During this past weekend’s action at venerable North Carolina short track Bowman-Gray Stadium, a woman punched the winner of a Modified race in the stomach.
Burt Myers emerged victorious after making contact with Junior Miller on the final lap, which spun out the latter. Miller showed his displeasure by chasing Myers through the infield grass, around the track, and then back into the grass again where he bumped Myers before he was cut off presumably by track officials.
But that wasn’t the end of it, as a woman walked up during Myers’ victory celebration and gave him a shot to the gut before fans and officers pulled her away.
Fox affiliate WGHP-TV in High Point, North Carolina caught the entire sequence on camera. You can check out their clip below, which ends with Myers’ post-race explanation of the whole matter.
It makes for entertaining theater, but some aren’t happy about it. Noted auto racing writer Shawn Courchesne, formerly of the Hartford Courant and now with RaceDayCT, writes that the incident won’t help the reputation of Bowman-Gray or other short tracks in general.
“Yes, story-lines and drama create fans,” he closes his post. “But, where does it cross the line to not even being about the racing any longer?
“If people are coming to your track mainly because your drivers consistently use their cars as weapons to go after other drives or your drivers are regularly getting hauled off in handcuffs, then are you even selling “racing” at that point?”
It’s a fair argument to make. As Courchesne notes, Bowman-Gray is among the best-attended tracks of its kind. But when brouhahas such as these bring extra attention, they can run the risk of pushing the actual racing product to the side.
Check out the video above and see if you agree with him.