Notes of Interest

● Noah Gragson’s height is listed at 5 feet, 8 inches, but if he appears 6-feet tall when he walks into Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway this weekend, it’s because the 25-year-old Stewart-Haas Racing driver is coming off his career-best finish in the NASCAR Cup Series. Gragson finished third last Sunday at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, bettering his previous best result of fifth, earned on Aug. 28, 2022 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway while driving for Beard Motorsports. Making Gragson’s third-place run even more impressive is that he did it after starting 36th. Gragson led on five separate occasions at Talladega, highlighting how often he was at the front of the 38-car field.

● Sunday’s Würth 400 at Dover carries added worth for Gragson as the race marks his milestone 50th career NASCAR Cup Series start. Gragson made his Cup Series debut in the 2022 Daytona 500, also for Beard Motorsports.

● Of Gragson’s 49 career NASCAR Cup Series starts, only one has come at Dover. The Las Vegas native competed in last year’s Würth 400, starting 33rd and completing only 43 laps before an accident forced him out of the race.

● When it comes to the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Dover, Gragson is a veteran. In the stepping-stone division to the elite NASCAR Cup Series, Gragson has seven career starts at Dover with five top-10 results and no finishes outside of the top-20. His best effort was a pair of fourth-place drives – Aug. 22, 2020 when Gragson led 27 laps, and April 30, 2022 in his last Xfinity Series start at Dover.

● Gragson has made two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts at Dover. He finished ninth in his first Truck race there on June 2, 2017, and 20th in his second Truck race at the track on May 4, 2018. In that second Truck race, Gragson won the pole with a lap of 22.834 seconds at 157.660 mph and led three times for 60 laps before a crash 12 laps from the finish sent him to the garage.

● Gragson made his Dover debut on Sept. 30, 2016 in the NASCAR K&N Series East. He started an impressive third, but 62 laps into the 126-lap race, Gragson suffered a flat right-front tire and it put him hard into the turn-two wall, leaving him with a 24th-place finish.

● Joining Gragson at Dover is MillerTech, a premium lithium battery company that combines superior quality products with faith-based business values to deliver a unique and beneficial experience for end users. MillerTech’s commitment to integrity, customer focus, quality and community engagement sets it apart as a reliable and trustworthy partner in the lithium battery industry. Choose MillerTech for premium lithium batteries that enhance your bottom line while aligning with your values.

Noah Gragson, Driver of the No. 10 MillerTech Ford Mustang Dark Horse

Your first start at Dover came back in 2016 in the NASCAR K&N Series East. What was your welcome-to-Dover moment?

“Probably when I blew a right-front (tire) running third and it was a hard hit. That place is fast, it’s fun. The loads on your body are pretty unreal, but at the same time it’s a fun, challenging racetrack.”

You have one NASCAR Cup Series start at Dover and it lasted 43 laps. How difficult is that track in a Cup car, and how difficult is the learning curve?

“It’s a challenging racetrack to run fast laps, but it’s even more challenging when your stuff’s not driving well. Trying to figure it out in the simulator is really key for me. I probably do go deeper into the corner than I think I can just because we were looking at sim and I was driving it in about 165 feet deeper than my teammates, so I was probably overdriving it. Ran a little faster, but they were like tweaking out in the sim over it.”

Dover is another track where your time in the Xfinity Series was fruitful – two top-fives and five top-10s in seven starts. What allowed you to be consistently good at Dover?

“I used to run really well around that place when I first started in K&N, Trucks and Xfinity. I talked to Jimmie (Johnson) a bunch about that place about how to get around there. He obviously found a technique that worked really well for that place. I just drove it as hard as I could when I first went there, and I think I need to get back to that.”

Describe a lap at Dover – specifically, the gumption you need to have to throw the car into the corner and trust it.

“Dover is shaped like Bristol, but the straightaways are elevated and the corners, you drop down off of them like a four-story building. So with that being said, it’s a lot of load on your body. The way the place rubbers up, it’s different. It’s got concrete, so your balance changes a lot throughout a run, which makes it really challenging.”

How physical is a race at Dover?

“It’s pretty physical. You feel like you’ve got somebody standing on your shoulders when you’re in the corner. You’re pretty worn-out afterward.”

Do you feel the seams in the concrete at Dover?

“No, it feels pretty smooth.”

Dover is right there near the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Do you sample some seafood, or are you a Grotto Pizza guy?

“I like Grotto Pizza because Artie Kempner with FOX, his son works there and they do a lot of work with Drive for Autism. I like going up there for the Drive for Autism tournament with Artie Kempner to support that foundation, get to see old friends, make new friends and new memories and raise some money for Drive for Autism.”

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