NASCAR Says No Harm, No Foul in Gragson, Chastain Fisticuffs at Kansas
NASCAR won’t penalize Ross Chastain or Noah Gragson for their brief skirmish on pit road after Sunday’s AdventHealth 400 at Kansas Speedway.
NASCAR senior vice president of competition Elton Sawyer said officials had looked at the incident, talked about it and would continue to talk with Chastain and Gragson.
The animosity between the two began during the race when Chastain carried Gragson high and into the wall as they exited turn four. Gragson responded by coming back across the track and bumping the right side of Chastain’s Chevrolet to let him know his displeasure. After the race, Chastain said his car became tight as he exited the turn which caused him to carry Gragson into the wall.
Punches thrown between Ross Chastain and Noah Gragson after Kansas! pic.twitter.com/vzojr7Jn7H
— FOX: NASCAR (@NASCARONFOX) May 7, 2023
After the race, the two faced off on pit road. During their discussion, Gragson grabbed Chastain’s uniform near his right shoulder with his left hand. Chastain then held Gragson’s right arm with his left hand. When Gragson shook Chastain, the Florida native threw a punch with his right hand. Two NASCAR security men quickly grabbed the two men and separated them.
Chastain finished fifth and Gragson placed 29th, five laps down.
“When you feel like your day hasn’t gone the way you had hoped it would and someone may have impacted that in a way that you’re not happy, you’re going to show your displeasure,” Sawyer said Tuesday on “The Morning Drive” on SIRIUS/XM NASCAR Radio.
“We’ll continue to have dialogue with those two organizations to make sure we’re in a good place. Noah and Ross both got to a level there that we would have preferred not to have seen. They were both showing their displeasure of what happened, but, again, it’s an emotional sport and from time to time you’re going to have disagreements and you’re going to see that.”
Sawyer said the people officiating the race and crew members from Legacy Motor Club and Trackhouse Racing handled the situation “extremely well” by not getting involved.
“They allowed the drivers to show their displeasure, which is what we would prefer to see,” Sawyer said. “They’ll (security people) let them have their space to be able to talk, but once it rises to a level like it did on Sunday, they’re gonna get involved and break it up. I thought they all handled it very well.”
NASCAR assessed only one penalty following the Kansas race. That was to Austin Cindric’s team for losing a wheel on the track during the event. Crew members Keiston France and Patrick Gray were suspended for the next two races.