NASCAR driver climbs the fence then opens beer with his teeth at Martinsville Speedway
Noah Gragson entered Martinsville Speedway in a must win situation. He was one of the 8 drivers battling for four playoff spots next week. However, he was far enough below the cutline that he needed a win to advance into the championship round.
The 23-year-old called his shot before the race. He said he’d go to victory lane and he did.
Gragson worked the outside lane for most of stage three. Restart after restart, Gragson couldn’t take the lead away on the outside lane.
However, a restart in NASCAR overtime brought the tension. It was expected that Gragson would pick the inside lane, behind race leader Daniel Hemric after multiple missed opportunities to grab the lead from the outside. But, he didn’t.
When the green dropped, Gragson actually got the jump. That would have been a penalty but Gragson lifted just before the start finish line and he let Hemric beat him to the start finish line.
Heading into turn one, Austin Cindric leaned on the rear bumper of Hemric. The leader got a little loose and struggled for grip off the corner.
Hemric rode the door of Gragson, using every inch of the track as Gragson rubbed the outside wall. But, with Hemric sideways, Gragson was digging on the outside, clearing him via the outside lane in turn three.
Another caution came out seconds after Gragson took the lead. Now, he was placed on defense for the final restart.
Hemric elected to start on the inside lane, behind Gragson. These two have a history that ended in punches being thrown earlier in the season.
As the rolled into turn one, Hemric couldn’t get to the bumper of Gragson. He was clear by a car length off turn four as Cindric took 2nd away from Hemric.
Gragson took the outside lane in turn three, giving the inside to Cindric. Cindric pulled even, they rubber doors and Gragson was able to beat him to the line, by a foot.
First, Gragson lit up the tires. Smoke billowed in the air as he clipped the right rear on the wall during the burnouts.
Then, the driver and the crew climbed the front stretch fence. The crowd erupted.
As Gragson stood by the fence, a fan reached through to hand him a Busch beer. Gragson proceeded to bite a hole in the can to set up the shotgun.
He then popped the top and shotgunned the beer as he stood on the wall.
The crew had to lift the car off the track to put new tires on it. The old tires exploded as Gragson burnt it to the rims.
Noah Gragson comments after Martinsville win
“This team, I want to cry right now,” Gragson said after the win.
“It’s been a rough season. We got a couple wins there. It wasn’t looking good, after last weekend I was fired up.”
“I told my guys, ‘We got an opportunity and we’re still in it.’ I’m so thankful. A win at Martinsville, I get to take home a clock.”
“How about all these badass fans out here!”
Ahead of the race, Gragson tweeted a picture of his car with a snowplow attached to the front end.
“There’s a dude in a Kyle Busch shirt that came up and flipped me off after the contact with the No. 54. I didn’t mean to do it, I got hit in the back by the #22 and it’s just a stack deal.”
“I told the team before the race, that snowplow is engaged. We’re going to be digging, get out of the way.”