NASCAR will look into driver scuffles

NASCAR will address altercations that occurred between Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya in the sanctioning body’s hauler and the dustup on and off the track between Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch.

“We’ll look at both of those,” Kerry Tharp, NASCAR’s senior director of communications, said Sunday morning.

Montoya requested a meeting with NASCAR after his feud with Newman was reignited at Richmond International Raceway last weekend.

Newman and officials from Stewart Haas Racing elected to meet with NASCAR immediately after the Richmond race. When the drivers gathered in the hauler on Friday morning, a punch was thrown by Newman, according to sources.

Although nothing new occurred between Montoya and Newman on Saturday night at Darlington Raceway, Montoya continued to raise the ire of his fellow competitors — most notably, five-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. Montoya clipped Johnson on Lap 84 in Turn 1 and sent the No. 48 spinning out of the top 10 and back to 24th.

Harvick vs. Busch came to a crescendo last November at Homestead Miami Speedway when the driver of the No. 29 complained that Busch was racing him too hard and Harvick then dumped Busch’s No. 18 Toyota, which erupted into flames.

The rivalry was rekindled Saturday night at Darlington Raceway on the second-to-last restart on Lap 363 as the drivers jockeyed for position among the top 10 on the lead lap.

Harvick door-slammed Busch through Turns 1 and 2. As Busch attempted to drive under the No. 29 Chevrolet on the backstretch, Harvick continued contact and finally punted Busch in Turns 3 and 4. Busch took the high side coming out of Turn 4, taking it three wide with Harvick and Clint Bowyer down the front stretch with the No. 33 getting the worst of the bottleneck. Then Busch sent Harvick into the spin cycle as the pair entered Turn 1.

"He hooked me," Harvick exclaimed over the radio as he gathered his car.

After the race, Harvick chased Busch onto the entrance of pit road, where the No. 29 crew waited to defend their driver. Harvick climbed from the car and approached Busch’s vehicle. Harvick attempted to throw a haymaker, but Busch hit the gas and plowed the No. 29 into the wall.

Busch later apologized for making contact with Harvick’s car. Busch chose not to stick around on pit road after the incident because Harvick’s crew outnumbered him eight to one.

Both drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler after the incident.

The last time a NASCAR driver intentionally hit another car on pit road was Steven Wallace at Memphis Motorsports Park in October 2009. Wallace was fined $5,000 and placed on probation.
 

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