NASCAR fines Childress $150,000 for alleged Kyle Busch punch

Published: Jun. 6, 2011 at 1:55 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2011 at 1:55 PM EDT
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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (WBTV/AP) - NASCAR owner Richard Childress has been fined $150,000 and placed on probation after an altercation in the garage after a race in Kansas, NASCAR officials say.

The incident was reportedly an altercation with driver Kyle Busch, in which Childress, age 65, allegedly punched Busch at least three times.

It took place on Saturday night after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Kansas Speedway, NASCAR says.

The team owner was reportedly upset because Busch made minor contact with RCR Truck Series Driver Joey Coulter on the cool-down lap in Kansas.

"The penalty we have announced today for Richard Childress reflects NASCAR's response to the incident at Kansas Speedway on Saturday," NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said in a statement on Monday afternoon. "We feel this action is appropriate and are confident all parties involved understand our position on this matter and will move forward appropriately."

NASCAR president Mike Helton says Kyle Busch did nothing to provoke Richard Childress or violate his own probation during the altercation.

Helton allowed Childress to attend Sunday's STP 400, but he was not allowed on pit road. Childress has been placed on probation until December 31st for violating a NASCAR rule of "actions detrimental to stock car racing."  Tharp says that the probation includes all NASCAR-sanctioned events.

Busch is on probation of his own after a pit-road incident with Kevin Harvick during and after the Southern 500 at Darlington Speedway. Busch was fined $25,000 and placed on probation for four races (plus the All-Star Race).

Related article: Kyle Busch was going 128 mph in 45 zone, deputies say

When the race was over, Busch slowly followed Harvick into the pit area. Harvick eventually jumped out of his car and attempted to punch or grab his rival through his window.

Busch then slammed into Harvick's driverless car to clear space and drive off. Harvick's car ended up in the wall and was damaged. They were both fined and placed on probation for their pit-road actions at Darlington. The probation runs through June 15 and covers all NASCAR-sanctioned activity, including the $1 million All Star Race.

Two weeks ago, Busch made national headlines again - for his speed off the track.  He was cited for driving 128 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone by the Iredell County Sheriff's Office.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.