Motorsport News

Social Media Abuse Was ‘Consuming’ Agustin Canapino

Agustin Canapino Firestone Grand Prix Of Monterey Test By Joe Skibinski Ref Image Without Watermark M92904

ELKHART LAKE, Wisc. — After the autograph session Friday (June 7) afternoon at Road America, Juncos Hollinger Racing (JHR) had a difficult decision to make regarding its driver lineup.

Social media fallout after an on-track incident at last week’s IndyCar Series race on the streets of Detroit between Agustin Canapino and Theo Pourchaire led to many angry messages which included death threats and other abuse for Pourchaire’s contact with Canapino as the pair headed to turn 3 on lap 60.

Even a week later the ripple effect of this contact is still spreading.

When the autograph session at Road America concluded, Canapino left the circuit as the team announced that Indy NXT driver Nolan Siegel would be competing in the No. 78 Chevrolet for Sunday’s XPEL Grand Prix instead of the Argentinian.

“It was obviously building up all week and then we got to the point where we had to make a decision,” said JHR Team Principal Dave O’Neill. “The main catalyst was the abuse that Canapino was getting over social media. So it was building up during the week and we came to a point where it was consuming him and he was looking like he was having a big weight on his back and he’s an employee, so we took a decision to help him, help the team.”

Numerous insults flew all over social media following the contact. Pourchaire received death threats, both JHR and Arrow McLaren released a joint statement condemning the abuse then Canapino followed up with a statement of his own which seemed to downplay any comments directed at Pourchaire.

“I have not seen a single death threat directed at those who claim to have received them,” Canapino’s statement reads. “From lsat year to today, no one in their right mind would do such a thing. It’s outrageous to be accused of this so lightly, and I won’t allow it any more. If anyone did this, they are not part of us, and we don’t deserve to be consider [sic] this way because of some misfit we strongly reject.

“I constantly receive abuse and hate, and I have learned to live with it as many people do, choosing to ignore it. There’s nothing sadder and more miserable than hiding behind social media to insult others.”

Over the…

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