NASCAR Drivers Noah Gragson and Daniel Hemric got into a pit lane race Saturday after the Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Hemric, angry after an incident on the pit lane earlier in the race, approached Gragson on the pit lane while doing an interview after the NASCAR Xfinity race. Hemric pushed Gragson, who responded by throwing two punches at Hemric.
What led to NASCAR combat?
Earlier in the race, Hemric slid through his pit and into Gragson’s box during a series of pit stops. Gragson then backed into the pit lane, hitting the front of Hemric’s car and damaging it.
Gragson rallied to finish fourth in the NASCAR Xfinity race and was doing an interview on the pit lane when Hemric ran towards him and pushed him.
Hemric, who drives for Joe Gibbs Racing, said Gragson intentionally backed up in his car.
“He was oblivious to what was going on and my situation,” Hemric said. “He piled it up in reverse and on purpose and backed up in the front of my (Toyota) Supra and punched a hole in the front of my Supra, and (he) … got hit in the eye for that. “
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Gragson, a spirited NASCAR driver with a history of altercations with other NASCAR drivers, had little to say about the incident.
“I don’t know why he’s angry,” Gragson said. “… He was in our booth and I had to back off. … I would be angry if I was in his place too based on what he’s done in his career.”
Hemric is in his fourth NASCAR Xfinity series, but has yet to win a NASCAR race. He also drove a full season in the NASCAR Cup Series. Gragson notched two NASCAR Xfinity Series victories for JR Motorsports.
Hemric had other choice words for Gragson.
“I have a hole in the nose of my car and he blew himself in the eye. From where I am we are in good shape,” he said.
The altercation didn’t go well with some of NASCAR’s biggest stars.