NASCAR fines Richard Childress $150,000 for reported fight with Kyle Busch
NASCAR levied a $150,000 fine on longtime team owner Richard Childress on Monday for an incident in which Childress reportedly fought with driver Kyle Busch in the garage at Kansas Speedway.
Childress, 65, also was placed on probation until Dec. 31 for what NASCAR described only as "an altercation," but that multiple media outlets said involved Childress getting Busch in a headlock and punching him more than once before they were separated Saturday after a NASCAR truck race.
NASCAR also issued a rare additional statement along with the penalty, saying it was "confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately."
Childress responded with a statement saying he was "responsible for my actions." He said he accepted the penalty and that he let "passion and my emotions get the best of me."
Childress has been a team owner in what is now NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series, along with its lower-level car and truck series, for decades, and he won six Cup championships with the late Dale Earnhardt. Busch, 26, whose nicknames include "Rowdy," is one of the sport's most controversial figures.
The fight came Saturday after Busch had tangled on the track with one of Childress' drivers, Joey Coulter, in the truck race at Kansas Speedway. Last month, Busch also had a run-in with Kevin Harvick, one of Childress' drivers in the Cup series, after a race in Darlington, S.C.
Childress' action quickly ignited a debate over whether he overreacted or whether Busch was asking for trouble.
A number of NASCAR fans posted comments on the Los Angeles Times' website siding with Childress, and some motor-racing writers agreed. Others argued that regardless of Busch's on-track actions, Childress had gone too far.
-- Jim Peltz
Photo: NASCAR team owner Richard Childress at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 16. Credit: Terry Renna / Associated Press