NASCAR on Sunday blasted Richard Childress for his role in an altercation with driver Kyle Busch the previous day. The team owner had limited access at Kansas Speedway on Sunday, and NASCAR officials indicated further punishment is likely.
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NASCAR did not allow Childress to attend Sunday’s prerace drivers meeting or to be on the grid before the race or pit road during the Sprint Cup Series race. NASCAR officials said they would announce Monday any further actions against Childress, who witnesses said hit Busch three times behind the driver’s hauler after the Camping World Truck race at Kansas Speedway.
“Richard Childress’ actions were not appropriate and fell far short of the standard we expect of owners in this sport,” NASCAR said in a statement. “We have met with Childress this morning and made our position very clear to him. Further, we expect he will make it clear to all in his organization to ensure this situation does not escalate any further.”
After investigating the situation, NASCAR decided Busch did nothing to violate probation, which was levied on the driver after a run-in with Richard Childress Racing driver Kevin Harvick at Darlington.
“We’ve concluded that the driver of the 18 truck did nothing to provoke or to cause the actions, in our opinion, that would have violated probation,” NASCAR president Mike Helton said. “He did nothing that would have warranted the actions of Richard Childress.
“Once we get the race concluded, which is the focus of today, we’ll have to decide what NASCAR’s reaction is to Richard Childress."
Busch, who finished sixth in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 250 Truck race on Saturday, made contact with Childress driver Joey Coulter after the race on the cool-down lap. Coulter finished fifth.
"I wasn’t the aggressor or the instigator here," Busch told SPEED, adding that he just wanted to focus on Sunday’s race.
Childress declined comment as he exited the NASCAR hauler after meeting with sanctioning body officials.
Busch’s team owner, Joe Gibbs, who arrived in town late Saturday, said: “We feel that NASCAR has done a good job of handling the situation. The right people are handling this, and they’ll do the right thing."
Helton said the sanctioning body made it clear the owners of both organizations must meet with their teams and “that nothing be done on their sides" to propagate further action.
Helton added it was best for Childress to remain at the racetrack to provide leadership to his three teams competing in the STP 400.