A controversial brawl broke out following Friday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race between Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson, which is “ long overdue. ”
The unexpected fistfight came after more than 60 drivers drove 200 laps around the Kentucky Speedway during the Alsco 300 race.
But during the race, Gragson’s No. 9 JR Motorsports hit Chevrolet Burton’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, causing both cars to jam the outer wall.
Austin Cindric would eventually win the series race, but the real fight was captured on camera when Gragson, 21, and Burton, 19, started physically fighting afterward.
Recordings of the fight allow Gragson and Burton to talk nose-to-nose in an intense conversation in the NASCAR garage.
Burton makes the first move by pushing Gragson into the right shoulder before arguing with him.
Friday night, a fight broke out between NASCAR drivers Noah Gragson (left) and Harrison Burton (right) at Kentucky Speedway
Although Burton pushed his competitor twice, Gragson threw the first blow as tensions flared up in the NASCAR garage
It is unclear exactly what was said, but concerned crew members can be seen walking past the plant.
Burton makes a second push, but Gragson responds with a quick punch to his competitor’s face and the two wrestle on the ground.
The two throw punches for several minutes before crew members intervene and break up the battle.
Burton must be taken away by a crewmember holding the young NASCAR star as he struggles to escape.
Both men spoke of the post-race incident, with Burton claiming that tension had been mounting between them for some time.
The tension boiled over after Gragson’s (left) vehicle hit the back of Burton’s (right) car and they both clamped the outer wall
“This has been twice since we came back from the COVID-19 pandemic over restarts,” Burton said of Gragson.
“Same situation. We drove all night together to get our Supra in fourth place and then at number 9 [Gragson] starts in third place and I don’t know if he forgets which track we are on or what, but both times put us in the fence – Charlotte and now here.
“I had a lot of people coming up to me and saying it was going to be a long time, so I think that was the popular move. I was just frustrated and sorry to our team for making it happen. ‘
Burton tightened and said, “We are all racing fast.”
“I mean, our teammates hit and bang at the end of the finish. I don’t really have a comment. I haven’t really seen everything that happened. ‘
Dale Earnhardt Jr., a semi-retired NASCAR driver who owns the Gragson team, suggested giving NASCAR a double headline to fix the problem.
Burton: “I had a lot of people who came to me and said it was going to be a long time so I think that was the popular move”
Gragson: “ I mean, our teammates knock and bang at the end before the finish. I don’t really have a comment. I haven’t really seen everything that happened ‘
NASCAR’s official return to the May season has been marred by a number of controversies that have sparked polarized fan response.
In June, race organizations announced that it had formally banned the Southern flag from its race tracks amid anti-racism protests over the deaths of George Floyd and other black Americans from law enforcement.
The flag’s banishment was intended to promote inclusivity, unlike the southern flag, which has been associated with racism, slavery and oppression since it became a symbol of ‘southern heritage’ during the civil war.
In a statement, NASCAR said the flag “violates our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment to all fans, our competitors and our industry.
NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag during its events, but supporters of the symbol still managed to be seen at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama on Sunday.
NASCAR protesters banning Southern Flag cruise along Speedway Blvd prior to Sunday’s race at Talladega Superspeedway
Bringing people together around love for racing and the community it creates is what makes our fans and sport special.
The display of the Southern Flag is prohibited on all NASCAR events and properties.
Angry fans staged protests flying the Confederate flag, despite the new decision.
Shortly after, it was reported that a noose was found in the garage box of the sport’s only black driver, Bubba Wallace, after driving a Black Lives Matter-themed car in the race.
NASCAR announced that it had notified Wallace of the incident after it was discovered.
The FBI continued an investigation and discovered that it had been there before Wallace’s arrival to access the garage door.
A noose was found in the garage box of Bubba Wallace (above), the only black driver in the NASCAR racing series, on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama
President Trump blamed Wallace for the incident in a bizarre attack, saying he should apologize for the “hoax.”
But Trump loyalist Lindsey Graham surprisingly defended Wallace against Trump’s attack.
“Well, I don’t think Bubba Wallace apologizes,” he told Fox News radio on Monday. “You saw the best in NASCAR. When there was a chance it was a threat to Bubba Wallace. they all gathered on Bubba’s side, so I’d like to celebrate that attitude more than worry about it being a hoax. ‘
He also said NASCAR banned the Southern flag from attempting to widen the fan base.
“They’re trying to grow the sport,” Graham said … “And I’ve lived in South Carolina all my life, and when you’re doing business, the Southern flag isn’t a good way to grow your business.”