Richmond Post-race altercation leads to police holding two crew members in custody UPDATE Two NASCAR crew members were taken into custody and charged with assault after what Henrico County police described as a “physical altercation” in the infield area of Richmond International Raceway near the driver-owner lot following last night’s hard-fought ToyotaCare 250.
Michael A. Scearce, 50, of Mount Ulla, N.C., was charged with two misdemeanor counts of assault, Henrico Police Lt. Linda Toney said in a news release. Thomas F. Costello, 35, of Kannapolis, N.C., was charged with one misdemeanor count of assault. The two were charged and released early today.
"One of the two adult male victims has a shoulder injury," Toney said.
The website for Richard Childress Racing lists Scearce and Costello as crew members for driver Brian Scott, whose team clashed with that of rival Nelson Piquet Jr. on pit road, according to an Associated Press report.
“Henrico Police are investigating a verbal argument that started in the infield area of RIR that escalated into a physical altercation near the Driver/Owner Lot,” Lt. Linda Toney said in a news release. “The assault occurred at approximately 11:15 p.m.”04/27/13 Henrico County Police had two adult males in custody Friday night after a fight in the driver/owner lot of Richmond International Raceway following a Nationwide Series race where Richard Childress Racing and Turner Scott Racing crews and drivers nearly brawled.
The police department did not reveal details of who was involved in the altercation but Richard Childress Racing confirmed its involvement and multiple sources said Turner Scott Motorsports personnel and driver Nelson Piquet Jr. were talking to police in the motorhome lot. A statement from Richard Childress Racing Director of Communications Tim Packman confirmed the team's involvement.
"We are aware an incident took place outside of the track's infield following Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway involving members of our team and others from another team," the statement said. "We are cooperating with the local authorities in this matter."
The incident occurred a little more than an hour after the race.
"Henrico Police are investigating a verbal argument that started in the infield area of RIR that escalated into a physical altercation near the Driver/Owner Lot," a statement from the police department said.
"The assault occurred at approximately 11:15 p.m. Two adult males are in custody as a result of the ongoing investigation. One of the two adult male victims has a shoulder injury."
NASCAR did not release a comment on the incident.
"We don’t comment on ongoing police investigations," said NASCAR spokesperson Kristi King.
Two separate incidents following the Nationwide Series race involved RCR and Turner Scott Motorsports, sparked by an on-track incident between Piquet and RCR driver Brian Scott.
Following the race, both crews nearly came to blows and Scott went up to Piquet, who shoved Scott away and then kicked him in the groin.
Piquet later apologized for kicking Scott, saying it was in self-defense.
"When you get a temper at the end of the race, everybody is tired and frustrated and you do things you don’t mean, too," Piquet said after the race.
"The intention wasn’t to do that. It was just to keep him away from me because I didn’t want to start a fight. He came running at me yelling. It was kind of a first reaction to defend myself. It wasn’t meant to hit him where it ended up." Sporting News