UPDATE: In what seemed almost like a comedy routine, here’s what drivers Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin had to say during a press conference after Saturday’s race about the wayward fan:
DENNY HAMLIN: Yeah, I saw that.
KEVIN HARVICK: Those Virginia folks.
DENNY HAMLIN: That caution put me two laps down. Knucklehead.
KEVIN HARVICK: It used to be okay. I remember the first race I won, the whole backstretch grandstand was hanging on the fence. They never threw a caution then.
DENNY HAMLIN: If he wants to play in traffic, it’s his problem.
KEVIN HARVICK: Wasn’t a NASCAR employee, was he (smiling)?
It had to be encouraging to NASCAR officials that Richmond International Raceway was close to having a sellout for Saturday’s Federated Auto Parts 400 Sprint Cup race.
But one fan apparently wasn’t happy with the big crowd, or maybe he just wanted to get a better perspective or be closer to the action.
Whatever his motivation, the unidentified and shirtless race fan decided it would be a good idea to climb the catchfence near Turn 4.
While the race was going on, we might add.
When informed of the interloper, NASCAR officials immediately called a caution on the event with about 70 laps remaining. Officials also apparently instructed drivers to go low at that part of the track – just in case the fan, well, fell over and went splat.
If that happened, it likely would have qualified as a caution for debris on the pavement.
Okay, we’re joking on that one.
But to be serious, the apparent real ruling for the caution from NASCAR was for one of the rarest calls you’ll likely ever hear at a race – for “security.”
Fortunately, the fan’s better judgment and common sense finally caught up with him and he realized just how bad of an idea it was to be perched where he was.
With a posse of police and security personnel waiting for him back on terra firma, the fan climbed back down and was immediately taken into custody.
(It’s a good bet he wasn’t allowed to stick around to see the rest of the race.)
What we don’t understand is how the guy got past what appeared to be a massive security presence and climbed the estimated 75-foot high catchfence without being initially detected.
Not only did the fan get to the top of the fence, he appeared to make himself at home for at least a couple of minutes before he drew attention to himself, thus bringing out the caution.
Methinks someone with RIR security, as the late Desi Arnaz used to tell Lucille Ball, has some ‘splainin’ to do to racetrack and NASCAR officials, which was confirmed in a tweet by Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press.
As for the so-called fan, he’s been booked by police for, what else, “drunk and disorderly,” according to another tweet by Fryer .
Drunk and disorderly, huh? Somehow, we’re not surprised.
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