SPARTA, Ky. – It started on the track between Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton and finished in the garage area Friday at Kentucky Speedway.
Gragson and Burton came to blows in the garage area Friday at Kentucky Speedway after contact between the two late in the Alsco 300 sent both men up the track and out of contention for a top-five finish.
The pair were battling for third place following a restart with 13 laps left when Gragson, who was on the bottom, drifted up and made contact with Burton’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. Both cars went up the track and bounced off the wall, which dropped both competitors down the running order.
Gragson was able to recover to finish seventh while Burton crossed the finish line in 12th.
After the race Gragson and Burton met in the garage area and appeared to discuss the incident. Burton appeared to shove Gragson once, then a second time. After the second shove Gragson retaliated with a punch and the two men fell to the ground as the scuffle continued.
Friday Night NASCAR Fights at Kentucky! Noah Gragson vs. Harrison Burton.pic.twitter.com/imU4cC4Xp4
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 11, 2020
The two were quickly separated by crew members from their respective teams and NASCAR officials. Burton said Friday’s incident was the second time in recent months that Gragson has put him in the wall during a restart.
“Just frustrated. That’s two times since we came back after the COVID-19 pandemic on restarts. Same situation,” Burton said during his post-race FOX Sports interview. “We rallied all night to get our DEX Imaging Supra into fourth place and then the 9 (Gragson) happens to start in third and I don’t know…forgets what race track we’re at or what. 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,” Burton said. “But honestly it’s about these guys that work so hard on this race car and give me fast race cars and gave us 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 could’ve been, to get taken out like that was frustrating. I was just frustrated. I’m just sorry for our race team that that happened.”
Gragson chose not to discuss the incident and ensuing fight in depth when asked about it post-race.
“We’re all racing hard,” Gragson said. “Us teammates (Gragson and Michael Annett) were beating and banging for finishes at the end and what not. I don’t really have a comment, I haven’t really seen everything that happened. Just thankful for this opportunity. Everybody at JR Motorsports is working really hard and we’ll go rebound at Texas.”