Photo: Sangjib Min
Sprint Cup NASCAR driver Marcos Ambrose has been fined $25,000 for punching fellow driver, Casey Mears, after an on-track altercation in last Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400 at the Richmond International Raceway in Virginia.
Mears was fined $15,000 after pushing and intimidating the Australian, enticing Ambrose to punch him in the face , after a disagreement about the result of a large crash.
Mears talked to Fox Sports 1’s Race Hub and said he and Ambrose are okay.
“At the end of the day, none of that should ever happen,” Mears said.
“But in the heat of the moment, when you get out of your race car, and some stuff just happened that you didn’t like, we started going at each other, and before we knew it, it escalated very quickly.”
Ambrose finished the race in 18th, alongside Mears in 19th place.
Both drivers have been put on probation until May 28, with neither suffering suspension for the post-race incident.
Ambrose, a former V8 Supercar champion, is known for his fiery attitude at the racetrack after having a similar altercation with New Zealand driver Greg Murphy at the Bathurst 1000 in 2005.
In an exclusive interview in 2012, a NASCAR journalist asked Ambrose if he had any regrets.
“Anything I regret? Yeah. There was this guy in Australia – Bathurst 2005 – and he took me out of the race.
“We had a bit of a shouting match, and I regret I didn’t punch him.”
Murphy later watched the video of Ambrose in America punching Mears.
“I didn’t think he had it in him,” Murphy said.
“Maybe he saw a picture of my head on Casey Mears’ shoulders, who knows?
“He obviously got a big shove from Casey for whatever reason that moved him aside and that was enough to get him riled up.”
Ambrose and Mears will come head-to-head at the next Sprint Cup race held at Talladega this weekend.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbsE2weoQ4w (video courtesy of Fox Sports)