By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
One race after being sidelined at Pocono Raceway, Noah Gragson rebounds with a top-five at Michigan International Speedway. The second-year NASCAR Champing World Truck Series driver was up front throughout the Corrigan Oil 200.
In the run to the finish, Gragson’s No. 18 Safelite Auto Glass Toyota Tundra battled teammate Todd Gilliland, Johnny Sauter, and eventual race winner Brett Moffitt for the lead. The KBM duo fought side-by-side in for several laps, allowing Sauter, Moffitt, and John Hunter Nemechek to take advantage of the draft.
The battle between Moffitt and Sauter allowed Nemechek and Gragson to close back in. However, there was not enough time, and the Las Vegas, NV native was forced to settle for fourth.
The key to the race was the draft, creating opportunities for Gragson and others. He was among the nine different race leaders, tying Matt Crafton for the most laps led, 18. Even with the draft equalizing much of the competition, the strength of Gragson’s truck was evident as he finished the first two stages in fourth.
The fourth-place finish is the sixth top-five for Gragson this season. He remains second in the Championship Points Standings, 56-points behind Points Leader Sauter. Despite missing Pocono, Gragson is still locked into the Playoffs via his win at Kansas Speedway and a medical waiver from NASCAR.
With one race remaining in the regular season, the points gap guarantees that Sauter will win the Regular Season Championship and earn the bonus 15 Playoff Points for doing so. Gragson could still earn 10 additional Playoff Points should he remain second in points.
Luckily for Gragson, the Playoff Point gap between himself and Sauter remained 10-points. He is still third in the Series among Playoff Points earned with 12. Gragson is now nine Playoff Points behind Moffitt.