By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
Ever since Elliott Sadler announced he would be stepping away from full-time driving at the end of the NASCAR Xfinity Series season, the rumor mill has been churning with his replacement at JR Motorsports for 2019 and beyond.
Today that question has been answered.
In an episode of its popular JRM360 video series, the team announced that Noah Gragson would be taking the step up to the Xfinity Series next year to take the reins of the No. 1 car that Sadler is departing.
“Noah’s proven himself quite a competitor over the last two seasons in the Truck Series,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports. “He’s also impressed during a handful of races in the Xfinity Series and a lot of folks have taken notice. He brings the talent, energy and enthusiasm we’re looking for, and we’re glad to have him on board. With Noah’s addition, JRM has struck a healthy balance of youth and experience as we plan for the team’s future.”
Gragson, who will have a multi-year deal at JRM, currently drives for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, where he has scored two wins, 10 top-five finishes, 26 top-10 finishes, and eight poles in his two seasons to date. The 20-year-old Las Vegas native currently sits fourth in the standings as the Truck Series is two races into their Playoffs.
Along with his Truck Series experience, Gragson has also made a three Xfinity Series starts this season with Joe Gibbs Racing, amassing two top-five finishes, and three top-10 finishes in those races at Richmond, Talladega, and Dover.
“Having the opportunity to drive for JRM and the No. 1 team next year is a dream come true,” Gragson said. “I’d like to personally thank Dale Jr., Kelley, Chevrolet and everyone at JRM for allowing me to compete for a championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. I’d also like to thank my sponsors, my management team and my family, because none of this would be possible if it wasn’t for their support along the way.
“It will be an honor to follow in Elliott Sadler’s footsteps and I’m thrilled to be joining such a successful race team. Elliott and Dale Jr. have done so much for the sport over the years and I hope I can do my part to help take it to the next level. Overall, I’m excited, humbled and extremely appreciative for everyone helping this dream come to fruition.”
Per a team release, additional details about Gragson’s crew and sponsors will come at a later date.