Several things happened during the last race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup regular season. The race came and went at Richmond International (RIR) this weekend without living up to its fanfare.
NASCAR had promoted the event as the last chance for drivers to qualify for the Chase in hopes of excitement. The only exciting thing were the introductions and a bare chested drunk climbing a safety fence.
Yep, the highly touted race was a sleeper. And it seems as if even the track's security went to sleep as well as they allowed a drunk to put himself in such a dangerous position. The fence, called a catch fence, surrounds the track and is designed to keep as much debris in the track area in case of a wreck. The fence is then separated from fans with a walkway marked with painted a yellow line and piece of rope. Security people and officers monitor the area as well.
The only problem was that somehow the security guys and officers allowed one idiot through. I can understand a fan leaning over the line for a quick close-up picture. That probably happens all of the time.
In this case the man was shirtless, not uncommon for a race, and drunk. Once he started climbing the fence he should have been dragged to the ground and handcuffed.
According to reports the intoxicated fan will now have even more of a souvenir of the race and a couple of great memories. These will come in the form of criminal charges, fines, and lawyer fees. He probably should have stuck to buying a shirt or hat at the souvenir stands. His beer probably came in a logo-ed cup.
According to the track’s spokesperson, Aimee Turner, the fan was arrested by Henrico County police and charged with disorderly conduct and being drunk in public. The obvious next question to Turner would have to be something along the lines of: “How did a drunk get past security and have time to climb a fence?
"I’ve seen drunks and they don’t move all that fast unless they are leaning forward.”
While the question I typed above was my version and not the one actually asked you get the meaning. The response from Turner was that RIR would "review safety measures with Henrico (County) police and NASCAR."
Back to the race! Brad Keselowski led 383 of the 400 laps and won easily. It was obvious that Keselowski had a car far superior to anyone else on the track so the race boiled down to watching him lap cars.
So, in a weird way – the most exciting part of the race was watching a drunk possibly end the easy access that fans have to getting a really good close up of the cars passing by.
Oh, and he could have been killed if he had fallen onto the track in the path of an oncoming car. Thankfully police were able to talk him down.