NASCAR has witnessed its first driver scuffle of the post-pandemic era.
Harrison Burton scrapped with Noah Gragson after the two drivers made contact on the track late in Friday night’s Xfinity Series race at Kentucky.
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Gragson went to pass Burton on the inside of Turns 3 and 4 and slid up into Burton. Both drivers lost a lot of spots because of Gragson’s move.
Burton confronted Gragson after the race and gave him a shove following their conversation.
Gragson then threw a punch and the two went to the ground out of the view of FOX’s cameras.
“I had a lot of people come up to me afterwards saying that was a long time coming, so I guess that was a popular move,” Burton told FOX after the scuffle.
Gragson didn’t offer much of an explanation of what happened either on or off the track. He was not wearing his mask during the scuffle.
Earlier this week NASCAR sent teams a reminder to make sure that their employees abided by the series’ mask-wearing and social distancing protocols.
“I don’t really have a comment, I really haven’t seen everything that happened,” he said.
We should all fight the coronavirus as hard as Noah Gragson wanted to fight Harrison Burton.— Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) July 11, 2020
Gragson has repeatedly failed to control his car on the inside lane during late race situations this season to the expense of the entire field.— Geoffrey Miller (@GeoffreyMiller) July 11, 2020
That’s why a simple mistake like tonight gets an outsized reaction from Burton.
NASCAR: After Race 2 of the Xfinity Series at Kentucky, a physical altercation broke out on pit road between Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton. Expect supplimental disciplinary actions to be handed by NASCAR as a result.— World Racing Media (@WRMediaGroup) July 11, 2020
I wonder if they'll be any fines or suspensions from the Gragson and Burton fight. Not because of the fight, but from not following social distancing protocols. Several crew members and Gragson wasn't practicing social distancing and not wearing masks. Wonder what NASCAR will do.— Joseph Lombard (@n2sc4r) July 11, 2020
Gragson’s history of race incidents
It’s not the first time that Gragson has lost control of his car underneath a competitor while racing for position in 2020.
A similar move took out teammate Justin Allgaier at Bristol as Gragson went on to win that race.
Gragson finished seventh after forcing teammate Daniel Hemric up the track on the final lap while Burton finished 12th.
Austin Cindric won the race for his second victory in two nights. He won at Kentucky on Thursday night too.
Cindric was third in the first stage, won the second and stretched it out in the final segment.
He trailed briefly on the final restart, then sliced through two cars out of Turn 2 and rolled to victory by 2.262 seconds over points leader Chase Briscoe in the No. 98 Ford.
“What we did tonight was really impressive because we ran one setup last night and won the race and came with another setup and won the race again,” said Cindric, who started 15th.
“That happens at the shop, that happens with the guys on the box. All credit to them.”
with Associated Press and Yahoo Sports US