Petty GMS Motorsports held a special press conference at the team shop on August 10 to announce the news. Chairman Richard Petty, Petty GMS and GMS Racing President Mike Beam, and Gragson all met with members of the media and confirmed that the JR Motorsports driver will leave the Xfinity Series after the 2022 season. He will move up to Cup and take over the No. 42.
Gragson explained during the presser that the entire deal came together very quickly and that it was humbling to receive this opportunity. He also noted that he sees the same atmosphere at Petty GMS Motorsports that he sees on a weekly basis at JR Motorsports.
Gragson acknowledged that there will be a learning curve for him as he transitions to the Cup Series car. He explained that he has full confidence in his abilities when he gets into the Xfinity Series car. The Cup Series car is a different story considering that he continues to learn how the Next Gen systems work.
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Gragson Will Make His Debut in Southern California
With the contract official, there will now be a waiting game until Gragson makes his debut for the team. This will not take place until 2023 when the Cup Series heads to Los Angeles for the Busch Light Clash at the LA Memorial Coliseum.
For now, Gragson will continue to focus on his time in the Xfinity Series. He will strive to add more wins to his career total with the ultimate goal of bringing a championship to JR Motorsports. Petty GMS Motorsports, for comparison, will move forward with Ty Dillon in the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro.
There are still some questions remaining about Gragson and his deal. First, Petty GMS did not reveal who will serve as Gragson’s crew chief. His former Xfinity Series crew chief, Dave Elenz, will remain with Erik Jones and the No. 43 team. Second, there were no details about the sponsors that will support Gragson during his first season with the team.
Gragson currently has support in the Xfinity Series from Bass Pro Shops, TrueTimber, and Black Rifle Coffee Company. Dillon also has Black Rifle Coffee as one of his primary partners. The company could continue to support Gragson in 2023, but these details are not yet available.
Gragson Continues To Make Cup Series Starts in 2022
The Petty GMS Motorsports announcement takes place amid a part-time Cup Series season for Gragson. The Las Vegas native has made nine starts between Kaulig Racing and Beard Motorsports, and he has posted a season-best finish of 18th at Kansas Speedway.
The numbers don’t tell the full tale. Gragson’s best performance actually took place at Michigan International Speedway. Though a wreck cut his day short. He actually qualified 12th overall and secured his best starting position of the season. He then ran in the top 10 and top five at certain points of the race.
Gragson’s day came to an early end after a single car incident on Lap 109. He made a mistake and hit the wall, which ended his day early. Gragson navigated his way back to pit road, but he had to take the vehicle to the garage with some serious mechanical issues after showing major signs of progress.
“We’re excited to have Noah join the Petty GMS family and climb in the No. 42 next season,” said Petty GMS Chairman Richard Petty. “Noah’s proven he can win in the Truck and Xfinity Series and compete for championships, and we know he will bring that same fire with him to Petty GMS next season.”