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NASCAR Releases Statement On Controversial Penalty Decision

Noah Gragson of the Xfinity Series drives on Saturday during the race.

CONCORD, NORTH CAROLINA - MAY 28: Noah Gragson, driver of the #9 Bass Pro Shops/TrueTimber/BRCC Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Xfinity Series Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 28, 2022 in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

NASCAR announced discipline for Noah Gragson following Saturday's multi-car crash at Road America.

On Wednesday, NASCAR decided to dock Gragson 30 points and fine him $35,000 for deliberately slamming his car into Sage Karam at the Xfinity Series race.

Per Bob Pockrass of FOX Sports, NASCAR issued a statement explaining why they didn't penalize Gragson for causing the wreck during the race.

"Every situation is unique, but in this case, there was significant enough concerns that due to the aggressive nature of that race (beating and banging) and the potential for mechanical failures, we wanted to discuss with Noah and look at the race car to ensure there was nothing mechanical that may have led to the incident," the statement read. "Obviously, nothing was wrong with the car, and it was clear it was intentional."

NASCAR "felt that more information was needed" before penalizing him on the spot.

Not everyone agreed with the patient approach. In an interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, via FOX Sports, Dale Earnhardt Jr. said he would have taken swifter action against Gragson following a dangerous scene that left him "completely shocked."

"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," Earnhardt said. "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."

Gragson remains fourth in the Xfinity Series standings despite the 30-point deduction, but his lead over Josh Berry dwindles to just five points.