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NASCAR Clears Busch In Brawl With Childress

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, June 5 2011

Kyle Busch won't be penalized by NASCAR. Richard Childress will be. (RacinToday/HHP file photo by Christa L Thomas)

Kansas City, Kan. – Any penalties handed out by NASCAR as a result of Saturday afternoon’s physical confrontation at Kansas Speedway will be to team-owner Richard Childress. Kyle Busch apparently will not be sanctioned for his part in the confrontation.

That was what NASCAR president Mike Helton told the media during a brief press conference on Sunday morning at Kansas.

“In our opinion Kyle Busch did not violate his probation,” Helton said.

The clear message was that Busch was the victim in the confrontation and not the instigator.

The long-term fate of Childress will be determined after a review of the cirumstances of Saturday’s confrontation, which occurred after the Camping World Truck Series race.

For today’s STP 400 Spring Cup race, Childress will be subject to restrictions as to where he may be. Helton would not spell out the restrictions.

“We decided to let Richard stay because there does need to be leadership on the team,” Helton said.

NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said that it was safe to assume that Childress would be

Joe Gibbs is surrounded by the media after leaving the NASCAR hauler Sunday morning at Kansas Speedway. (RacinToday photo by Jim Pedley)

restricted to the roof of one of his team’s haulers.

When the race started, Childress was atop the hauler of RCR driver Clint Bowyer.

The altercation between Busch and Childress happened in the garages late Saturday afternoon.

An eyewitness told RacinToday.com that Childress angrily approached Busch, put him in a headlock and began punching him.

Childress was apparently angry over the fact that Busch had bumped the cars of Childress driver Joey Coulter’s car on the cool down lap after the O’Reilly Auto Sports 250.

A couple of weeks ago, Busch and another Childress driver, Kevin Harvick, were involved in an on-track, and then a pit-road incident at Darlington. Harvick blocked Busch’s car on pit road after the race, got out and attempt to punch Busch through the window of his car.

Busch gunned his car, knocked Harvick’s out of the way and into the pit road wall, and drove off.

Busch and Harvick were put on probation for that incident.

At Kansas Speedway today, there was a parade of people involved – directly and indirectly – with the incident to the NASCAR hauler.

Busch came and went without comment.

Later, in a television interview, Busch said he was on his way to his hauler when ther “was an altercation” with Childress. He did not provide details.

His team owner, Joe Gibbs, came out of the hauler and told reporters, “I don’t think right

Mike Helton addressed the media at Kansas Sunday.

now is the time to be talking about this.”

Childress went in the front door of the hauler and out the back 20 minutes later. He refused comment.

Helton took to the dais in the media center at Kansas, gave a brief explanation of NASCAR’s actions and fielded five questions.

“We concluded that the driver of the 18 car, Kyle Busch, did nothing to provoke or cause this,” Helton said.

“Once we get (Sunday’s) race concluded, which is the focus of the day, 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.”

– Jim Pedley can be reached at jpedley@racintoday.com

Jim Pedley | Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Sunday, June 5 2011
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