Skip to main content

Look: Kelley Earnhardt Reacts To Significant NASCAR Penalty

Kelley Earnhardt hugs her brother, Dale Earnhardt Jr., on the track at a NASCAR event.

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 19: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 AXALTA Chevrolet, hugs his sister Kelley Earnhardt Miller prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Championship Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 19, 2017 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

During the NASCAR Xfinity Series race this past Sunday at Road America, Noah Gragson's No. 9 car made contact with Sage Karam's No. 45 car. That collision ultimately led to a massive pileup. 

On Wednesday, NASCAR penalized Gragson for his role in this crash. 

Gragson was docked 30 points and fined $35,000 by NASCAR for intentionally crashing into Karam. 

Kelley Earnhardt Miller, who co-owns JR Motorsports, released a statement on NASCAR's decision. She ultimately understands why Gragson was penalized so harshly.  

"We understand today's penalty," Earnhardt said. "Noah is a passionate racecar driver, and his actions occurred in the heat of the moment. Learning how and when to keep emotions in check is all part of the learning experiences."

Dale Earnhardt Jr. also commented on Gragson's crash while on SiriusXM Radio. He was surprised NASCAR didn't immediately discipline the 23-year-old driver. 

"I was shocked, to be honest with you, when I saw Noah make that decision," Earnhardt said, via ESPN. "I was just completely shocked and in a bit of a disbelief not only that he made that choice but that he, you know, that it created such an accident and got so many other guys involved. That was tough to watch, really tough.

"I think that NASCAR doesn't want to over-officiate the races, but I think in some situations there's some things that do cross over a line. And I felt like that was definitely one of those situations where had I been in the booth directing the race, I think I would've had to bring Noah to pit road and hold him there for a while."

Despite his role in Saturday's crash, Gragson finished the race in eighth place.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will return this Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.