NASCAR fined Kurt Busch $50,000 and put him on probation through July 25 for reckless driving on pit road and an altercation with a competitor after the Southern 500.
Busch’s punishment was the most severe of four penalties meted out from a scuffle between the crews of Busch and Ryan Newman after Saturday night’s Sprint Cup event at Darlington Raceway.
Andrew Rueger, the gas man for Newman’s No. 31 Chevrolet, was fined $5,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until June 27 for “failure to comply with a directive from a NASCAR official. An official fell onto Busch’s hood while attempting to restrain Rueger from lunging at the No. 51 team.
Craig Strickler, a crew member for Busch’s No. 51 Chevrolet, was fined $5,000 and placed on probation until Dec. 31 for interfering with a member of the broadcast media.
Tony Gibson, the crew chief for Newman, was placed on probation until June 27 because NASCAR can hold crew chiefs responsible for the actions of their team members.
After Saturday’s race, Gibson said his team members confronted Busch’s team because Busch had sped through their adjacent pit stall. Busch had stopped to fix damage from a collision with the wall that caused the race’s final caution. Though Newman wasn’t directly involved in the crash, he also pitted after spinning while slowing down.
“It’s dangerous enough doing normal pit stops,” Gibson said. “When you come ripping through someone’s pit box like that, (Busch) could have took out five or six guys, plus the officials, pretty easy. I don’t know how someone didn’t get run over. It’s a miracle no one got hit.”
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SOURCE: USA Today