You don't see the names Gray Gaulding and Joe Graf Jr. pop up all that often in the NASCAR news cycle, but the Xfinity Series drivers made headlines in 2021 after they got into a fight at the Martinsville Speedway race in April. The feuding racers needed to be physically separated from each other by NASCAR officials after they started scrapping on the ground like a couple of cage fighters.
The tussle in the garage area all started following an incident on lap 176, when Gaulding, who was running behind Graf, made contact with his car, sending it into the car of Blaine Perkins and causing both to crash. Hey, that's short track racing for you.
Short. Track. Racing. ?@graygaulding and @Joegrafjr had a dust-up in the garage after the conclusion of the race. pic.twitter.com/pgznqwWeZ1
— NASCAR Xfinity (@NASCAR_Xfinity) April 11, 2021
During an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Gaulding admitted to causing the wreck and showed absolutely zero remorse for his actions.
"Oh yeah, I 100% wrecked him, and I'd do it again all over again," Gaulding said. "I might have to do it again when we get back to Talladega. He's just a moving chicane every week. Just like today, I'm not trying to throw any shots because talking about him is pointless because the poor kid can't get out of his way.
"I think for me, it's just like early in the race, we get the green. He starts behind me. We're just trying to settle in and on a restart he absolutely bulldozes through me, puts me up three lanes and I lost like 15 spots. It's funny how he forgets that. His memory ain't all there, I guess."
In his own appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Graf added, "There with about 75 laps to go, Gray just wrecked us and (Perkins), drove us off into the corner and flat out-wrecked us, ending our day. I went to have words with him afterward and then he mouthed off to me and there were some punches thrown. I landed a couple."
"The garage is just loaded with drivers who pretend they're tough, but they're going to find out how tough they are if they race me like that and then run their mouth at me. Just ask Gray how he's doing now. I'm sure he needs some ice packs."
As far as what actually led to the drivers fighting throwing down, Gaulding, who finished 21st, had this to say:
"I was just walking back to the hauler and (Graf) starts cussing me out," Gaulding said. "I literally started laughing. I think that's what made him upset. I was laughing because he's very awkward, and I didn't know if he was serious or not.
"When we were done talking, he started swinging. What's kind of funny to me is like if we want to scrap and you want to fight, let's go right now. You give me the look, we'll go. I thought we were leaving the conversation. All of a sudden, he glazed my head, which I was not phased by that at all. So, I tackled him and we went on the ground. Obviously all the officials did their work.
"It's really funny ... I have to say to the poor kid, he's got a lot to learn. When you drive the way he's currently driving, he's going to get wrecked. I'm very, very happy that I was the one to wreck him today."
Graf, who placed 38th, added, "I went up to him. I was still pretty upset. I asked him why he wrecked us. He tried to say he was just paying us back for earlier in the race. I don't recall any time earlier in the race where I drove him like that or wrecked him like that. I just wasn't having it. He tried to blame it on me. That was definitely not my fault."
Needless to say, these are two guys who probably won't be sharing a beer anytime soon.
MORE: Joey Logano's Crew Member Threw Denny Hamlin to the Ground During This Heated Martinsville Fight
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