Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson exchanged swings and shoves after the race after the NASCAR Xfinity Series event on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The two argued over pit lane space during a late race stop, with Gragson’s No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet and Hemric’s No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in adjacent booths. That argument included the contact when Gragson pulled back and messed up the # 18 crew and got into an argument after the cool down lap.
Hemric got out of his car and confronted Gragson while doing an interview after the race and the Both exchanged thrusts and threw punches before they were separated.
« Pretty easy. He had no idea what was going on on the racetrack, » Hemric later explained her battle for real estate in the pit lane. « We’re coming down the pit lane and the guy pitted behind us when you accelerated as I pulled into my box and it made me steer clear of the guy going to the 9 (Gragson) box. I pulled back and yeah, it messed up our two pit stops.
« I pulled back and he decided to put in reverse and cram the right front fender and make a hole in our Poppy Bank Toyota Supra- Beating nose. We had to dig again and fix it. That was completely on purpose and utterly ridiculous. Where I’m from, you get an eye out for doing something like this. When asked for further confirmation as to whether Gragson’s action was intended, Hemric confirmed, « Oh yeah, put it in reverse and locked it. Punched a hole in the nose of our car. Punched a hole in our car and I got one hit in his eye. We’re even. «
Gragson rallied after an accident with several cars at the end of the first stage and came fourth behind race winner and JRM teammate Justin Allgaier in the EchoPark. Hemric took 250th in ninth place, his fifth top 10 result in six races this season.
NASCAR officials said Gragson had been ordered to consult the officials’ carrier for post-race consultation, indicating that the incident will be under investigation would. Any possible penalties, officials said, would be addressed later in the week.
Gragson defended his actions in a subsequent interview and post-race tweet that included his pit stop footage.
« I don’t know why he’s crazy, « said Gragson. “We were behind him and we got into the pit lane … Then he was in our pit and I had to get around him and not really be sure why he was there, but I had to pull back and get there. … I would be mad if I were in his shoes too based only on what he did in his career but it is what it is and we will go on and keep fighting. Man what a day. Top 5, that’s what we’re celebrating. «
Here is the full video. Penalty if the tires on the right are immediately ready for use. Last pit stop. Judge for yourself. pic.twitter.com/2LCQEiUDQ7
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