TALLADEGA, Ala. – Noah Gragson was looking to spoil the party in search of his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory.
And he was willing to crash and burn for it.
“I’m good,” Gragson shared after his late race crash.
It wasn’t a fluke. Gragson stayed toward the front of the Geico 500 for the majority of the event. In the closing laps, leaders began running out of fuel and faced tire issues. That put the No. 42 Wendy’s Biggie Bag Camaro ZL1 in prime position to steal the win at Talladega Superspeedway.
Instead, Gragson got squeezed out of line and into the outside fence on Lap 189, credited with a 32nd place result.
“I got kind of shoved out there and bobbled a little bit by (Ross Chastain),” Gragson explained. “I just gotta look back and see what I could do better. Obviously not let the 1 get inside me. Overall it was a good day until it wasn’t.”
For the second time that Wendy’s has sponsored the Las Vegas native, he has been a prime contender for the hardware. Despite all the hard work, preparation and talent to drive in the world’s premier stock car, the superspeedway races need a shuffle of luck to bring the team into Ruoff Mortgage Victory Lane.
“The results have sucked here lately, but we’ve been running strong,” he continued. “We ran in the top-five, the top-10 all day and I’m really proud of that. I appreciate Wendy’s and everybody coming out to Talladega and all the fans. It was a really solid day for our Wendy’s Biggie Bag team and Legacy Motor Club. This 42 team was really on top of it today. Good pit stops and a fast car there in the race. I felt like we were in a good position restarting on the front row on a green-white-checkered.”
Last year’s Most Popular Driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series continues his rookie efforts next weekend at Dover Motor Speedway in the Würth 400 where Gragson will make his first career Cup start at the Monster Mile.
And he stays optimistic for his Legacy Motor Club team.
“We’re close. We’ll get there one day.”