NASCAR: Noah Gragson moving up to Cup Series for Petty GMS Racing in 2023

Noah Gragson is moving full-time to NASCAR's Cup Series in 2023.

Petty GMS Racing announced Wednesday that Gragson would drive the team’s No. 42 car next season. Gragson will team with Erik Jones after Jones recently re-signed to drive the team’s No. 43 car.

Gragson heads to the Cup Series after making the first nine Cup starts of his career for Kaulig Racing in 2022. Gragson has run full-time for JR Motorsports in the second-tier Xfinity Series since 2019 and has eight wins in 123 career starts. Gragson has three wins in 2022 and is currently fourth in the Xfinity Series points standings as he goes for his first career NASCAR title.

The 24-year-old is one of the most polarizing drivers at any of NASCAR’s three levels. He recently was penalized 30 points for causing a big crash during the Xfinity Series race at Road America in July and backed into Daniel Hemric’s car on pit road during an Xfinity Series race at Atlanta in 2021.

Gragson replaces Ty Dillon in the No. 42. Dillon previously announced that he would be leaving the team after just one season behind the wheel. Dillon is currently 30th in the points standings and has just one top-10 finish through the first 23 races of 2022.

Petty GMS Racing had operated as a single-car team in recent years until expanding to two cars in 2022. The expansion came as GMS Racing — which operates a Truck Series team — bought Richard Petty Motorsports as it moved up to the Cup Series. Jones is currently 14th in the points standings but needs a win to qualify for the 16-driver playoffs since 15 drivers have gotten wins so far this season.

BROOKLYN, MICHIGAN - AUGUST 06: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Xfinity Series New Holland 250 at Michigan International Speedway on August 06, 2022 in Brooklyn, Michigan. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Noah Gragson is heading to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2023. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)