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Top Fuel driver Bob Vandergriff will not appeal $20,000 fine from NHRA

May 24, 2014, 7:04 PM EDT

(Photo courtesy (Photo courtesy

Top Fuel drag racer Bob Vandergriff Jr. told that he will not appeal or contest Thursday’s announced fine of $20,000 by the National Hot Rod Association for his actions protesting track conditions last week during the event at Atlanta Dragway.

“Obviously, I think it’s excessive and probably not justified,” Vandergriff said of the fine to RPM2Night. “I obviously was very exuberant in my protest, but in the end it doesn’t matter. If it costs me $20,000 to potentially save somebody from getting hurt, or potentially worse, than I’m okay with it.”

Vandergriff called the conditions at Atlanta Dragway were unsafe in his mind. After completing his own run, and almost losing control and crashing, he left his car at the end of the active ractrack and walked back up the dragstrip to voice his concerns to NHRA officials about the safety of the racetrack. His actions and comments to those officials are what drew the rare fine from the NHRA.

“I wasn’t going to risk another car going down that racetrack and somebody potentially getting hurt,” Vandergriff said.

Vandergriff still feels justified in his protest, but will pay the fine and put the issue behind him — providing his latest comments draw further sanctions from the NHRA.

“I wasn’t going to risk another car going down that racetrack and somebody potentially getting hurt,” Vandergriff said. “I’m not going to appeal it, it’s a waste of time. (NHRA) is the judge, jury and executioner on that kind of stuff. I really don’t have the time, effort or desire to defend a position that I know was right against somebody who’s not going to agree and try to justify it wasn’t.”

The video of Vandergriff’s interview with RPM2Night is below.

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  1. techmeister1 - May 25, 2014 at 11:07 PM

    NHRA might slap Vandergriff again for his comments which would be wrong for a second time but as he says they are the judge, jury and executioner and they know it.

    The track was ABSOLUTELY UNSAFE and the race should have been postponed – as was eventually done AFTER five pairs of cars all smoked the tires. I understand the consequences of postponing the race but the drivers and spectators could have been seriously injured as the results demonstrated.

    NHRA knew the track was unsafe IMO but the racers know if they say anything that is not 100% politically correct NHRA will punish them dearly as this $20K fine illustrates. The sad reality is NHRA is currently the only Pro drag race game in town… Slowly but surely they are killing the goose that laid the golden eggs. I don’t think there is a more vindictive sanctioning organization in motorsport, IME.

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