In what would seem like a repeat of Kansas, Noah Gragson, unfortunately, came up three spots short of the race win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Chicagoland Speedway Friday night.
After starting on the pole, he led the first lap until taking the lead again on Lap 26. As the stage began to wind down, it looked as though he would score a stage win, however, John Hunter Nemechek passed him on the final lap in Turns 3 and 4 and Gragson finished second.
That didn’t stop Gragson though, as he continued to stay in the hunt and was in charge once again on Lap 41. He got passed for the lead by eventual race winner, Brett Moffitt on Lap 64, but he regained the lead one lap later and scored his sixth stage win of the season.
During the pit stop, the No. 18 Safelite Tundra took no tires and restarted in the second position after a close call on pit road with Nemechek leaving the pits. But, after a late race caution on Lap 122, he was able to pit for four fresh tires.
At the end of the night, the scoring pylon showed Gragson fourth after leading 42 laps.
“Struggled for grip there at the end,” Gragson said. “I made some adjustments and didn’t feel like they really helped after the sun went down. Just thankful to be out here and all the fans for coming out. A lot of fun to race at Chicago, just came up a bit short. Gained some points, stage points, playoff points throughout the race. Just got to work harder and keep on going.”
Gragson is 65 points back behind points leader Johnny Sauter.