Noah Gragson Released By Legacy Motor Club After Liking George Floyd Meme On Instagram

Noah Gragson
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It’s officially official.

Earlier this week, reports arose that Noah Gragson and his NASCAR Cup Series team, Legacy Motor Club, were parting ways after Gragson was suspended over the weekend for liking a meme of George Floyd on Instagram.

The team initially announced that Gragson was suspended on Saturday morning:

“We have made the decision to suspend Noah Gragson effective immediately regarding his actions that do not represent the values of our team. Josh Berry will drive the No. 42 entry for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan.”

And that was quickly followed up by NASCAR issuing their own suspension to the rookie driver:

“NASCAR fully supports Legacy Motor Club’s decision to suspend Noah Gragson. Following his actions on social media, NASCAR has determined that Gragson has violated the Member Conduct section of the 2023 NASCAR Rule Book and has placed him under indefinite suspension.”

Gragson issued a statement apologizing for his actions, saying that he was disappointed in himself for his “lack of attention and actions on social media.”

And earlier this week, a report by The Athletic said that Legacy Motor Club had parted ways with Gragson for good, with the team expected to announce the news later that day.

However, Legacy Motor Club responded shortly after the report in The Athletic and said that they had NOT fired Gragson:

The team did, however, announce that Gragson will be replaced by road course racer Mike Rockenfeller for the next two races, at the Indianapolis Road Course and Watkins Glen, meaning Gragson would be out of the car for at least two more races.

But now, it sounds like Gragson and Legacy Motor Club have officially decided to go their separate ways.

The team announced this morning that Gragson “requested to be released from his contract.” In a statement attributed to Noah in the announcement, the driver says:

“I have asked LEGACY MOTOR CLUB to release me from my contract so that I can take time to work through the NASCAR reinstatement process. I love racing, and I am looking forward to a second chance to compete for wins at the highest level of NASCAR – and most importantly, make my family, my team and the fans proud of me once again.”

Of course this move isn’t unexpected. Even before the latest controversy, rumors were swirling that Gragson would be out of a ride at the end of the 2023 season.

Gragson was on a one-year contract with Legacy Motor Club, which would expire at the end of the 2023 season unless they were able to reach an agreement to keep him in the car for the future. And many suspected even before this latest incident that the team was planning on moving on from Gragson in favor of bringing up Xfinity Series driver John Hunter Nemechek at the end of the season anyway.

Gragson is having a tough rookie season in the Cup Series, his first in the #42 car for a Legacy Motor Club team co-owned by seven-time champions Jimmie Johnson and Richard Petty.

After moving to NASCAR’s top series as one of the most promising young drivers in the sport, Gragson has zero top 10 finishes this season and an average finishing position of 28th.

The team has struggled in its first year under Johnson’s ownership, but plans to make the switch from Chevrolet to Toyota next season. It’s thought that Toyota prefers to have Nemechek, a current Toyota driver, in their Cup car, and that Gragson’s performance so far hadn’t done anything to secure his ride.

So while his exit from the team may have been accelerated by his suspension, if I had to guess, it was probably going to happen either way.

Tough break for Noah, but he’s still young and has a ton of talent, so I’m sure it won’t be the last time we see him in a Cup Series ride.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock