In the aftermath of the Richmond altercation between Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears, Ambrose has remained fairly quiet. Conversely, Mears has done a handful of interviews in regards to what happened, the punishment and things moving forward. Thursday via an interview with Ford Racing, Ambrose finally spoke on the matter. Below are some excerpts from the interview, you can see the full interview by going HERE.
CAN YOU GO THROUGH WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE RACE?
The altercation I had with Casey was quite impromptu. As I was walking past the 13 car, as he’d finished the race, I was actually heading over to have a chat with David Gilliland just to say we’re all good after we got into each other a couple of times. Some words were said and I was confused about why Casey was so annoyed at me, and I think you just see a lot of the passion that the drivers have and the commitment we have to try to win these races and try to run at the front. That passion kind of got out of hand and got out of control pretty quick. To be honest with you, once he put his hand on me and started pushing me around I was just trying to stand up for myself and my country and my family and my reputation and I threw a punch down on him to get him out of the way and let him know that I didn’t respect him not giving me my private space. As it goes down, if I had my chance to think back about it, a wiser man would have walked away a little bit earlier and not got himself in that situation. I don’t apologize for my actions. I was just standing up for myself and my team and my family and letting people know that you can’t get in my private space like that and expect not to have any consequences.
HAVE YOU TWO TALKED?
We have. We’ve spoken in-depth more than once. I honestly believe that we’ll enjoy having a beer with each other. I think we have a mutual respect for each other. I like Casey a lot. I didn’t have any beef with him after the race, but emotions just got out of hand and we both recognized that if we had our time again it wouldn’t happen again, but now it has, you can’t take back what has happened. I’ve spoken to him and I’m not carrying anything forward. He has to decide what he wants to do moving forward, but if we get ourselves in a pub somewhere I’d buy him a beer no problem.
WERE YOU UPSET AT THE PENALTY?
No, I got myself in a bad situation. I caused an action that NASCAR needed to reprimand, so I’m happy to pay it and happy to move on. It’s a heavy fine. That’s the biggest fine I’ve ever received in racing and I think that NASCAR needed to do something and whatever they chose to do I’ll pay it.
SOME SAY YOU SHOULDN’T BE FINED BECAUSE WHEN THEY PROMOTE THAT RACE THEY’RE GOING TO SHOW THAT FOOTAGE. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THAT?
I think my NASCAR career may well be remembered by one of the best finishes of all-time and one of the best fights of all-time, too. It’s OK. Our sport is made up of passion and everyone has their own angle. Certainly, it’s not a great thing to explain to your kids on Sunday what you did. I’ll take that penalty and the repercussions from my actions and pay it, and then people can do whatever they want from there. It’s not for me to call NASCAR out on taking advantage of a situation like that.
As a result of the fallout from the Richmond fight, both Ambrose and Mears are on probation from NASCAR until May 28th. Additionally, Ambrose was fined $25,000 and Mears was fined $15,000.
Aside from the majority of NASCAR fans feeling that there should not have been a fine; there was even more of an outcry when it was announced that Ambrose would receive a larger fine than Mears. It goes without saying that Mears was the aggressor in this situation and it is also clear that he was the one that made the altercation physical by putting his hands on Ambrose first. However, NASCAR took the stance that the punch was the bigger crime and they punished accordingly. If you ask me the bigger crime here isn’t the amount of the fines but instead the double standard that NASCAR has appeared to have created as a result of this situation.