Gragson to make 100th start in NASCAR at Kansas

A significant milestone is in the making for NASCAR Xfinity Series competitor Noah Gragson when the series competes at Kansas Speedway. By starting the Kansas Lottery 250 on Saturday, July 25, Gragson will reach 100 starts across two of NASCAR’s three major division series, the Xfinity and Truck Series.

A native from Las Vegas, Nevada, Gragson’s racing career started as an early teenager in Bandoleros, late models and in Legends car series. In 2015, Gragson competed in the ARCA West Series with Jefferson Pitts Racing, where he won his first two races and a pole along with seven top-five results and 11 top-10 results as he finished in the runner-up spot in the final standings behind the champion Chris Eggleston. He was named the 2015 West Rookie of the Year. He also competed in two ARCA East races and in one ARCA Series event.

In 2016, Gragson’s schedule expanded that included him racing the entire ARCA West schedule, nearly the entire ARCA East schedule and in two ARCA Series events. In the ARCA West, he won two races and achieved eight top-five results and 13 top-10 results before concluding the season in third in the final standings. In the ARCA East, he won two races and recorded four top-five results and six top-10 results before concluding the season in fifth in the final standings. His two ARCA Series starts came at Pocono in June with team owner Mason Mitchell and at Kansas in October with team owner Bill Venturini.

Prior to the conclusion of the 2016 season, Gragson was named a full-time NASCAR Truck Series competitor for Kyle Busch Motorsports for the 2017 season. To prepare himself for his rookie Truck season, Gragson competed in the final two series races of the season at Phoenix International Raceway and at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November. Driving the No. 18 Toyota Tundra fielded by Wauters Motorsports, Gragson finished 14th at Phoenix in his series debut and 15th at Homestead.

Gragson’s rookie season in the NASCAR Truck Series and in KBM’s No. 18 Switch Toyota Tundra got off to a rough start, when he was involved in a multi-truck wreck and was eliminated after only completing the first lap. He rallied to log in three poles, four top-five results and 13 top-10 results throughout the 23-race schedule. At Martinsville Speedway in October, Gragson prevailed on a restart with 10 laps remaining against Matt Crafton to grab his first Truck career win in his 23rd series start. Gragson, ultimately, was one of five competitors to record a first career win in the series in 2017 as he also became the 10th competitor to win a Truck race for Kyle Busch Motorsports. While he did not make the Playoffs and failed to secure the Rookie-of-the-Year title, he concluded the season in 10th place in the final standings.

Gragson remained with KBM for the 2018 Truck Series season while Safelite AutoGlass replaced Switch and served as his primary sponsor. In addition, veteran Rudy Fugle was assigned as his crew chief. Throughout the 23-race schedule, Gragson achieved his second series career victory at Kansas Speedway in May as he also achieved six poles, eight top-five results and 17 top-10 results. Despite missing the Truck race at Pocono Raceway in July due to illness, he was granted a Playoff waiver to remain eligible for the series championship battle. Ultimately, consistency got him to the Championship Round. At Homestead-Miami Speedway for the finale, Gragson finished third and settled in second in the final championship standings behind Brett Moffitt.

In addition to his Truck Series season and battle for the championship, Gragson made his first three NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at Richmond, Talladega and Dover from April to May. At Richmond, he finished second in his series debut following a late battle with teammate and eventual winner Christopher Bell. He recorded a fourth-place result at Talladega in his second series start and a seventh-place result the following week at Dover. He also won the 51st annual Snowball Derby late model race at Five Flags Speedway in December, which marked his final run with Kyle Busch Motorsports. By the time the 2018 season concluded, Gragson achieved 50 starts between the Xfinity and Truck Series.

In 2019, Gragson graduated to the NASCAR Xfinity Series and drove the No. 9 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports on a full-time basis led by reigning two-time championship crew chief Dave Elenz. In his first full-time season in the series, he achieved nine top-five results and 22 top-10 results while making the Playoffs and settling in eighth in the final standings. He also finished third in the Rookie-of-the-Year battle.

Gragson started this season by winning the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and achieving his first Xfinity career win in his 37th series start. At that time, he became the 10th competitor to win an Xfinity race for JR Motorsports. He went on to record three more top-10 results the following five races of the schedule before he achieved his second series career victory at Bristol Motor Speedway in June.

Through the first 16 races of this year’s Xfinity schedule, Gragson has won twice and has achieved eight top-five results and 11 top-10 results. He is currently ranked third in the regular-season standings, but is one of six competitors who is guaranteed a spot in the Playoffs by virtue of a victory.

Catch Gragson’s milestone start in the Kansas Lottery 250 at Kansas Speedway on July 25, which will air at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN.



The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

Andrew Kim
An avid motorsports enthusiast from California with aspirations of working in any form of communications, PR or digital/social media in motorsports.

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