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NASCAR Driver Kyle Busch in Altercation with Richard Childress

The Charlotte Observer earlier today broke a major NASCAR story involving Joe Gibbs Racing driver Kyle Busch and Richard Childress Racing, owner Richard Childress.

After today’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway, the Observer reported that Childress and Busch got into a physical altercation.

According to a member of a Truck team who asked not to be identified, Childress took off his jewelry before approaching Busch in the garage area and struck him with his fist.

The two were separated, traded insults and then Childress grabbed Busch in a headlock and struck him again before the incident was broken up.

The crew member said Childress initiated the incident.

So the first question that comes to mind, what caused the incident?  Here’s what the Observer thinks:

The cause of Childress’ frustration was likely tied to the end of the race, during which one of Childress’ drivers, Joey Coulter, and Busch bumped each other while battling for fifth place on the final lap.

Jerry Markland, Getty Images for NASCAR
NASCAR has had its hands full with Busch lately and now with him involved in an altercation with another team’s owner, it’s shot up to another level.
Granted, Busch wasn’t the instigator with what happened in Kansas, but I think he will be looking at a suspension some point this season if his behavior doesn’t improve.

NASCAR over the past few seasons has encouraged its drivers to show their emotions on their sleeve, but it now appears that it has gone too far.

Think about this: if Nolan Ryan was involved in fisticuffs with Derek Jeter, a player from an opposing team, all hell would break loose in Major League Baseball.  Well, this is essentially what happened with Childress and Busch.

Jamie Squire, Getty Images

I think NASCAR needs to send a message to Childress, and the rest of NASCAR’s owners.  If NASCAR can, and I think they will, prove that Childress struck a driver, he should be suspended from the sport for one year.  Yes- one year.

This wasn’t “rubbin’ means racin’”.  This was a team owner assaulting another team’s driver.

Today’s incident wasn’t Busch’s first tangle with Richard Childress Racing this season. Busch got into a scrape with another RCR driver, Kevin Harvick, at Darlington in early May.

The incident occurred after Regan Smith won his first Sprint Cup race. Busch parked behind Harvick on pit road, and the two cars sat there for almost a minute before Harvick climbed out.

Harvick then approached Busch’s car and took a swing at him. As Harvick swung, Busch drove away, pushing Harvick’s car into the inside retaining wall on pit road.

Both drivers were fined $25,000 and put on four weeks probation by NASCAR.

I think NASCAR will make a ruling on possible fines and suspensions for Childress and Busch next week.

Meanwhile, there’s a race tomorrow at Kansas, the STP 400, something NASCAR wishes the focus was on.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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