NASCAR fines Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $75K over All-Star Race brawl

NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has been fined $75,000 for punching fellow driver Kyle Busch in a brawl that exploded after Sunday’s All-Star Race in North Carolina, an official said Wednesday.

In addition to the fine, two of Stenhouse Jr.'s crew members were suspended: team mechanic Clint Myrick for the next eight Cup Series races and tuner Keith Matthews for the next four Cup Series events.

Stenhouse's father, Richard Stenhouse, was also indefinitely suspended. All of the penalties were for violations of the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct, said NASCAR's senior vice president of competition, Elton Sawyer.

“When you wait 198 laps and you make those decisions that were made, we’re going to react to that,” Sawyer said Wednesday morning on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

“Once we start to get to the point where it gets physical, we want the two drivers to be able to have their time to express their differences. But again, once that escalates to where there’s been a physical altercation there, we’re going to react,” he said. “Granted there was no tunnel, granted there was no crossover bridge, but better decisions could have been made throughout that period of time between the incident that happened on the racetrack and the incident that happened in the garage post-race.”

Busch and Stenhouse brawled at North Wilkesboro Speedway after Busch's No. 8 Chevy bumped Stenhouse’s No. 47 Chevrolet Camaro ZLI, knocking him out of the race on Lap 2.

With nowhere to go as North Wilkesboro has no exit tunnel, Stenhouse essentially stewed for the rest of the race. After the race wrapped up, Stenhouse confronted Busch in the garage and threw a right hook at his face after a brief heated exchange. Witnesses nearby intervened, and others joined in the fistfight.

NASCAR had no official statement on the penalties Wednesday. Reps for Stenhouse Jr. and Busch did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

In a postfight interview Sunday with Fox Sports, Stenhouse alluded to previous beefs with Busch.

“You know, I feel like Kyle and I have always raced each other really hard. ... Then, I wrecked him once at Daytona, and he’s kind of been bad-mouthing me ever since then.

“I feel like we get along with each other OK outside the racetrack. I talk to him quite a bit. I’m not sure why he was so mad that I shoved it three wide. But he hit the fence and kind of came off the wall and ran into me. I don’t know — when I was talking to him, he kept saying that I wrecked him,” Stenhouse said. “Definitely built-up frustration with how he runs his mouth all the time about myself.”

NASCAR previously said there were no serious injuries in Sunday's scuffle.

Busch finished 10th in the All-Star Race and Stenhouse came in last. Joey Logano won the race in his No. 22 Ford Mustang Dark Horse, taking home its $1 million prize.

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