NASCAR: Kyle Busch talks Noah Gragson’s ‘slippery slope’

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

Kyle Busch offered advice to Noah Gragson after two recent NASCAR Xfinity Series incidents have put him in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

Noah Gragson has been in the headlines frequently throughout the first month or so of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, but it hasn’t been for winning races or for his on-track performance. Two key incidents stand out.

He was dominating the race at Homestead-Miami Speedway when a car he was about to put a lap down with just over two laps to go slid up the track and into the wall as a result of a tire issue.

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With nowhere to go, Gragson slammed into the back of that car, ruining his race and costing himself the win. That led to him making his controversial comment about “dip—–” being “in the way” every week.

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That remark prompted an even bigger discussion about respect in racing when it comes to the work put in off the track, but the controversy surrounding the 22-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native didn’t stop there.

At Atlanta Motor Speedway this past weekend, Gragson was involved in a fight with Daniel Hemric after the race due to an incident that had happened between the two drivers in the pits.

It’s not the first fight in which Gragson has been involved.

Last season, he brawled with Harrison Burton after one of the races at Kentucky Speedway.

Gragson used to compete for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series, and Kyle Busch himself has generated some serious attention for some of his off-track actions and remarks throughout his illustrious career.

Busch offered Gragson some advice following his clash with Hemric this past weekend.

"“It’s a slippery slope. You certainly want to be careful. There are ways you can climb your way to the top of that mountain, but if you slip too big, you’re going to avalanche down. So just be careful in the ways that you do it and what you do.“But I don’t think he’s done anything wrong, per se, it’s just a matter of building that persona and how much of that persona do you build. The biggest thing for me, if I were giving advice to Noah, is you need to put a little bit more focus on you, yourself, your team and less on everybody else, and go out there and win races.“Look, he was super fast at Homestead. Highly impressive what he was doing there, and he should have won that race, but ultimately it didn’t happen.“And look, there are hundreds of YouTube videos out there of Kyle Busch after a race in which he dominated and didn’t win where he’s pissed off afterwards, so I’m guilty of it too. But it’s just a racing incident, it’s stuff that happens. I’ve grown to understand a little bit more of that as I’ve gotten older so I’m sure he will too.”"

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Through the first six races of the 2021 Xfinity Series season, Gragson sits in 14th place in the point standings with two top five finishes, including a fifth place finish at his home track of Las Vegas Motor Speedway and a fourth place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway prior to his fight with Hemric.