NASCAR: Noah Gragson slams Monday morning QBs, couch racers

Noah Gragson, JR Motorsports, NASCAR, Xfinity Series (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Noah Gragson, JR Motorsports, NASCAR, Xfinity Series (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Noah Gragson explained why he was racing the way he was racing in the closing laps of Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Noah Gragson saw yet another win slip right out of his hands at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the track.

Leading by a huge margin over Our Motorsports’ Tyler Reddick with just over two laps remaining, Gragson approached the 12th place car and the final car on the lead lap, the #13 MBM Motorsports Toyota of David Starr.

As Gragson made his way into turn three of the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) oval in Homestead, Florida, Starr’s #13 Toyota experienced a right front tire issue, which led to his car shooting up the race track and into the barrier.

Gragson was unable to avoid the accident, and his #9 Chevrolet slammed into the back of the #13 Toyota.

So for the third straight Homestead-Miami Speedway race in a row, all since last June, a victory had escaped the 22-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native, who is still seeking his first win since winning at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks prior to last year’s Homestead doubleheader disappointment.

Many were quick to criticize Gragson’s driving after the incident, especially after the way he responded during his post-race interview on live television.

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Here’s what he had to say.

"“What are you gonna do – you’ve got dipshits in the way, every single week.”"

Anybody could have been in either driver’s position, and the same thing would have happened. It was one of those racing deals where somebody was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and mayhem occurred for somebody else.

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Still, fans criticized Gragson for riding the high line that late in the race with that huge of a lead and for not backing off the throttle, considering the fact that he practically had the win in hand.

They maintain that he would have been able to react in time to avoid the wreck if not for how he was driving.

As it turns out, Gragson knows a bit more about what he was doing and why he was doing it than just about anybody who has criticized him.

He was, in fact, running at only 50% throttle in the closing laps, and the reason he was still running the high line had nothing to do with wanting build a bigger gap.

In his case, he was effectively racing not to lose, which is, ironically, exactly what he is being criticized for not doing.

But unfortunately for him, he was the driver who still ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Gragson explained the reasoning for why he was racing the way he was in the race’s closing laps on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Tuesday, referring to those who still feel the need to attack him over his decision as “Monday morning quarterbacks” and “couch racers”.

"“The reason why I ran up against the wall is because the car has yaw in it. The right rear of the car is closer to the wall than the right front, and the air traveling the right side of the nose, down the right side of the body, all that air has to go somewhere. … It pushes up in between the right rear of the car and the wall, and that allows for more stability. … All that air, it really secures the car up and adds stability to the car and side force. When you run up there, it’s a lot more efficient, a lot quicker.“And saving fuel – when you go to the bottom, you almost have to park the car. When you’re running against the wall, you can keep your momentum up. It’s like going to a stop light and hauling [butt] up to a red light and then stopping when you have to go again and re-accelerate from a lower minimum speed. It’s just wasting more fuel. You have to be in the throttle longer.“So there’s a couple different reasons why I was running up there. It’s always easy to be the Monday morning quarterback or the couch racer.”"

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Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Gragson’s home track, is scheduled to host the next race on the schedule, the Alsco Uniforms 300, this Saturday, March 6. Fox Sports 1 is set to broadcast the race live beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET.