BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2003) -- The following is a statement from Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith in response to today's decision by the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalties levied against Jimmy Spencer, driver of the...
BRISTOL, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2003) -- The following is a statement from Ultra Motorsports owner Jim Smith in response to today's decision by the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalties levied against Jimmy Spencer, driver of the Ultra Motorsports No. 7 Dodge, for his part in a post-race incident on Sunday, Aug. 17th, at Michigan International Speedway:
"Obviously, I am disappointed in the decision by the National Stock Car Racing Commission to uphold the penalties against Jimmy Spencer, although the decision was made in a fair and respectable way, and we will accept it and move on. It has become evident that the details and magnitude of the incident following the GFS Marketplace 400 have been skewed, exaggerated and blown out of proportion by the accusers. Nonetheless, Jimmy did not use his best judgment in handling this matter, and for that we apologize to the many NASCAR fans as well as our sponsor, SIRIUS.
"While I speak for everyone at Ultra Motorsports in saying we do not condone any physical altercations in settling disputes, Jimmy's actions were a direct result of another driver's intension to, at the very least, eliminate our car from the race. Knowing the same thing I know, that the guys on this team work too hard to have a contending car taken out by ill intent, Jimmy was simply defending his team. In that regard, I'm not sure I would've reacted any differently had I been in Jimmy's shoes."
"By proudly admitting his intensions over the radio to wreck our car, Kurt Busch's comments proved that the contact he forced was not just one of those "racing deals." His moves were intended to harm. He announced it, and we heard it.
"Just as I don't condone what Jimmy did, neither do I condone what Kurt did. He tried to intentionally wreck someone at speeds reaching 190 miles per hour at a track that has ended people's careers. Now that the world has heard the comments he made during the race, I'll be disappointed if nothing more is done to Kurt Busch than what has presently be done."
"As for my driver, I support him 100 percent. This sport needs more Jimmy Spencers. We need more people who are true to themselves and dedicated to the fans the way Jimmy is. He adds a whole new dimension of excitement to our sport, and Ultra Motorsports continues to thrive with Jimmy as our driver.
"It is in the best interest of Jimmy and Ultra Motorsports that he refrain from making any statements at this time, as the investigation by the Lenawee County Sheriff's Department of the incident is still ongoing. We are continuing to fully cooperate with the Lenawee County Sheriff's Department, and we anticipate a close to this matter very soon."