A contentious brawl broke out after the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Friday between Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson that has been ‘a long time coming.’
The unexpected fist fight came after more than 60 drivers sped 200 laps around the Kentucky Speedway during the Alsco 300 race.
But during the race Gragson’s No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet hit Burton’s No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota – causing both cars to clip the outside wall.
Austin Cindric would eventually win the series race, but the real battle was caught on camera when Gragson, 21, and Burton, 19, began physically fighting afterwards.
Footage of the fight shows Gragson and Burton talking nose-to-nose in an intense conversation inside the NASCAR garage.
Burton makes the first move by shoving Gragson in the right shoulder before continuing to argue with him.
A fight broke out between NASCAR drivers Noah Gragson (left) and Harrison Burton (right) on Friday night at Kentucky Speedway
Although Burton shoved his competitor two times, Gragson threw the first punch as tensions flared in the NASCAR garage
It’s unclear what specifically was said, but concerned crew members can be seen walking by the exchange.
Burton makes a second shove, but Gragson responds with a quick punch to his competitors face and the two wrestle to the floor.
The two throw punches for several minutes before crew members step in and break up the fight.
Burton has to be pulled away by a crew member who holds the young NASCAR star as he struggles to break free.
Both men spoke about the incident after the race, with Burton claiming the tension has been mounting between them for a while.
The tension boiled over after Gragson’s (left) vehicle hit the back of Burton’s (right) car and caused them both to clip the outside wall
‘This has been two times since we’ve come back from the COVID-19 pandemic on restarts,’ Burton said about Gragson.
‘Same situation. We rallied all night to get our Supra into fourth place and then the No. 9 [Gragson] happens to start in third and I don’t know if he forgets what race track we’re at or what, but both times puts us in the fence — Charlotte and now here.
‘I had a lot of people come up to me and say that was a long time coming, so I guess that was the popular move. I was just frustrated, and sorry for our team that that happened.’
Burton was gave a more tight-lipped answer and said ‘we’re all racing hard.’
‘I mean, us teammates are beating and banging for the finishes at the end. I don’t really have a comment. I haven’t really seen everything that happened.’
Dale Earnhardt Jr., a semi-retired NASCAR driver who owns Gragson’s team, suggested NASCAR have a double header to solve the problem.
Burton: ‘I had a lot of people come up to me and say that was a long time coming, so I guess that was the popular move’
Gragson: ”I mean, us teammates are beating and banging for the finishes at the end. I don’t really have a comment. I haven’t really seen everything that happened’
NASCAR’s official return to season in May has been marred by a number of controversies that have prompted polarized reactions from fans.
In June, the racing organizations announced that it formally banned the Confederate flag from its racetracks amid anti-racism protests over the death of George Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement.
The flag’s banishment was meant to foster inclusivity in contrast to the Confederate flag, which has been associated with racism, slavery and oppression since it became a symbol of ‘Southern heritage’ during the Civil War.
In a statement, NASCAR said the flag ‘runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all fans, our competitors and our industry.
NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag from being displayed at its events but supporters of the symbol still managed to be seen Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama
Protesters of NASCAR banning the Confederate flag cruise down Speedway Blvd prior to the race on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway
‘Bringing people together around a love for racing and the community that it creates is what makes our fans and sport special.
‘The display of the confederate flag will be prohibited from all NASCAR events and properties.
Upset fans held protests hoisting the Confederate flag in defiance of the new decision.
Just after that, it was reported that a noose was found in the garage stall of the sport’s only Black driver, Bubba Wallace, after he drove a Black Lives Matter themed-car at the race.
NASCAR announced that it alerted Wallace of the incident after it was discovered.
The FBI pursued an investigation and found that it had been there before Wallace’s arrival to access the garage door.
A noose was found hanging in the garage stall of Bubba Wallace (above), the only black driver in the NASCAR race series, in Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on Sunday
President Trump in a bizarre attack blamed Wallace for the incident and argued he should apologize for the ‘hoax.’
But Trump loyalist Lindsey Graham surprisingly defended Wallace against Trump’s attack.
‘Well, I don’t think Bubba Wallace has anything to apologize for,’ he told Fox News radio on Monday. ‘You saw the best in NASCAR. When there was a chance that it was a threat against Bubba Wallace. they all rallied to Bubba’s side, so I would be looking to celebrate that kind of attitude more than being worried about it being a hoax.’
He also said NASCAR banned the Confederate flag to try and grow the sport’s fan base.
‘They’re trying to grow the sport,’ Graham said.. ‘And I’ve lived in South Carolina all my life and if you’re in business, the Confederate flag is not a good way to grow your business.’