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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Gragson joins Stewart-Haas in NASCAR Cup return

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Stewart-Haas Racing introduced on Wednesday that Gragson would substitute Aric Almirola within the #10 Ford Mustang, starting with the 2024 season.

Almirola retired from full-time competitors on the conclusion of the 2023 season, and can now compete part-time within the NASCAR Xfinity Sequence with Joe Gibbs Racing.

Gragson, 25, started the 2023 season in Cup competing as a rookie with Legacy Motor Membership. He failed to attain a outcome greater than twelfth after 21 races, which included six DNFs.

He was suspended by the staff and later by NASCAR itself on 5 August after violating the game’s code of conduct by liking a meme that mocked the 2020 homicide of George Floyd by the hands of Minneapolis cops. Just a few days later, he asked to be released from his contract with LMC.

NASCAR reinstated Gragson in September after he accomplished range and inclusion coaching, which made him eligible to compete as soon as once more.

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“Noah deserves to be within the NASCAR Cup Sequence and we’re very blissful to have him as the driving force of our No. 10 Ford Mustang,” mentioned Tony Stewart, the NASCAR Corridor of Famer who co-owns SHR with Haas Automation founder Gene Haas.

“Noah has carried out at each degree the place he’s competed and has often been in championship rivalry. That’s the sort of driver we’d like at Stewart-Haas and that’s why Noah is part of our staff.”

Gragson is a 13-time winner within the NASCAR Xfinity Sequence and has made 39 Cup begins over the course of two seasons (2022-2023), with a greatest end of fifth within the 2022 regular-season finale at Daytona.

In 4 full-time seasons within the Xfinity Sequence, Gragson completed within the top-10 in factors annually and made it to the Championship 4 twice, ending third in 2021 and second in 2022 with a series-high eight victories.

“I’m grateful for this chance with Stewart-Haas Racing and whereas most individuals within the trade are blissful that the low season is right here, I need to get began on 2024 and go racing as quickly as I can,” Gragson mentioned.

“Stewart-Haas is full of racers, and I noticed that and felt it as quickly as I walked onto the store flooring. There are excessive expectations right here and a powerful need to compete and win races. I’ve excessive expectations for myself, and I need to ship for Tony and Gene and everybody at Stewart-Haas.”

Earlier than becoming a member of the Xfinity Sequence full-time in 2019, Gragson competed within the Truck Sequence in 2017 and 2018. He gained twice and completed second within the 2018 collection standings.

He additionally owns six wins throughout what’s now often known as the ARCA East and West collection and is a former champion of the celebrated Snowball Derby Tremendous Late Mannequin race (2018).

“I race to win and successful on the Cup degree is what I’ve been working towards since I began racing Bandoleros as a 13-year-old on the Bullring in Las Vegas,” Gragson mentioned.

“To be with a longtime staff with a historical past of successful is what each driver needs. I’ve obtained precisely that right here at Stewart-Haas and I purpose to take advantage of it.”

Gragson will likely be paired with crew chief Drew Blickensderfer, who labored most lately with Almirola. The duo will make their debut collectively within the Feb. 4 preseason non-points Busch Gentle Conflict on the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

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