WATCH: When NASCAR Fined Ricky Rudd for Hitting Team Employee With a Bottle After Brutal Sucker Punch

Published 06/07/2022, 2:48 PM EDT

Richard Lee Rudd, popularly known as Ricky Rudd is a very famous NASCAR driver. It’s needless to give his introduction if you’re a NASCAR fan, but the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Famer is certainly an interesting character and we bet you wouldn’t disagree.

The man is not only known for his on-track incidents but also for the incidents off-track. So be prepared for the incident we bring you in this article.

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To start with, as most of us NASCAR fans would know that Ricky Rudd had an illustrious career in American racing history. From racing for DiGard Motorsports and King Racing to Rudd Performance Motorsports and Robert Yates Racing, Rudd had a journey most of the NASCAR drivers these days would envy.

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However, the 2002 incident at Richmond International Raceway while Rudd was driving for Robert Yates Racing must be something the former NASCAR driver will never forget.

Ricky Rudd had a brawl with Yates engine shop employee Larry Lackey. Lackey punched Rudd in the eye during a discussion over engines. Rudd, in retaliation, threw a water bottle that hit Lackey in the face and resulted in blood flow. The two were then separated by the team crew.

How did NASCAR react to the Ricky Rudd incident?

It’s needless to mention that NASCAR is a game that has seen fights between the drivers and crew over the years and there’s nothing new in it. However, NASCAR had been quite strict post the 2002 Richmond incident. The governing body has fined $5000 to Ricky Rudd and $10,000 to engine shop employee Larry Lackey.

NASCAR criticized the behavior of the duo and called the action detrimental to the stock car racing and its reputation. Winston Cup Director John Darby clarified that Ricky Rudd was fined for throwing the bottle.

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“In every fight, there has to be an aggressor and a retaliator. The incident between Larry and Ricky took place in the garage area and we, as a sanctioning body, govern the pits and garage. We will not tolerate people hitting each other in those areas.”, stated the official.

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Talking about the fine, the former NASCAR driver stated, “I just found out I am going to be fined and that’s the most absurd thing I ever heard. I believe it’s NASCAR’s job to keep the drivers safe and that guy just sucker-punched me. I didn’t do anything wrong in this deal, that’s all I’m going to say.”

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Despite the incident, Ricky Rudd will always be a sensation and star in American motorsport history. But it’s not just us, the statistics say so. The incredible 906 races in 32 years in Cup Series is enough to call that man a legend. Isn’t that so?

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Sabyasachi Biswas

399 articles

Sabyasachi Biswas is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports. He has completed his Master's in Mass Communication and Journalism from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. Sabyasachi is an ardent Red Bull and Max Verstappen fan and has been following the sport for over a decade now.

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