NASCAR panel upholds penalties for RCR crew members charged criminally for fighting

A NASCAR appeals panel has upheld the penalties for two Richard Childress Racing Nationwide crew members who were also criminally charged for fighting with Nelson Piquet Jr. at Richmond last month.

Crew members Thomas Costello and Michael Searce of driver Brian Scott's team were both suspended for four Nationwide Series races and fined $15,000 each. The suspensions begin next week at Dover. The two will be able to return in late June at Kentucky.

RCR chief operating officer Torrey Galida said Friday he was unsure if his organization would appeal the ruling by the three-person panel. He said RCR appealed because it thought the NASCAR penalties were excessive.

Henrico County police have also charged Searce with two counts of misdemeanor assault. Costello received one count of misdemeanor assault.