Gragson Holds off Busch, Friesen, for Truck Win at Kansas

Noah Gragson was the favorite entering Friday night’s Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway, and boy, did he deliver. Gragson led 128 out of the race’s 167 laps, winning both stages. The win is Gragson’s second career Truck Series win, and his first of the season. Kyle Busch finished second, followed by Stewart Friesen.

Gragson schooled the field despite strong challenges from Ben Rhodes, who had a mechanical problem, followed by a too many men over the wall penalty, which put him several laps down and out of contention. Another contender with issues was Brett Moffitt, who battled within the top three a couple of times. Moffitt had to pit and change a battery, putting him a few laps down.

Stewart Friesen, though, had a strong run and finished well. He had his issues as well, breaking a shifter under caution and losing the lead. Friesen stayed near the front the rest of the night, but wasn’t able to finish the job, despite being faster than Gragson at times. Like Friesen, Kyle Busch spent all night up front, but wasn’t fast enough to grab the victory. The two collided battling late in the race, sending Busch into the grass. Somehow, Busch saved his truck and finished second. After the race, however, Busch wasn’t accept Friesen’s apology for the move.

The final green-flag run lasted almost 60 laps, meaning some drivers attempted to make it to the end on fuel, including Myatt Snider and teammates Darrell Wallace Jr. and Austin Hill. All three ran out with under eight laps to go, handing the lead to Gragson, who finished the race off.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be back on track on Friday, May 18, at 8:30 p.m. eastern time for the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Gragson Wins Truck Pole; Busch Looks to Make History

Noah Gragson is a Truck Series pole sitter for the fifth time in his career, but this will be the first time he’ll compete against his boss, Kyle Busch, after starting from the pole. Gragson only has one career win in the Truck Series, but his 303 laps led (including 116 this season) show that he’s ready to win quite a few more. He’s been one of the best performers on the Truck circuit this season, having led laps in every race except Martinsville.

His strongest opponent will probably be Kyle Busch, who looks to tie Ron Hornaday Jr.’s all time series record for wins, at 51, with a win at Kansas. Busch already has a Truck win this season at Las Vegas, and nearly won the previous race at Atlanta before an issue on the final pit stop derailed his hopes. The 2015 Cup Series champion has a 0.35 winning percentage, and looks to improve on that on Friday night.

Cody Coughlin will have his best career Truck Series start on Friday night. He’ll roll off second. Coughlin has shown modest improvement since switching from Thorsport to GMS Racing. Coughlin, though, is still looking for his first top five finish of the season.

Veterans Johnny Sauter and Matt Crafton will look to spoil the party on Friday, though. Sauter already has two wins, at Daytona in February and last week at Dover. Crafton, however, hasn’t won since Eldora last season. Both, though, look to spoil it for the younger guys and grab the victory at Kansas.

The 37 Kind Days 250 at Kansas Speedway will take place on Friday, May 11 at 8:30 p.m. eastern time.

Sauter Dominates Wild Race at Dover

Johnny Sauter won the JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway after leading 137 of 210 laps and winning stage two. The race featured seven cautions and one NASCAR overtime attempt.

As the race got underway, it was polesitter Noah Gragson who grabbed the lead, but on the frontstretch completing lap one, Stewart Friesen got loose and into Brett Moffitt. Friesen then spun across the track, but wasn’t hit again. Both drivers received moderate damage, but both continued.

On the lap 7 restart, Gragson again got away for the lead. On lap 11, Grant Enfinger made an unscheduled pit stop for a tire issue and fell two laps down. A few laps later, the yellow came out again as Myatt Snider clipped the apron and got up into Austin Hill, sending Hill backwards into the outside wall. The wreck ended Hill’s day, but Snider continued. The race restarted on lap 21, and Gragson continued to lead, followed by Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate Todd Gilliland. Gragson would lead the rest of the way and win stage one. On the ensuing pit stops, Gragson lost the lead due to a slow pit stop, allowing Parker Kligerman, who took fuel only, to grab the lead. Gragson also had contact with Ben Rhodes exiting pit road.

On the lap 53 restart, Kligerman was able to drive away from second-place Johnny Sauter. On lap 61, though, Sauter would get by Kligerman and grab the top spot. As the laps ticked away in stage two, second-place Kligerman began to have smoke come out of the back of the truck, but didn’t lose pace. NASCAR, though, black-flagged Kligerman and forced him to pit with four laps remaining in stage two. The issue would end Kligerman’s day. With two laps left in the stage, Josh Reaume crashed into the inside wall, bringing out the yellow. The stage, which Johnny Sauter won, ended under caution. The top few drivers maintain position through pit stops, with Sauter still up front, followed by Justin Haley.

On the lap 98 restart, Sauter took away the lead and drove away from Jesse Little, who took second place away from Justin Haley. With about 80 laps to go, Little grabbed the lead away from Sauter, but Sauter took it back after only a couple of laps. With 45 laps to go, Stewart Friesen blew a right front tire and slammed the outside wall. On pit stops, Jesse Little, who had been running second, was busted for pitting outside the box. That would bring a one-lap penalty upon Little. Sauter maintained the lead.

On the restart with 38 to go, Johnny Sauter grabbed the lead, but Noah Gragson stayed at his rear bumper for a few laps before Sauter drove away. Gragson, though, started to reel Sauter in as the laps ticked away. With 20 laps to go, Justin Fontaine and Jordan Anderson got together in front of the leaders, bringing out the caution. Under the yellow, Todd Gilliland had a battery die, and had to be pushed to pit road.

The restart came with 13 laps to go, and, after battling for a couple laps, Noah Gragson cleared Johnny Sauter, but Sauter didn’t let Gragson get away. Sauter heated Gragson up throughout the final laps, and, with two laps to go, Gragson got up into Sauter and spun, smashing the outside wall hard. This brought the race into NASCAR overtime.

On the overtime restart, Sauter prevailed after a challenge from second-place Matt Crafton. Sauter would take the checkered flag to win his second race of the season.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will be back on track on Friday, May 11 at 8:30 p.m. eastern time at Kansas Speedway for the 37 Kind Days 250.

Below are the full results from the JEGS 200 at Dover International Speedway:

  1. Johnny Sauter
  2. Matt Crafton
  3. Justin Haley
  4. David Gilliland
  5. Harrison Burton
  6. Cody Coughlin
  7. Joe Nemechek
  8. Ben Rhodes
  9. Jesse Little
  10. Todd Gilliland
  11. Myatt Snider
  12. Brett Moffitt
  13. Dalton Sargeant
  14. Grant Enfinger
  15. Austin Wayne Self
  16. Tanner Thorson
  17. Wendell Chavous
  18. Jordan Anderson
  19. Justin Fontaine
  20. Noah Gragson
  21. Korbin Forrister
  22. Jennifer Jo Cobb
  23. Stewart Friesen
  24. Mike Harmon
  25. Josh Reaume
  26. Bayley Currey
  27. Norm Benning
  28. Parker Kligerman
  29. Camden Murphy
  30. Reed Sorenson
  31. Austin Hill
  32. Todd Peck