Noah Gragson set off a NASCAR Twitter firestorm when he Tweeted a simple pen emoji on Wednesday.
— Noah Gragson (@NoahGragson) August 26, 2020
This one tweet led to wild speculation ranging from he has signed a deal to drive the No. 48 car in 2021 to he signed a sponsorship deal with bic pens. Honestly, either could be true, or the actual truth could lie somewhere in between. But it was compelling to watch the folks on Twitter wildly speculate what the pen meant.
Then, just as the buzz of the pen emoji was just beginning to wear off, Gragson scheduled a 12:40 AM ET instagram live video to talk about the pen emoji.
🖊 insta live. 15 mins. @NoahGragson
— Noah Gragson (@NoahGragson) August 27, 2020
It was on! We were gonna get a late-night silly season surprise. This would be the big pay off for being an insomniac for so many years. Right? Well, maybe not.
On the Instagram Live video, Gragson showed us the pen he was talking about and no, it wasn’t a fancy executive pen that you would expect a driver to sign a catastrophic deal with a NASCAR Cup Series team with. Instead, it looked like a free pen you get at a dental office. The tag line on the pen read, ‘Smile Y’all’ and it was a standard blue and black ball-point pen.
Over the next 15-minutes, Gragson agonizingly teased the more than 600 concurrent viewers that stayed steady throughout the entire stream. In the end, Gragson admitted that he had signed some really important papers, and that they had to do with racing. He said other people signed the papers as well. He stated that the papers were similar to papers he had signed a year ago (he signed a contact extension with JR Motorsports last season to continue in the No. 9 car for 2020), but that they were a little different.
His hint that it is something he has hoped to sign his entire life would lead you to believe that perhaps this is a NASCAR Cup Series ride for next season.
As he continued to try to give hints without giving away the farm, Gragson — who is a bit of a loose cannon — looked agonized as well that he couldn’t tell the world the secret. He nearly convinced himself to just say it a couple of times, but then he would become distracted with the chat of the viewers.
In the end, Gragson pulled off a very impressive teasing troll on NASCAR Twitter. I don’t think I’ve ever been as captivated by a pen. In fact, even the folks in the movie Wolf of Wall Street couldn’t keep my attention when trying to sell a pen, like this video did. So major props to Gragson for that.
While it does seem that Gragson’s deal — whatever it may be — for 2021 has been signed, he is not ready to let us in on it just yet. However, if pen has truly been put to paper, it shouldn’t be an insanely long wait to find out more details.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.