Toyota NCWTS Michigan Noah Gragson Quotes

by Official Release On Fri, Aug. 10, 2018

Toyota Racing – Noah Gragson
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Michigan International Speedway – August 10, 2018

Kyle Busch Motorsports driver Noah Gragson was made available to the media at Michigan International Speedway:

NOAH GRAGSON, No. 18 Safelite Toyota Tundra, Kyle Busch Motorsports

What is your mindset heading into this weekend and the final races leading into the Playoffs?

“I feel like this weekend is a great opportunity to win. I know I’ve been working hard this past week to get back in my Safelite Auto Glass Toyota Tundra and I’ve done a lot of preparation going in – talked to Kyle (Busch) quite a bit. He runs here good in a truck and I just have to be more aggressive. I have a good shot, a good opportunity this weekend to compete for the win and it’s all going to boil down to being in the right position at the end of the race. I feel like there’s not a ton of pressure going into this weekend, it’s more of a weekend with superspeedway racing or how superspeedway racing used to be – we’re not really going to do this kind of racing when we get to the Playoff races so this is not a fun weekend, but one that we can use as a chance to clean some stuff up before we get into the Playoffs and just have some fun and try to get the trophy.”

How do you feel about the road course and Talladega in the Playoffs?

“I feel like some drivers might be nervous going into there (Canada) because it’s the only road course we get to race during the year. I feel comfortable on the road course, I finished second there last year so I like that track. I’m pretty confident going to that track, but Talladega, that’s the one I feel like probably is the biggest crap shoot just because anything can happen. I was fortunate enough to be able to run last year in the race and it seemed like it was pretty clean. The guys got a little aggressive, but it wasn’t too bad. It always seems like Daytona – I always feel like if we went to Daytona here in the Playoffs, there would be a lot of wrecks, but Talladega is so wide and you don’t see as many wrecks and I was able to participate in the Xfinity race this year at Talladega so just fortunate to get some more experience under my belt. I feel confident for that first race – Talladega will be the biggest crap shoot, but you never know until you’re in the moment.”

Where is your team as far as being a championship contender?

“I feel like we can always get better as a team first of all, but I have the most confidence in my team and I feel like we’re the best team in the garage and have the best Toyota Tundras when we get to the race track and just having that confidence is an important thing to me. I feel like yes, if we went to Homestead we would definitely be a contender. I have a great group surrounding me at Kyle Busch Motorsports and just really fortunate to be racing here in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and just trying to do the best I can do when I get out onto the race track and learn the most I can. This weekend it will be a fun weekend and then we go to Bristol. Once we get into the Playoffs, that’s where it really starts and we have to start capitalizing on opportunities to get to Homestead and then it’s kind of gloves off when we get there.”

Which race in the Playoffs will be your Achilles heel?

“Probably Talladega, I feel like I need to be a lot more aggressive there. I’ve always been sort of the driver to not make the boldest moves there just because I want to be there at the end and have an opportunity to be racing at the end. I really wish last year, not put more of an effort into my speedway racing, but been more aggressive and made bolder moves and if that means I made a mistake and wrecked, but last year I wish I would have tried more stuff because it’s really important this year being in the Playoffs – I wasn’t in the Playoffs last year so being in the Playoffs this year, I feel like Talladega is going to be my weakest track, but we should have a lot of speed there. We’ve been working really hard at Kyle Busch Motorsports to get more speed in our Tundras and just having confidence in my team going to all these places is very important.”

How much do you feel this weekend can help your aggressiveness?

“I feel like this weekend is going to help me quite a bit, but I’ve kind of noticed a trend where we’ll be really fast in practice, really fast for the first and second stage of the race and then if we get shuffled back sixth or seventh on a pit stop or whatever happens in traffic, I need to do a better job of getting my way through traffic and making bolder moves. I spoke with my crew chief Rudy Fugle this week and I was like, ‘Let’s prepare for Michigan,’ and I was expecting to go in there and we would talk solely about Michigan, but he told me to do what I did at other race tracks where I was making passes and I was making bold moves and we kind of looked at my restarts and what I did well with and what I did better so just trying to be more aggressive and have good judgement all at the same time without wrecking people, but it’s a fine line when you’re out there. I lay in bed every night thinking about the upcoming race or a race I did in the past and what I could have done better. I’m just always thinking about that and it’s easier said than done and then you think about it that I could just weave my way up through there, but once you get in the moment, it’s harder. Just trying to get that experience and trying to learn what I can and ultimately it’s going to come down to Homestead and hopefully I can have all that experience pay off.”

Is your goal to move to the Xfinity Series in 2019?

“I think it’s one of my goals, I’m not sure if I’m pinpointing 2019 – I really don’t know where we are along with that right now. My priority right now is to focus on the Playoffs and doing the best job I can do from here until Homestead and just try to focus on the moment. I can focus on what’s going to happen next year or years down the road, but it’s not going to do me any good. I need to perform right now and win races and do the best job I can do. I’m very fortunate to have a good group around me with Kyle Busch Motorsports and Toyota Racing to do that, I have a lot of great people. Just trying to focus right now on the moment and then hopefully I can win some races and the rest will take care of itself.”

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