Noah Gragson beats Kyle Busch for NASCAR Truck win at Kansas

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Noah Gragson beats Kyle Busch for NASCAR Truck win at Kansas
Nick DeGroot
By: Nick DeGroot
May 12, 2018, 2:48 AM

After a heartbreaking finish at Dover, Noah Gragson found redemption at Kansas Speedway with his first victory of the 2018 Camping World Truck Series season.

Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Tundra Safelite AutoGlass
Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Tundra Safelite AutoGlass
Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Tundra Safelite AutoGlass
Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Tundra Safelite AutoGlass
Noah Gragson, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Tundra Safelite AutoGlass
Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch Motorsports, Toyota Tundra Cessna
Stewart Friesen, Halmar Friesen Racing, Chevrolet Silverado We Build America
Stewart Friesen, Halmar Friesen Racing, Chevrolet Silverado We Build America

"This is such a relief for a driver that had a hard week last week when we were battling for the win," said an elated Gragson.

"We came back stronger this weekend ... this is a pretty damn cool moment."

Gragson won both stages and led the most laps, leading 129 of 167.

But it was Justin Haley that led the way to kick off the final stage after a two-tire call. However, Gragson quickly retook control of the race.

He continued setting the pace until a debris caution with 69 laps to go. On the ensuing restart, Stewart Friesen made a bold move to take over the lead, but another caution quickly followed as Bo LeMastus went spinning through the grass.

Things went awry for Friesen during the yellow as his shifter knob handle broke and he failed to maintain pace car speed. As a result, NASCAR put him back to seventh for the restart that followed, but it proved to only be a minor inconvenience for Friesen.

He charged through the pack as the race went back green, quickly racing back up to the second position. Gragson held the led until 33 laps to go when he made his final stop of the night under green.

Friesen and Kyle Busch pitted a few laps later and unlike Gragson, they opted for just two tires. and as other drivers tried to stretch the fuel, Friesen made his way back into the effective race lead.

But drama soon followed as he and Busch made contact out of Turn 4, sending Busch sideways and into the grass with the left side tires. Both drivers continued and resumed their fierce battle.

 

Johnny Sauter was the actual leader, but was forced to finally pit with 16 laps to go for a splash of fuel. Myatt Snider took over control and tried to stretch the fuel to the end.

Behind him, Gragson tracked down Friesen and Busch with those four fresh tires, making quick work of him.

Snider ran out of fuel with six laps to go, creating a sketchy moment for the Kyle Busch Motorsport machines as they bolted around the slowing truck. Gragson then began to gap his boss as he raced to the checkered flag, earning his second career CWTS win and his first of the 2018 season.

 

Busch was second, Friesen third, John Hunter Nemechek fourth, Johnny Sauter fifth, Matt Crafton sixth, Cody Coughlin seventh, Grant Enfinger eighth, Brandon Jones ninth and Haley tenth.

"Well the 18 (Gragson) was coming but if I got by the 52 (Stewart) when I was supposed to there when I got ran into the grass , I probably could have gotten enough of a gap where I might have been able to hold the 18 off, but they were way faster than us. 

"It just took too long to go and there on that last run, we didn't make enough adjustments. With the two tires, we got way too tight. Should have, could have, would have."

Stage 1

Gragson led the field to the green-flag, but not for long as the field fanned out three-wide out of Turn 2. Matt Crafton was able to take over the race lead and led the first five laps before Gragson got under him and reclaimed the top spot.

The remainder of the stage was fairly uneventful as Gragson earned yet another stage win with teammate and boss Kyle Busch second. Brett Moffitt was third, Ben Rhodes fourth, and Grant Enfinger fifth. Brandon Jones, Crafton, Sauter and Friesen rounded out the top-ten.

Stage 2

Busch had a slow stop between the stages and lost six positions on pit road. Gragson maintained the led for the following restart on Lap 50.

Moffitt moved to second and attempted to hunt down Gragson for the race lead.

Soon after, Rhodes' chances of victory faded away as he was forced to pit road with fuel pressure issues. He was then handed a penalty for too many crew members over the wall, leaving him multiple laps down. 

The battle for the lead got interesting near stage's end as Gragson, Moffitt and Busch were nearly bumper-to-bumper. Ultimately, Gragson hung on to win the second stage of the night over Moffitt and Busch. Jones, Friesen, Nemechek, Enfinger, Sauter, Crafton and Coughlin rounded out the top-ten.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeLaps Led
1 18 united_states Noah Gragson  Toyota 167   129
2 4 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 167 1.558 1
3 52 united_states Stewart Friesen  Chevrolet 167 3.955 6
4 8 united_states John Hunter Nemechek  Chevrolet 167 12.903  
5 21 united_states Johnny Sauter  Chevrolet 167 16.840 14
6 88 united_states Matt Crafton  Ford 167 17.059 4
7 2 united_states Cody Coughlin  Chevrolet 167 23.596  
8 98 united_states Grant Enfinger  Ford 167 27.848  
9 51 united_states Brandon Jones  Toyota 167 30.622  
10 24 united_states Justin Haley  Chevrolet 166 1 lap 4
11 25 united_states Dalton Sargeant  Chevrolet 165 2 laps  
12 02 united_states Austin Hill  Chevrolet 165 2 laps  
13 22 united_states Austin Wayne Self  Chevrolet 164 3 laps  
14 20 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 164 2 laps  
15 13 united_states Myatt Snider  Ford 164 2 laps 9
16 16 united_states Brett Moffitt  Toyota 163 4 laps  
17 45 united_states Justin Fontaine  Chevrolet 163 3 laps  
18 41 united_states Ben Rhodes  Ford 162 5 laps 1
19 54 united_states Bo Lemastus  Toyota 160 6 laps  
20 83 united_states Kyle Donahue  Chevrolet 159 8 laps  
21 33 united_states Josh Reaume  Chevrolet 158 8 laps  
22 10 united_states Jennifer Jo Cobb  Chevrolet 157 10 laps  
23 6 united_states Norm Benning  Chevrolet 157 9 laps  
24 74 united_states Mike Harmon  Chevrolet 146 21 laps  
25 3 united_states Jordan Anderson  Chevrolet 139 27 laps  
26 15 Robby Lyons  Chevrolet 139 27 laps  
27 49 united_states Wendell Chavous  Chevrolet 131 36 laps  
28 50 Jamie Mosley  Chevrolet 66 101 laps  
29 36 Bayley Currey  Chevrolet 30 137 laps  
30 87 united_states Joe Nemechek  Chevrolet 27 140 laps  
31 0 united_states Joey Gase  Chevrolet 6 161 laps  
32 63 united_states Kevin Donahue  Chevrolet 0 167 laps

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About this article

Series NASCAR Truck
Event Kansas
Location Kansas Speedway
Drivers Noah Gragson
Teams Kyle Busch Motorsports
Author Nick DeGroot
Article type Race report