Noah Gragson was so excited about winning a race Sunday in Pensacola that he wanted to kiss somebody.
Unfortunately for him, that somebody didn’t want to kiss back.
Gragson’s dramatic triumph in the Snowball Derby was quickly upstaged by his post-race move in Victory Lane. He tried to kiss Miss Snowball Derby, who quickly turned her head to avoid the smooch.
The moment was captured on live TV and prompted the inevitable social media pile on. Fellow driver Corey LaJoie tweeted “Swerve of the Century.”
Others weren’t so amused, accusing Gragson of being a #MeToo offender.
Lighten up, folks.
Drivers have been kissing beauty queens in Victory Lane since the invention of the carburetor. And this particular driver is only 20 years old.
He’d just won the biggest race of his life, coming from behind with six laps remaining and holding off Ty Majeski and Jeff Choquette to take the Super Late Model showcase.
The kid was excited and got a little carried away. That doesn’t make him Harvey Weinstein in a fire suit.
“We won the Snowball… it’s unbelievable. I’m just very thankful,” Gragson said the post-race media conference.
He also eventually got his kiss. Helen Ciappina, aka Miss Snowball Derby, decided a peck would be appropriate.
Gragson proudly posted it on Twitter.
Way to go, kid.
David Whitley is a member of our Community Conversations Team. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org