Tempers flare, fracas ensues
Ryan Newmans crew riled after Kurt Busch smokes up pit stall
Sunday, May. 13, 2012
DARLINGTON, S.C. - Darlington Raceway can keep the billboards but just change the driver photos.
One year after Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch were involved in a postrace dustup following the Southern 500, drivers Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch picked up where the others left off.
Reminders of last years incident ended up being used in promotional billboards for this years race.
This time, several of Newmans crew members confronted Kurt Busch on pit road Saturday nights after Busch did a burnout through Newmans teams pit stall during the race. Busch was upset after a solid run in the race was ruined when he wrecked on Lap 361 of 368.
The fracas included one NASCAR official getting shoved onto Buschs car and visits to the NASCAR hauler by Newmans gas man, Andy Rueger, and crew chief, Tony Gibson.
Robin Pemberton, NASCARs vice president of competition, said the sanctioning body still was gathering facts and video.
We havent talked to Kurt. We talked to Ryan a little bit, Pemberton said. Were looking at everything we can.
After the race, Busch slammed into the back of Newmans car on pit road. Newman then drove around Busch and stopped in front of him. Newman got out of his car and briefly spoke to Busch. Thats when Newmans crew members got involved.
Gibson said his team was rightfully upset with Buschs actions on pit road.
When you come ripping through somebodys pit box like that, he could have took out five or six guys plus the officials pretty easy, he said. I dont know how somebody didnt get run over, to be honest with you.
It was a miracle nobody got hit.
Buschs crew chief, Nick Harrison, said he knew Newmans crew planned to confront his driver after the race.
The gas man (Rueger), he come in there wanting to fight Kurt, Harrison said. I knew it was going to happen.
They came down there with a bunch of drama. Its just part of racing. I think thats what great for our sport. If theyre mad and want to fight, thats what it is.