Noah Gragson Escapes Huge Penalty as NASCAR Says “Contact Was Not Deliberate” in Daniel Hemric Incident

Published 03/22/2021, 8:00 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 01: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Switch Chevrolet, during practice for the NASCAR Xfinty Series Boyd Gaming 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 1, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)


On Saturday, one of the biggest talking points of the Xfinity Series was a pit lane incident between Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson. The two got tangled with each other and later ended up getting into a physical fight on the track. In light of this, the two were promptly investigated for their conduct.

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The good news for them was that they managed to escape from getting sanctioned. According to NASCAR officials, even though Gragson was the main instigator, he will not be penalized for his actions. They declared that the pit-road contact between his car and Daniel Hemric’s was unintentional.

NASCAR Senior Vice President of Competition, Scott Miller spoke about the incident. He said, “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.

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“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 judgment that the contact was not deliberate.”

How did the Noah Gragson incident play out?

According to him, a chain reaction of events eventually led to the #18 and #9 cars overshooting their pit stalls. Apparently, the #9 was so far out of his pit box that he needed to back up as much as possible to fully pull into his box.

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Feb 27, 2021; Miami, FL, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Noah Gragson (9) leads the field during the Contender Boats 250 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

It was just unfortunate that Noah Gragson backed into Daniel Hemric on pit road and made contact. No matter what both drivers may think, both of them overshot their pit boxes and needed to correct themselves. However, they blamed each other and even came to blows in the paddock.

Luckily, they were split up before any real damage could be done. Of course, both drivers will have likely calmed down by now and gained a fresh perspective. If drivers carry a grudge, there is a danger of retaliation at the next race and things could take an ugly turn.

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MORE: WATCH: Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric React After Huge Fight in NASCAR Xfinity Series Race at Atlanta

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Dhruv George

11381 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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