NHRA has fined Top Fuel driver Bob Vandergriff Jr. $20,000 for violations of the NHRA Rulebook during last weekend’s Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Vandergriff was fined for abandoning his race car on the track, remaining and walking on an active race track after exiting his race car, and for initiating a verbal confrontation with three NHRA officials.
The Alpharetta, GA-based driver was upset with track conditions following a day-long rain that required hasty track prep and pushed back the first round of eliminations to after 7 p.m. After each of four pairs of Top Fuelers made passes, the NHRA Safety Safari gamely tried to get the track into good racing shape.
However, when Vandergriff faced off against Clay Millican in the fifth pair he almost crashed his car (above) and left it in the shutdown lanes while he walked the length of the track back to the starting line to confront NHRA VP Graham Light over what he felt were unacceptable racing conditions.
Vandergriff was fined for violation of 1.3.1 regarding participant conduct, found on page three of the 2014 NHRA Rulebook. The fine is appealable as outlined in section 1, pages 17-24 of the 2014 NHRA Rulebook.