Yesterday the NASCAR world was up to its usual antics of the standard 12-hour internet outrage after catching wind of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series star Noah Gragson’s tongue-in-cheek recount of a 2017 wreck at Daytona. Luckily our guy Matt posted the video to our ApexOff Twitter that you can of course watch below thanks to the right click function on my wireless mouse (not to brag).
— Apex Off (@ApexOff) February 14, 2018
To be completely transparent, I didn’t even know about this “news” until about 9pm due to having a whale of a day at my real job. At this point the only piece of the “story” that I had seen was Noah’s tweet that essentially signaled the death of his exuberant personality.
I have learned a lesson with my actions and will no longer joke around and use sarcasm in my interviews.
This would be like saying “Jimmie Johnson tried to wreck everyone in the clash race at Daytona on the last lap”
Obviously I do no intend to harm anyone.
— Noah Gragson (@NoahGragson) February 14, 2018
As weird as it sounds, the second I read and mentally digested this tweet I already knew this was NASCAR Fans being NASCAR Fans. The irony in it is that a good chunk of our fellow NASCAR fans are the same ones saying they’re fans of a certain political candidate because they “TELL IT LIKE IT IS” and “DONT CARE WHAT NOBODY THINKS”.
Noah Gragson has built a really strong brand in a short time around a really foreign concept to the motorsports world being himself. He gives out-of-breath interviews talking about how hard he pushed for positions, speaks his mind on social media, and notably puked his guts out after his first career NASCAR national series win at Martinsville. You can educate yourself on the matter by reading a day’s worth of Noah Gragson’s tweets. Now compare that to a day’s worth of literally any other young driver’s tweets. Would you rather see Noah openly sliding into Lindsey Vonn’s mentions or see some kid talking about how great his sponsor’s product is? I’ll gladly take the former.
Just like clockwork, as soon as I familiarized myself with the situation, Dale Jr. swung in from the rafters of retirement to save the day. Needless to say, this began to restore my faith in NASCAR humanity.
Noah, hope you don’t change. Sport needs all the personality it can handle. It was a brave attempt at humor. 👏🏼 https://t.co/S56VRq3p64
— Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) February 14, 2018
Kenny Wallace’s electric self then chimed in with a perfectly worded tweet to give the 19 year old Gragson some further advice.
This hurts my heart that you are thinking like this. You are a funny muther fucker. Don’t change Bitch. FOR NO ONE. I like you a lot. You are witty and smarter than most. You standout and BE YOU😀✌🏻. https://t.co/QPKH2Kn4mB
— Kenny Wallace (@Kenny_Wallace) February 14, 2018
If there are two guys that have been around the block and know what works and what doesn’t work in the racing world, it’s Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kenny “Herman the German” Wallace. There were plenty of other drivers and media chiming in with their takes, but those two really stuck out to me.
So Noah, please take the advice of these two elder statesmen of modern-day NASCAR and keep being you. Whatever it is that you’ve done to this point has brought me from thinking you were “just next kid in line” to legitimately thinking you’re a genuine wheelman who does what he wants off the track and fights for wins on it. Trust me, it’s a weird feeling thinking that someone 6 years my junior is “cool” but here we are.
Needless to say this whole non-ordeal only added fuel to Noah Gragson’s Dayonta fire. I think the momentum from the end of last season coupled with the fact that he “has something to prove” will carry him to a win Friday night.