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Talladega bans 14 fans from buying tickets after beer-throwing incident

Associated Press • May 2, 2007 at 7:24 AM

TALLADEGA, Ala. - Talladega Superspeedway has permanently banned 14 fans from buying tickets at the speedway following their arrests Sunday for throwing objects on the track after Jeff Gordon's victory in the Aaron's 499 NASCAR Nextel Cup race.

The fans were charged with disorderly conduct Sunday and posted bond at the track's jail facilities, Talladega County Sheriff Jerry Studdard said.

Track officials can't prevent the 14 fans from buying tickets through a third party.

A number of fans began throwing beer cans after Gordon won the race under caution, passing the late Dale Earnhardt - a Talladega favorite - in career wins.

Talladega officials had issued warnings before the race that fans caught throwing objects over the fence would be arrested.

Superspeedway president Grant Lynch said identifying other fans who threw objects was harder than he had imagined.

"At a baseball game where everybody is sitting down, it's easy to see someone stand up and throw an object onto the field," Lynch said. "I was looking at a section that probably had 300 people in it, and they were all standing up, waving their arms and their caps, and I couldn't pinpoint where any of the objects were coming from."

Track officials added security following a similar incident after Gordon's victory in 2004, and said they will review Sunday's incident to see if more changes are needed.

Fans are allowed to bring small coolers to the track and can buy canned beverages at concession stands.

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