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Noah Gragson to make Camping World Truck Series debut at Phoenix

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In preparation for a full 2017 schedule with Kyle Busch Motorsports, Noah Gragson will make his Camping World Truck Series debut Friday night at Phoenix International Raceway.

Gragson will drive the No. 18 SPEEDVEGAS / AlertID Toyota Tundra from KBM, owned by Richie Wauters. The 18-year-old NASCAR Next member will also compete at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 18 for the team.

Gragson is coming off running the full K&N East and West seasons this year where he picked up a combined four wins. He finished third in the overall West points and fifth in the overall East points. Gragson also made two starts in the ARCA Racing Series, earning a fifth-place finish at Kansas Speedway.

“I am excited about my debut in the Truck Series in Phoenix and moving to the next level of racing from the NASCAR K&N Series to one of the top-tier NASCAR touring series in 2017,” Gragson said in a team release. “I want to thank Kyle and Samantha Busch, KBM, Richie Wauters and Toyota for the opportunity to run the final two races this season in preparation for next year.

“I am proud to represent my sponsors SPEEDVEGAS and AlertID at Phoenix and Homestead. My goal is to learn a lot these next two events, run all the laps and build towards next season. I’ve run PIR in the K&N Series where I was able to learn the track but I know driving the Toyota Tundra will be a new experience and I am certainly looking forward to it.”

This will not be the first time Gragson has worked with Wauters Motorsports. Gragson has run several Super Late Model races with the team this year, most recently finishing 11th in the Winchester 400 at Winchester Speedway in Indiana.

“We are excited to have Noah in the truck at Phoenix,” Wauters said. “We ran this truck at New Hampshire and Phoenix last year with Dalton (Sargeant) where he finished ninth in New Hampshire and was caught up in a wreck at Phoenix. Kyle (Busch) and I go back a long ways in the Truck Series and I’m glad we were able to get Noah behind the wheel of a truck in the last two races before his full season next year.

“Noah is a great driver, we’ve had a lot of fun running in Super Late Models the past couple years and we are anxious to see how he converts his style to a truck. Hopefully, we will have a great finish at Phoenix and Homestead for SPEEDVEGAS, AlertID and Toyota.”

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NASCAR America: Is there cause for concern with Jimmie Johnson’s performance thus far?

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It’s no secret that Jimmie Johnson is off to a slow start in 2017.

The defending and seven-time NASCAR Cup champion has a starting average of 21.8 and a finishing average of 18.8 in the first five races of this season.

He has just one top-10 finish (ninth at Phoenix), along with 34th at Daytona, 19th at Atlanta, 11th at Las Vegas and 21st Sunday at Fontana.

And let’s not forget he’s 17th in the NASCAR Cup standings heading to one of his strongest tracks, Martinsville Speedway, this Sunday.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, we discussed this: After such a slow start to the season, is there a cause for concern over Johnson’s performance?

NASCAR America: Mark Martin is definitely a Kyle Larson fan

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On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, NASCAR Hall of Famer Mark Martin shared his experience of racing in his home state of Arkansas, as well as the excitement he feels watching  Kyle Larson compete in the Cup series.

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson involved in minor fender bender while leaving Fontana

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Kyle Larson‘s spectacular weekend at Auto Club Speedway — winning both Saturday’s Xfinity Series race and Sunday’s Auto Club 400 NASCAR Cup event — left him feeling good.

But shortly upon exiting the facility, Larson and several others were involved in a fender-bender right outside the Speedway. Larson was a passenger, not the driver.

No one was injured, Larson tweeted.

But somehow, isn’t that strange fate?

NASCAR America: Kyle Larson’s Fontana win shows continued maturing as a driver

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Kyle Larson finally broke his streak of three straight runner-up finishes with his win in Sunday’s Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway.

On Monday’s edition of NASCAR America, the crew discussed his win as well as his maturation as a driver.