A 53-year-old man that climbed the catch fence during September’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular season finale at Richmond International Raceway has been sentenced to one year in prison with all but one month suspended.
NBC 12 in Richmond is reporting that a judge found Hopewell, Virginia resident James Dennis guilty of being drunk in public and disorderly conduct. In addition to the prison sentence, Dennis has also been ordered to pay a $100 fine for each of the counts.
In the late running of the Federated Auto Parts 400, Dennis scaled the fence in Turn 4 while the nearest security guard was responding to a fight. Once he reached the top, he then sat down on his perch over the track.
NASCAR officials called a caution due to the situation, which ended with Henrico County (Va.) police successfully persuading Dennis to climb down the fence.
A lieutenant with the police department later said that Dennis told officers it was his birthday and that he wanted to be on national television.
Dennis later apologized for the incident, saying that he was “deeply in regret” over his actions.
He also mentioned that he made the climb up the fence in hopes of getting a picture of his favorite driver, Kevin Harvick, but he never got it since he had forgot his phone.
The incident was heavily documented on Twitter and YouTube by fans attending the race that evening, and drivers such as Harvick and Denny Hamlin discussed the matter in the post-race presser.
RIR said afterwards that it would review its track safety procedures with NASCAR and local police.
The knee injury that kept Malcolm Stewart from mounting up for Anaheim 2 will require surgery and he will be sidelined for “an extended duration” of the Monster Energy Supercross season, according to the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team.
“I just wanted to give you guys an update,” Stewart said on Instagram. “It’s not the news you guys want to hear, but I took a spill last week and hurt my knee pretty bad to the point that we’re going to have to get surgery done.
“I’m definitely bummed out about it; I felt we were riding pretty good and were just now starting to get the ball rolling, but it is what it is.”
Stewart’s season started with high expectations until accidents in the first two rounds left him 15th in the standings.
He ended 2022 on a high note, finishing a career high third in the Supercross standings. He then missed the start of the Pro Motocross season with another knee injury.
The 2023 season appeared to live up to his expectations. Despite back-to-back accidents, Stewart contended for podiums at both Anaheim 1 and San Diego. He won his heat at San Diego.
“It was very tough to receive the news that Malcolm will need to undergo knee surgery,” Nathan Ramsey, Team Manager for the Husqvarna team said in a press release. “He has worked so hard to be in a position to win races this year and I truly believe he was ready.
“The Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing program will support him in every way that we can through his recovery and we can’t wait to get him back on track and back at the races.”
Stewart joins 250 rider Jalek Swoll on the sidelines after he broke an arm in a practice session. Swoll will be relieved by Talon Hawkins beginning this week at Houston, Texas.
A replacement rider has not been announced for Stewart, which means the focus shifts to his 450 teammate Christian Craig, who currently sits 12th in the standings with three top-15s in the opening rounds.