NASCAR admonishes Childress following fight with Kyle Busch
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Details continued to emerge Sunday about an incident Saturday at Kansas Speedway involving famed 65-year-old NASCAR owner Richard Childress and 26-year-old NASCAR multi-series star Kyle Busch.
The incident followed Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 truck race and eyewitnesses reported that Childress took off his watch, approached Busch in the trucks garage area, put him in a headlock and punched him several times.
At the end of Saturday's race, won by Emporia, Kan., native Clint Bowyer, Busch and 20-year-old Joey Coulter, a rookie running for Richard Childress Racing, were battling for fifth place.
Coulter got past Busch for the position and Busch, apparently not appreciating the move Coulter used, tapped Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap, leading to the Childress-Busch confrontation.
Bowyer runs for RCR in the Sprint Cup Series but won Saturday's race in a truck owned by his Sprint Cup teammate, Kevin Harvick. Both Harvick and Busch already are on NASCAR probation for a post-race incident on pit road following the May 7th race at Darlington, S.C. The Harvick-Busch flap followed an on-track incident that also included Bowyer.
Busch has also had a run-in in the past with RCR driver Jeff Burton.
NASCAR president Mike Helton held a news conference Sunday morning and issued the following statement:
"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."
Childress was allowed to remain at Kansas Speedway for Sunday's STP 400 Sprint Cup race but was restricted as to where he would and would not to be allowed to go.
Once we get today's race finished, which is the focus of today, we'll have to decide what NASCAR's reaction is to Richard Childress as a member of NASCAR in an action against another NASCAR member,'' Helton said.
"The biggest topic today certainly through the conversations, outside of the incident itself, was to be sure that today's event went on correctly and safely for everybody involved.''
Busch ran his own truck in Saturday's race, but competes in Sprint Cup for Joe Gibbs Racing. Gibbs met with several members of the media following Sunday morning's driver's meeting and said that he is content with how NASCAR is handling the situation.
"We met (in the NASCAR hauler Sunday morning) and I think everybody said what they needed to say in the hauler,'' said Gibbs, the former Super Bowl-winning NFL coach. "I think NASCAR is doing a good job of handling it.''
Busch, who had no visible cuts or bruises, told SPEED in a brief interview:
“I wasn’t the aggressor or the instigator here. I was just trying to head back to my hauler and deal with my own business. The best thing to do is try to put it behind you the best you can.''
Childress declined comment.