CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Photo Credit: Outsider.com — NASCAR Cup Series rookie Noah “Bowl Cut Bandit” Gragson decided he’d had enough of “Melon Man” Ross Chastain after Chastain made contact with him for the second straight race at Kansas Speedway on Sunday. When the race was over, the 24-year-old Legacy Motor Club racer confronted Chastain, grabbed him, and got a slackjaw stunner for his trouble.
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The incident has been the talk of the NASCAR universe since then. Gragson said afterwards that Chastain wrecked him at Talladega and then fenced him at Kansas and that he was “sick of it”, suggesting that no other driver seemed to want to go confront him, so he decided to be the one.
Chastain brushed off the incident, admitting that he “definitely crowded him up off of 4, and he took a swipe at us in 3, and then he came down and grabbed a hold of me. A very big man once told me we have a no-push policy here at Trackhouse.”
In true troll-like fashion, Chastain later tweeted “Finally, a drama free day at Kansas Speedway” on his Twitter account.
Nothing like a strong dose of NASCAR drama going into a three-week stretch that includes the 75th Anniversary throwback weekend at Darlington, an expanded All-Star Race on the half-mile at North Wilkesboro and the longest race on the schedule, The Coke 600 at Charlotte.
Denny Hamlin cracked me up on his Actions Detrimental podcast with his commentary about Chastain’s mindset during the confrontation, implying that he was definitely using his melon while trying to talk to Gragson, because he was smart enough to grab Gragson’s right wrist with his left hand while Gragson had his left hand full of Ross’s suit, thus preventing Gragson from planting the first fist.
He also commented on how Chastain told Gragson to stop twice before he swung, but I believe that the folically-challenged rookie was seeding with rage by that point and appeared to be ready to rumble.
The fight was clipped by NASCAR security and others before Gragson could return the favor, so he was left with a sore jaw and a one-round TKO loss.
My favorite part of the whole Twitter drama was Fox Sports NASCAR guru Bob Pockrass actually spending quality time debating whether they should have let the fight continue.
Sure, Bob. Let ’em beat each other into submission – maybe Josh Berry can relief drive for them next week, too!
I think NASCAR needs to not waste this opportunity. They should hire a “Mean Gene” Okerlund style interviewer to show up in these moments and record some hilarious promos.
We need Chastain to call Gragson’s bravado a “cup of coffee in the big time” in true Randy Savage fashion while holding a Black Rifle Coffee cup.
Or how about Gragson showing up at Darlington with a good old fashioned Sledge-O-Matic in a true nod to the infamous Comic Gallagher and doing a meet and greet at the souvenir trailer complete with protective gear for his fans for the big ol’ messy finale’?
For extra humor, he could put a bunch of folks in Chastain shirts in the front row!
Maybe NASCAR could do a poll and solicit ideas for the two to entertain the crowd during intermission at the All-Star Race.
Here’s one… the pair could don some oversized boxing gloves at the finish line and go three rounds with Denny Hamlin as the guest referee.
Now that would be one hot night at North Wilkesboro.
Carry on, my wayward sons. Let’s not let this great opportunity become dust in the wind.