NASCAR is embracing its athletes’ violent antics.
NASCAR on Wednesday declined to penalize Kyle Busch and Joey Logano or their crews for their post-race scuffle at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR said the sport was built on the kind of racing that Busch and Logano did on the final laps of Sunday’s race. The hard racing for position led to Busch confronting Logano after the race, and throwing a punch.
Busch was knocked to the ground by Team Penske crew members and cut his forehead in the scuffle, gaining much attention to a sport that is ignored by some parts of the country.
“The emotions of our athletes run high, and Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are two of the most passionate and competitive drivers in the sport,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer. “Both competitors are very clear on our expectations going forward and we will be meeting with them in person prior to practice on Friday in Phoenix.”
This is what a “passionate” Busch sounded like following Sunday’s brawl.
“I got dumped. He flat out just drove straight in the corner and wrecked me,” Busch said. “That’s how Joey races, so he’s going to get it.”
And Logano: “I got dumped. He flat out just drove straight in the corner and wrecked me,” Busch said. “That’s how Joey races, so he’s going to get it.”
Apparently it only took two days for the drivers to make up. Logano told FoxSports1 on Tuesday that he and Busch have spoken since the incident.
“Obviously, we didn’t speak much there, so I got a chance to call him up earlier … to be able to talk to him a little bit and at least tell my side of the story,” Logano said. “We’re going to have two sides to the story like there is all the time, but really the bottom line is we’re two passionate race car drivers. We’re two of the best in the sport that are going to go for wins that are aggressive and we collided.”
NASCAR did issue two lug nut penalties: The teams for Martin Truex Jr. and Ty Dillon were penalized for lug nuts not being properly installed. Truex crew chief Cole Pearn and Dillon crew chief Bootie Barker were each fined $10,000.