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Does Noah Gragson to RCR Make Sense?

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What’s Happening?

In the wake of Stewart-Haas Racing closing down, rumors immediately began to surface about Noah Gragson’s, future. One destination that’s popped up now and again is Richard Childress Racing, but would it make sense for either Gragson or the race team?

  • Gragson has impressed in his second Cup Series season with Stewart-Haas Racing. While he sits outside the top 20 in points, he has five top-10 finishes in the first 16 races. This includes back-to-back top-five qualifying runs to group with top-10 finishes at Dover and Kansas.
  • Richard Childress Racing is currently struggling. They have not won a Cup Series race in over a year, but they could be very active this Silly Season.
  • Fans are very interested in seeing if Noah Gragson moves to RCR. However, it depends on multiple factors within or outside of both parties’ control.

Everything We Know So Far

Speculation about this started in May when Jordan Bianchi of The Athletic reported that RCR was interested in Gragson. Gragson and RCR do have a loose, past connection.

In 2022, Gragson made 18 NASCAR Cup Series starts, 10 of them with Kaulig Racing. Kaulig and RCR are deeply connected, with Kaulig buying their engines from ECR, also owned by Childress, and Kaulig being housed on RCR’s campus. While Gragson was never an official RCR driver, there is a connection.

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Speculation further ran rampant this week. Brett Griffin, a part-time spotter for RCR, claims that Gragson could come to RCR, bringing Bass Pro Shops with him. Funny enough, Griffin wore an RCR shirt while saying this.

There’s a lot of rumors out there that Noah Gragson and Bass Pro Shops could even be going to RCR, and that could be an added Charter. And obviously Bass Pro Shops has ties to Martin [Truex Jr.], so if Martin does retire that probably helps Noah’s scenario. If he [Truex Jr.] doesn’t retire, I think it probably hurts Noah’s scenario, so you know there there’s a lot of cards to fall.

Brett Griffin

This doesn’t confirm Gragson’s going to RCR, but it seemingly confirms the rumors that there is interest there. However, Griffin seems to indicate it could be dependent on sponsorship, as Gragson brings funding from Bass Pro Shops, which also sponsors Martin Truex Jr. and RCR driver Austin Dillon.

Would It Make Sense?

On the surface, this could be a great match if the funding is there. Gragson is a young talent, which is someone that RCR desperately needs at the Cup level. Kyle Busch is nearing 40 and possibly past his prime, and Austin Dillon, while serviceable for much of his career, has never been someone who can carry a team to greatness.

However, to do so, RCR needs to purchase a third charter. The fourth SHR charter is available, so, it’s not impossible if they have the money.

Regarding equipment, it would likely be a lateral move for Gragson, except the team doesn’t intend to shut down. In this case, RCR may try to build around Gragson for the future, which just might be what Gragson is looking for.

However, Bob Pockrass reported in early June that Gragson’s RCR sponsorship could take him an entirely new direction. Instead of Bass Pro Shops following Gragson to RCR if Martin Truex Jr. retires, Gragson could take over that ride at Joe Gibbs Racing. However, Gragson has some stiff competition for the seat.

If JGR comes along, it’d be hard for Gragson to turn down. This is one of the top teams in the sport with Championship-level equipment.

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