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NASCAR suspends one for racial slur

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Thursday, Jun. 11, 2009

BROOKLYN, Mich. - NASCAR on Thursday suspended Nationwide Series crew chief Bryan Berry indefinitely for the use of a racial slur regarding driver Marc Davis following last weekend's race at Nashville Superspeedway.

In a news release Thursday, NASCAR said it suspended Berry for his part in an altercation with a member of another team. Series spokeswoman Tracey Judd added that Berry had made "inappropriate comments."

NASCAR officials confirmed that Berry, crew chief for series rookie Brendan Gaughan, had a verbal confrontation with Davis, who is black. Berry used a racial slur on his way to confront Davis as the two exchanged words about an incident between Gaughan and Davis on pit road.

During the race, Gaughan was making a pit stop when Davis turned in front of his car to enter the garage area for repairs. The collision significantly damaged to both cars.

Immediately afterward, Gaughan told his team over the radio that he wanted to speak with Davis before Davis left the track.

"NASCAR informed us earlier this week of actions allegedly performed by an individual member of our No. 62 team last week at Nashville," said a statement released Thursday night by Berry's employer, Rusty Wallace Inc.

"RWR requires all of our team members to adhere to the highest levels of personal conduct at all times while representing our organization and its partners. We will accept absolutely nothing less.

"Our organization has fully cooperated with all aspects of NASCAR's investigation into this issue and intends to continue doing so, should any part of the investigation continue."

Late last month, Braun Racing announced it had signed Davis to drive six Nationwide Series races this season. His next race is Saturday at Kentucky Speedway.

NASCAR officials have said on numerous occasions they have a zero-tolerance policy regarding sexual and racial harassment.

The privately held company settled a $225 million lawsuit earlier this season with a former NASCAR inspector, Mauricia Grant, who is black. In her legal action, Grant claimed both racial and sexual harassment.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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