NASCAR suspends three truck series crew members
NASCAR has suspended three crew members from Germain Racing and Red Horse Racing and fined Red Horse Racing driver David Starr $10,000 for the exchange of punches following the Craftsman Truck Series race Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The fight erupted between Starr and his team against the Germain Racing crews following the race in which Starr had contact with Germain’s Todd Bodine and David Reutimann late in the event.
The sanctioning body suspended Bodine crew chief Mike Hillman Jr., Germain Racing crew member Mark Hillman and Red Horse Racing crew member William Divel for this weekend’s event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Germain Racing general manager Mike Hillman Sr. will serve as crew chief in Hillman Jr.'s absence.
“We understand the penalties NASCAR has assigned," Hillman Sr. said in a statement. "After losing two race trucks to the same competitor in a span of just over 10 laps, we let our tempers get the best of us.
"You can’t be a competitive race team without being passionate about your race trucks, your crew members, your drivers. The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series is home to excellent racing and we appreciate NASCAR’s commitment to safety on pit road and for the crew members, officials and race fans."
Hillman Jr. also was fined $2,500 and had his NASCAR probation extended through Dec. 31. (He had been on probation for a Daytona infraction.) Both Mark Hillman and Divel have been fined $1,500 and placed on probation until Dec. 31.
Starr avoided suspension but was fined $10,000 and put on probation until Dec. 31.
Starr’s crew chief, Richard Gay, and Germain Racing No. 9 team crew chief Jason Overstreet have both been fined $1,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31. Two more crew members – Germain Racing’s Brandon Hopkins and Tony Jilson – have been placed on probation until Dec. 31.
NASCAR did not dock points from the teams nor the drivers, but the entire Germain and Red Horse teams are on probation until Dec. 31.
Bodine, who bumped Starr’s truck during the cool-down lap, was not penalized. The fight broke out after that bump as the trucks stopped on pit road, Hillman Jr. went to Starr’s truck and unhooked the window net. Starr stormed out of his truck, and the fight ensued between Starr and Germain crew members. Bodine was never involved in the fight.
“Tempers flared after the race,” Hillman said Monday in a team statement. “In 13 laps Germain Racing lost two race trucks to the same competitor. The result was a rough situation, and I want to apologize on behalf of myself and our race team to the NASCAR officials and NASCAR staff that were stuck in the middle.
“I also want to extend an apology to Ron Hornaday, Rick Ren and the folks at [Kevin Harvick Inc.] as well as the race fans. Ron had a terrific race and a well-earned victory, and what happened on pit road shouldn’t take away from the great performance.”