RICHMOND, Va. Two employees of Richard Childress Racing were charged with misdemeanor assault early Saturday morning following a fight near the driver/owner motorhome lot that took place after the Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.
Henrico County, Va., police confirmed Michael A. Scearce, 50, of Mount Ulla, had been charged with two counts of misdemeanor assault and Thomas F. Costello, 35, of Kannapolis, with a single count of misdemeanor assault.
Both were released early Saturday morning. A court date for both has yet to be scheduled.
Police say Scearce and Costello were involved in a verbal argument in the infield that escalated into a physical confrontation near the driver/owner lot following Friday nights Nationwide Series race at the track.
The race, which ended after 10 p.m., was won by Brad Keselowski.
Sources said the two RCR team members confronted Nationwide driver Nelson Piquet Jr. and another member of the Turner Scott Motorsports organization. Police said the assault occurred at 11:15 p.m.
Piquet was not injured but the second TSM employee suffered a shoulder injury, police said.
Several members of another race team confronted a group that included Nelson Piquet Jr., resulting in the arrest of two individuals from the other race team, a statement released by TSM said.
The organization said it would have no further comment on the incident.
RCR owner Richard Childress released a statement but said he did not witness the incident.
I am still learning all the exact details, and because it did happen outside of the track, local authorities became involved, he said. We are working with them to resolve this matter.
NASCAR said it does not comment on ongoing police investigations.
We are still gathering facts about what happened and will address it once we have all the information, spokeswoman Kristi King said.
The incident appears to be fallout from a confrontation on pit road following Friday nights race between Piquet and Brian Scott, who drives for RCR.
The two drivers made contact on the track and hit each other on pit road after the race was over. Scott walked over to confront Piquet near his car on pit road and video replays showed Piquet kicked Scott below the belt.
The drivers and their respective crews then had to be separated by officials.
Both drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler after the race but at the time officials said no penalties were expected.
I guess that just shows his character to hit somebody below the belt, Scott said immediately after the race. More than anything its just an accumulation of a lot of racing together and him always racing me dirty.
The two drivers apparently had a disagreement during a Truck race earlier this month at Martinsville, Va., in which they both participated.
We both just got frustrated with each other and, you know, things happened, Piquet said. We both got angry.
Scott finished 20th and Piquet 14th. Scott is third in the series standings, 23 points behind leader Sam Hornish Jr.