Arrested NASCAR Driver Suspended After Hitting People On Pit Road

Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports
Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports /

Saturday night NASCAR Modified Series driver Joe Ryan Osborne was arrested following a pit road incident in which he struck people with his car. NASCAR has now announced that Osborne and others will be suspended as a result.

The incident took place Saturday night at Bowman Gray Stadium just after 20-year-old Joe Ryan Osborne finished fourth and sixth on the track in a pair of 50-lap features. Once back in the pit area there was a confrontation between Osborne and the crew chief for James Civali. Osborne and Civali have had some spirited battles on the track this season and Civali’s team was apparently not happy with Osborne after the second feature on Saturday night.

According to a report from the Winston-Salem Journal, David Hill (Civali’s crew chief) confronted Osborne in the car and things escalated from there.

"David Hill, who is the crew chief for James, went after Joe Ryan while Joe Ryan was still in the car and that’s when it got out of hand. Then Joe Ryan tried to run over some of those guys in James’ crew. The only guy who got arrested was Joe Ryan."

Osborne was taken into custody at the scene for apparently attempting to mow down members of Civali’s pit crew. The only injury reported by the Winston-Salem Journal was a cut to the thumb of David Hill. Several videos were posted on social media that night and the following day showing Osborne being put into the back of the cop car.

Osborne later described the situation to and explained how his actions were an attempt to distance himself from a group that was attacking him while he was still in his car.

"He got in the window, ripped my window net down. Then the truck driver got in there and started ripping my belts off and just throwing punches.  Then he opened my visor and started poking and stuff trying to get to my eyes.  I was able to pull off from there.  I got down by there pits and it got even worse so I pulled up more.  The pits were pretty blocked at the time.  If I could have pulled onto the race track I would have, but there were other cars there."

From there Osborne explained to that he “panicked” and made a decision that he knew was probably not the best one to make.

"I’d never been in that situation.  There was like five or six different people reaching in there trying to pull me out, so I just had a reaction to just gas it up. It was the safest area and no one was around so I just gassed it up and hung left as my helmet was being all the way pulled to the left.  I just tried to spin the car around to get everybody away from me because there were no police officers down there to pull anybody back.I was kind of confused at why they took me instead of them or why they didn’t just take all of us. The crazy thing was the police down there told me I should have just taken the beating and suffered a broken jaw or a broken nose. I thought that was a little ridiculous. I understand them not wanting to put anybody else in harm, but if I was in the safe spot why should I have to suffer for that?"

While many have already come to the defense of Osborne, NASCAR did not exactly see things in the same light. That being said, NASCAR also did not feel that Osborne was the only one at fault.

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Earlier this week NASCAR announced that they were suspending Osborne for three races. NASCAR also announced two-race suspensions for David Hill, the crew chief that started the confrontation. Another crew member, Randall Smith was also hit with a two-race suspension. The suspensions only apply to competition in Gray Stadium’s NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the suspensions do not impact competition in other NASCAR events.

Osborne will have to appear in court next month for the incident in the pits.