Noah Gragson’s rookie season in the NASCAR Cup Series is over after just 21 races.
Gragson entered the series as one of the sport’s top prospects, but struggled in his debut season with Legacy Motor Club.
Those struggles leaked off the track recently when it was discovered that Gragson engaged in racially insensitive (at best) social media behavior on his Instagram page.
Legacy Motor Club, which is co-owned by seven-time series champion Jimmie Johnson, suspended Gragson on Saturday after he was found to have liked an Instagram post mocking the murder of George Floyd. NASCAR shortly followed suit.
Floyd, a black man, was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin after an arrest. Chauvin was later sentenced to over 20 years in prison.
In 2020, Johnson helped arrange a video by NASCAR drivers addressing racially inequality around the sport and the country.
Gragson issued the following apology on Twitter:
“I am disappointed in myself for my lack of attention and actions on social media. I understand the severity of this situation. I love and appreciate everyone. I try to treat everyone equally no matter who they are. I messed up plain and simple.”
On Tuesday, Jordan Bianchi of the Athletic reported that Legacy Motor Club had parted ways with the embattled driver.
Bianchi also reported that the team had previously considered moving on from Gragson following the season.
“Even before Gragson’s suspension, Legacy was seriously contemplating replacing Gragson for next season amid his struggles in what is his first full season at the Cup level,” he wrote. “Last week, The Athletic reported that John Hunter Nemechek was the leading candidate to replace Gragson in 2024. With Gragson unlikely to return to Legacy due to performance reasons, combined with his subsequent suspension, it made little sense for the team to have him return to finish out his rookie season.”
Gragson is 25 years old and could yet make a return to the series in the future. But for now, it appears he’s persona non grata for Cup Series teams.