Gragson, Hemric collide on pit road and then fight post-race
Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson got into a physical confrontation following the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The post-race scuffle followed an incident on pit road during the race where Gragson backed into Hemric's car.
After the checkered flag, Hemric approached Gragson and the two briefly brawled.
"I don't know why he's mad," said Gragson, who is no stranger to confrontation. "I mean, I was behind him coming onto pit because we corded our right front tire and he was in our pit box. I had to come around him and not really sure why he's there. Had to back up to get there.
He then added, "I'd be mad if I was in his shoes too, just based off what he's done in his career. It is what it is. We'll move on and keep on fighting."
Hemric later explained why he was in Gragson's pit box:
“Pretty simple. He (Gragson) had no idea what was going on out on the race track. We come down pit road and the guy pitted behind us when you accelerate when I was pulling into my box and it made me have to steer around the guy going to the 9’s (Gragson) box. I backed up and yes, it messed up both of our pit stops. I backed up and he decided to put it in reverse and cram into the right-front fender and knock a hole in our Poppy Bank Toyota Supra nose. We had to pit again and fix it. That was completely deliberate and it was absolutely ridiculous. Where I come from, you get punched in the eye for that."
NASCAR officials called Gragson to the hauler after the race and said that they will review the incident. If any penalties are issued, they would be addressed later in the week.
UPDATE: On Sunday, NASCAR said that no penalty will be issued. Scott Miller, NASCAR Senior Vice President, Competition released the following statement:
“We reviewed the incident which occurred between the 9 and 18 cars on pit road during Saturday night’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and met with Noah Gragson after the event. A chain reaction of events led to the 18 and 9 both overshooting their pit stalls. The 9 ended up both long and out of his pit box to the outside, and needed to back up as far as possible to have any chance at fully pulling into his box. After reviewing the video, it is our judgement that the contact was not deliberate.”
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