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Are We Seeing Noah Gragson’s 2024 Redemption Arc?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Noah Gragson has put an awful 2023 season behind him, and he has enjoyed some success early in the 2024 season. In 2023, he was statistically the worst full-time driver when his season abruptly ended due to a suspension, but not anymore. Is Noah Gragson putting together his own redemption arc on the race track?

  • Noah Gragson spent 2023 with Legacy Motor Club, and he recorded only one top-10 finish all season, a 12th at Atlanta. He missed the race at Sonoma due to a concussion sustained during a crash at Gateway, and his season ended abruptly due to a suspension with 14 races remaining. He was 33rd in points at the time, last amongst full-time drivers.
  • While Gragson has had some downs in 2024, he has 3 finishes of 12th or better in the first five races. That talent that he showed off in the Xfinity Series is starting to show through in the Cup Series.
  • Fans are impressed by Gragson’s start to 2024. He’s taken a car that struggled in 2023 to two top-10 finishes, and he is finally starting to gain some confidence.

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Gragson’s 2024 Performance vs His Xfinity Series Arc

Noah Gragson has undoubtedly taken a step forward in 2024. His 3 best finishes are 9th at Daytona, 6th at Las Vegas, and 12th at Phoenix, all completely different race tracks. His 32nd place in the points standings is primarily due to a 35-point penalty after NASCAR confiscated roof deflectors before qualifying at Atlanta. Compare that to 2023, where he only had 1 top-20.

Even looking at deeper statistics, Gragson is miles ahead of where he was in 2023. He has 3 lead lap finishes already this season, and he had only 4 in all of 2023. His average finish is currently 19.4 in 2024 compared to 28.2 in 2023.

Gragson was not a driver who tore it up immediately in the lower series. He finished 10th in his first Truck Series season with Kyle Busch Motorsports before improving to 2nd by his second season. In the Xfinity Series, he went winless in his first season at JRM, only to gradually get better and win 8 races finishing a career-best 2nd in the standings by his 4th season.

We’ve seen this movie before. Gragson has been a slow developer throughout his time in NASCAR, but, when he gets it, he gets it. He’s starting to turn that same corner that he did in the lower series.

Sponsorship

One major concern about Noah Gragson heading into 2024 was how sponsorship would work out. In 2023, 15 of his 21 starts were sponsored by Sunseeker Resorts, which Legacy Motor Club’s Maury Gallagher owns. His suspension and blank firesuit when signing with SHR created more questions about Gragson’s marketability to sponsors.

Well, Gragson and SHR have courted two past sponsors to adorn the side of Gragson’s car, Black Rifle Coffee and Bass Pro Shops. Gragson still has good relationships with sponsors, and he can garner the funding necessary to race.

Gragson is performing well on the race track, and he is in good standing with sponsors. Those are both vital to the future success of a stock car driver.

How Good Can He Be?

The sky seems to be the limit for Noah Gragson. While SHR’s equipment is still a bit of a mystery with the Ford Mustang Dark Horse struggling, Gragson is still putting together some solid races. In the lower series, he was a consistent race-win contender and Championship contender.

He is following the same path he did in the lower series. The potential that Gragson showed is starting to yield results. Can he keep it up?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts