NASCAR has penalized driver Kurt Busch for his involvement in a post-race scuffle with Ryan Newman's team following the conclusion of last Saturday night's Sprint Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway.
According to a release from NASCAR on Tuesday, Busch, who is in his first year as driver of the No. 51 Chevrolet for Phoenix Racing, received a $50,000 fine and probation until July 25 for "reckless driving on pit road during the race" and for being "involved in an altercation with another competitor after the completion of the race."
Busch was not penalized with a loss of points.
The incident stemmed after Busch and Newman were involved in an accident during the closing laps of the Darlington race. When Busch came to pit road for repairs, he drove by Newman's pit area and angered his crew members. One of those members approached Busch's team on pit road to voice his displeasure.
After the race ended, Busch bumped into the back of Newman's car on pit road, which led to a shoving match between both teams. As tempers flared, Andy Rueger, the gasman for Newman's No. 39 team, and Busch had to be restrained. A NASCAR official was knocked over while trying to settle the dispute.
Rueger has been fined $5,000 and placed on probation until June 27 for "failure to comply with a directive from a NASCAR official." The sanctioning body also placed Newman's crew chief, Tony Gibson, on probation for the same amount of time as Rueger. A NASCAR rule states, "Crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members."
Additionally, Craig Strickler, a crew member on the No. 51, was fined $5,000 and received probation for the remainder of the year for his "actions detrimental to stock car racing; interfering with a member of the broadcast media."
The penalties handed down to Busch and Newman's teams come one year after Busch's younger brother, Kyle, and Kevin Harvick were each issued a $25,000 fine and probation for one month following their post-race altercation on pit road at Darlington.