The Snowball Derby brought out the snowflakes
Noah Gragson: “We need more entertainment. This is an entertainment sport.”
Kissing the victory lane girl is nothing new in auto racing. But, we live in a more sensitive, ‘walk on eggshells or be crucified’ time these days.
Ahead of the race at the half mile asphalt track in Florida, Noah Gragson stated that he planned to kiss the trophy girl in victory lane ‘old-school’ after he wins the race. That’s a comment that’s to be expected from the 20-year-old NASCAR Truck Series driver who’s full of personality.
Later that night, Noah Gragson drove his machine to victory lane. He pointed his bat to the outfield and drove that thing home, claiming the $25,000 win in the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway. It’s the largest super late model race of the year, across the country.
On November 15, Helena Ciappina was announced at the new trophy girl for the Snowball Derby. She won an annual pageant at Seville Quarter in historic downtown Pensacola against 14 other competitors. This was her first week in the role.
As promised, Noah Gragson embraced her and pulled Ciappina in for a lip to lip kiss. Ciappina immediately turned her head to force a somewhat rejected kiss to the cheek. The race winner was denied at first, as she abruptly turned away.
However, Gragson didn’t engage in the cheek kiss that she recommended. He wasn’t there for a kiss to the cheek and it was awkward at this point. Instead, he looked away from her cheek.
But, he didn’t bail from the original plan. The two shared a few quick words and the mouth to mouth kiss was then landed without surprise from the pretty lady in the crown.
— Matthew Dillner (@MatthewDillner) December 3, 2018
— Noah Gragson (@NoahGragson) December 3, 2018
“Swing and a miss on the first pitch. Grand slam on the second pitch,” later said stated via twitter.
This victory lane thing really upset twitter…
feminism means calling out noah gragson for forcing a kiss on a girl on live television, because he should have at least asked her if she was chill with it first
— Elizabeth Werth (@elizabeth_werth) December 9, 2018
Noah “I force every woman that comes near me to kiss me” Gragson
— Emily is mad 🏳️🌈 (@Dustyjumpwings) December 3, 2018
— NASCAR Guy (@MegaDriver86) December 3, 2018
Noah Gragson’s still doing the thing where he’s super creepy and then a bunch of older NASCAR personalities say it’s actually good because back in their day that didn’t care to understand or seek out consent either, I see.
— Fred Smith (@FredSmith914) December 3, 2018
Disappointing to see what Noah Gragson attempted to do in victory lane at snowball derby. Win the race, fine. But classless move provided there was no consent with the girl in victory lane.
— Tony DiZinno (@tonydizinno) December 3, 2018
As the snowflakes pecking wildly with their angry twitter fingers… The race winners car was rolling through post race tech and Noah Gragson was exchanging phone numbers.
Gragson literally stated ahead of the race that he was going to do it. I don’t think it came as a total surprise to the victory lane girl. But, that didn’t stopped the people from flying the metoo hashtags.
It was far more than just twitter. That harmless kiss went on to catch national headlines. It was picked up by yahoo Sports with the word ‘creepy’ in the headline.
“I’m on twitter and I’m seeing that people are getting upset and mean toward Noah Gragson. I’ve got a mother-*ucking message for all of you assholes. Get a mother-*ucking life,” Kenny Wallace stated via a twitter video.
Noah Gragson comments on the victory lane kiss
Well, the story has now come full circle. On Saturday night, NASCAR hosted their awards banquet for the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Truck Series.
Noah Gragson was on hand at the show. He finished runner-up in NASCAR Truck Series standings with a single win.
Who did Gragson meet at the show? Ms Snowball Derby, Helena Ciappina. He posted a photo to his instagram with the caption, “Got a nice date to the NASCAR banquet. She’sHelena Ciappina to me, but you might know her as Ms. Snowball Derby to you.”
“She’s a nice girl. A beautiful girl. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to come down here this weekend and celebrate,” Gragson told the media at the show.
Noah Gragson stated back in Florida that he’s misunderstood by the fans. Why?
“I think they might see me more as the jokester, the clown. I like to have a fun time. I like to joke around. But, when it’s time to strap those belts on and fire up that motor, it’s down to business.”
“I might look like the clown. But, all I’m thinking about Monday through Friday and throughout the weekend, is about my race car. And also, just how to make this sport better.”
“We need more entertainment. This is an entertainment sport, I feel like, in my opinion. We’re the entertainers out there. So, why not be the best?”
For 2019, Noah Gragson will make the move to JR Motorsports. He’ll run full time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series after departing from Kyle Busch Motorsports.