Ambrose Ready to Move On
By: Pete Pistone - @PPistone | MRN.com on May 1, 2014 | 10:05 A.M. EST
"I'll take my penalties. I'm the one who swung a punch and landed one." (Photo: Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose says his altercation with Casey Mears after last Saturday night's Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Raceway is in his rear view mirror.
Ambrose, fined $25,000 for landing a punch on Mears during their scuffle, accepted the penalty from NASCAR and is ready to focus on this weekend's Aaron's 499 at Talladega Superspeedway.
"I'll take my penalties," Ambrose said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio's "The Morning Drive." "I'm the one who swung and landed a punch. I'm happy to pay it because (a) I just want to move on and (b) I was the one that put myself in a bad position to have to do that.
"There comes a point where if you're going to get pushed around enough, you're going to stick up for yourself and it is what it is from that point on. I certainly don’t want to do it again, that's for sure. There's been enough anxiety this week and enough monetary fines to really slow it down. Maybe next time, I'll think twice before swinging the arm."
After Saturday's race, Ambrose was actually on his way to talk to David Gilliland about a couple run-ins on the track that night when he passed the No. 13 team and things escalated.
"The reason why I threw such a good punch and made such a good connection was that I wasn’t angry," Ambrose said. "I was just asking him, 'What are you mad at?' He was getting madder and madder because he was thinking I was playing dumb. When he started pushing me, I'm not going to be physically pushed around. I'm not going to put up with that. It takes a lot to break me but when I do, I'm going to have to let it rip and that’s exactly what happened. He got to a point where he got in my personal space."
Both Ambrose and Mears have spoken since the incident following the race - in which they finished 18th and 19th, respectively.
"It was a lot of emotions running at the end of the race," Ambrose said. "It was an unfortunate set of circumstances and I think we all regret how it went down. After some reflection, if we would have had some cooler heads we would have never gotten to this point.
"We all have a lot of passion and a lot of commitment to what we're doing, and it sometimes just comes out in the wrong way. It shows you how difficult our sport is and how high the emotions are across the entire field. I'd much prefer to be fighting to finish first or second rather than 18th or 19th, but it goes to show you there are a lot of emotions going on."