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McMurray on Ambrose, Mears: “I wish NASCAR would just let it go”

Apr 30, 2014, 11:27 AM EDT

Jamie McMurray had a great start in Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol, climbing to second place before rain brought out a race-stopping red flag 124 laps into the scheduled 500-lap event. Getty Images

Count one driver not in favor of the penalties doled out to Marcos Ambrose and Casey Mears on Tuesday by NASCAR: Chip Ganassi Racing’s Jamie McMurray.

During a teleconference Wednesday, McMurray told reporters that in the heat of the moment, sometimes emotions come out charged up and lead to a situation where a punch in the garage could happen.

“Well, I hoped that NASCAR would just let that go,” he said. “They have preached to all of us that they want us to be who we are, and I think it’s good that you have some characters in the sport that ‑ I’m not calling Casey or Marcus out, but not everyone is willing to ‑ or is the type of guy that would punch someone, right? Everyone has a moment that they’re extremely upset, but I don’t think that ‑ I think you can count on one hand the guys that would actually throw a punch. Everyone is talking about it.”

But, he said, people are talking about it – and that’s the tell-all. Even when McMurray was in the midst of house construction.

“I’m building a house, and when I got up to the home site, that’s all the guys wanted to talk about was ‘Oh, my gosh, did you see that,’ and they wanted to know if I have any inside scoop. I think it’s great,” he said.

Given the now likelihood of a fine in such a situation, McMurray said this would reduce the likelihood of any further fisticuffs.

“I don’t know, I was really hoping that NASCAR was going to let it go or that the fines would be less because that’s a huge ‑ $25,000 is massive,” McMurray said. “My opinion of that is that you won’t see it happen again because I think people will think about that and be like, it’s not worth it. It’s not worth $25,000 for me to express exactly how I feel at this time.”

  1. manik56 - Apr 30, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    And the Ron Artest brawl in Detroit is the most memorable thing I have ever seen at a basketball game. That doesn’t make it a good thing. You cannot let people fight each other and let them get away with it. That is not how this society works anymore. You get arrested for doing that in the street.

  2. adamlucas9999 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    I say ban him for life, it was obviously racist, australian guy on a USA guy, ban him for life NASCAR!!!

    • theracefan - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:35 PM

      You are an idiot

    • chad4208 - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      you are obviously racist. Especially being the USA guy attacked the Australian guy first…or did you not see that part?

      • techmeister1 - Apr 30, 2014 at 9:17 PM

        For those of you who don’t understand SARCASM – that’s what adamlucas9999 was posting…

      • chad4208 - Apr 30, 2014 at 10:05 PM

        It blows by me most occasions online, especially when I legitly run across people that delusional almost daily so its hard to tell. Too hard.

  3. theracefan - Apr 30, 2014 at 12:35 PM

    This is more NASCAR being involved in something that didn’t amount to much. There isn’t enough rivalry in NASCAR. Do you think Waltrip, Earnhardt Sr and Wallace were as good buddies as all these newer drivers are, Hell no! Could be the penalty fund is getting low and France needed the money.

  4. gbart22 - Apr 30, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    You realize he was joking when he said the racist comment. Lighten up folks.

    Eh I thought it was silly who cares who fought who. I kind of just want them to be themselves and that’s it. They are around each other so much there are bound to be feuds on and off the track.

  5. bru308 - Apr 30, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    I too like to see them go at it every once in a while. That’s part of stock car racing.

    But I also think about my child, and think that I would not want my child to act like they were acting. In the end, it is just a game for grown ups. I think NASCAR looked at it from the “setting a good example” angle and I’m ok (not thrilled) with that. Times are a changin’.

  6. glear1 - Apr 30, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    Nascar has turned into nothing more than robots behind the wheel of a fast car. No pushing, no aggressiveness, yes sir, no sir. I know they wrecked me, but I love them just the same. Yeah he shoved my car into the wall and ended my race but; I love him for it. It’s almost a down right joke. You are not allowed to get mad, god forbid you called someone a name. I once did what ever it took to make sure I never missed a race Now I try but, for the most part I really don’t care. It’s become to dam boring.

    • pcoffey49 - May 1, 2014 at 1:07 AM

      Remember many years ago when Burton threw his helmet at whoever ran him into the wall? Or, when ‘Smoke’ had a personal issue with another driver. For the Christsake!. Nascar drivers years ago used to throw beer bottles (empty) at each other during the race. This was back before the France’s sanitized the ‘sport’.

  7. safaber3 - Apr 30, 2014 at 6:17 PM

    NASCAR should have left this alone. Bring both of them in the office and say no more of this and let it go. You notice nothing was done about Brad and Matt having words. Stuff happens on the track and after about 30 of cool down time, it is over and the next race comes into play and the history of what happened at the previous race is over. Mears should not have come into Ambrose’ pit, nor should he have pushed Ambrose.

    NASCAR got some quick publicity out of this and will get a few more folks watching the race next Sunday to see the next battle between the two drivers. Nothing will happen. They have already forgotten it (after they wrote the checks).

  8. aug99 - Apr 30, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    JAMIE, YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.
    JUST LET IT GO.
    NASCAR CAN USE A FIGHT NOW AND THEN.
    HOWEVER, IT WAS QUITE COWARDLY OF AMBROSE, TO PICK ON ONE OF THE MOST LAID BACK GUYS OUR THERE.
    I WOULD LIKE TO SEE HIM DO THAT TO STEWART OR NEWMAN.
    WE WOULD BE GETTING UPDATES ON AMBROSES CONDITION, EVERY FEW HOURS.

    • lenme1 - Apr 30, 2014 at 9:55 PM

      Cowardly? Did you not see the video? Ambrose tried to walk away from Mears and Casey grabbed him and was trying to shove him. That’s when Marcos punched him. I actually like both drivers, but Mears should never have put his hands on Ambrose.

  9. lenme1 - Apr 30, 2014 at 9:50 PM

    I really like Jamie McMurray. He is always so calm and gentlemanly. Turns out he has more @$#$s than Kevin Harvick! Kevin (who has started his fair share of trouble) was asked for his opinion and he was too afraid to say what he really thought. He started to, but then back-peddled. I’m really impressed with McMurray!

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