Gragson ruled out of Sonoma after concussion

The incident in the #42 Sunseeker Resort Chevrolet that saw that saw Noah Gragson our of both last weekend’s Enjoy Illinois 300 and the upcoming Sonoma Cup Series race. Photo: Jeff Curry/Getty Images

Legacy Motor Club driver Noah Gragson will miss the NASCAR Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway this weekend while recovering from concussion-like symptoms.

With Gragson out of the race, Legacy Motor Club co-owners Maury Gallagher and Jimmie Johnson will turn to a replacement driver. Craftsman Truck Series driver Grant Enfinger will make his Cup Series debut at the California road course.

Enfinger drives the #23 Chevrolet Silverado for Gallagher’s GMS Racing, and he is currently third in the championship standings after winning races at Kansas Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway. He will now fill his off-week with a new challenge.

“My thoughts are with Noah, I know how much he loves this team and the guys on it,” said Enfinger. “I’m happy to help out Legacy Motor Club and the #42 team.”

Gragson, a Rookie of the Year contender, crashed on Lap 197 of the Cup Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway on Sunday, June 4. He attempted to steer through the infield to lose some speed, but his #42 Chevrolet Camaro traveled back across the track and slammed into the outside wall.

This collision sent Gragson to the infield care centre, where he was evaluated and released. He returned home to North Carolina but began to experience concussion-like symptoms.

Gragson, who made his Cup Series debut in 2022 with Kaulig Racing and Hendrick Motorsports, joined Legacy Motor Club ahead of the 2023 season. He replaced Ty Dillon in the #42 Chevrolet Camaro, and he set out on a mission to deliver some strong performances.

The 13-time Xfinity Series winner has dealt with struggles during his first full Cup Series season. Gragson has failed to finish five of the first 15 races while accumulating an average finish of 28.5. He is also 155 points behind Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs in the Rookie of the Year battle.

The feeling around the garage is that Gragson has a bright future in the Cup Series, but this rookie campaign will potentially be a lost season.

The situation should change in 2024 when Legacy Motor Club switches from Chevrolet to Toyota and becomes a key part of the small TRD lineup; yet the organization must first complete the remaining 21 races.

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