have to hit pit road under green flag conditions and went multiple laps down. By finishing in the 18th position, he was able to hold onto the fourth position on the Playoff Grid heading into the final race of the Round of 8 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. He currently sits 23 points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Round of 6.
Stage One Recap: 
  • After starting from the pole, Gragson would lead all 30 laps of Stage 1 to pick up his series-leading 10th stage win of the season. He finished 4.6 seconds ahead of John Hunter Nemechek, who crossed the stripe second in the opening Stage. 
Stage Two Recap: 
  • When pit road opened, crew chief Rudy Fugle summoned the Safelite Tundra to pit road for four fresh right-side tires, a trackbar adjustment and a full tank of fuel.
  • Stage Two went green on lap 37 with Gragson scored in the second position, but by the time the field crossed the stripe to complete lap 38 had subsided to the sixth spot.
  • He was scored in the fourth position when a one-truck accident slowed the field for the third time on lap 46. He reported that the adjustments had snugged up his Toyota.
  • The field when back green on lap 49 and the Las Vegas drive was able to advance one position to finish third in Stage Two. 
Final Stage Recap: 
  • When pit road opened, Gragson brought the Safelite Tundra to pit road for a four-tire and fuel stop with a wedge adjustment.
  • He returned to the track scored in the fourth position when the Final Stage went green on lap 66. He was running in the runner-up spot, right on the bumper of Grant Enfinger, when a two-truck accident slowed the filed for the fifth time on lap 83.
  • Fugle summoned his driver to pit road for four fresh tires, a trackbar adjustment and a full tank of fuel. He returned to the track scored in the sixth position, but was the first driver with four fresh tires.
  • As the racing intensified, the battles inside the top 10 were often three and four wide. Stewart Friesen spun just in front of Gragson to bring out the  sixth caution of the night with 34 laps remaining.
  • The Safelite Tundra was scored in the fifth position when the field went back green on lap 103. Gragson was in a four-wide battle for the fourth spot with 28 laps remaining when his teammate Brandon Jones and Brett Moffitt made contact to his inside, which shot Moffit up the track into Gragson's left-front tire.
  • The contact crinkled the fender of the Safelite Tundra and the tire immediately began to smoke. With 25 laps remaining Gragson was forced to pit road, but with the left-front tire flat he was unable to maneuver his truck below the commitment line and was issued a pass-through penalty.
  • As he was serving his pass-through penalty, Friesen went spinning through the infield grass bringing out the ninth caution of the evening.
  • Gragson hit pit road when it opened to continue repairs to the left-side damage. When the field went back green with 18 laps remaining he was scored two laps down in the 26th position.
  • With 16 laps remaining he had an issue with the right-rear tire and hit pit road once again. After the over-the-wall crew put a fresh set of tires on, Gragson returned to the track three laps down.
  • The No. 18 team was able to receive two lucky dogs as the race turned into a caution fest in the closing laps and would end the day with an 18th-place finish.


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Steven B. Wilson

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