Until he pays a $500 fine, Whelen Modified Tour driver Dave Sapienza has been suspended by NASCAR for failing to obey orders from safety officials during a crash in the Virginia is for Racing Lovers 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Thursday night.
Sapienza has also been placed on probation through the remainder of the season.
The terms of the suspension were first detailed by RacedayCT and included the following statement from 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.”
Sapienza wrecked due to contact from Kyle Bonsignore on Lap 32. Following the incident, Sapienza got out of his car and waited for the field to come around under caution, where he gestured to Bonsignore as he drove by.
The same RacedayCT report quoted Sapienza as stating he doesn’t understand the penalty on two fronts 1) That the safety trucks didn’t arrive until 30 seconds after the incident and that 2) what he did was no different that Daniel Suarez in the Cup race when he tossed a bottle of water at William Byron from the racing surface.
— NASCAR (@NASCAR) April 11, 2021
“There was no one directing me anywhere,” Sapienza told RacedayCT. “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. 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?”
Of course, the clip was used by NASCAR marketing and social too.
Trouble for Dave Sapienza on Lap 32
— NASCAR Roots (@NASCARRoots) April 9, 2021
“They glorified me on their [social media], but they punish me for it,” Sapienza said.