Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Lynch wants fellow track presidents to ban his 14
By Marty Smith ESPN.com
If Talladega Superspeedway president Grant Lynch has his way, the 14 fans he banned from ever again having the opportunity to purchase a race ticket at his speedway won't ever have the opportunity to buy a NASCAR race ticket again.
Aaron's 499 winner Jeff Gordon got attention he didn't want at Talladega -- a stream of objects thrown by fans Sunday.
To any race.
At any track.
"I'm going to be notifying all my fellow track presidents across NASCAR of the people we've banned to see if they'll also [participate in the ban]," Lynch said. "They'll make their own decisions, but I expect great participation from the [International Speedway Corp.] tracks."
Lynch said he will make personal calls to Richmond International Raceway president Doug Fritz, as well as Lowe's Motor Speedway president Humpy Wheeler, since races at their tracks are coming up on the schedule.
Lynch also said he is looking into additional steps to ban those 14 individuals from Talladega track property completely.
"Certainly you can refuse to sell tickets to basically anyone you want to," Lynch said. "The law I'm checking into [is] can we notify them they're no longer allowed on track property, and what legal means can we take if they choose to be."
Lynch said a team of attorneys is exploring that option now.
"If we catch these people, the ramifications need to be as serious as we can make them," he said.
Fourteen fans identified as having thrown objects onto the speedway surface following Sunday's Aaron's 499 were arrested for disorderly conduct and banned from purchasing tickets to future races at the track.
Lynch said his track's security team, as well as the additional security brought in hoping to deter fans from throwing objects, physically eyeballed those arrested.
"The rules of engagement were if you identify a person [that throws something], we want to arrest them," Lynch said. "And that's what we did."
Lynch even sat in the stands himself, near the start/finish line. He said it was difficult to identify individuals, given the commotion at the end of a race.
"Everybody is standing up, arms waving, hands flying and a can comes out, you can't see who threw it," Lynch said. "The ones we were able to identify, and say, 'That guy right there is the one that threw it,' were the ones we arrested. The rest of them, you can't do anything."
Marty Smith is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage. He can be reached at ESPNsider@aol.com.