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Press Releases - NASC driver fined for helmet antics

NASC driver fined for helmet antics

Spike Lundberg’s helmet hit his rival’s car three times before bystanders managed to pull him away. The three strikes netted him a $10,000 fine.

Lundberg was taken straight to the NASC officials hauler at Daytona International Speedway, where race officials kept him for more than two hours after a NASC Silver Cup race ended. Lundberg finished in ninth place, a lap off the pace of winner Vaclav Raketa. Lundberg was involved in four on-track incidents, including one with Tsuyoshin Nakamoto that set him over the edge.

“That’s it. I’m going to smash Nakamoto,” Lundberg said over his team radio during the cooldown lap.

“Come on, Spike. Don’t do this,” crew chief Thitipan Sokam responded.

But he did it. Nakamoto’s crew, several other racers and NASC officials responded swiftly, but not before Lundberg got three licks into the back of Nakamoto’s car after the race ended.

A chaotic scene in the garages

MRCNBC cameras captured the angry American driver climbing out of his car, running through the Daytona garage area, reaching Nakamoto’s garage and making obscene hand gestures.

The TV audience then saw Lundberg remove his red racing helmet and bash it three times against the rear decklid of Nakamoto’s white Chevrolet Camaro. Crew members and officials swarmed Lundberg and pulled him away from Nakamoto’s Renegade Motorsports team garage.

MRCNBC pit reporter John Goble walked with Lundberg and interviewed him as Lundberg was taken to the NASC officials hauler in the Daytona infield.

“This garbage has been going on long enough, I’m sick of it,” Lundberg said. “I’m not sorry. I’ll tell you that right now.”

“Spike, what did you try to say to him?” Goble asked.

“I tried to get him to come out and talk to me, and he acted like he didn’t understand me. I told him to pull his head out of his butt, and he acted like he didn’t understand me,” Lundberg said. “And so I took off my helmet and tried to demonstrate what that would look like.”

"Tell him this isn't over," Lundberg said before he was pulled away from the television crew.

As Silver Cup teams prepared to qualify for a race Dec. 4 in Darlington, South Carolina, NASC announced the $10,000 fine against Lundberg. He and his No. 22 Ford team will not be docked any points, nor will Lundberg be suspended for any races. LokiSport spokesman Gregory Meusa told MRC Magazine reporters that Lundberg would see the team’s psychologist before the next race.

Second year struggles

Lundberg and Nakamoto’s rivalry on the race track dates back to MRC Season 52, Lundberg’s first and only in the NASC Trucks Series. Lundberg won the series championship and dethroned the former champion Nakamoto.

Both drivers moved up to Silver Cup for Season 53, which saw Nakamoto get the better of Lundberg with a ninth place finish in the standings and a win.

Lundberg won his first and, to date, his only Silver Cup race this spring at Phoenix International Raceway. The native of Nixa, Missouri has experienced a slump as of later, falling from fourth to seventh in the Silver Cup standings, collecting two DNFs in the last five races, and generally lacking speed against competitors Mikko Kolari, Joao Carlos Eduardo, Egor Zarev and Nakamoto.

Two of the collisions Lundberg was involved in at Daytona were with Nakamoto. Hungarian driver Zsolt Langstadtler collided with Lundberg’s car twice on the 42nd lap of the 100-lap race.

Mysterious woman in the pits

In the chaos that followed Lundberg’s three helmet swings in the garage, veteran NASC racer Melvin Justice Jr. was one of the bystanders who pulled the 22-year-old American away from Nakamoto’s angry crew members.

Justice, a fan favorite, had just notched his eighth top 10 finish of the season. He also delivered a keen observation.

“Oh man, Spike must be really mad,” Justice told an MRC Radio Network reporter in the garage. “Did you see he had a girl with him in the pits today?”

Indeed, pre-race coverage captured a woman with long blonde hair and dark sunglasses standing next to Lundberg during the playing of the national anthem. She then appeared to share a brief embrace with the driver before he climbed into his car to start the race.

Meusa, the LokiSport spokesperson, declined to answer any questions about the woman in the team’s pit, other than to confirm she is not Spike Lundberg’s mother.

on 2024-01-03 04:10:57 by chzbrgr
Likes: 8 | Rating: 12.83

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