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Noah Gragson Finds Redemption at Kansas Speedway

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series 37 Kind Days 250
Saturday, May 12, 2018

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Noah Gragson celebrates in Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway
Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

There are times when redemption is swift and merciful.

A week after throwing away a chance to win at Dover with a wreck of his own making, Noah Gragson scored his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season, beating his car owner, Kyle Busch, to the finish line in the 37 Kind Days 250 at Kansas Speedway.

Starting from the pole for the second straight race, Gragson led 128 of 167 laps in his No. 18 Toyota, swept all the stages of the event and collected the second NCWTS victory of his career.

"This is such a relief for a driver who had a hard week last week battling for the win," said Gragson, who was running side by side with Johnny Sauter at Dover when he lost control of his truck and backed into the outside wall. "We came back strong this weekend. Two consecutive poles. We led the most laps today.

"Man, this is a pretty damn cool moment."

After passing Busch and third-place finisher Stewart Friesen on Lap 157-thanks to a four-tire call by crew chief Rudy Fugle during a green-flag pit stop on lap 134-Gragson took the lead for good when Myatt Snider ran out of gas with five laps left.

Snider was one of five drivers trying to stretch fuel to the end of the race. One by one they fell by the wayside, but not before muddying the waters in the closing laps.

"After the pit stop, I thought I was going to be the leader, but they told me that (fifth-place finisher) Johnny (Sauter) was stretching it on fuel," Gragson said. "So I said, 'OK, maybe I'm running second.' Then they said the 52 (Friesen) and the 4 (Busch) are a half a lap ahead of you.

"And I thought that was for the lead when I passed the 4 and I passed the 52, and then they said the 13 (Snider) was the leader. And I said, 'Dang, how many leaders are there going to be?"

As it turned out Snider was the last one, and Gragson had come full circle from his mistake at Dover.

Johnson Hunter Nemechek came home fourth, followed by Sauter and Matt Crafton. Cody Coughlin, Grant Enfinger, Brandon Jones and Justin Haley completed the top 10.

With 23 laps left, Friesen forced Busch down to the infield grass in the tri-oval, costing Busch a chance to pass the No. 52 Chevrolet and put distance between himself and Gragson.

Noah Gragson takes the checkered flag at Kansas Speedway
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Busch had taken right-side tires only on his green-flag stop on Lap 139, and Gragson methodically caught his car owner, making what proved to be the winning pass with 10 laps left.

"The truck felt good after about 15 laps, but it took too long to come in," Busch said. "And there on that last run, we didn't make enough adjustments. We took two tires and we got way too tight.

"But awesome run by Noah and those guys. They deserve it-they're fast. They needed a boost and they got one. They're going to race for a championship, and hopefully this will help them get going."

Sauter retained the series lead by 35 points over Gragson.

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make laps Led Status
1 1 18 Noah Gragson Safelite Toyota 167 128 Running
2 6 4 Kyle Busch Cessna Toyota 167 1 Running
3 8 52 Stewart Friesen We Build America Chevrolet 167 6 Running
4 14 8 John Hunter Nemechek Fleetwing/D.A.B. Construction Chevrolet 167 0 Running
5 5 21 Johnny Sauter ISM Connect Chevrolet 167 14 Running
6 3 88 Matt Crafton Flex Seal/Menards Ford 167 4 Running
7 2 2 Cody Coughlin Jeg's.com Chevrolet 167 0 Running
8 4 98 Grant Enfinger Protect The Harvest/Curb Records Ford 167 0 Running
9 13 51 Brandon Jones Lyons Industries/Menards Toyota 167 0 Running
10 12 24 Justin Haley Fraternal Order Of Eagles Chevrolet 166 4 Running
11 11 25 Dalton Sargeant
Performance Plus Motor Oil Chevrolet 165 0 Running
12 9 2 Austin Hill United Rentals Chevrolet 165 0 Running
13 19 22 Austin Wayne Self Don't Mess With Texas Chevrolet 164 0 Running
14 15 20 Darrell Wallace Jr.
Andy's Frozen Custard Chevrolet 164 0 Running
15 32 13 Myatt Snider
Louisiana Hot Sauce Ford 164 9 Running
16 10 16 Brett Moffitt Concrete Supply Toyota 163 0 Running
17 17 45 Justin Fontaine
ProMATIC Automation Chevrolet 163 0 Running
18 7 41 Ben Rhodes Alpha Energy Solutions Ford 162 1 Running
19 16 54 Bo LeMastus
Crosley Brands/DGR Crosley Toyota 160 0 Running
20 31 83 Kyle Donahue First Responder Racing Chevrolet 159 0 Running
21 25 33 Josh Reaume Colonial Countertops Toyota 158 0 Running
22 29 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb Think Realty/Mark One Chevrolet 157 0 Running
23 28 6 Norm Benning Zomongo Chevrolet 157 0 Running
24 30 74 Mike Harmon Horizon Transport Chevrolet 146 0 Oil Leak
25 21 3 Jordan Anderson Bommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet 139 0 Running
26 27 15 Robby Lyons Finke Brothers Inc. Chevrolet 139 0 Running
27 18 49 Wendell Chavous SobrietyNation.org Chevrolet 131 0 Suspension
28 26 50 Jamie Mosley Crossbar E-Cigarettes Chevrolet 66 0 Overheating
29 24 36 Bayley Currey Chevrolet 30 0 Transmission
30 22 87 Joe Nemechek Fleetwing Chevrolet 27 0 Overheating
31 23 0 Joey Gase Driven2Honor.org Chevrolet 6 0 Electrical
32 20 63 Kevin Donahue Mittler Bros. Chevrolet 0 0 Transmission



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