Marcos Ambrose punches Casey Mears in Richmond garage (VIDEO)

3 Comments

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.

Michael Carter wins Mazda Road to 24 Shootout

@MazdaRacing Twitter
Leave a comment

Michael Carter was selected as the winner of the 2018 Mazda Road to 24 Shootout.

Carter was one of four drivers who competed for the honor and a $100,000 scholarship that went along with it. Matthew Dirks, Hannah Grisham and Loni Unser also competed.

With the scholarship, Carter will compete in the 2019 Battery Tender Global Mazda MX-5 Cup.

“What a journey this has been,” said Carter in a press release. “The reason I started racing a Mazda was because of the Mazda Road to 24 Shootout. It was our one single goal all along and to finally accomplish that is surreal. The process begins next week of getting ready for next season, for the series test at Barber, and to put together a good season in the Global MX-5 Cup.”

Carter was invited to the Shootout largely because of his 2018 performance in SCCA. He finished second in the SCCA Hoosier Super Tour Points Championship, won the Spec Miata Challenge and won in Spec Miata at the American Road Race of Champions.

The 18-year-old Carter had his eye on the Road to Mazda early.

“Each year, it is exciting to see the next batch of talent that is in the pipeline,” said John Doonan, Director, Mazda Motorsports. “I heard something from Michael and his father that really hit a chord with me which was that they built a Spec Miata with the sole purpose of going up the Mazda Road to 24 ladder.

That really speaks to the challenger spirit at Mazda, to why we have the Shootout, and to the family that we have at Mazda. Michael is the driver today who walks away with the scholarship, but we had four families come together here who have all gone racing together. For all of us at Mazda, it’s very rewarding to give these families a chance to go racing together. We look forward to watching Michael take the next step in his career in next season’s Global MX-5 Cup.”