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A possible road rage incident occurred on Friday evening at a NASCAR event at the Martinsville Speedway, in Ridgeway, Virginia.
Drivers Ty Gibbs, the grandson of ex-Washington Redskins Super Bowl-winning coach and NASCAR team owner Joe Gibbs, and Sam Mayer traded blows after the Xfinity Series short track race and had to be separated in an encounter caught on video that went viral on social media.
According to The Athletic, “The animosity between Gibbs and Mayer began as they battled for second behind race leader Brandon Jones coming to the checkered flag. Mayer and Gibbs made contact off Turn 4, causing both drivers to move up the track with Gibbs bouncing into the outside wall. Gibbs then deliberately rear-ended Mayer’s car on the cooldown lap. Jones won, with Mayer finishing fifth and Gibbs, who led a race-high 198 laps, in eighth.”
The collusion in the “Call 811 Before You Dig 250” race reportedly prevented either driver involved in the post-race fracas from a chance at collecting a $100,000 “Dash4Cash” bonus.
After a heated conversation and some mutual shoving, “Gibbs hit Mayer on the chin with a right and followed with another right that hit Mayer in the face. Gibbs missed Mayer’s face with a left,” NBC News claimed. “Both were dragged to the ground as officials and others tried to break up the scrum.”
Gibbs, who appears to have shoved Mayer before initially walking away, was the driver still wearing his helmet.
THE BOYS ARE THROWING DOWN pic.twitter.com/Ht9d574K80
— NASCAR Xfinity (@NASCAR_Xfinity) April 9, 2022
Both young drivers briefly gave their side of the story to the media about the pit road pugilism.
Mayer, who appeared to have a bruise in his left eye area, and reportedly received treatment on-site, said that Gibb’s punches “were weak, so I can’t say much about that. It’s kinda funny. I just put the bumper to him for a hundred grand, and he got upset about it. But he’s been doing that to everyone else every week so far, so I don’t understand how it could be that one-sided.”
Sam Mayer gives his side of the story about the tangle with Ty Gibbs: pic.twitter.com/61YVXcf1wW
— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) April 9, 2022
Gibbs admitted that he might have snapped out of frustration because he was in the lead for most of the race. “Hopefully, I’ll learn from it,” he added.
— Dustin Long (@dustinlong) April 9, 2022
Both of them met with NASCAR officials after the scuffle and reportedly shook hands. “The two weren’t exactly singing kumbaya after their 10-minute consultation in the Xfinity Series hauler, but it seemed a temporary cooling-off had at least been achieved,” NASCAR.com noted.
“We’ll be good going forward, especially at Talladega,” Mayer added.
“Tempers can flare at NASCAR events just like they do in any sport. These drivers are competitors competing at the highest level. Anytime competition is involved, tempers are going to flare. Rarely do they ever flare to the point where punches are thrown,” USA Today observed.
Gibbs and Mayer, as well as the other Xfinity Series drivers, are scheduled to compete in the AG-Pro 300 at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama on April 23.
Here is an alternative video angle of the scuffle from NASCAR:
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