Richard Childress' question-and-answer session Friday at Pocono Raceway lasted 1 minute, 34 seconds and allowed for no questions – only a statement from Childress regarding his altercation with Kyle Busch and the ensuing $150,000 fine.
"The main thing is I take all the responsibility for my actions last week," said Childress, who punched Busch several times following last weekend's Truck Series race. "I am very passionate about this sport. I am passionate about my race teams, our fans and I let my emotions get – come in front of my passion. But that is behind us.
"I guess the next thing is the fine that was levied against me – I'm going to pay it personal. I agree that NASCAR should have done something with me. I don't agree that they didn't handle the situation that happened on the cool-down lap.
"Hopefully, Kyle [Busch] and myself will both end up learning something from this. Thank you all very much. Talk to you later. That's it."
And that was it. Childress took no questions.
Notably absent was an apology, something Childress didn't offer Monday in his initial statement either. Clearly, he isn't sorry for punching Busch.
From Childress' perspective, Busch tapped one of the cars he owns during the cool-down lap of the June 4 Truck Series race at Kansas; NASCAR didn't do anything about it; so the 65-year-old Childress took action. Simple as that.
Some speculated that the altercation stems from Childress previously warning Busch not to make contact with any of the race cars he owns. On Friday, Busch said Childress has never warned him of anything.
Busch said the tap was actually a "congratulatory bump" given to a young driver, Joey Coulter, for good, hard racing in the closing laps of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 250. Busch and Coulter raced side by side for fifth place in the closing laps of the race, with Coulter eventually winning the battle. After the race ended, Busch drove up alongside Coulter and bumped the right side of his truck, a gesture that is sometimes congratulatory, sometimes angry.
"There was no malicious intent to be involved with hurting or damaging an RCR vehicle," Busch said, adding he was impressed with how Coulter raced him. "The kid did what he was supposed to do on the last lap there. We raced each other for 18 laps and I was having fun with him trying to keep him back."
Busch added that certain situations get interpreted differently, and oftentimes he's on the "wrong end of interpretation." The last few weeks haven't helped his cause. He and Richard Childress Racing driver Kevin Harvick got into an altercation following last month's Southern 500 at Darlington. On May 24, he was ticketed for driving 128 mph in a 45-mph zone.
Busch has since apologized for the speeding incident and contends he wasn't the aggressor in either incident with Harvick or Childress.
"The villain-type thing, I'm not sure that I really did a whole lot to bring that back upon myself," Busch said. "I feel like I’ve acted in the utmost respect to every case that’s come up my way and has been thrown in front of me. I've tried to do it with dignity and class."
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