Stenhouse Jr. throws first punch at Busch

NASCAR News: Stenhouse-Busch Fight penalties announced

NASCAR officials issued penalties Wednesday morning stemming from an altercation after Sunday’s NASCAR All-Star Race, fining Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $75,000 for punching fellow Cup Series driver Kyle Busch and suspending two crew members from the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing team.

Stenhouse’s knock set off a post-race fracas between his crew and Busch’s No. 8 Richard Childress Racing team in the Cup Series garage at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Officials handed down multi-race suspensions to two crew members and also indefinitely suspended Richard Stenhouse — Ricky’s father — for violations of the NASCAR Member Code of Conduct (Sections 4.4.D in the NASCAR Rule Book).

Team mechanic Clint Myrick was suspended for the next eight Cup Series races (through events at Pocono Raceway on July 14) for his role, and tuner Keith Matthews was suspended for the next four Cup Series events (through Iowa Speedway on June 16)

Stenhouse and Busch tussled on track shortly after the green flag in Sunday’s non-points event, and Stenhouse’s No. 47 Chevrolet took the brunt of the damage after a bump from Busch’s No. 8 Chevy. Stenhouse was sidelined after completing just two of the 200 laps, and he parked and left his wrecked car in the No. 8 team’s pit stall to show his displeasure.

Stenhouse signaled that a post-race confrontation was approaching in interviews after he was checked and released from the infield care center. “I’ll handle it,” Stenhouse said, elaborating on what that meant by later adding, “Eh, you can just watch afterward.”

Stenhouse was waiting for Busch’s arrival at the No. 8 hauler after the event. After a brief discussion, Stenhouse threw a quick right hand that caught Busch in the side of the face. Both drivers went to the ground, and the elder Stenhouse intervened in a face-to-face square-off with Busch as both crews scuffled.

Also on the penalty report, competition officials issued two penalties after the Craftsman Truck Series’ most recent race at North Wilkesboro. Officials gave a one-race suspension to crew member Dawson Backus, rear tire changer for the No. 7 Spire Motorsports team, for violating the rule book section on crew protective clothing/equipment, specifically helmet straps. Officials also fined crew chief Jeff Stankiewicz $2,500 after the No. 9 CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet driven by Grant Enfinger was found with one unsecured lug nut in a post-race check.

Lastly, NASCAR officials also handed an indefinite suspension to Rowan Mason for a behavioral violation of Sections 4.1 and 10.1.A in the Rule Book (Substance Abuse Policy). Mason was last listed on NASCAR’s team roster portal as a mechanic for the No. 5 Our Motorsports team in the Xfinity Series.

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