Noah Gragson reinstated by NASCAR following suspension

NASCAR announced Tuesday that it had reinstated driver Noah Gragson after his completion of a sensitivity training program.

Gragson was suspended indefinitely Aug. 5, a suspension that lasted a little more than five weeks after Gragson liked a racially insensitive social media post on the death of George Floyd. 

The reinstatement process includes completing a program conducted by RISE, the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality. 

“I want to express my sincere gratitude to NASCAR for reinstating me,” Gragson said in a statement. “Over the past several weeks, I have dedicated myself to personal growth and reflection, and I believe I have become a better person because of it.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and the NASCAR industry.”

Five days after his suspension by Legacy Motor Club and NASCAR, the 25-year-old Gragson and Legacy agreed to his release from the Cup team. He had struggled in his rookie Cup season and his job status was already in question as he was 33rd in the driver standings before his suspension. The team has used a handful of drivers in the No. 42 Cup car and already has named John Hunter Nemechek to take over the car in 2024.

Gragson will compete Saturday in a non-NASCAR race, an ASA Stars National Tour super late model event at Toledo (Ohio) Speedway. He could have run that race whether or not he was reinstated by NASCAR.

Any NASCAR plans for Gragson are still to be determined.

“I am now more focused and committed than ever to representing my future team in the best way possible,” Gragson said. “I’m eager to get back behind the wheel and compete at the highest level, giving it my all on and off the track.

“Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey, and I can’t wait to make the most of this second chance.”

Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.

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