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Noah Gragson addresses where he stands with Todd Gilliland, 2019 plans


Noah Gragson said he doesn’t know where he’ll race next year but stated Wednesday on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio where things stood with Todd Gilliland after their last-lap incident Sunday at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

Gragson attempted to pass Gilliland for the lead on the last corner but made contact. Both trucks spun, allowing Justin Haley to win the playoff-opening race in the Camping World Truck Series and secure a spot to the next round. Gragson finished ninth. Gilliland placed 11th.

Gragson addressed the incident with Gilliland, his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, on “SiriusXM Speedway.”

“I’ve talked to Todd a little bit,” Gragson told host Dave Moody. “We’re back on good terms. I wanted to get his opinion on that last lap. He wanted to get my opinion. At the end of the day, we were racing for a win. I hate the result for everybody at Kyle Busch Motorsports. Not my intention. We’re both going to move on from it and keep racing each other hard and going out there and trying to beat the rest of the competition.”

As for what car owner Kyle Busch said to him, Gragson said: “I don’t think he’s too happy. He’s been on vacation this week. I’m sure we’ll hear about it later on.”

Another question for Gragson is about his future.

Sports Business Journal’s Adam Stern reported Wednesday that JR Motorsports is expected to sign Gragson for next season in the Xfinity Series. Gragson would replace Elliott Sadler, who announced earlier this month that this would be his final full-time season in NASCAR.

“I think the key word to that whole phrase,” Gragson told Moody when asked about being a part of the rumor mill, “is rumor. Right now it’s not really my focus. I know my guys at Clutch Management have been working really hard on finding me an opportunity next year. My main focus is to win a championship at Kyle Busch Motorsports and compete for wins on a weekly basis.”

Asked about how quickly he’d like to advance to the Xfinity Series, the 20-year-old Gragson said: “I’m not really sure what I’m going to do next year. I think it would be a great opportunity if I was in position to race in the Xfinity Series.”

Gragson finished second in his Xfinity debut at Richmond in April and followed it with a fourth at Talladega and a seventh at Dover for Joe Gibbs Racing. Those were all Dash 4 Cash races and Cup drivers were not allowed to compete in those events.

Gragson is in the Truck playoffs and is third in the points after one race. He has one win this season.

Saturday schedule at Road America, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park

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NASCAR hosts a pair of road course races in two different countries this week with the Xfinity Series tackling Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, and the Camping World Truck Series racing at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada.

Qualification for both series and the Xfinity race highlight today’s action.

Here is today’s schedule at both tracks:


At Road America

8:30 a.m. — Xfinity garage opens

12 p.m. — Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting

12:35 p.m. — Xfinity qualifying; multi-vehicle/two rounds (NBCSN)

2:30 p.m. — Xfinity driver introductions

3 p.m. — Johnsonville 180; 45 laps/182.2 miles (NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

At Canadian Tire Motorsports Park

7:30 a.m. — Truck garage opens

9:30 a.m. — Truck first practice

11:35 a.m. — Truck final practice

6 p.m. — Truck qualification (FS2)

Weekend schedule for Xfinity, Truck Series

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With the Cup Series taking the week off, NASCAR’s race weekend is devoted to the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series.

Xfinity competes at Road America near Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, while the Truck Series travels to Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.

Here’s the complete weekend schedule for each series.

Road America

Friday, Aug. 24

11 a.m. – 7 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

1:35 – 2:25 p.m. – Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

3:35 – 4:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (NBC Sports App)

Saturday, Aug. 25

8:30 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

Noon – Driver-crew chief meeting

12:35 p.m. – Qualifying; multi-car/two rounds (NBCSN)

2:30 p.m. – Driver introductions

3 p.m. – Johnsonville 180; 45 laps/182.16 miles (NBCSN, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)


Canadian Tire Motorsport Park

Saturday, Aug. 25

7:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Truck garage open

9:30 – 10:25 a.m. – Truck practice (No TV)

11:35 a.m. – 12:55 p.m. – Final Truck practice (No TV)

6 p.m. – Truck qualifying; multi-truck/two rounds (Fox Sports 2)

Sunday, Aug. 26

9 a.m.  – Truck garage opens

10:30 a.m. – Driver-crew chief meeting

2 p.m. – Driver introductions

2:30 p.m. – Silverado 250; 64 laps/157.37 miles (Fox Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

NASCAR issues warnings to Camping World Truck, Xfinity teams

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NASCAR has issued warnings to two Camping World Truck and one Xfinity Series team following last weekend’s races at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and Darlington Raceway.

The truck teams of Tyler Young and John Hunter Nemechek were each issued their first written warnings after their truck trailing arms were found not to meet rule specifications. The infractions were found during opening day inspection at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park.

Nemechek won the Chevrolet Silverado 250 on Sunday afternoon while Young finished 28th.

There were no penalties issued to Nemechek or Cole Custer for their actions following the checkered flag. The two made repeated contact coming to the finish line, and Custer, who finished second, ran out onto the track and tackled Nemechek to express his displeasure.

Also given a written warning, their second, was the Xfinity team of Ryan Preece. The No. 01 failed the Laser Inspection Station twice during pre-race inspection at Darlington.

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John Hunter Nemechek says contact with Cole Custer at end of race was ‘A racing incident’


John Hunter Nemechek says he wished he and Cole Custer hadn’t ended in the grass coming to the checkered flag in Sunday’s Camping World Truck Series race but defended his actions and called their duel “a racing incident.’’

Nemechek made his comments Wednesday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio’s “The Morning Drive.’’

Nemechek, who was running second on the final lap at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park, said he owed it to his team to attempt to win the race.

“As a racer, you want to be able to go back to your team and say you gave it 100 percent no matter what, no matter if you won or if you finished second,’’ Nemechek said. “You have to go back to your team and say you gave it 100 percent instead of going back and saying, ‘Hey I could have won if I had done this and we didn’t do it and we ended up second.’

“Wins are so hard to come by right now, and especially with the Chase format, you have to win and you have to get as many wins as you can just to be in that first round and keep running up front and the momentum. We work too hard in the shop to not have the opportunity to go for wins. If you have the opportunity you have to take it.’’

Custer, who needed the win to make the Chase, didn’t see it that way. He told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday that if Nemechek “steps over the line” in the season’s final eight races, “something’s going to happen.’’

Nemechek said he isn’t worried about what Custer might do.

“We raced hard,’’ said Nemechek, who collected his second win of the season Sunday. “We didn’t put him in the tire barriers. It could have ended up like Ty Dillon a couple of years ago (contact from Chase Elliott sent Dillon into the tire barriers and he finished 17th). You have to look at all from all angles. It was a racing incident.

“We both ended up crossing the finish line 1-2. It’s just good hard racing. You can go back and watch the replay of Kyle Busch and Cale Gale a couple of years ago from Homestead. They came to the line 1-2 in a  drag race. I would expect him to do the same thing. If I was in his position, leader at the end of that race, I would have been expecting the same thing as well. As the leader you’re trying to block, you’re trying to win the race. It’s just kind of circumstances that happened weren’t the best.’’

As for anything he would have done differently, Nemechek said there would have been one thing.

“The only circumstance that I would try to change is try not to get loose underneath him and us touching and us ending up in the grass,’’ Nemechek told SiriusXM NASCAR radio. “I definitely think I had the momentum coming out of the corner. If I didn’t get loose, we were still going to drag race to the line and we still could have won the race. That’s the only circumstance that I would have changed. I hate that it ended that way, but you can’t really control that.’’

Since the end of the race, Nemechek has faced criticism for his actions coming to the checkered flag from some drivers.

“I have seen those comments, some of them you take and you look at it and you go back and watch replays and stuff,’’ Nemechek said. “I think as drivers, if you were the leader in that situation, you always know what the guy behind you is going to do. You’ve raced with them before and you know how they race and you put them in your shoes. You always race how you want to be raced or you think you’re going to be raced by that guy. That’s kind of how you just have to take it.’’