The wheels of progress have been in full motion for NASCAR driver Noah Gragson. He has wrapped up full season efforts on the East and West sides of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, signed up for a full season with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and has begun the countdown to the 49th Annual Snowball Derby.
With some “free time” now on his hands, Gragson is spending it wisely by racing… on dirt.
This past Saturday, Gragson loaded up and made the trip south from his home in Las Vegas to Cocopah Speedway in Arizona, checking off two things he had never done before.
“It was fun, never been in a Modified or on the dirt before. It’s different than the asphalt stuff, I wasn’t used to everything going on because the car’s completely different in the way it handles,” Gragson told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I didn’t get any practice in, I started last in the heat race but started to get the hang of the car. Never driving it before, it was foreign to me. I picked it up real quick, ended up last in the heat race after eight laps. In the main, I started fourteenth out of sixteen and made my way up to seventh. On lap five I got involved in a crash unfortunately, but I had a good time out there.”
Despite the tough debut, Gragson wants to take the Modified back out for more, not just for more fun, but in order to gain experience for an important date on the far horizon.
“We might go do some more Dirt Modified races locally over the next few months during the winter time,” he said. “In the off-season there’s a lot of races down in Arizona. Hopefully we can do some more before we go to Eldora. That’s kind of why we did this, we signed the deal to run the full Trucks next year. It’s in preparation for that just to get some experience under my belt before we go to Eldora next year.”
While the need for more dirt experience has arisen in just the past few weeks, it is an experience that Gragson has had planned going back to last year.
“I drove for Charlie Wall and Team Diggin Racing. Charlie used to crew chief for me when I started racing my Late Models and we’ve been in touch, he lives locally in Las Vegas,” Gragson explained. “We set a deal up to run, we wanted to run last Winter, but we never had the opportunity to, being so busy and everything. We finally got the opportunity to do it this year and I had a lot of fun.”
Gragson will return to asphalt on December 1-4, driving for car owner Richie Wauters during the 49th Annual Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL).
-By Connor Sullivan, Speed51.com CT, MA & Long Island Editor – Twitter: @Connor51CT
-Photo Credit: Noah Gragson Twitter