NASCAR fan brings out caution at Richmond by climbing fence

NASCAR was forced to throw a caution flag late in Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Richmond International Raceway when a fan climbed the fencing in Turn 4. 

Todd Warshaw

There have been some strange moments in NASCAR races over the years. 

A fan once stole the pace car at Talladega Superspeedway. The sprinklers once came on unexpectedly during a green flag run at Richmond International Raceway. A hole developed mid-race in Turn 1 during the Daytona 500. Juan Pablo Montoya hit a jet dryer under caution, setting off a massive fire, also during the Daytona 500. 

Last weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, a cat or squirrel (the jury is still out) ran across the track in front of race leader Kevin Harvick.

Well, Saturday night at Richmond, another incident was added to the list of NASCAR oddities. 

With 69 laps to go in the Federated Auto Parts 400, NASCAR was forced to throw the caution flag for "security" reasons. 

That reason? A fan had climbed the catchfence separating the Turn 4 grandstands from the 43-car field racing below. The shirtless fan was brought down by local authorities while the race was slowed under the yellow flag. 

After the race, drivers and crew chiefs reacted to the strange incident both in the media center and on social media. 

"Those Virginia folks," said Kevin Harvick, who was sitting next to Virginia native Denny Hamlin in the Richmond media center. 

"That caution put me two laps down," Hamlin said. "Knucklehead."

"It used to be okay," Harvick added. "I remember the first race I won, the whole backstretch grandstand was hanging on the fence. They never threw a caution then."

"If he wants to play in traffic, it’s his problem," said Hamlin.

Race winner Brad Keselowski was not aware of the fan situation, and was surprised to hear about it after the race. 

"Somebody climbed the fence?" he said when asked. "The Miller Lite was working. That’s my reaction: Wow! That’s something. Wonder if he got a selfie." 

Just missing out on the Chase, Clint Bowyer took to his Twitter account to have a little fun with the situation, saying he and the fan have a little bit in common. 

Harvick’s crew chief Rodney Childers took a more serious approach on his Twitter account, calling out Richmond International Raceway for allowing the situation to escalate to that point. 

RIR officials announced the man was arrested by Henrico County police for disorderly conduct and being drunk in public, but did not release a name. The track also indicated they would review security measures following the incident. 

Another fan was able to capture video of the incident and posted it to YouTube. The video shows the man sitting atop the fence as security personnel try to get him to climb down (you can see the man starting at the 2:37 mark of the video).