Why did a race track owner violently confront 17-year old driver in car?
Mon, 09 Jul 2012 21:47:52 GMT —
It's something that still shocks 17-year-old Justin Williams.
The Central Sqaure native was racing in the Modified Lite series at the Can-Am Speedway in LaFargeville, north of Watertown on Saturday when he was involved in a minor collision.
The collision just happened to be between Williams and the son of Gerald "Tiger" Chapman who owns the Can-Am Speedway. A couple minutes after that collision Williams was pulling off to the pit areas when Chapman all but jumps in Williams' car telling him " If you (expletive) do that again, I'll (expletive) kill you!"
Williams was not harmed, being violently confronted by an adult who had his forearm pressed against Williams neck was quite jarring.
"All of the sudden he (Chapman) just jumped in my car and I couldn't really hear him because I had earphones in, but I was shocked I just couldn't believe it...he jumped in my car...I was just surprised" said Williams.
The Williams family has not decided what the next step is. They say they have not received anything in the way of a personal apology from Chapman, which the family says would go a long way in resolving this issue, which as Justin's father Doug calls it "the most uncalled for thing I've ever seen".
Chapman returned our phone call shortly after 8:00 p.m. Monday night, apologizing for the incident.
"I'm embarrassed and ashamed. I was 110 percent wrong for yelling," Chapman says. He says he thought Williams deliberately hit his son's car, and that's why he yelled. Chapman says he didn't realize Williams was only 17 years old; no slip was on file saying he was a minor.
Chapman adds he tried to apologize after the race, but no one wanted to hear it.
Here's the Youtube link to Justin's car camera, please be advised that Chapman's language in the video is very vulgar. The crash that caused it all happens at the 5:00 mark, and the confrontation happens at the 7:00 minute mark.