NASCAR clears Busch in altercation with Childress

NASCAR cleared Kyle Busch for his role in an altercation with

65-year-old car owner Richard Childress after the Trucks Series

race at Kansas Speedway.

Childress might not be so lucky.

NASCAR president Mike Helton said Sunday that Busch didn’t

violate his probation during the incident Saturday night.

Busch ”did nothing that would have warranted the actions of

Richard Childress,” said Helton, who declined to discuss details

of what occurred between the two.

Busch finished behind Richard Childress Racing driver Joey

Coulter in the Trucks race after the two had a spirited late battle

for position. Busch drove up beside Coulter’s truck following the

race, but Helton said Busch did nothing to jeopardize his

status.

”We haven’t seen anything that indicated Kyle violated his

probation on the race track (Saturday) or in the garage area,”

Helton said.

Busch confirmed in a brief interview with Speed TV on Sunday

that the altercation with Childress occurred as he was leaving his

hauler.

”I wasn’t the aggressor or the instigator here,” Busch said

when asked if animosity had been brewing between his team and RCR.

”I think the best thing to do is just try to put it behind you as

best you can.

”Obviously it might be a thought on everyone else’s mind, but

when you get a helmet on and get back behind the wheel of a race

car and get down to business, that’s what matters most.”

Helton said that Childress will be allowed to stay for Sunday’s

Sprint Cup race in Kansas because his team needs leadership. But

his track access will be restricted, and NASCAR said in a separate

statement that it will address the owner’s actions Monday.

A statement released Sunday by NASCAR called the incident

Saturday ”unacceptable,” adding that Childress’s actions fall

”far short of the standard we expect of owners.”

”Once we get (Sunday’s) race concluded, which is the focus of

the day, we’ll have to decide what NASCAR’s reaction is to Richard

Childress as a member of NASCAR in an action against another NASCAR

member.”

NASCAR said it met with Childress on Sunday morning and made it

clear that it didn’t want the situation to escalate.

Childress wasn’t available for comment. But Busch’s team owner,

Joe Gibbs, said he agreed with NASCAR’s handling of the

incident.

”Kyle is focused on the racing,” Gibbs said. ”We’re

comfortable that NASCAR has done a good job of working through this

situation.”

Busch is on probation through June 15 following a postrace

confrontation with RCR driver Kevin Harvick at Darlington. On May

24 in North Carolina, Busch was cited for careless and reckless

driving, and speeding after driving 128 mph in a 45 mph zone.