BRISTOL, Tenn.— Despite getting a speeding penalty at the conclusion of the second stage, Kyle Busch was able to start from the pole to win the UNOH 200 from Bristol Motor Speedway.
“Well there was two (grooves). You know options, options are good and when you have options – you know when somebody is up high, you go down low and when somebody is down low, you go up high and it made for an interesting show that’s for sure. I didn’t want to. I’m sure NASCAR liked it. They wanted to, so truck yeah,” said Busch. “But pretty fun to be able to go out here and compete with these guys, compete with my guys and it was my late model team essentially you know. Just to go out here and have fun for Banfield, Banfield Pet Hospital team’s here and Cessna and Toyota, TRD, Rowdy Manufacturing, Joe Gibbs Racing Engines, NOS Energy Drink, everybody that’s a part of our team and makes our organization click.”
This is Ky. Busch’s third victory of 2017 and his fifth victory at Bristol.
After leading 90 laps and almost holding off Ky. Busch in the final 30 laps, Matt Crafton finished second.
“That last run we had really good speed. I found something right there at the end. I picked up two and a half tenths. When they were reading me lap times, I thought maybe we had something for them. Just a very good day. We will get one sooner or later here,” said Crafton.
John Hunter Nemechek finished in the third position.
“You never stop fighting until its over. We didn’t have the best qualifying spot. When the rain came, it washed most of the VHT off the bottom of the racetrack. After about five laps, the bottom rubbered up again. I am glad it rained because we were able to move to the middle and high lane. We didn’t have the best truck right off the lift gate, but we worked pretty hard to come home third. It’s a successful night,” said Nemechek.
Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, Johnny Saucer, Christopher Bell, Parker Kligerman, Austin Cindric, and Brandon Jones rounded out the top-10 after the UNOH 200.
There were six lead changes among four different drivers. Ky. Busch led the most laps at 109. There were five cautions for 31 laps. The margin of victory was 0.962 seconds. The time of race was one hour, 16 minutes, and 42 seconds.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a trip to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the Chevrolet Silverado 250. The race will be on Sunday, September 3rd at 2:30 ET on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.
BRISTOL, Tenn.— After setting a new track record in the final round of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying, Kyle Busch will start from the pole in tonight’s UNOH 200 from Bristol Motor Speedway.
Busch was fastest in the opening round of qualifying at 128.848 mph. Christopher Bell was second fastest at 128.485 mph. Ben Rhodes was third fastest at 128.425 mph. Austin Cindric was fourth fastest at 128.417 mph. Parker Kligerman rounded out the top-five at 128.374 mph. Chris Windom and Mike Senica were the two drivers who will not participate in tonight’s event.
In the second round of qualifying, Bell was fastest at 128.848 mph. Busch was second fastest at 128.632 mph. Johnny Sauter was third fastest at 128.365 mph. Noah Gragson was fourth fastest at 128.211 mph. Rhodes rounded out the top-five at 127.911 mph.
In the final round of qualifying, Busch scored the pole with a speed of 129.413 mph. Bell will start second at 128.606 mph. Sauter will start third at 128.271 mph. Gragson will start fourth at 128.253 mph. Brandon Jones will round out the top-five a 127.911 mph.
Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger, Cody Coughlin, Rhodes, and Jesse Little rounded out the top-ten.
For the fourth time in 2017 and the fallout of teammates, Christopher Bell won the Overton’s 150 after a late race battle for the lead.
“My guys do the best. They do a good job taking care of me. I just can’t say enough to be able to drive for Kyle Busch Motorsports. I am glad to be able to get SiriusXM into victory lane,” said Bell.
Despite a late race charge and a strong run at Pocono after a few disappointing weeks, Ben Rhodes will finished second.
“Pretty mellow about it. I guess that has been the story of the day. There were several situations out that we could have put ourselves in a bad place. I let a couple guys go early on in the race. I knew we had a fast Safelight Tundra,” said Rhodes.
Running up front for majority of the day, Ryan Truex finished in the third position.
John Hunter Nemchek, Johnny Suater, Matt Crafton, Austin Cindric, Cody Coughlin, Chase Briscoe, and Justin Haley round out the top-10.
There were five lead changes among five different drivers. The caution flew four times for XX laps. The average speed was 119.210 mph. The time of race was one hour, 17 minutes, 37 seconds.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is a trip to Michigan International Raceway on August 12th for the LTI Printing 200. The race will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network at 1:00 p.m. ET.
CONCORD, N.C. — Surviving a late race restart with three laps to go, Kyle Busch was able to dominate the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 from Charlotte Motor Speedway to score his second victory of 2017. Busch swept all three stages during the event to score his seventh career victory in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition. Busch led 90 laps, the most among any drivers. This is his 48th career victory in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition.
“These guys pour their hearts and souls into these trucks and what we do (at KBM). It’s awesome to get back-to-back wins and get back to Victory Lane again,” Busch said in Victory Lane. “This is a true testament to everybody at Kyle Busch Motorsports. We’re all working as a cohesive group and the guys are doing a great job. It was challenging there in the middle section of the race – I didn’t know what was going on half the time. I’m proud of the whole team effort.”
After leading 22 laps, Johnny Sauter stayed towards the front of the field for majority of the race to score a second place finish, his best career finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
“It was a good night for us. This has been a place that I have typically struggled with in the past. We brought a different truck back. This is ‘Old Faithful’, a truck we had success last fall and this year. Our Chevy was phenomenal in that second stage. I called for an adjustment and I should’ve got more on that final pit stop. I felt like the track was going to go free like it always does, but it really didn’t do that for me. I needed more front grip. We executed the last restart pretty well to get a second place finish out of it,” said Sauter post-race.
After starting on the pole, Bell had a tire going down just three laps into the event. Bell went one lap down after hitting pit road, but was able to rally to finish third at Charlotte.
“I think we had a flat right rear – or left rear when we fired off. It was really really loose the first couple laps and then finally went down off of (turn) four there. All these guys on this SiriusXM Tundra did a great job of getting me back out there. I had a second-place truck. Ran third with it. That’s what’s frustrating. Glad my boss won, that’s cool. We’ll be back and stronger than ever at Dover,” said Bell post race.
Ryan Truex, Timothy Peters, Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, Noah Gragson, and Parker Kligerman rounded out the top-10 in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200.
There were 10 different lead changes among eight different drivers. The caution flew nine times for 38 laps. The time of race was one hour, 49 minutes, and 32 seconds. Average speed for the race was 110.103 mph.
At track inspection is clear. The No. 24 truck of Justin Hayley failed heights in post-race inspection. Five trucks will be taken to the R&D Center including the 19, 45, 4, 24, and 16. Any penalties will be announced next week.
Sauter still holds the point lead over Bell by 15 points. Crafton is third only 51 points behind Sauter, Chase Briscoe is fourth only 71 points behind, and Rhodes rounds out the top-five only 72 points away from the leader.
Next up for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is the Bar Harbor 200 Presented by Sea Watch International from Dover International Speedway on June Second at 5:30 p.m. EST on Fox Sports 1 and Motor Racing Network.
Growing up in Las Vegas, Noah Gragson did not necessarily grow up around the racing world. At a very young age, he was involved with stick and ball sports like basketball and football, as well as extreme sports, like mountain biking.
To Gragson, racing was just an east coast of the United States deal. However, everything shifted at the age of 10 and 11.
Gragson was friends with Riley Herbst. Herbst invited Gragson to one of his races in an off road champion truck series event outside of Las Vegas. According to Gragson, the racing bug was caught and that is what he wanted to do. However, when that bug hit, it was during the economic recession.
The bug did not die in Gragson’s heart. His dad would bring him to Pole Position Raceway, a go-kart circuit in the Las Vegas area. The family would go as many weekends to Pole Position for one and a half to two years when an opportunity arose to race in the Bandelero’s at Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s “Bullring”.
During his time at the Bullring, Gragson found racing success. He moved up to the Legend’s division in 2014. While in that division, Gragson won the Young Lion Road Course championship as well as beginning to drive in the Super Late Model Division.
He also became a member of the NASCAR Next program in 2012. This program selects drivers that have a proven record of success and possess the necessary talent and skills to continue going up the NASCAR ladder. This program helps drivers develop the necessary professional skills and grow their marketability. Drivers are selected to join the program from input among veteran drivers and industry executives. NASCAR believes that these drivers will be the next face in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
In 2015, Gragson moved to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West. In just his third start, Gragson scored the victory at Tucson Speedway in Arizona. During that season, Gragson won one more race, scored one pole, seven top-five finishes, and 11 top-10 finishes while finishing second in the points standings and winning Rookie of the Year.
In 2016, Gragson continued to race in the K&N Pro Series West, but also added the K&N Pro Series East to his resume. During the season, Gragson collected two wins in East and West. In the West, he scored eight top-fives, 12 top-10’s, and led 73 laps. In the East, he scored four top-five’s, six top-10’s, and led 16 laps.
Because of his impressive steps, Gragson signed to race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM).
Signing with KBM was a dream come true for Gragson. About four to five years ago, Gragson swung by the KBM shop. When he walked into the shop for the very first time, he was amazed at the trophies that showcase the success of Busch and KBM. While there, Gragson dreamed of being able to step into the shop as a driver for Kyle and Samantha.
Driving for Kyle may seem daunting to many young drivers, but for Gragson it’s a special opportunity since both drivers were born and raised in the Las Vegas area. Gragson believes the opportunity to be able to talk to a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion is an advantage to him because not every young guy has the opportunity to do so. Gragson can call up Busch and ask him what the nuisances of a specific track are and how to approach the weekend. Gragson not only leans on Busch for advice, but Christopher Bell, his teammate. Gragson is using this opportunity to be like a sponge and soak up every bit of information he can.
While driving full-time in the trucks, Gragson also has been running select ARCA Racing Series events with Venturini Motorsports. Gragson has already ran at Daytona International Speedway in ARCA. He will also race this weekend at Talladega, as well as, the second Pocono and Chicagoland. He chose to go with Venturini Motorsports because he saw how fast their Toyota’s were. Gragson also has saw how successful the organization was in winning at every track on the ARCA schedule. In 2015, Gragson, who was not racing for them at the time, believed that Venturini was the team to beat.
The first two races of the truck season were not what Gragson was hoping for. He crashed at Daytona in the opening laps to finish in the 26th position, while at Atlanta, he finished 14th after making a mistake on the opening lap. Because he has not had the experience on mile-and-halves, Gragson is learning everything he an about the trucks. “The aero is different than what I am used to in K&N,” said Gragson. “You can follow a guy on the short tracks and be right in his footsteps and once he messes up, you pounce on him. On the 1.5-miles, you really have to go where he is not. When you are stuck to him in the airwaves, you have no downforce making it hard.”
Despite the lack of experience, Gragson is proud that Marcus Richmond, his crew chief, and team are rallying behind him to build up his confidence.
As a young driver in the trucks, Gragson deals with the month long break from Atlanta to Martinsville to Kansas. Gragson only has five races under his belt, but would love the chance to get to learn more about the trucks by racing in them. Despite the break, Gragson relies on Busch, Richmond, and his teammates to help learn the nuances with the lack of experience.
Like his career, the sports scene in and around the Las Vegas area is booming. While Las Vegas Motor Speedway is getting a second date, the area is also getting a National Football League and National Hockey League team. Gragson believes that is huge for Vegas for the “businesses, the hotels, just the whole atmosphere in Vegas”. When he was racing at the “Bullring”, he always dreamt of racing on the “big track” and is excited to have that opportunity to live out his dreams.
Gragson believes that the competition enhancements across all three series is a success.
“I feel like it creates a bit more drama. In the past, I felt the races get strung out and single file, not enough racing. But now, they take guys group them up, takes it back to your traditional K&N/Short track racing. You get a halfway break etc. I feel like it’s a win-win for everyone. It creates drama for the fans, fans are happy. the TV providers happy because they get commercials in. For us, we get to take a sip of water and relax our fingers.”
Although the season is young in the Camping World Truck Series, Gragson has set goals in what he wants to accomplish. His main goal is to learn as much as he can because many of the tracks on the schedule or ones he has not seen before. “Hopefully next year I can come back to these tracks, but our main goal is to win races and a championship. to be realistic, i want to learn. with learning, the races will come, the finishes will come. You just gotta keep digging and striving to get better and better,” said Gragson. Although he has not seen many of the tracks, he is most looking forward to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in September because road courses are where he found the most success in the K&N Series.
Social media is an important part of Gragson’s life. Gragson uses Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat as ways to interact with the fans. Gragson loves to interact with fans on social media. He believes that fans come to the racetrack to see their favorite driver and get an autograph while social media provides fans the opportunity to see what drivers go through on a day-to-day basis outside of the racetrack atmosphere.
You can follow Gragson on Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter on @NoahGragson.