NASCAR VP says Noah Gragson made a bad decision
On Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series returned to Road America. A 13 car incident grabbed headlines following a retaliation gone wrong.
Hear from NASCAR on the Noah Gragson vs Sage Karam incident below.
Noah Gragson and Sage Karam rubbed fenders into turn one on lap 25 of the 45-lap race. Gragson stuck his hand (or possibly just a single finger) out of the window as they exited the turn.
In the very next turn, Karam drove inside of Gragson. They made more contact and Gragson dropped a wheel at the exit of the corner.
As they rolled down a straight-away, Gragson then hooked Karam in the left rear. Both cars spun across the track, in front of the field.
Smoke and dust filled the area. Drivers couldn’t see, on top of the track being completely blocked.
One car after the next was collected. Brandon Brown probably took the biggest hit and he drove right into a parked car after exiting a dust cloud.
13 drivers were involved in the crash. All drivers exited the infield care center without injury.
Involved in incident (13 cars) : Noah Gragson, Sage Karam, Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek, Brett Moffitt, Bayley Currey, Andy Lally, Landon Cassill, Daniel Hemric, Josh Bilicki, Tyler Reddick, Jeremy Clements andBrandon Brown.
Gragson was called to the NASCAR hauler after the race.
Sage Karam comments
After the race, Sage Karam had words for Noah Gragson.
“We got really lucky, considering all the drivers that were involved in that, to not have anybody get seriously hurt. That was ridiculous, I’ve never been turned into on a straight line like that, in car racing, ever in my life.”
“Unfortunately, he let his emotions get the best of him today. But, I’ve seen that with him. He walks around like he’s the big man on campus around here. Then, he does stuff like that. It’s just not a good role model.”
Karam added, “I’m not sure we can change Noah. I think this is something that Noah needs to take a look in the mirror. He needs to look at himself and want to make a change, himself.”
Karam has made 7 starts in the NASCAR Xfinity Series between 2022 and 2021. He was running inside the top 10 at the time of the incident which would have been his career best finish.
Noah Gragson took responsibility
“Yeah, I guess he forgot the three times he threw it off in the corner, doored us and ran us off the race track,” Noah Gragson commented.
“So, I take responsibility. I hate it for his guys but we’re fighting to race for a championship here. I’m just really over, getting run over.”
Additionally, after the race, Alpha Prime owner Tommy Joe Martins posted comments directly toward JR Motorsports. Kelley Earnhardt Miller responded regarding the incident.
Elton Sawyer comments
NASCAR has since reacted to the incident with Gragson.
“He didn’t handle it very well,” NASCAR VP Elton Sawyer stated via Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.
“He made a bad decision on lap 25 on a 40-something lap race. As a championship contender, just a bad decision.”
“So, we did speak with Noah post-race in the Xfinity hauler. He understands our position of what we expect from him, going forward.”
“We continue to have dialog internally, to see if there’s any disciplinary action that needs to be added to that incident.”
Sawyer noted that officials spoke about the incident on Monday and again on Tuesday.
“We have additional information, post race, that we didn’t have immediately after the race. We’ll look at it. What we’ve done in the past, under similar situations. But, all things are on the table.”
“During the event, it could rise to a level that you park a vehicle. It could rise to a level that you hold them for several laps. In this particular case, we elected to speak with Noah post-race.”
Sawyer added, “We’ll take a deeper dive into that incident, this morning.”