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

Published 03/21/2021, 8:50 AM EDT
NEWTON, IOWA – JUNE 16: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Switch Chevrolet, watches qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series CircuitCity.com 250 Presented by Tamron at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa. (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)


There was a bit of drama, during the NASCAR Xfinity race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. Apparently, there was a pit lane incident involving Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson. According to the latter, the #18 was almost in the #9 car’s pit box, just as Gragson was turning into the pit stall.

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While Hemric backed up, it placed Gragson out of position in the box. As a result, he was also forced to back up and re-position himself in the pit box. This lead to the #9 driver accidentally backing into Hemric. Gragson insisted that he was not at fault and the full replay would reveal that he didn’t just back into him without any reason.

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Of course, Hemric had his own explanation, and the disagreement led to fisticuffs. Speaking after everyone had calmed down considerably, Gragson recounted the incident. He said, “I don’t know why he’s mad. We’re behind him coming onto pit road cause he caught our right front tire. He was in our pit box and I had to come around him and I’m not really sure why he was there.”

What else did Noah Gragson say on the incident?

Despite the coming together, the JR Motorsports driver insisted that he had fun. He thanked the fans who were able to turn up and even threw in a good word for teammate and race winner, Justin Allgaier. Coming back to his own race, Gragson admitted that he was relieved to be able to salvage a top-five finish.

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

From Hemric’s perspective, he observed that both of them struggled. For Daniel Hemric, his problem was speed, but he insisted that the team is working on it. According to the Joe Gibbs Racing driver, another driver had pitted near his box, forcing him to go long. As a result, he ended up encroaching on the #9 pit box and had to back up.

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He guessed that Noah Gragson did not notice the circumstances that forced Hemric to do what he did. So, in a spot of petty revenge, he backed up into his #18 Xfinity car. That impact punched a hole in his car, so he felt that a punch to the face was suitable payback.

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Hopefully, the two drivers can now put this behind them and look ahead to the next race.

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Dhruv George

12017 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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