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NASCAR penalizes Harvick, Busch

Drivers penalized for actions that spilled onto pit road after 500.

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Tuesday, May. 10, 2011

NASCAR had no issues with Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick's run-ins on the track during Saturday night's Southern 500 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway.

Their confrontation after the race, however, was a different matter.

NASCAR fined both drivers $25,000 and placed them on probation through June15, covering any NASCAR-sanctioned events in which they participate during that time.

"These penalties are a result of what occurred on pit road after the race was over," said Kerry Tharp, NASCAR's senior director for communications, competition.

"They are about maintaining a safe environment on pit road."

Busch and Harvick made contact on the track several times on Lap 363 of the race.

Harvick bounced off Busch's car exiting Turn 4 and into teammate Clint Bowyer's bringing out the final caution on Lap 363 of 370. Busch then spun Harvick on the frontstretch.

After the race, Harvick blocked Busch's entrance to the garage, climbed from his car and attempted to punch Busch through the driver's window. Busch then hit his accelerator and knocked Harvick's car into the pit wall and continued into the garage.

Harvick was the first to announce the penalty, posting the following on his Twitter account Tuesday morning:

"4 weeks probation and $25,000 fine ... I understand because of the car on pit road."

Neither Harvick nor Busch were expected to comment further before their respective media availabilities Friday at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

NASCAR also elected to take no further action regarding drivers Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya, who sources said got into a physical altercation inside the NASCAR hauler last weekend while discussing their on-track incidents from the previous week at Richmond, Va.

Tharp said NASCAR officials made it clear to both drivers they had each received their final warning and would be watched closely.

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