Noah Gragson’s 15-Yo Mentee Drops Heartwarming 5-Word Revelation on Mentor

Published 12/04/2023, 1:14 PM EST

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Noah Gragson is back where he likes to be—behind the wheel of a racecar. On Sunday, he took part in the Snowball Derby 300, perhaps his biggest race since getting suspended by NASCAR in August. He raced quite decently and was running P4 towards the end, but a blunder from him caused a late-race pile-up, and just like that, he was out of contention. On the brighter side, the 25-year-old had a special driver cheering him on as he ran the iconic short-track race. That driver is none other than Gragson’s 15-year-old mentee, Kasey Kleyn.

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It seems like the heat around Noah Gragson has simmered down a bit. The former Legacy Motor Club driver found himself in deep soup due to his controversial social media activity earlier this year. As a result, the 25-year-old was suspended by NASCAR and he had to leave LMC. Gragson has not yet secured a Cup Series ride but he is back racing.

15-year-old prodigy reveals how Noah Gragson made sure he came to the Snowball Derby

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Noah Gragson’s failure to shift at a crucial time during the intense final laps of the Snowball Derby caused a massive pile-up. The aftermath saw several others, including a few big names like William Byron, getting thrown out of contention.

It must not have been a good look for Noah Gragson who had his mentee, Kasey Kleyn, among the attendees. Kleyn has had a fantastic year, notably winning the 39th annual Fall Classic at the Tri-City Raceway. He became the youngest driver to win at the track which is considered to be quite challenging even for veterans. Klyne also registered 16 top-5 finishes this season and seems to be on an upward curve.

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He might be one of the most talked-about teenagers in motorsports today but Kasey Kleyn remains humble. After the Snowball Derby, he had words of respect for his mentor Noah Gragson as he revealed how the former Cup Series driver insisted that he come to the Five Flags Speedway and race in the Snowflake 100.

“My parents and him met this weekend and he’s wanted me to come, hang out with him, and teach me some things…I guess he likes me,” Kleyn said.

While his student may have had kind words for Noah Gragson, a lot of others did not, and that included himself. The former Legacy Motor Club driver took the blame of the late pileup which cost a lot of frontrunners a decent finish.

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Gragson issues apology again; this time, over a late-race pile-up

In a post-race interview, Noah Gragson admitted to not being able to shift the gears. He was P4 at the time and had the likes of William Byron and Erik Jones behind him, both of whom were affected by the mishap. The 25-year-old was apologetic after the event.

 “All the teams that got involved with it, I take full blame obviously. I didn’t get in gear, I didn’t go. Like we had good restarts all day and made forward progress. Proud of our team but it’s on me, I messed up and didn’t get in gear,” he said.

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In the end, the Snowball Derby turned out to be a massive disappointment for Noah Gragson. He could have challenged for the win had he not made the error. Now he will have to wait one more year.

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Written by:

Nilavro Ghosh

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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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