Noah Gragson Finishes 20th at Talladega
Solid Outing for Driver of No. 62 Wendy’s $5 Biggie Bag Camaro
Date: April 24, 2022
Event: GEICO 500 (Round 10 of 36)
Series: NASCAR Cup Series
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile oval)
Format: 188 laps, broken into three stages (60 laps/60 laps/68 laps)
Start/Finish: 31st / 20th (Running, completed 188 of 188 laps)
Race Winner: Ross Chastain of Trackhouse Racing (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Winner: Bubba Wallace of 23XI Racing (Toyota)
tage 2 Winner: William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports (Chevrolet)
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60):
- Noah Gragson started 31st and finished 28th.
- Gragson drove the No. 62 Wendy’s $5 Biggie Bag/Beard Oil Distributing Chevrolet Camaro up to 13th by lap 14.
- On lap 36 while the race was green, Gragson pitted for fuel only and returned to the track in 28th.
- On lap 57 when the caution came out for an accident and ended the stage, Gragson held steady in 28th.
- Upon the conclusion of the stage, Gragson pitted for four tires and fuel.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120):
- Gragson started 23rd and finished 24th.
- In an effort to avoid a multicar crash that seemed to be imminent as the pack-style racing heated up, Gragson dropped to the back of the field and rode in 30th, conserving his No. 62 Wendy’s $5 Biggie Bag/Beard Oil Distributing Chevrolet Camaro.
- During a caution on lap 81, Gragson pitted for right-side tires and fuel. He returned to the track in 25th with 35 laps to go in the stage.
- Gragson’s conservative strategy worked well as he avoided a big wreck on lap 90. This gave the team the opportunity to pit for four tires and fuel.
- After telling the team he’s “ready to race” at the end of the stage, Gragson brought his car down pit road for a new set of tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment.
Final Stage Recap (Laps 121-188):
- Gragson started 20th and finished 20th.
- Gragson held steady in 24th on the restart and fought to stay in the lead draft as the field went single-file in the opening laps.
- With just 28 laps to go, Gragson brought his No. 62 Wendy’s $5 Biggie Bag/Beard Oil Distributing Chevrolet Camaro down pit road under green for the team’s final pit stop. He was 21st when he returned to the track.
- Unfortunately, without another caution, Gragson was unable to catch back up with the lead pack and he had to settle for a 20th-place finish.
- Before the green flag dropped on the GEICO 500, Gragson was already a winner at Talladega. The 23-year-old from Las Vegas won the NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday at Talladega to score his seventh career Xfinity Series victory, his second of the season and his first on the 2.66-mile oval. His margin over second-place Jeffrey Earnhardt was .131 of a second.
- Ross Chastain won the GEICO 500 to score his second career NASCAR Cup Series victory, his second of the season and his first at Talladega. His margin over second-place Austin Dillon was .105 of a second.
- There were six caution periods for a total of 28 laps.
- Twenty-one of the 39 drivers in the race finished on the lead lap.
- Chase Elliott remains the championship leader after Talladega with a 21-point advantage over second-place Ryan Blaney.
Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 62 Wendy’s $5 Biggie Bag/Beard Oil Distributing Chevrolet Camaro: “Grateful for the opportunity with No. 62 Wendy’s $5 Biggie Bag/Beard Motorsports team. They worked their tails off. We had some good pit stops and I had a lot of fun today. We just got off sequence there on the final pit stop and lost the draft. Overall, the car’s in one piece and it looks good. Bummer, but we’ll try again in Daytona.”
Next Up: The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Dover 400 on May 1 at Dover (Del.) Motor Speedway. The race begins at 3 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by FS1 and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Gragson and Beard Motorsports’ next race is the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Aug. 27 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. That race starts at 7 p.m. EDT with live coverage on NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.