KANSAS CITY, Kan. — NASCAR will wait until after Sunday's STP 400 to determine what, if any, action it will take against car owner Richard Childresss for his altercation with Kyle Busch following Saturday's Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway. No action will be taken against Busch after NASCAR determined Childress instigated the incident.
Childress was involved in a post-race incident with Busch after Busch door-slammed Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap in Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 250. Coulter, driving for Richard Childress Racing, got by Busch on the final turn of the final lap after the two bumped, prompting the contact from Busch after the checkered flag. According to reports, the 65-year-old Childress approached the 26-year-old Busch in the garage area after the race, took off his watch, punched Busch in the face and then put him in a headlock.
NASCAR president Mike Helton said that Childress has not been ejected from Kansas Speedway and that he will still serve in his role as owner for his four Cup cars. However, there will be restrictions.
"We do have that ability, in incidents even beyond fighting," Helton said. "If we felt like we needed to do that we would. And that was considered in this case. And what will happen today is that Richard will operate as the owner of Richard Childress Racing with restrictions attached to it.
"We decided to let Richard stay because there does need to be leadership of the organization represented. … We decided that it'd be better if there was an authority from the team here and there's not a second-level authority present this weekend."
Do those restrictions extend to pit road? When asked about that while exiting his press conference, Helton responded, "That's probably one area that'd be pretty clear."
Busch was asked by SPEED in the motorcoach lot before Sunday's race about the incident. While Busch had sunglasses on during the interview, he does not have a black eye.
"There was an incident yesterday in the Truck Series garage as I was leaving my hauler on the way out to the motorhome lot and unfortunately it was an altercation between myself and Richard," Busch said.
"NASCAR is looking into it to decipher all of the facts of what happened and everything and make a decision based on that."
Busch is already on probation for an incident on May 8 at Darlington Raceway with Childress driver Kevin Harvick. When asked if Saturday's altercation violated that probation, Helton said it did not.
"We 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," Helton said. "He did nothing that warranted the actions of Richard Childress."
NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp said that the earliest any action would be taken against Childress would be on Monday. NASCAR could fine Childress and possibly suspend him from attending a future race or races.
Busch also said on SPEED that he couldn't answer if it was an incident that had stemmed from more than one event.
"That's not something I can answer," Busch said. "I wasn't the aggressor or the instigator here. All I can say is I was trying to head back to my hauler and handle my own business."
Busch, his car owner Joe Gibbs and Childress were seen entering the NASCAR hauler Sunday morning. Busch exited the hauler with no comment just a few minutes after entering, while Childress left the trailer through a side door and walked between the team haulers parked nearby. After the meeting, Gibbs said that the team would comment later.
Here is NASCAR's statement on the incident in its entirety:
"NASCAR has reviewed the incident involving Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. We have met with all parties involved and have determined what happened yesterday is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by NASCAR.
"Richard Childress's actions were not appropriate and fell far short of the standard we expect of owners in this sport. We have met with Childress this morning and made our position very clear to him. Further, we expect he will make it clear to all in his organization to ensure this situation does not escalate any further. We will announce our actions regarding this incident Monday.
"Kyle Busch remains on probation with NASCAR and we continue to watch his actions carefully. However, we have determined that Kyle's involvement in this incident does not violate his probation and no further action is required."