On Wednesday, September 4, NASCAR fined Kelly Heaphy $2,500 and banned her from all NASCAR events indefinitely.
A recent NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race has been drawing a lot of attention; Not because of a great win or extreme crash though. The stir was caused by a fight, and a one sided fight at that, when veteran racer Max Papis was slapped across the face by a fellow driver's angry girlfriend.
The girlfriend of driver Mike Skeen, Kelly Heaphy, was filmed slapping Papis right after a post-race interview.
"I was standing there and this lady, she starts yelling at me," Papis told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. "I had my mouth open a little bit and I didn't even see things coming. She hit me so hard with an open hand. My ear is still ringing.
"I honestly didn't even know if it was a spectator or whatever. It was pretty ridiculous."
Skeen made a statement about the slap on Monday: “The last-turn incident can be interpreted different ways as most altercations in racing can. Max escalated the situation beginning on the cool-down lap and as soon as we got behind the wall. We spoke face to face and then I left to return to the garage. I was unaware of the incident with Kelly until later. Max further escalated the situation (after the slap) by coming in our trailer and grabbing Kelly aggressively.”
NASCAR considered Heaphy part of the team for this race, and because of this consideration, she can be subjected to a fine.
"She signed in with the team on a single event license," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said.
Bryan Berry, Skeen's crew chief, was also fined $2,500 for failing to control team members.
Sharp-Gallaher co-owner Eddie Sharp said in a statement that the team will not appeal Berry's fine.
"I'd like to apologize to our sponsors, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and especially the fans on behalf of everyone at Sharp-Gallaher Racing for the incident that occurred following Sunday's race," said team co-owner Eddie Sharp Jr in a statement. "Although Kelly Heaphy is not an employee of SGR, we absolutely do not condone actions such as these from anyone associated with our organization. It is a shame that this overshadowed the first class event that NASCAR delivered in Canada. We have nothing but respect for NASCAR, and will not appeal the penalty assessed to crew chief Bryan Berry."