Noah Gragson is not about ruining teammates for victories, but he won’t miss a chance to win without a fight.
Gragson was in second place alongside JR Motorsports teammate Justin Allgaier and started seven laps in the planned distance of the NASCAR Xfinity Series race on Monday evening at Bristol Motor Speedway. Allgaier took the lead slightly ahead of Gragson with dwindling laps, but a small Allgaier slip allowed Gragson to face one final challenge.
At that moment, the action condensed as Gragson drove into the bottom lane to push past Allgaier. The couple raced half a lap side by side before Gragsons No. 9 Chevrolet broke off in Turn 1 and slid up to contact Allgaiers No. 7 Chevrolet. Allgaier climbed the 36-degree bench, hit the outer wall, slid down again, and turned hard into the inner fence on the back straight.
<p class = "Artboard-Atom Artboard-Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "RELATED: Official Race Results“data-reactid =” 40 “>RELATED: Official Race Results
From Gragson’s perspective, it was an opportunity he couldn’t miss despite the risk of annoying someone else.
“(Allgaier) slipped in 1 and 2 when I ran him down and that allowed me to get inside him,” said Gragson. “I would not have come to him if he had not slipped. I went into him, I went in 1 and 2 and I just loosened up under him.
“I make no excuses. I take responsibility. I apologize for the 7-car, but I’m here to win races for team # 9 and they went out of their way to drive around and finish second . “
<p class = "Artboard-Atom Artboard-Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "RELATED: Noah Gragson apologizes to Justin Allgaier, team # 7“data-reactid =” 44 “>RELATED: Noah Gragson apologizes to Justin Allgaier, team # 7
While Gragson held on to his second triumph in the 2020 season after a restart in extra time, Allgaier was unable to finish the race, despite leading a race high with 156 laps in 18th place. The seasoned JRM driver admitted his mistake, but it didn’t change the fact that he had left the 0.533-mile route in Tennessee in frustration.
“The team did a great job getting us the position we needed,” Allgaier told PRN after the incident. “I’m angry with myself for making a mistake and getting off the ground, but yes, we were destroyed.”
Gragson passed Allgaier after his victory celebration.
“I saw him and he said he would talk to me later,” said Gragson. “We are a family at JR Motorsports and it is not my goal to tear racing cars apart, but I had the opportunity. The opportunity is there. The opportunity can be missed and I want to use it damn well.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. I take full responsibility for letting go of him, that’s a fact. One thing you can’t say is that I’m not aggressive and don’t try I’m sure he probably owes me one, but you don’t slip up the lap before and I don’t come to you and you go to victory. Don’t break it, I think. “
While Gragson showed some remorse for ending his teammate’s night prematurely, he didn’t step back from his stance to let everything go by the wayside, noting that if he didn’t, he wouldn’t be able to look his crewmates in the eye . ‘t make the aggressive effort.
“I have a lot of respect for Justin and Team No. 7,” said Gragson. “We are all at the limit and I don’t know if it is a mistake or something, but unfortunately it ended badly for him, but still an enormous respect for him. He will probably compete against me differently, but time will show, so everyone should keep watching.
“I don’t like ruining people. I don’t like ruining teammates, that’s not how I drive. I’m an aggressive racer, and when you fight for victories it happens (explicitly).… I leave everything behind and it is what it is. “