Concord, North Carolina (September 13, 2017) – 18-year old Noah Gragson may not be of legal gambling age but the Las Vegas, Nevada native is betting on himself this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.
One of the sports’ budding and infectious personalities, Gragson made his entrance onto the national scene earlier this year signing with Toyota Racing’s Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) for a full-season effort behind the wheel of the No.18 Switch Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Camping Truck Series (NCWTS).
Fifteen races into his current 23-race season schedule, the rookie driver enters this weekend’s NCWTS race at Chicagoland Speedway in crowded company seeking to clinch the final playoff spot in the series standings.
Nearly guaranteeing himself a playoff spot with a chance at victory two weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Canada, Gragson came up one spot short finishing second to controversial race winner Austin Cindric. With one race remaining before the NCWTS playoffs begin Gragson can punch his ticket with a win Friday night during the truck series’ Chicagoland 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.
With pressure mounting Gragson can thank some early season schedule planning as an opportunity to provide himself with an edge going into Friday’s NCWTS event.
Gragson, who signed with KBM during the off-season also signed a five race deal with Venturini Motorsports (VMS) in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards.
Inconsequential at the time, one of those races with VMS includes this Thursday night’s ARCA Series’ SCOTT 150 at Chicagoland Speedway. Gragson, with no prior racing experience at Chicago, will use the earlier ARCA event as a warm up focusing his efforts on gaining valuable track knowledge to better his chances in Friday’s all-so important truck race.
“I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself but I definitely look at running Thursday’s ARCA race as big plus,” said Gragson. “This will be my first race at Chicagoland – I’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator but nothing quite compares to real racing action.”
Sliding back behind the wheel of his VMS prepared No.15 Switch Toyota Camry one last time, Gragson is doubling down in search of victory lane. A win in Thursday’s ARCA race will provide the rookie with tremendous confidence going into Friday night’s NCWTS race. A win Friday – and Gragson becomes one of eight NCWTS drivers to battle for a championship.
“I’m going for the win on Thursday but I’m also coming to Chicago this week hoping to learn a bunch about the track in preparation for Friday’s truck race. Venturini (Motorsports) puts a lot of effort into their program and they’ll unload a great piece. We’re due for one.”
Schedule/Media Coverage – The SCOTT 150 is LIVE on FOX SPORTS 1 (FS1). General Tire Pole Qualifying will accompany race day activities at 4:35 p.m. The SCOTT 150 starts at 7 p.m. Thursday night, Sept. 14. ARCAracing.com will provide live timing and scoring and live chat of all on-track activities.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, Kyle Benjamin, Daniel Suarez, and Brandon Jones. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.