NASCAR Cup Series driver Noah Gragson has had a no good, very bad rookie season.
Gragson is in his first season with Jimmie Johnson’s Legacy Motor Club after success stints in both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series.
And while expectations weren’t exceeding high for the Las Vegas native, he’s somehow fallen far, far short of them.
Through 21 races this season, Gragson’s best finish is 12th at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March. It’s his only top-20 finish of the year and he currently sits 33rd in the NASCAR Cup Series standing.
Additionally, Gragson has failed to finish six of his 21 reasons for one reason or another, and he has just four finishes on the lead lap. By comparison, teammate Erik Jones has four top-10 finishes and 13 finishes on the lead lap. Jones has failed to finish just two races this season.
But that’s just the start of Gragson’s misery.
He missed a race at Sonoma this season after a crash that left him with a concussion. He also got punched in the face by fellow driver Ross Chastain after instigating a fight.
With 14 races left yet in the 2023 season, there was hope that Gragson could turn things around to close the year.
Now it appears that hope is gone.
Legacy Motor Club suspended Gragson on Saturday after he was found to have liked an Instagram post mocking the murder of George Floyd.
Floyd, a black man, was killed by police officer Derek Chauvin after an arrest. Chauvin was later sentenced to over 20 years in prison.
The Instagram post in question mocked Floyd’s death.
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.”
He will be replaced by Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry, who will drive full-time in the Cup Series next season for Stewart-Haas Racing.
It’s unclear how long Gragson is suspended.
But with the immense struggles on track and now an off-track controversy, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him out of the series for the foreseeable future.