The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro is about to hit a major career milestone at Kansas Speedway. Noah Gragson will officially make the 100th start of his NASCAR Xfinity Series career.
The Las Vegas native first made his Xfinity Series debut during the 2018 season while running full-time in the Camping World Truck Series. He made three starts for Joe Gibbs Racing, posting three top-10s and two top-fives. His best run in the No. 18 Toyota was a second-place finish at Richmond Raceway behind Christopher Bell on April 20, 2018.
Gragson switched to a full-time schedule in 2019 as he joined JR Motorsports and took over the No. 9 Chevrolet. He turned in a strong season with 22 top-10s, nine top-fives, and the first playoff appearance of his career. Gragson ended the season eighth in the championship standings while Tyler Reddick won the second title of his career.
Gragson Reached Victory Lane During His Second Season
While Gragson came close to wins during the 2018 and 2019 seasons, he did not achieve this goal until 2020. He locked up the win in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway after holding off a late push from Harrison Burton. This victory secured his spot in the playoffs for the second consecutive season.
Gragson added another win early in the 2020 season. He headed to Bristol Motor Speedway on June 1 and led 55 of the 300 laps. Gragson and one of his teammates, Justin Allgaier, fought hard for the lead with six laps remaining, but contact sent the No. 7 spinning into the wall and brought out the caution flag. Gragson then took the lead on the final restart and held on until the checkered flag.
While the 2021 season started with multiple crashes and mechanical issues, Gragson rebounded at the end of the regular season. He won back-to-back races at Darlington and Richmond to secure his spot in the playoffs. Gragson hasn’t won in the playoffs, but he remains above the cutline with two races remaining in the Round of Eight.
Gragson Will Continue To Push Toward Milestones in 2022
The 2021 season continues to be significant for Gragson. He won two more races in the Xfinity Series, he got his first taste of Cup Series action during the Bluegreen Vacations Duels at Daytona, and he secured his future with JR Motorsports.
The four-car Xfinity Series team announced on August 31 that Gragson had agreed to a contract extension that will keep him on the roster for the 2022 season, ending months of speculation about Gragson’s future. He will return to the No. 9 Chevrolet with Bass Pro Shops, True Timber, and Black Rifle Coffee Company as his primary sponsors.
“Johnny Morris believed in me enough to put Bass Pro Shops on my car to start the 2020 season, and it paid off with victory the first time out,” Gragson said in a press release from the team. “It was special to stand in Victory Lane at Daytona with Johnny right beside me. Bass Pro Shops, Rusty Sellers at TrueTimber and Evan and Mat at Black Rifle Coffee Company have been fantastic to work with. We still have a lot to accomplish this season but I’m looking forward to battling for a series championship again in 2022.”