NASCAR: Fence climber at Richmond regular season finale going to prison


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.

Indy Lights: Askew clinches 2019 title while VeeKay wins Laguna Seca race 1

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MONTEREY, Calif – Rinus VeeKay may have won the first race of the weekend’s Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca Saturday afternoon, but all all eyes post-race were all on the driver who finished the race in the fourth position.

That driver was Oliver Askew, who by simply starting the 30-lap event at the famed road course won the 2019 series title, along with the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series scholarship that guarantees a minimum of three races next season.

“It’s all sinking in,” Askew told NBC Sports following the race. “I’m really happy to be part of this team. They’re back to back champions now in Indy Lights, and I feel very fortunate to be driving in this car this year.

“This is what we worked for all year. I’m very happy to be in this position and I can’t wait to celebrate with my team.”

With the championship in Askew’s possession from the get-go, the best VeeKay could do for in race 1 was to win in dominant fashion. He went on to do just so.

After starting the race from the pole position, VeeKay led every lap from start to finish en route to his fifth victory of the season.

“We managed the car well and kept the car consistent throughout the whole race,” VeeKay said. “I got a great car from the team so I want to give a big shout out to them for giving me a winning car.”

Behind VeeKay, Portland race 2 winner Toby Sowery finished the race in the second position, while Robert Megennis finished third.

Live streaming coverage of race two of the Indy Lights doubleheader at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca begins tomorrow afternoon at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Gold.

Click here for full race results

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