Two of the more low-key personalities in the Sprint Cup garage wound up making headlines following the conclusion of tonight’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway.
While Brad Keselowski was angrily wagging his finger at Matt Kenseth for what he saw as dangerous racing in the closing laps, Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears were having a dust-up in the garage that would end with Ambrose punching Mears in the head after the American grabbed and shoved him.
The two were broken up by their respective crews after Ambrose took a swing at Mears.
Mears has since alluded to it slightly on his @CJMearsGang Twitter account:
As for the matter of potential punishment, NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton appeared to indicate that a review would be coming.
Ambrose and Mears finished 18th and 19th in tonight’s race.
RIR is no stranger to physical altercations after the checkered flag.
After last spring’s Nationwide Series race there, Nelson Piquet Jr. kicked Brian Scott below the belt after the two raced hard for position in the closing laps.
Later that night, crewmen from Scott’s Richard Childress Racing team got into an altercation in an RIR parking lot with Piquet and several others. Two of the RCR crewmen were were arrested for their roles in the incident.
MotorSportsTalk continues its review of the Verizon IndyCar Series field, driver-by-driver, with a look at Ryan Briscoe. Despite not having a ride to start the year, Briscoe ended strongly courtesy of a series of strong runs at Schmidt Peterson Motorsports.
Ryan Briscoe, No. 5 Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Honda
- 2014: 11th Place, Best Finish 4th, Best Start 4th, 1 Top-5, 11 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 12.8 Avg. Start, 10.6 Avg. Finish
- 2015: 18th Place (8 starts), Best Finish 5th, Best Start 2nd, 1 Top-5, 4 Top-10, 10 Laps Led, 17.8 Avg. Start, 12.0 Avg. Finish
For those who slag on Briscoe as being undeserving of top level equipment, his 2015 second half provided a friendly reminder of his overall ability level in what might be less than the best machinery.
Briscoe was thrust into the No. 5 car under trying circumstances to begin with, getting all of an hour’s worth practice replacing the injured James Hinchcliffe ahead of the Indianapolis 500. But subsequent drives on the ovals there, Texas, Fontana, Milwaukee and Iowa – even if the results were less than ideal – showcased a driver determined to show to the paddock he still had it, and then some. His defense against Juan Pablo Montoya in Sonoma was nothing short of brilliant, and courtesy of double points he actually finished ahead of full-season driver Stefano Coletti.
The Australian immediately gelled with the SPM team, engineer Allen McDonald and race strategist Robert Gue. He continues to prove he’s an asset, as he has enjoyed multiple opportunities to extend his career in various arenas of motorsport in both open-wheel and sports cars, the latter of which he won at both the Rolex 24 at Daytona and the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring with Corvette Racing this year.
Following an early retirement for Mercedes AMG Petronas teammate Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton has closed even more on his third Formula 1 World Championship.
View it above in the race recap from the 2015 Russian Grand Prix.