The NASCAR Xfinity Series drivers took on Nashville Superspeedway on June 25 in a race featuring a heat index of 100. The weather played a major role as drivers dealt with vomit, blistered feet, and overall heat-related issues.
Noah Gragson, the driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, provided an early look at the heat-related issues. He had the Xfinity camera on him, which revealed that the temperatures in the stock car were about 104 during the opening laps. These temperatures rose to 135 over the course of the race, which posed problems during the final stage.
“Well… hot a** day! Threw up on myself twice with about 50 to go inside the racecar,” Gragson tweeted after finishing 13th overall. “135°+ in the car. No bueno. Gambled on strategy and didn’t workout. Proud of our group @JRMotorsports. Congrats @J_Allgaier on the dub.”
Gragson had a strong car during the race at Nashville Superspeedway, and he ran inside the top 10 throughout the day. However, he stayed out on the track on Lap 119 after a caution while other drivers headed to pit road for fresh tires and fuel. This strategy did not pay off as Gragson had to head to pit road with 20 laps remaining in the Cup Series race, taking him out of contention for a top-five finish.
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AJ Allmendinger Required Extra Attention After the Race
Gragson was not the only driver that dealt with some major issues. Natalie Decker and Ryan Vargas both had to head to the infield care center with four other drivers after the Xfinity Series race. Decker’s team, in particular, revealed that her cool shirt had stopped working after 10 laps.
Allmendinger was among those that dealt with issues early in the race. He revealed over the radio that the floor of his car was extremely hot. Allmendinger said that he would need some ice for his feet after the race came to an end. This comment caught the attention of the broadcast crew, and they responded by explaining that the NASCAR veteran would potentially deal with some blistered feet.
This could pose a problem for the driver of the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro considering that his weekend is not yet over. Allmendinger still has to complete the Ally 400 Cup Series race. He will have to deal with the heat for 300 laps after battling for 188 on June 25.
The Heat Led to 1 On-Track Incident
One of Gragson’s teammates also dealt with some issues during his first exposure to an extremely hot race car. It was a learning experience for Mayer, especially after the heat played a role in an on-track incident with Ty Gibbs.
The moment occurred on Lap 147 of 188 as Mayer pulled up right behind Gibbs and got the No. 54 loose. The stock car started to spin, but Mayer’s No. 1 made contact with the left front fender and straightened it back out. The race remained green, but Gibbs lost two spots before ultimately recovering for a top-five finish.
Mayer met with multiple media members after the race came to an end, and he apologized for the contact. He also explained that he forgot how the aero worked due to being completely gassed from the heat.
Along with forgetting how aero worked, Mayer dealt with another heat-related issue. His cooling unit began blowing hot air about 20 laps into the race. This presented another hurdle to overcome and forced Mayer to ask for ice and water at every pit stop.