Crew chief apologizes for pulling hair

Crew chief Jerry Baxter said Monday he apologized to Steve Wallace for pulling the drivers’ hair after the Nationwide Series race in Montreal.

Baxter was crew chief for Patrick Carpentier, a Canadian driver making the final start of his career in Saturday’s road course race. He was running fourth late in the event when contact with Wallace ended his race.

Baxter, crew chief for Pastrana Waltrip Racing, reached into Wallace’s car and pulled Wallace’s hair as the driver made his way down pit road after the race. The incident was caught on Wallace’s in-car camera.

”I’m sorry for what happened after the race on Saturday and I take responsibility for my own actions,” Baxter said in a statement. ”I was just very frustrated and let my emotions get to me. That was Patrick’s last race and we wanted to make it special.

”We really thought he had a shot for the win and everything boiled over when that chance went away in the wreck. Everyone was just racing hard and there was no intent to wreck anyone. There’s no excuse for what I did after the race and I apologize to everyone.”

Wallace joked about the hair-pulling on his Twitter page Monday.

”Just talked to Jerry Baxter,” Wallace posted, ”he said he’s gonna give me my hair back!!!!!!”

Pastrana Waltrip Racing co-owner Michael Waltrip also apologized and said the team prides itself on hard racing, ”but we always want to be good sports.

”Jerry Baxter is very passionate about our race team, but what Jerry did after Saturday’s race was wrong and he knows it,” Waltrip said. ”Believe me, I understand how emotional you can get behind the wheel or up on the pit box, I’ve been there. But, you have to draw a line and Jerry crossed that line. It’s not what we are all about.”

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