Last-lap incidents lead to post-race chaos for NASCAR Trucks (UPDATED)

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Tonight’s Advocare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway may be the penultimate race of the Sprint Cup regular season. And it certainly means a lot as the Chase for the Sprint Cup is looming closer.

But that didn’t stop the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from potentially upstaging tonight’s proceedings in Atlanta with an explosive finish to their race this afternoon at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park road course in Ontario.

On the final lap, young bucks Chase Elliott and Ty Dillon were going at it side-by-side when Elliott went to the inside of Dillon as the two headed for the last corner. Elliott got into Dillon, spun him into the tire barriers, and went on to claim his first career victory in the Trucks.

As you’d expect, things got heated on pit road as Fox Sports cameras caught Elliott and Dillon’s crews engaging in a shouting match. The two drivers also had a confrontation while Elliott was on his way to Victory Lane.

“That’s not how I race and that’s never been how I’ve raced before,” Elliott said according to The Associated Press. “I had a shot. I was up next to Ty and I knew he was going to try and chop me off. I tried to make up the difference…Sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do to get to Victory Lane.”

Dillon, who was relegated to a 17th-place result, seemed to vow revenge in due time against the son of former Cup champ Bill Elliott.

“You’ve got to show respect,” Dillon said, per the AP. “I hope he runs Iowa [next week]. He won’t finish the race.”

But that wasn’t all. Not by a long shot.

While Elliott and Dillon were dueling for the win, Max Papis and Mike Skeen also battled for position when the two made contact in the last turn. The incident knocked Papis to sixth at the finish, Skeen to 13th.

But just after Papis completed a post-race TV interview, a woman approached the Italian driver and slapped him in the face. NASCAR.com reports that the woman identified herself as Skeen’s girlfriend.

This isn’t the first time Papis has been involved with slapping. Earlier this season, he whacked a helmet-wearing Billy Johnson in the head following the Nationwide Series’ event at Road America after the two had a run-in with each other during the race.

Perhaps karma decided to come back around today on “Mad Max”? Who knows…

UPDATE (9:10 p.m. ET): Max Papis has now told ESPN’s Marty Smith that the slap he received following today’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ race in Canada dislocated his jaw. To Papis’ credit, he did not retaliate in the post-race incident.

“What do you do? You don’t hit a lady,” Papis told Smith. “I was in disbelief. Complete disbelief. If she would’ve closed her hand, it would have been a bad punch, because she hit me so freaking hard.

“I went to [Skeen] and said, ‘I guess we know who’s the man in the family here, because the guy didn’t even have the [guts] to talk.'”

Ouch.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway can have 10,000 fans for IndyCar races

Indianapolis Motor Speedway fans
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Indianapolis Motor Speedway will have crowds for its NTT IndyCar Series race weekend next month, the first time fans are allowed at the track this year.

The track announced Friday that up to 10,000 fans will be allowed in the grandstands daily from Oct. 1-4. The IndyCar Harvest GP race doubleheader will be held on the track’s road course Oct. 2-3.

IMS has played host to several events this year without fans, including the 104th Indianapolis 500 on Aug. 23 and a NASCAR-IndyCar weekend July 4-5 that included the Brickyard 400. Plans originally were made to have fans at the Indy 500 before reversing course a few weeks ahead of the race. In a letter last month, Roger Penske vowed that fans would return for the 2021 Indy 500.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS president Doug Boles said in a release. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

Fans will undergo temperature screenings upon entry and also be required to wear face coverings at all times on property. The track said each attendee will receive a mask and bottle of hand sanitizer.

The Friday, Oct. 2 race will be shown at 3:30 p.m. ET on USA, and NBC will broadcast the Saturday, Oct. 3 race at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Here’s the release from Indianapolis Motor Speedway:

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020 – For the first time in 2020, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will welcome fans to the Racing Capital of the World for the INDYCAR Harvest GP presented by GMR weekend. Up to 10,000 spectators can be in the grandstands each day of racing action Oct. 1-4, per approval from the Marion County Public Health Department.

Tickets are available now via IMS.com and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

The massive facility, which holds more than 300,000 people, will provide two spectator zones with up to 5,000 fans in each. The zones will be located in Turns 1 and 4 of the oval, offering strong sightlines of the road course. Strict health and safety rules will be in place, including the following:

  • Face coverings must be worn throughout the property at all times;
  • All fans will receive temperature screenings before gate entry;
  • Grandstand seats will be marked for distancing;
  • Attendees must use pre-assigned gates and remain in their designated zones.

Global Medical Response, the world leader in compassionate, quality emergency medical and patient relocation services, will be the presenting sponsor of the penultimate weekend of INDYCAR racing this season.

“We can’t wait to see fans come through our gates for the first time in 2020,” IMS President J. Douglas Boles said. “They’ll be greeted by a vastly improved facility, featuring significant upgrades to the spectator experience. We’re also extremely grateful to have a presenting sponsor with the expertise and resources of GMR as we look to implement our detailed and comprehensive health and safety plan.”

The plan, which includes each attendee receiving a mask and a bottle of hand sanitizer upon entering the track, was developed in consultation with state and local health officials.

This event weekend is highlighted by an NTT INDYCAR SERIES doubleheader, with races Friday, Oct. 2 and Saturday, Oct. 3. It will be the penultimate event of the series’ season as the field pursues the champion’s prestigious Astor Challenge Cup to be awarded Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.

The INDYCAR Harvest GP will pay tribute to a storied IMS event, the Harvest Classic in September 1916. The Harvest Classic was the only racing event held outside of May at IMS from 1911 through 1993. The event featured three races, all won by legendary driver Johnny Aitken.

Fans also will see a host of facility improvements during the event weekend, including more than 30 new LED video boards, refreshed concession stands and restrooms, and 5G wireless connectivity throughout the facility.

The first race will air at 3:30 p.m. (ET) Friday, Oct. 2 on the USA Network. NBC will broadcast the second race at 2:30 p.m. (ET) Saturday, Oct. 3, with WTHR-13 airing the action live in Central Indiana.

Also racing that weekend will be the first pairing of two major sports car series — the Intercontinental GT Challenge Powered by Pirelli and its North American counterpart, GT World Challenge America Powered by AWS. Former Indianapolis 500 pole winner Ryan Briscoe is among the drivers in the Indianapolis 8 Hour event held Sunday, Oct. 4.

The event also will showcase drivers in SRO America’s Pirelli GT4 America, GT Sports Club America and the TC America series.

The full on-track schedule is available at IMS.com.