Do we now have a new go-to move to settle all pit road driver confrontations?
Nelson Piquet and Brian Scott's on-track disagreement spilled over to pit road after Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Richmond when Scott got out of his car and approached Piquet. After the two talked helmet-to-helmet, brief pushes were exchanged before Piquet ended the physical confrontation with a kick towards Scott's lower body parts before crew members got between the two.
How did we get to that point? Scott and Piquet made contact while racing for position in the top 20 during the waning laps of the race. After the race, Scott drove alongside Piquet to show his displeasure and as the two approached pit road on the cool-down lap, Piquet turned Scott into the inside wall.
"This isn't a just this race deal," Scott said. "He's got an issue with me from I don't know when and he runs into me every week and I've kind of had it. A little part of me told me that he was going to hit me for 15th place and then he did. And I was just showing him my displeasure with him after the race and then things escalated. I went to talk to him, I was a little heated and then he -- the camera probably show it, but he kicks me right below the belt, which I think is a below the belt type shot."
Piquet's side of the story:
"Basically a few laps from the end the two slid in front of me," Piquet said. "I touched him and he went sideways and we both nearly spun. I passed him, that was it, the end of the race, got the checkers, went slow over there and he doorbanged me and I don't take any (crap). He did the same thing to me at Martinsville just because I dived on the inside and I didn't, I never touched him in the back at Martinsville. He got pissed off because of that, I let that go, but I'm not going to take any more crap from him."
Back to the kick. Did Piquet make contact with Scott's private parts? Scott said he did, and Piquet later apologized for his actions.
Both drivers met in the NASCAR hauler after the race, but it's entirely possible that the topic of the meeting was focused more on the game of bumper cars near the entrance of pit road than the actual kick itself. Though you can't blame series officials if they want to ban pit road kicks altogether for their unpredictable nature. Nothing can either shut a confrontation down or ignite it like a torch faster than a kick to the groin.
Piquet, a former F1 driver who won last year's Nationwide Series race at Road America, is in his first full-time season in the series with Turner Scott (no relation) Motorsports. Scott is in his fourth season in the series and first with Richard Childress Racing.