DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — NASCAR has penalized drivers Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears for their involvement in a post-race altercation in the garage area following last Saturday night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond (Va.) Int’l Raceway.
Ambrose, driver of the No. 9 car, and Mears, driver of the No. 13 car, were found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing), and 12-4.9 (Behavioral Penalty; involved in an altercation in the garage area after the race) as outlined in the 2014 NASCAR rule book. As a result, Ambrose has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until May 28, while Mears has been fined $15,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until May 28.
The altercation was a result of several on-track incidents between the two during Saturday’s race. Mears and Ambrose were involved in a heated discussion in the garage post-race when Mears grabbed Ambrose by the arm. Ambrose responded by punching Mears in the face. The two were then separated by crew members before the incident could escalate further.
“At the end of the day, none of that should ever happen. Right? But in the heat of the moment when you get out of your race car, it just happened to you – some stuff you didn’t like,” said Mears during an interview Monday on NASCAR Race Hub on FOX Spots 1. “We started going at each other and before we knew it, it escalated really quickly and for a moment there, I kind of wanted to hit him, you know what I mean? And I thought, ‘I can’t do that.’ So, I grabbed him, and it turned out the way that it did. Unfortunately, I ended up getting hit out of the field.
Mears did say that he and Ambrose have spoken since the incident and the two are now on good terms.
“Marcos and I had a really good conversation, actually today, just talked through it, and man, things happen. You get upset. We’re a couple of guys and we’re passionate about what we do. I was on the downside of it but I think we both got our point across and kind of understand where we’re at now.”
Richard Petty Motorsports later released a statement saying Ambrose has accepted the penalty and will not appeal NASCAR’s decision.