NASCAR Cup Series driver Noah Gragson, who was shipped into limbo in August for “liking” a George Floyd meme that depicted Floyd as a crab, has been reinstated.
Gragson was slapped with an indefinite suspension on Aug. 5, according to a NASCAR news release about his reinstatement.
The news release, issued Tuesday, said NASCAR’s grounds for the suspension were Gragson’s “actions on social media.”
The Legacy Motor Club team, for which Gragson had been driving, suspended him indefinitely even before NASCAR punished him.
In the NASCAR news release, an organization representative said, “Noah Gragson has completed diversity and inclusion training with our partners at RISE.”
RISE bills itself as a “national nonprofit that educates and empowers the sports community to eliminate racial discrimination, champion social justice and improve race relations.”
In a statement on his own reinstatement, Gragson said the process had given him time for “growth and reflection” and had made him “a better person.”
“I want to express my sincere gratitude to NASCAR for reinstating me. Over the past several weeks, I have dedicated myself to personal growth and reflection, and I believe I have become a better person because of it,” he wrote on social media. “I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and the NASCAR industry.”
— Noah Gragson (@NoahGragson) September 12, 2023
“I am now more focused and committed than ever to representing my future team in the best way possible. I’m eager to get back behind the wheel and compete at the highest level, giving it my all on and off the track. Thank you to everyone who have been a part of this journey, and I can’t wait to make the most of this second chance,” he wrote.
Gragson made a return to racing at the Toledo Speedway on Saturday, where he finished 11th in the Hearn Industrial Glass City 200, according to unofficial results published Sunday by the auto racing site RacingAmerica.com.
Gragson raced with Rette Jones Racing, which is co-owned by Terry Jones, according to RacingAmerica.
— StacyKay (@StacyKay91) September 16, 2023
According to the auto news site Autoweek.com, “NASCAR tailors its reinstatement programs to each individual and the offense.”
In August, Legacy Motor Club’s No. 42 Chevrolet team cut its ties with Gragson. The 25-year-old had asked to be released.
Legacy announced earlier this month that Xfinity Series driver John Hunter Nemechek will drive in Gragson’s place next season.
Gragson had been number 33 in points when he was suspended.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.