NASCAR’s Noah Gragson, Harrison Burton combat after ‘very long time coming’

SPARTA, Ky. — In two nights, Austin Cindric went from the cusp of successful on ovals to displaying his means to dominate these layouts.

As Cindric threw his fingers within the air after his most spectacular win, Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson threw punches at one another in the one actual battle at Kentucky Speedway.

Cindric dominated Friday night time to comb the NASCAR Xfinity Sequence doubleheader at Kentucky. An evening after racing to his first profession oval victory in an extra time end, the Staff Penske driver was even stronger within the No. 22 Ford Mustang within the 300-mile capper.

Cindric was third within the first stage, gained the second and stretched it out within the last phase. He trailed briefly on the ultimate restart, then sliced by two automobiles out of Flip 2 and rolled to victory by 2.262 seconds over factors chief Chase Briscoe within the No. 98 Ford.

“What we did tonight was actually spectacular as a result of we ran one setup final night time and gained the race and got here with one other setup and gained the race once more,” mentioned Cindric, who began 15th. “That occurs on the store, that occurs with the fellows on the field. All credit score to them.”

Simply after Cindric celebrated his victory with a burnout, Burton and Gragson argued earlier than throwing punches in a combat that lasted a number of moments earlier than they had been separated. Burton had on a masks, whereas Gragson didn’t.

The 2 collided within the last laps, with each automobiles brushing the wall. The frustrations spilled over after the race, first with the drivers arguing nostril to nostril earlier than they shoved one another and began duking it out.

“This has been two instances since we’ve come again from the COVID-19 pandemic on restarts,” mentioned Burton, alluding to earlier clashes with Gragson. “Identical scenario. We rallied all night time to get our Supra into fourth place after which the No. 9 (Gragson) occurs to begin in third and I don’t know if he forgets what race monitor we’re at or what, however each instances places us within the fence — Charlotte and now right here.

“I had lots of people come as much as me and say that was a very long time coming, so I suppose that was the favored transfer. I used to be simply annoyed, and sorry for our staff that that occurred.”

Gragson was seventh, and Burton completed 12th.

NASCAR talked to each drivers however doesn’t anticipate any penalties or suspensions.

“We’re all racing exhausting,” Gragson mentioned. “I actually don’t have a remark, haven’t seen all the pieces that occurred.”

Justin Haley was third, adopted by fellow Chevy drivers Ross Chastain and Justin Allgaier, who was cleared to race earlier within the day after being taken to a hospital following Thursday night time’s race for a non-racing associated medical functions.

The 21-year-old Cindric, son of Staff Penske president Tim Cindric, gained twice final 12 months on street programs at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio. On Friday night time, he led the ultimate 43 laps and 130 of 200 general.

“He (Cindric) was in a league of his personal,” Briscoe mentioned. “It looks as if Penske has all the time been actually good right here.”

Gragson once more confirmed early power in taking the 45-lap first stage, his third phase win in two nights on the 1.5-mile oval. The race belonged to Cindric after that and the query was who would end behind him.

The ultimate restart on lap 188 supplied some hope for Briscoe earlier than Cindric rapidly took it away by darting down the banking and between two automobiles and placing it out of attain.

It was very like the night time earlier than, simply sooner and extra thorough.

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