NASCAR handed down one of its stiffest penalties to date as the sanctioning body slapped team owner Richard Childress today with a hefty $150,000 fine and probation through the end of 2011.
The penalty comes as the result of an altercation between Childress and fellow Camping World Truck Series owner Kyle Busch following Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts 250 at Kansas Speedway.
Childress issued the following statement after being notified of the sanctions:
"First of all, I'm responsible for my actions, plain and simple. As you know, I am a very principled person and have a passion for what we do at Richard Childress Racing.
I believe passionately in defending my race teams and my sponsor partners. In this instance, I let that passion and my emotions get the best of me.
I accept the penalty NASCAR announced today and, as a company, we will now focus on this week's races at Pocono Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway."
According to published reports, Childress took exception to Busch's post-race antics with Richard Childress Racing's Joey Coulter. Busch apparently "traded some paint" with Coulter's truck on the cool-down lap after Coulter had passed Busch a few laps prior to the end of the race.
Busch, an owner-driver, was approached by the 65-year-old Childress in the garage, where the situation escalated to fisticuffs.
Sunday morning, NASCAR issued a statement in regards to the incident in which they cleared Busch of any wrongdoing and stated penalties would be levied against Childress.
Busch is fortunate to be cleared in the incident. He is currently under probation related to a pit road incident at Darlington earlier this season between him and another RCR driver—Kevin Harvick.
Childress avoided becoming the first NASCAR team owner suspended since 1991 when Junior Johnson was suspended four races for running an oversized engine in the Winston All-Star race.