Short-track tempers: Woman punches driver in Victory Lane at Bowman-Gray

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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.

Hinch boldly “goes” where many drivers have gone before

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One of the most common questions racing drivers face is “What happens if you have to use the bathroom when you’re driving?”

And the most common answer is “You just go.” While admittedly a little disgusting, it is nonetheless a problem that occasionally surfaces, and an innumerable amount of drivers have done so in their careers.

However, Schmidt Peterson Motorsports’ James Hinchcliffe apparently had never found himself in such a predicament in his career. That is, until Sunday in the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama.

While under the first red flag for rain, Hinchcliffe started to receive “nature’s call.” Unable to get out of the car to use a restroom – drivers had not been permitted to get out of their cars – Hinchcliffe was forced to wait and hold it.

But when the cars briefly took to the track again prior to a second red flag, it became too much to handle, and Hinch was forced to “relieve himself” while circulating under caution.

“I always maintained that I knew at some point in my career it would happen,” he quipped to NBCSN’s Kevin Lee.”

He added, “I was sitting there under that first red (flag), just begging to get three minutes. That’s all you need, (steering wheel off to wheel on). And when we got going again, my legs were shaking, I had to go so bad. I’m like ‘I can’t drive a race car like this.’ So under caution, it took me a full lap, it was one of the least comfortable experiences of my entire life, but I can officially say I’ve joined the likes of Will Power, Dario Franchitti, and other greats that have peed themselves in their suit.”

Social media reaction added to the moment’s hilarity, with SPM and teammate Robert Wickens weighing in.

Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s Graham Rahal also chimed in, coming to Hinchcliffe’s defense.

Hinchcliffe, fully refreshed, will restart the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama in fifth when racing resumes on Monday.

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