Ryan Newman's gas man Andy Rueger confronted Kurt Busch and his team on pit road after Saturday night's Southern 500. The incident came after members of Newman's team were angry with Busch's actions following a wreck that involved both Busch and Newman with six laps to go in the race.
Busch initially brought out the caution when he spun as a tire was going down, and Newman, who was immediately behind Busch, got turned off the bumper of Aric Almirola as he slowed down to avoid Busch's spinning car.
The teams were pitted next to each other and after limping around to pit road and getting new tires put on the car, Busch did a burnout through Newman's pit box as members from Newman's crew were nearby.
The crewmen were infuriated by Busch coming so close to them with his burnout, and several began yelling at Busch's crew to convey their outrage.
"When you come ripping through somebody's pit box like that, he could have took out five or six guys plus the officials pretty easy," Newman's crew chief Tony Gibson said. "I don't know how somebody didn't get run over, to be honest with you. It was a miracle nobody got hit."
It didn't end there. After the race, Busch made contact with Newman's car on pit road. According to Newman, Busch said it was an accident. Newman wasn't buying it and got in a dig at Busch's temper.
"I'm not sure what happened," Newman said. "It's easy to see and it's easy to say that Kurt blew a fuse again. I'm not sure why he did it and tried to run over our guys and NASCAR officials. And nobody is. I think the chemical imbalance speaks for itself. Kurt drilled me in pit lane and said that he was taking his helmet off and he didn't see where he was going, which I'm pretty sure there were 42 other guys that are taking their helmets off and doing whatever for the last 10 years and that's the first time that's happened to me. Circumstances I think are that he lied and was so frustrated that he doesn't know how to deal with his anger."
Temper issues led to Busch parting ways with Penske Racing at the end of 2011, after he had a verbal outburst at an ESPN reporter, ripped another reporter's transcript in half and had several outbursts over the team radio throughout the season. Busch, who is driving for team owner James Finch on a handshake deal this season, was not happy at all over the radio in the final laps of this race.
NASCAR is looking into the incidents. A NASCAR official appeared to take a tumble over the hood of Busch's car, but NASCAR vice president of competition Robin Pemberton said that the sanctioning body didn't feel that there was anything aggressive towards the official.
"We're looking at film, we're still getting all the facts straight," Pemberton said after the race. "We haven't talked to Kurt, we talked to Ryan a little bit. He talked to Kurt afterwards and he told him he didn't mean to hit him, he was taking his helmet off and looked up and he'd run into the back of him. So right now that's really all the facts that we have."
We'll keep you posted about any penalties or further developments.
Last year at Darlington, it was Kyle Busch who was involved in a post-race fracas on pit road when he was confronted by Kevin Harvick. And before last year's Darlington race, Newman was involved in an incident in the NASCAR hauler with Juan Pablo Montoya, where NASCAR officials said that the meeting didn't go as well as they had hoped.
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