Thursday, May 1, 2014

Marcos Ambrose: 'I was just trying to stand up for myself'

    Sprint Cup Series driver Marcos Ambrose took part in a news conference Thursday morning at Charlotte Motor Speedway in which N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory issued a proclamation signifying May as "Motorsports Month" in North Carolina. 

   Afterwards, Ambrose was asked about the fight he was involved in after last Saturday night's race at Richmond, Va., with fellow driver Casey Mears.

   “The altercation I had with Casey was quite impromptu.  As I was walking past the No. 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," Ambrose said.

   "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.”

   Ambrose was asked if he and Mears have 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," he said. "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.”

   You can read about the penalties NASCAR assessed both Ambrose and Mears here.