CARTERSVILLE, GA – NeSmith Racing has announced that it is issuing an indefinite suspension from competition in all NeSmith Racing Divisions to driver Mark Whitener after a physical confrontation at the 14th Annual Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, FL on February 24.
After the completion of the 100-lap race, Whitener entered the pit area of another competitor, and was therefore deemed the aggressor in starting a physical altercation. The altercation was so severe that NeSmith Racing Officials had to contact the Marion County Sheriff’s Office to dispatch Deputies to the scene to restore order.
“Never in my 40 years of watching, participating in, and officiating races have I seen such a severe act of physical aggression at a race track,” NeSmith Racing Founder and CEO Mike Vaughn said. “Our goal is for everyone, especially families, to have fun at our races and not have to worry about a being assaulted.
“We will not tolerate physical aggression of any kind at any NeSmith Racing event,” Vaughn said. “When we have disputes on or off the track on race night, that’s why we have officials to settle it in a professional manner.”
The penalty assessed to Whitener is issued in accordance of the NeSmith Racing Rulebook under National Event Penalties, Paragraphs 6, 8, 9 and 10:
NATIONAL EVENT PENALTIES:
6. ANY DRIVER WHO ENTERS ANOTHER DRIVER’S PIT AREA WILL BE DEEMED THE AGGRESSOR. AWAY FROM EITHER DRIVERS’ PIT AREA, BOTH DRIVERS WILL BE CONSIDERED AGGRESSORS. DRIVERS SHOULD BE AWARE THAT THEY WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY MEMBERS OF THEIR RACE TEAM, AND THE ABOVE PENALTIES WILL APPLY EVEN IF THE DRIVER CONCERNED IS NOT DIRECTLY INVOLVED.
8. ANY INCIDENTS THAT ARE JUDGED TO BE DELIBERATE ACTS OF AGGRESSION, WHETHER ON OR OFF THE TRACK, UNDER GREEN OR CAUTION, WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION AND A MONETARY FINE TO BE DETERMINED BY SERIES OFFICIALS.
9. SERIES OFFICIALS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO INCREASE THE ABOVE PENALTIES, DEPENDING ON THE SEVERITY OF THE INCIDENT.
10. ANY DISQUALIFICATION OTHER THAN A WEIGHT VIOLATION WILL RESULT IN NO POINTS AND NO MONEY FOR THE EVENT.
“Mark Whitener has received the maximum penalty NeSmith Racing can issue due to the severity of the assault on another competitor,” Vaughn said. “We strive to have a Family-Orientated Series where race teams and their families can compete and have fun doing it.”
The 14th Annual Chevrolet Performance World Championship Race was the fourth race of the 3rd Annual RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series for the NeSmith Late Models. With Whitener’s disqualification, the series point standings have been adjusted and are available to view at www.nesmithracing.com and clicking the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series logo.
The next two events for the RockAuto.com Winter Shootout Series will be at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, TN as a part of the Tennessee Tip Off. The NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series will compete in a $2,000-to-win 40-lap race on Friday night, March 9, and a $2,500-to-win event on Saturday night, March 10.
For more information and rules about the NeSmith Chevrolet Dirt Late Model Series, visit the series web site at www.nesmithracing.com, or visit the series on Facebook at NeSmith Racing. Becoming a fan of the NeSmith Racing Facebook page will make you eligible for special prizes that will be given away each month. You can follow us on Twitter @NeSmithRacing.
NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC of Claxton, GA is the Title Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. NeSmith Chevrolet, Buick, GMC is one of the nation’s top GM Powertrain and Performance Dealer seven years running, with free delivery anywhere in the Southeast. Chevrolet Performance Parts is an Official Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. Hoosier Racing Tire is the Official Tire Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. Sunoco Race Fuels is the Official Race Fuel of the NeSmith Late Models. RockAuto.com is an Associate Sponsor of the NeSmith Late Models. Beyea Headers the NeSmith Late Model Hard Charger Sponsor. Knowles Race Parts and Bodies is the Official Parts Supplier for the NeSmith Late Models. Cruise With The Champions is the Official Vacation and Rookie of the Year Sponsor for the NeSmith Late Models. David Smith Carburetors is the Official Carburetor of NeSmith Racing. Freestyle Graphix is the Official Wrap, Banner, and Sign Company of NeSmith Racing. NeSmith Late Model Contingency Sponsors for 2017 are Out-Pace Performance, CrateInsider.Com, Gresham Racing Parts, Knowles Racing Parts and Bodies, and FreeStyle Graphix. 2017 Chassis Sponsors are Trak-Star Race Cars, Warrior Race Cars, Rocket Chassis, GRT Race Cars