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What infamous incident called into question the NASCAR ‘Kiss the Trophy Girl’ tradition?

NASCAR is a sport steeped in traditions, and some are deeper than others. In the old days, there was a tradition where the winner of the race had a chance to win a kiss from a trophy girl. Now, that tradition has evolved with each passing year and with changing times and values. In other words, instead of randomly chosen trophy girls, the honor falls to the pilots’ wives or girlfriends.

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However, there were many times when this tradition attracted some criticism due to some controversies. One was when Wendell Scott won at Speedway Park in Florida. For some strange reason, NASCAR officials were hesitant to grant Scott the victory. They were worried that the trophy girl would be uncomfortable kissing a person of color.

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It wasn’t the only controversy involving a NASCAR driver

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A few decades later, there was another significant incident that cast doubt on the tradition. This was actually a more recent one where Noah Gragson was criticized for his actions. Admittedly, this was not at a NASCAR race, as the incident took place at the Snowball Derby in Pensacola.

The then 20-year-old jumped ecstatically from his car to celebrate his victory. As was protocol, the trophy girl approached him to congratulate him. However, what Gragson did next surprised many people on social media. He went to try to kiss her on the lips, causing her to recoil in shock. Of course, Gragson was a little surprised at the rejection and, after a bit of negotiation, managed to kiss her on the lips.

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However, the damage was done, as many labeled the act classless and scary. Needless to say, he received a lot of criticism for his actions, however unexpected they were. Eventually, the girl forgave him, but the internet never forgets.

WATCH THIS STORY: “Calm down” – Bubba Wallace calls out Noah Gragson for “overreacting” in NASCAR

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