On Wednesday afternoon, the Southern All-Stars Dirt Racing Series issued penalties for drivers Ashton Winger and G.R. Smith deriving from their actions both on and off the track on Saturday, March 11 at the Southern Raceway in Milton, Florida. The message was delivered on the series Facebook page.
Early in that $10,000-to-win feature ultimately won by Joseph Joiner, the cars driven by Winger and Smith came into contact causing Smith to spin. While the field circulated around the track under caution, Smith tracked Winger down and repeatedly rammed the No. 12 car before retiring to the pit area.
According to police reports from the track, a physical altercation then occurred between Smith and Winger’s father, Gary Winger, who allegedly used a hammer as a weapon during the melee. Shortly thereafter, Ashton Winger came to the pit area and left his car, apparently headed toward Smith hauler, before he was intercepted by Smith team member Scottie Parker. Those two wrestled on the ground until being separated.
Parker and both Wingers were then taken into custody by the Santa Rosa County(Fla) Sheriff’s Dept.
The release issued by the sanctioning body states that Ashton Winger has been suspended 60 days and will be on a “zero tolerance” probation when he returns to competition because of a crew member using a weapon during a physical altercation.
Smith has been suspended indefinitely for his actions on the track and will have to meet conditions specified by the Southern All-Stars before being allowed to return.
The full release can be read here:
“SOUTHERN ALL STARS PENALTY BULLETIN 3/15/2023
Following this weekend’s altercations at Southern Raceway the following penalties are being implemented on the parties involved:
Ashton Winger will be suspended for 60 days with zero tolerance probation due to a crew member using a weapon in a physical altercation with G.R. Smith. Drivers are responsible for their crew, this is what lead to this decision.
G.R. Smith will be suspended indefinitely for his actions on track. The driver struck the 12 machine repeatedly under caution. He failed to comply with our race director who repeatedly told him to leave the track. He was disqualified from the event. Requirements for reinstatement will be discussed with G.R. privately and once the requirements and stipulations are met the suspension will be lifted.
Both parties are remorseful for everything that occurred Saturday. We hope to see them competing with the Southern All Stars again in the near future.
The Southern All Stars apologize to the fans and Southern Raceway for the altercations that ensued on Saturday and hate to see this happen in our sport. This kind of stuff is not acceptable and will not be tolerated at any SAS events.
Following G.R. Smith’s unacceptable behavior on track, track personnel and security were called to his pit area to be sure that a safe place was provided for the competitor to be able to load his equipment and leave the premises. Unfortunately the altercation occurred before the Santa Rosa County officers could get to the site in time.
Going forward the Complete Double File restart will remain. A cone will be set out at the starting line, competitors MUST STAY in line through the cone to the start and finish line. Leader will have lane choice and must fire first. An official will be in turn 4 to help monitor each start. If a competitor is caught jumping first time they will go back a row the second offense they will be sent to the rear of the field (pending cars a lap down). Third offense the driver will be sent to the pits.
Also going forward: Drivers, crew members, or parties affiliated with race teams that choose to verbally abuse, threaten, or physically go after a race official can result in disqualification from the event with further penalties up to the discretion of the officials.”
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