Tempers reached their peak for Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson.
Following Saturday’s EchoPark 250 at Atlanta, the Las Vegas driver was performing his post-race media duties when Hemric walked over and shoved Gragson.
A brief set of words were exchanged before fists began to fly, with the JR Motorsports driver delivering the first swing.
— NASCAR Xfinity (@NASCAR_Xfinity) March 20, 2021
Crew members and officials had to separate the duo, with a JR Motorsports crew member putting Hemric into a headlock. Gragson delivered one final blow to Hemric before walking their separate ways.
The post-race altercation has a direct connection to a mid-race incident between the duo during pit stops. Both drivers were caught racing pretty hard all day, even bumping each other at the beginning of the race on Saturday.
Fast forward to a set of pit stops late in the race, and Gragson appeared to give Hemric the middle finger while entering his box. Hemric was forced to pull into the No. 9 pit box a few seconds earlier due to the car pitted behind trying to leave. Moments later, Gragson was caught backing up into Hemric’s car, while his pit stop was going on, putting the Joe Gibbs Racing pit crew at a significant safety risk.
— NASCAR on NBC (@NASCARonNBC) March 20, 2021
Many fans took to social media following the incident to question if Gragson’s action on pit road was deliberate, or coincidental.
Both drivers spoke to FOX Sports 1 post-race, with Hemric claiming that he landed a punch on Gragson.
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) March 20, 2021
Any penalties (if any) relating to the fight, or Gragson’s pit-road incident are expected to be handed down by the middle of next week.
Gragson’s teammate Justin Allgaier won the EchoPark 250 at Atlanta.
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.