Richard Childress fined, put on probation
NASCAR fined Richard Childress $150,000 and put him on probation until Dec. 31 for punching Kyle Busch following Saturday’s Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. Childress was not suspended for any races. No penalties were leveled against Busch.
“We feel this action is appropriate and are confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately,” NASCAR said in a statement.
Said Childress: “First of all, I’m responsible for my actions, plain and simple. As you know, I am a very principled person and have a passion for what we do at Richard Childress Racing. I believe passionately in defending my race teams and my sponsor partners. In this instance, I let that passion and my emotions get the best of me. I accept the penalty NASCAR announced today.”
The $150,000 fine matches the second-highest ever doled out by NASCAR. Only the $200,000 fine Carl Long incurred for an oversized engine in 2009 is higher.
It’s the second time in eight months that Childress has had to write a six-figure check to NASCAR. Last October, crew chief Shane Wilson was fined $100,000 when Clint Bowyer’s winning car at New Hampshire was found to be too high. Childress paid the fine for Wilson.
NASCAR does not make a habit of suspending owners. The last owner to be suspended was Jeremy Mayfield following a failed drug test in 2009.
The altercation between Childress and Busch occurred in the Truck Series garage following Saturday’s O’Reilly Auto Parts 250. In the closing laps of the race, Busch and Childress driver Joey Coulter made contact. On the cool-down lap, Busch drove up alongside Coulter and bumped the right side of his car.
Childress apparently took umbrage to the bump and decided to settle things himself. He reportedly approached Busch in the garage after the race, took off his watch, put Busch in a headlock and punched him.
Busch, already on probation, acknowledged the incident happened and said, “I don’t know that I did anything out of the ordinary that would provoke something of Mr. Childress.”
NASCAR president Mike Helton said on Sunday no punishment would be coming for Busch because they had “concluded that the driver of the 18 truck, Kyle Busch, did nothing to provoke or to cause the reactions, that in our opinion, would violate the probation.”
Busch is on probation for an incident last month with Richard Childress Racing’s Kevin Harvick. In the closing laps of the Southern 500, Busch spun Harvick, prompting a brief altercation after the race in which Harvick took a swing at Busch and Busch pushed Harvick’s unmanned race car into the pit road wall. Both Busch and Harvick were fined $25,000 and put on probation for four weeks.