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Everything You Need To Know About Noah Gragson’s Suspension From NASCAR

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Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
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One the morning of Saturday, August 5, 2023 the bombshell dropped that Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 42 Chevy for Legacy Motor Club (LMC), had been suspended by the team. This news came as a shock to both fans and those inside the NASCAR industry. It was reported at the time that what dropped Gragson into hot water was a “Like” he made on one of his various social media accounts that contained an insensitive and/or offensive meme.

[Reader’s Note: Offensive Content] This is the meme that has been reported as the catalyst, though the exact post remains unverified.

While initially a timetable for the rookie driver’s return went unstated, NASCAR would follow-up this announcement stating that they are behind LMC’s suspension of Gragson 100% and would go on to suspend him indefinitely as well.

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This announcement has left many fans, drivers, officials, and news personnel scratching their heads. Just what exactly did Noah Gragson do wrong? Well, I’m going to lay out everything we know so far. Let’s get into it.

A Bad Season Ends With Controversy

It’s no secret that the 2023 Cup Series Season of Legacy Motor Club has been less than ideal. The team as a whole has struggled across the board from flagship driver of the No. 43, Erik Jones, to even 7-time Cup Series Champion, soon to be NASCAR Hall of Famer, and partial owner of LMC, Jimmie Johnson, who’s No. 84 Chevy hasn’t finished a single race it has attempted.

But none has struggled more than Noah Gragson in the No. 42 Chevy. To be fair, Ty Dillon’s short stint in that car was abysmal as well. But, without even so much as a penalty on the year, as provided in this Points Report Tweet made by Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass, Noah Gragson currently sits in 33rd place, -104 points behind even 30th place.

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With this lost 2023 year, LMC has already announced the intention to switch from Chevrolet to Toyota starting in the 2024 season with Erik Jones returning to the No. 43 and Jimmie Johnson back next year to make a handful of starts in his No. 84 machine. Left noticeably out of those plans is Noah Gragson, and rumors started to fly that he was being replaced by John Hunter Nemechek. Needless to say, Noah Gragson’s post-2023 career was at a crossroads in the weeks leading up to Michigan.

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Then, the first domino fell when Legacy Motor Club announced Saturday morning that Noah Gragson had been suspended from the team.

Legacy Motor Club’s Initial Statement

Legacy Motor Club shocked the NASCAR world when they tweeted the following statement Saturday morning suspending Noah Gragson:

Short term plans for LMC and the No. 42 car is to have Josh Berry drive it this weekend at Michigan. Long term plans are not announced and have likely not been discussed considering the fact we’re in the middle of the race weekend. Look for more news regarding that on the following Monday or Tuesday.

The key takeaways from LMC’s statement is 1.) Gragson’s suspension has something to do with a code of conduct violation, though it was not stated explicitly what he allegedly did; 2.) No timetable was given for Gragson’s eventual return to the No. 42; and 3.) Josh Berry would serve as the replacement this weekend at Michigan.

Further details would come to light in the next couple of statements.

Noah Gragson’s Statement

Following LMC’s statement, it was time for Noah Gragson and his people to release something of their own. They did so in Twitter, stating:

Key takeaways from this statement is that whatever Noah Gragson’s actions were that led to his eventual suspension from the team, it took place on social media and it is a very severe situation. Without stating exactly what he did, he alludes to the action being insensitive or offensive and he apologizes for those actions appropriately.

You need to understand that at this time, nothing is verified. Allegedly, Noah Gragson liked a tweet or post on one of his various social media accounts which allegedly contained a crude and offensive meme. The details of that are not known to the public at this time and while certain screenshots are floating around the internet, they are unverified. The truth is that nobody knows for certain what happened or what was said. Not at this time, anyway.

NASCAR Pounds The Gavel

So, to recap, what we know at the moment is that allegedly, Noah Gragson liked an insensitive post on one of his social media accounts and this action landed him into hot water. The LMC team was the first to release a statement which didn’t reveal much of anything except that Noah Gragson had been suspended because his alleged actions did not align with the values of LMC and that Josh Berry would be his replacement.

Noah then responded with a statement of his own which seemingly confirmed that it had something to do with social media but the statement was still rather vague save for the bit about him wanting to treat everyone equally, which alludes to the alleged tweet being insensitive in some way. No timetable of Gragson’s suspension was known nor the actual severity of it until NASCAR released a statement of their own.

The Member Conduct provision which NASCAR states that Noah Gragson violated essentially states that no NASCAR member can make hateful comments at the expense of another person on the basis of race, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, or marital status.

It was later confirmed by Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports that Gragson’s suspension has to do with him liking a social media post containing a meme making fun of the death of George Floyd.

In The Stands

Donder (not a rat) urges caution for drivers or, really, anyone who has garnered the attention of the public. Yep, anyone can see your post and like (or dislike) history.

DingerNation claims that it was only dark humor.

KDM argues that all he did was like a meme. He didn’t actively post anything himself. I think there’s a legitimate argument to be had there.

Now, NASCAR fans, THIS is a funny post!

K. Brett Boswell proving GHO$T! (Jarred) right!

BubbaWallace#1 Fan shared this screenshot. Again, we don’t know if it’s the real meme or not.

Skewcar suggests a Matt Kenseth return. Yeah, what the hell! Give him another run in the No. 42. If a proven champion can’t get at least a top-20 or two, this team has bigger problems.

YnoT comments that he saw this coming. Gragson hadn’t been the same since moving up to Cup. I agree, his demeanor has changed. And yes, LMC have been struggling. While those things might have fed fuel to the fire of him potentially being replaced by JHN, it doesn’t have anything to do with this decision by either LMC nor NASCAR.

On Your Screen

Daily Downforce partner and host of Out of The Groove posted a video on this very subject. I have to agree with him, NASCAR drivers (or any public figures, really) have to be more aware of what they’re doing online.

Our buddy, the Iceberg, also commented on this indefinite suspension of Noah Gragson. Check it out.

What do you think, NASCAR fans? I know there isn’t a whole lot we know for certain. But do you feel that this suspension is justified? Also, who would you like to see in that No. 42 car for the rest of the season? Let us know and keep it right here at The Daily Downforce for all your breaking NASCAR news, stories, and discussions.

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Picture of Cody Williams

Cody Williams

Cody Williams is the author of BUNNY BOY and THE FIFTH LINE. He lives near Bristol, TN.
All Posts