Gears are grinding in the NASCAR world tonight.
Word spread Tuesday afternoon that drivers Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears are receiving penalties for their brawl after Saturday night’s race at Richmond International Raceway. The fight, which included a swift punch delivered by Ambrose, can be seen in this YouTube clip.
Both drivers are on probation until May 28th and are required to pay a fine. Mears’ penalty is $15,000, while the Aussie’s payment is $25,000.
The fan response on this matter is split. Some are happy the two are being punished, while others believe it’s useless. For me, it’s a mixture of both. Look, it’s great that NASCAR isn’t “encouraging” this sort of behavior, and the penalties paint the actions in a negative light. That was the sanctioning body’s intent.
Kids, fights aren’t cool…except when they are.
When the sport’s big draw came from a fight during its first televised event, there’s no denying that NASCAR grins wide when two drivers get in each other’s faces. This disagreement was small but powerful. Someone actually landed a punch. I don’t understand why NASCAR is acting as if they won’t use the clips in promotions, because they certainly will. Remember the “Boys, have at it!” idea? It’s still around, but the sport is ashamed about it for some reason.
Also, the penalties don’t mean anything. Mears revealed on Fox Sports 1’s Race Hub that him and Ambrose have talked and made amends. They are calm, mild-mannered men who let an on-track moment shake their judgment. The matter is over and done with, but NASCAR still handed down consequences. This seems like all kinds of wrong in my eyes.
The fight has everyone talking, even days after it occurred. NASCAR’s punishment for Ambrose and Mears is somewhat minor, but it also holds no water. Whether it seems logical or not, the perimeters are in-place and the talk of the town.