Noah Gragson claimed his sixth pole of 2018 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and will start in front for tonight’s Lucas Oil 150 at ISM Raceway.
Being only 18 points above the cutoff line for the final round of the 2018 Playoffs, Gragson was determined to take the best step forward, setting a pace of 26.456 seconds at 136.075 mph.
“I’m going full offense mode,” Gragson said earlier today before qualifying. “I’m going to Phoenix to win the race. We ran really good there last year with Marcus Richmond and the team at Kyle Busch Motorsports. Myself and Christopher Bell, two teammates, we led I think all but 10 laps of that race, so I feel really confident in the way that I’ll be able to work with my Toyota Tundra out in Phoenix. It’s going to be a really good race track for my team and I feel really comfortable about it.”
Gragson beat Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Stewart Friesen and Brett Moffitt, rounding out the top five.
While Gragson has started strong and raced well at Phoenix, he hasn’t finished better than 15th. Last year, a late-race crash with Justin Haley prevented him from getting a potential victory in the series. He has one DNF at the raceway, and during the 2018 Playoffs has only finished a best of seventh.
When asked about the new layout, Gragson gave his thoughts on moving the start-finish line.
“I guess it is kind of the same track with a different configuration — with the start-finish line. I don’t know if you’re going to be able to change your lap time — in theory, you shouldn’t. Coming off the corner you might be able to change it up a little in the old turn one –new turns three and four. It’ll be a little bit different — that’s for sure. Restarts are going to be sketchy — that’s for sure, but I feel like if we can stay up front in my Safelite AutoGlass Tundra it’ll be no problem. Just feel really confident going into this weekend and hopefully, we can pick up that win and move on to Homestead. Then it’s all hammer down from there.”
The rest of the Playoff contenders will start in the top 15 positions: Matt Crafton (ninth), Grant Enfinger (12th) and Johnny Sauter (14th). The green flag will wave at 8:40 ET later this evening.