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NASCAR Slaps Kyle Busch, Harvick With Penalties

by TMS Media Relations | May 10, 2011

By Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
(May 10, 2011)
Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick found out Tuesday the limits to NASCAR’s mantra, “Boys, have at it, and have a good time.”
The fun stops when it endangers people on pit road.
The sanctioning body fined Busch and Harvick $25,000 each and placed the drivers on probation for the next four Sprint Cup points events (Dover, Charlotte, Kansas and Pocono), through June 15.
The penalties address a confrontation between the drivers on pit road after the race and not their actions on the racetrack. After a restart on Lap 363, Harvick’s No. 29 Chevrolet and Busch’s No. 18 Toyota made contact several times.
Exiting Turn 4, Harvick’s car bounced off Busch’s and into the Chevy of Harvick’s Richard Childress Racing teammate Clint Bowyer, who slammed into the inside wall to bring out the final caution of the race. Busch then spun Harvick on the frontstretch.
After the race, Harvick blocked Busch’s entrance to the garage, climbed from his car and attempted to punch Busch through the window of his car. Busch simultaneously nudged Harvick’s unattended car, which rolled slowly, nose-first into the inside wall.
NASCAR punished the drivers for the postrace sequence of events, specifically for violating Section 12-1 of the rule book (“actions detrimental to stock car racing—involved in an altercation on pit road after the race”).
NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp said the penalties were “about maintaining a safe environment on pit road.”
The sanctioning body opted not to take action against either Juan Pablo Montoya or Ryan Newman for a series of incidents that began a week earlier at Richmond. After contact from Newman sent Montoya into the wall on Lap 106 of the April 30 Crown Royal 400, Montoya retaliated by spinning Newman on Lap 237.
NASCAR met with both drivers Friday at Darlington, but the meeting reportedly erupted into a physical confrontation between the drivers. NASCAR would say only that the meeting didn’t go as planned and indicated the matter would be discussed further.
“We made it clear to them in our meeting that this was their final warning and that we would be watching them closely and that enough is enough,” Tharp said of the Montoya-Newman feud. “We believe they got the message loud and clear, raced hard but cleanly in Saturday night’s race (at Darlington) and will continue to do so moving forward.”

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