Austin Cindric secured the victory during the Alsco 300 on Friday night — his second of the season — but he became less of a story than two of his fellow drivers. Noah Gragson and Harrison Burton collided on the track and then later argued about the incident after the race ended. The confrontation escalated into a fistfight and capped off a wild night.
The incident started on the track when the two drivers went around a corner side-by-side. Gragson's No. 9 Chevrolet sideswiped Burton's No. 20 Toyota and sent it into the fence. This situation led to an argument in which the drivers put their hands on each other, and Burton pushed his peer twice. Gragson responded by punching Burton in the face. The two drivers continued fighting before pit crew members, and NASCAR officials separated them.
Friday Night NASCAR Fights at Kentucky! Noah Gragson vs. Harrison Burton.pic.twitter.com/imU4cC4Xp4— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) July 11, 2020
Cup Series veterans Clint Bowyer and Kurt Busch joined Adam Alexander on the FS1 broadcast team on Friday night, and they provided the driver's outlook on the incident. They both called the fight evidence of "the passion" in the competitors while Bowyer said that this is simply a "conversation" between two drivers. Busch said that he expects some consequences for the drivers based on his personal experience.
According to FOX Sports' Bob Pockrass, NASCAR typically won't fine drivers for any post-race fights. However, he did say that the violation of social distancing guidelines could put a different twist on the situation. However, Pockrass continued and explained that any crew members that got involved on Friday night could potentially face suspensions for their actions.
"Just frustrated," Burton told reporter Jamie Little after the incident. "That's two times since we came back from the COVID-19 pandemic on restart. Same situation, rallied all night to get our Dex Imaging Supra into fourth place, and then the [No.] 9 happens to start in third and — I don't know — forgets what race track we are at or what. Both times puts us into the fence [at] Charlotte and now here."
Gragson also spoke to Little but didn't provide any further details about the confrontation. He mentioned winning Stage 1 before earning a suspension for speeding on pit road. Gragson called the day unfortunate for his team at JR Motorsports but didn't have a comment about his history with Burton and the Supra.
Gragson currently sits second in the drivers' standings after winning two races and finishing in the top five eight separate times. Burton, on the other hand, sits in sixth. He has also won two races while adding seven top-five finishes to his season stats.