Driver Noah Gragson of Las Vegas requested his release from his contract with Legacy Motor Club, less than a week after receiving a suspension from NASCAR due to liking an insensitive meme with a photo of George Floyd’s face.
“I have asked Legacy Motor Club to release me from my contract so I can take time to work through the NASCAR reinstatement process,” Gragson said in a statement released by LMC through its X account, which was formerly known as Twitter.
— LEGACY MOTOR CLUB (@LegacyMotorclub) August 10, 2023
“I love racing, and I am looking forward to a second chance to compete for wins at the highest level of NASCAR — and most importantly, make my family, my team and the fans proud of me once again.”
It was one year ago when Gragson was named as the new driver of the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro, replacing Ty Dillon on the race team then known as Petty GMS.
“Noah has a ton of talent and has a great personality,” Cal Wells III, CEO of Legacy Motor Club, said in a tweet. “This is a difficult situation, but we are proud that Noah has taken ownership of his actions and are confident he will work through this process with NASCAR and come back stronger.”
Floyd, who was Black, died in 2020 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for 9½ minutes. His death sparked mass protests around the world and forced a national reckoning on racial injustice.
NASCAR said when announcing the suspension that Gragson violated the member conduct of its rule book, without providing details.
Josh Berry had replaced Gragson in last week’s race at Michigan International Speedway, finishing 34th. Mike Rockenfeller has been announced as the driver of the No. 42 for the next two races at Indianapolis and Watkins Glen.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.