Road America wreck cost three Xfinity teams nearly $250,000 combined

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HAMPTON, Ga. — The cost three Xfinity teams incurred in a crash triggered by Noah Gragson intentionally wrecking Sage Karam last weekend at Road America totals about $250,000, team executives told NBC Sports on Friday.

The figure is for damage suffered to the cars of Brandon Brown, Myatt Snider and Kaulig Racing teammates Landon Cassill and Daniel Hemric.

Their cars were among the 13 damaged in the incident between Gragson and Karam. NASCAR docked Gragson 30 points and fined him $35,000 for his actions. Both drivers are expected to meet Saturday with NASCAR before qualifying at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Gragson turned Karam in response to Karam’s car hitting him earlier. The contact sent both cars off course, kicking up dust that blinded drivers behind them. Cars then slammed into each other.

Brown’s car was a total loss, crew chief Doug Randolph told NBC Sports. He estimated the cost to the team topped $100,000.

Randolph said the front clip, center section, rear clip and engine were all damaged beyond repair. He said the contact drove the right front suspension into the engine.

“It puts us in a tough situation knowing that there’s three road course (races) left and not a lot of time,” Randolph said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “How aggressive we can be the next couple of races depends on how quickly we can get new cars built and patched up and repaired.”

The next road course race for the Xfinity Series is July 30 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Adding to the challenge for Brown’s team and other small teams is that the Xfinity Series has five more races, including Saturday’s event at 5 p.m. ET on USA Network, before the next weekend off.

“There’s not really chances to sit back and focus on fixing a road course car,” Randolph said.

Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing, estimated the damage to the cars of Cassill and Hermric was about $100,000. Rice said the major damage to Cassil’s car was the front and rear clip. He said the front clip for Hemric’s car needs to be repaired.

“Our wreck budget is blown this year because we’ve wrecked so much,” Rice told NBC Sports. “You don’t look at a road course (race) and say you’re going to lose 100 grand. You just don’t. … That was a tough one.”

What also is tough is that Gragson is driving for Kaulig Racing’s No. 16 Cup team this weekend. Rice said Gragson went through the Xfinity shop Wednesday and apologized to each employee.

“I do believe that Noah will learn a valuable lesson from this,” Rice said.

The incident comes as Kaulig Racing decides what to do with its No. 16 Cup car next year, Gragson is among the options — either sharing the ride again like this year or running the car full-time.

“It doesn’t change our conversations we’re having,” Rice said. “What it changes is our partners. How do they view it? What do they look at it?

“I don’t think you sit there and go you ain’t got a chance to drive it. You understand the driver more and you understand where they’re at and how they think and you got to get ahead of it.”

Another car that suffered significant damage in last weekend’s crash was Snider’s car. Car owner Jordan Anderson estimated the damage to the car topped $50,000. He said the damage included the front clip, radiator and body panels.

What was tough for the team is that the car was the same one Snider drove to a runner-up finish at the Portland road course last month.

The team, knowing how valuable that car is, came into the shop to work on it the day after the race and on July 4, a day they were scheduled to have off. They had the car ready for Richard Childress Racing to repair on Tuesday.

“That was really cool of my guys,” Anderson told NBC Sports. “I didn’t ask them to do it. They actually volunteered. … We want to take this car to Indy.”

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Road America wreck cost three Xfinity teams nearly $250,000 combined originally appeared on NBCSports.com