By David Morgan, Associate Editor
After the checkered flag flew following Friday night’s Alsco 300 at Kentucky Speedway, Harrison Burton was determined to give Noah Gragson a piece of his mind. Social distancing be damned.
The two drivers were duking it out in the closing laps of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, both looking to bring home a top-10 finish for their teams when Gragson washed up the track in Turn 4, sending them both sliding into the wall and losing a ton of track position in the process.
While Gragson was able to recover for a seventh-place finish, Burton finished the night in 12th place, leading to his frustration with the JR Motorsports driver.
Burton walked over to Gragson’s car, where the two exchanged words before a couple of shoves led to punches being thrown and crew members piling on in the process, eventually pulling the two apart.
“Just frustrated,” Burton said in the aftermath. “This has been two times since we’ve come back from the COVID-19 pandemic on restarts. Same situation. We rallied all night to get our DEX Imaging Supra into fourth place and then the 9 (Noah 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 coming up to me afterwards saying that was a long time coming so I guess that was a popular move. Honestly, it’s about these guys that work so hard on this race car and give me fast race cars. They gave me a race car that was capable of winning both nights I think.
“Just mistakes made by me and we kind of tuned it out this race that took us out of contention. Once we finally got to where I thought we could have been, get taken out and that was frustrating. Just frustrated and just sorry for our race team that happened.”
When asked about his side of the story, Gragson just chalked it all up to hard racing and having to battle back from some early race setbacks to be in position for a decent finish before he and Burton tangled.
“I was battling with our Switch Camaro all race, sped on pit road there early and got us in a hole and was just back in traffic,” Gragson said. “This track is so much about just track position and restarts. I don’t know. Unfortunate day for our Switch team at JR Motorsports. We’ll go on to Texas and rebound.
“We’re all racing hard. Us teammates are beating and banging for finishes at the end and what not. I don’t really have a comment. I haven’t seen everything that happened. Just thankful for this opportunity. Everybody at JR Motorsports is working really hard.”