NASCAR Xfinity Star Noah Gragson Opens Up On Preparation for 2021 Daytona 500 Qualifying

Published 01/15/2021, 5:00 AM EST
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 01: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Switch Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Xfinty Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 1, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)


Ahead of an important race, there are drivers who indulge in some odd idiosyncrasies. Some prefer to enter their cars in a certain manner, while others may prefer to wear their suit a certain way. However, NASCAR Xfinity Series star Noah Gragson opted to go down the James Hunt route – vomiting with excitement.

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Recently, the driver spoke about this habit of his, especially considering that the Daytona 500 is approaching. Speaking about it, he said, “I think it’s a little bit different when I get excited. Win a race, get out of the car, spike my heart rate afterwards, I sometimes throw up… From qualifying time, it’s going to be a different mindset.”

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Gragson is focusing on his preparation for the weekend. He ideally wants to focus on getting clean laps, even consulting Dale Earnhardt Jr for advice. That advice largely pertained to qualifying pace and how to improve on that front. At the end of the day, he needs to have self-confidence and not second guess himself.

Noah Gragson is excited to make his Daytona debut in NASCAR

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Speaking about the recruitment, Gragson admitted that he was fairly excited. The driver revealed that he had always harbored dreams of racing in the Daytona 500. This is why he was glad that the Beard family placed a lot of faith in him. In addition to that, he was also grateful to JR Motorsports for granting him a chance to dabble in the Cup Series.

Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson (9) leads Daniel Hemric (8) during the Drive for the Cure 250 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

This is because Noah Gragson is pulling double duty in the Xfinity and the Cup Series. It is worth mentioning that the 22-year-old will drive the No. 62 car. The car’s previous occupant was fellow Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan.

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Speaking of Gaughan, he effectively ended his NASCAR career after the 2020 Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. In all honesty, Gragson will be keen to take Beard Motorsports‘ best finish at Daytona. Gaughan managed to finish in a respectable 7th in 2020, and Gragson will want to better that.

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Dhruv George

11780 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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