NASCAR fines Childress after fight with Busch

Published 3:03 am Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NASCAR fined team owner Richard Childress $150,000 on Monday and placed him on probation through the end of the year for an altercation with driver Kyle Busch.

The 65-year-old grandfather approached Busch following Saturday’s Trucks Series race at Kansas Speedway and apparently punched him several times. Childress was upset that Busch had bumped into Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap after the race.

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Childress could have been suspended by NASCAR, but was instead only fined.

“We feel this action is appropriate and are confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately,” NASCAR said in a statement.

Childress said in a statement he accepts the NASCAR penalty, but he did not apologize.

“First of all, I’m responsible for my actions, plain and simple,” he said. “As you know, I am a very principled person and have a passion for what we do at Richard Childress Racing. I believe passionately in defending my race teams and my sponsor partners. In this instance, I let that passion and my emotions get the best of me.

“I accept the penalty NASCAR announced today and, as a company, we will now focus on this week’s races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.’

There have been varying reports about the incident, including one that indicated Childress’ actions were premeditated: He apparently removed his watch and handed it to someone before approaching Busch.

NASCAR met individually Sunday morning with Busch, his team owner Joe Gibbs, and Childress, before announcing that Busch played no role in the altercation and was not at fault for anything that occurred. All the blame was placed on Childress, who was allowed to stay for Sunday’s race because NASCAR determined his four-car organization would be without leadership if the owner was kicked out.

Childress was limited, though, as to where he could go inside the track and he spent much of the event watching from atop one of his team haulers.

Busch said he didn’t believe he’d done anything to warrant the altercation.

“I don’t know that I did anything out of the ordinary that would provoke something of Mr. Childress,” said Busch, who seemed to indicate he would not press charges against Childress. “I’m going to leave it up to NASCAR and let them decide what they feel is best.”