May 29th, 2015
While it was a punch that cost Marcos Ambrose $25,000, the Australian born Sprint Cup Series driver was not backing down or apologizing for hitting Casey Mears. The two had a heated exchange after the conclusion of last Saturday’s Toyota Owners 400, which led to the punch heard around the world.
When talking about it Thursday with the media during a press event at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Ambrose admitted that it wasn’t Mears who was on his mind. It was actually David Gilliland he wanted to talk to, but before he could do that, Mears found him first.
“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,” explained Ambrose.
The talk escalated when Mears grabbed ahold of Ambrose.
“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 continued.
Although it looked like a rough situation at the time, Ambrose and Mears, who was docked $15,000 for his involvement, have talked out the situation and moved on.
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,” commented Ambrose.
Revenge will not be on either driver’s mind as the series turns to the Talladega Superspeedway later today with two rounds of practice. The first can be seen at 2 PM EST on FOX Sports 1 and the second will begin at 3:30 PM EST on FOX Sports 1.