NASCAR will not penalize Kyle Busch, Joey Logano or any crew member for the altercation after Sunday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
NASCAR issued its weekly penalty report Wednesday and did not have Busch, Logano or any crew member from either team on the report.
Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, explained the decision in a statement:
“After a full review of multiple videos and discussions with both competitors and their respective race teams, we felt Sunday’s post-race incident does not warrant any further action. NASCAR was built on the racing that took place on the final lap by two drivers battling for position. 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. 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.”
Logano and Busch were racing for fourth on the backstretch on the final lap Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Busch came down the track and hit Logano’s car to squeeze between Logano and Brad Keselowski‘s car. Busch’s action caused Logano to enter Turn 3 at a lower entry. That led to contact, which Logano broke down on Fox Sports 1’s “Race Hub” on Tuesday night.
After the race, Busch walked up pit road and approached Logano. Busch immediately threw a punch at Logano but Logano said he wasn’t hit. Logano went after Busch, but was pulled away from the scene, as crew members from both teams swarmed. A NASCAR security official pulled Busch, who had blood coming out of a cut on his forehead, out of the scrum.
Logano said he called Busch on Tuesday to give him his side of what happened on the track.
On Monday, NASCAR Chairman Brian France told SiriusXM NASCAR Radio that “we just shouldn’t come out of our chairs over this. It is what it is. The drivers are doing everything they can. The pressure on these guys today is so difficult. So it shouldn’t surprise anybody that every once in a while somebody is going to boil over, somebody is going to think that they saw an incident in a different way, and whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter, emotions are going to get the best of them. That’s just part of it.”
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Kyle Busch continued his domination of the Brickyard 400 by winning Stage 2 of the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Busch, who has led 85 of the race’s 160 laps, led the final 13 laps of the stage. Busch also won Stage 1.
Busch restarted ninth on Lap 75 after eight cars stayed out of the pits during the preceding caution. He passed Ryan Blaney to return to the lead on Lap 87.
The top 10 after 100 laps were Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Blaney, Erik Jones, Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski and Jamie McMurray.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s final Brickyard 400 ended early when he ran into the back of Trevor Bayne on the Lap 75 restart. The collision smashed in the front of his No. 88 Chevrolet and damaged the radiator, which began trailing smoke and brought the caution back out. Earnhardt went to the garage with his sixth DNF through the first 20 races of the year.
“We had a great car, I was having a lot of fun, the car was fast, we had a top-10 car for sure,” Earnhardt told NBCSN. “It’s frustrating because I really enjoyed being out there.
“Hopefully, our luck’s going to turn around. It’s been pretty tough and this is a difficult one to put up with.”
The race’s second caution for an accident occurred on Lap 57 when David Ragan spun in Turn 1 and collected Jeffrey Earnhardt and JJ Yeley. Earnhardt and Yeley were able to continue, but the severe damage to Ragan’s No. 38 Ford ended his day.
Yeley’s day ended when he brought out another caution on Lap 70 when his No. 7 Chevrolet lost his right-front tire and hit the outside wall.
The Brickyard 400 is scheduled to end on Lap 160.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.‘s hopes of finally winning a Brickyard 400 in his final career appearance in the mid-summer classic ended abruptly on Lap 77 of Sunday’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Earnhardt made contact with the rear of the No. 6 of Trevor Bayne, causing significant damage to the front end and radiator of Earnhardt’s No. 88.
Shortly after that, smoke began to billow from the rear of Earnhardt’s car. He didn’t take the car to pit road, going straight to the garage instead, his day officially over.
“There were just a bunch of cars slowing down and stopping and caused a chain reaction,” Earnhardt told NBC. “I got into the back of the 6 car (Trevor Bayne), they were all getting into each other, and just knocked the radiator out of it.
“We had a great car, I was having a lot of fun, the car was fast, we had a top-10 car for sure. It’s frustrating because I really enjoyed being out there.”
Earnhardt now has just six races to qualify for the NASCAR playoffs. He’s pretty much in a must-win situation if he hopes to make the 10-race playoffs.
“Hopefully, our luck’s going to turn around,” Earnhardt said. “It’s been pretty tough and this is a difficult one to put up with.”
Earnhardt is the second Hendrick Motorsports driver to see his day come to an early end. Chase Elliott suffered engine failure on Lap 45.
Chase Elliott‘s hope of winning the Brickyard 400 went up in smoke about one-quarter of the way through Sunday’s 24th edition of the race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Elliott had some issues with his engine that brought him to pit road. After his team looked over the car, it sent him back out on the racetrack and shortly after, smoke began coming out of the rear of his Chevrolet on Lap 44. Elliott took his car to the garage, his day officially over.
“We don’t know, it was some type of motor issue,” Elliott told NBC of the apparent cause of the engine failure. “We went down a cylinder and then started blowing smoke out of the pipes. I’ve been racing Hendrick engines since 2013 and this is the first engine problem I’ve ever had. … We’ll move on to next week and see what we have there.”
Elliott came into the race hoping to repeat what his father did in the latter’s win in the 2002 Brickyard 400.
Pole-sitter Kyle Busch led all 50 laps to win the first stage of the Brickyard 400.
Busch is seeking to win his first Cup race in his last 36 starts since capturing last year’s Brickyard 400.
The top 10 after 50 laps were Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Denny Hamlin finished the stage in 24th after he pitted twice under the competition caution to fix damage from contact with Ryan Newman on his first trip down pit road.
Chase Elliott is out of the race after his No. 24 Chevrolet blew an engine on Lap 45. Elliott had begun dropping off the pace around Lap 20 and he was a lap down after an extended stop during the competition caution.
It is the first time Elliott has lost an engine in his Cup career.
The first caution of the race occurred on Lap 9 when Corey LaJoie hit the wall in Turn 3. During the caution the field was brought to pit road on Lap 12 ahead of severe weather.
The race was red flagged for lightning before it began raining. The red flag lasted one hour, 47 minutes and three seconds and was lifted at 4:47 p.m.
The race went back to green on Lap 18.
The competition caution originally scheduled for Lap 20 was pushed back to Lap 30.
Stage 2 will end on Lap 100 with the race scheduled to go 160 laps.