Dave Sapienza frustrated and feels he’s being “targeted”
Last week, the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour shared Martinsville Speedway with the NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Cup Series. It was a big weekend for the short track touring division.
On lap 30, Dave Sapienza was stuffed in the outside wall by Kyle Bonsignore. Sparks flew as the frame dragged across the race track.
Sapienza eventually came to a stop on the track. He was unable to drive his damaged machine to the pit lane.
The field coasted around on the caution laps. Sapienza then walked 5 feet down the banking toward the pacing cars, he pointed both hands at Bonsignore as he drove by.
On Tuesday, Dave Sapienza has been suspended, fined and placed on probation. However, the penalty did not come in as an announcement from the series.
The suspension was confirmed by series director Jimmy Wilson.
“He was issued a penalty for violating the post incident procedure where he walked towards the line of oncoming traffic instead of proceeding with the safety personnel/officials to the ambulance. Issued a fine and suspended until paid then on NASCAR probation for the remainder of the year,” Wilson told RaceDayCT.
Sapienza is suspended until he pays the $500 fine.
Dave Sapienza comments
“So I got a fine, a suspension, probation, the whole deal,” Sapienza said. “The whole package for that? They said I was disobedient by walking away from the on-track officials.
He added, “I didn’t get out of my car until the safety officials came up to my car. I didn’t run on the race track. I just took two steps, gave him two fingers and grabbed [myself] and said ‘Fuck you you scumbag’ and that was it.”
Sapienza’s penalty was for not proceeding to the ambulance as directed. However, according to Sapienza, there ambulance wasn’t yet at the scene.
“It was 30 seconds to a minute after I made my gesture until the ambulance even got to where we were,” Sapienza said. “There was no one directing me anywhere. There was no one directing me to a vehicle or an ambulance because the ambulance didn’t show up until 30 seconds to a minute later.”
He detailed, “There was no ambulance waiting and nobody was directing me to any NASCAR vehicles. They had me just standing there waiting. Nobody was directing me to do anything. How did I disobey directions if nobody was giving me directions?”
Daniel Suarez throwing water
A similar incident took place on the same track just two days later. Daniel Suarez stopped on the track to climb from his burning race car. He then threw a water bottle at Byron as he drove by under the caution.
“You’ve got Suarez throwing water bottles at [Byron],” Sapienza said. “You’ve got these two kids in the pits fighting, a full out brawl. So what’s the limit? Why am I getting targeted?”
The Modified series is set to resume on April 25 at Stafford Speedway. Sapienza intends to pay the fine and lift his suspension before entering the event.