Busch, Harvick get probation and $25,000 fines
The probation for all NASCAR-sanctioned events runs through June 15, a span that includes four Sprint Cup Series championship races and the non-points $1 million All-Star event. It also includes Friday night's Truck Series race at Dover — an event Harvick only entered after his confrontation with Busch.
Probation is typically no more than a verbal warning that NASCAR will not tolerate any further misconduct during the designated period.
Busch and Harvick's on-and-off feuding resumed Saturday night after contact Busch had with Harvick led to Harvick wrecking with teammate Clint Bowyer late in the race.
Afterward, Harvick waited for Busch and then positioned himself to park his car in front of Busch on pit road. Busch pulled onto Harvick's bumper, Harvick climbed from his car and, just as he threw a punch into Busch's window, Busch used his car to bump Harvick's car out of the way.
The empty car turned and hit the inside wall. No one was hurt, but Harvick's crew members were running down pit road when the car hit the wall.
"These penalties are a result of what occurred on pit road after the race was over," said NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp. "They are about maintaining a safe environment on pit road."
NASCAR did not penalize Ryan Newman and Juan Pablo Montoya for their actions in their ongoing disagreements.
Their latest blowup began two weeks ago at Richmond, when Newman wrecked Montoya, and Montoya intentionally retaliated later in the race. A meeting between the two moderated by NASCAR at Darlington apparently grew heated — NASCAR said in a statement it "did not go as well as we had hoped" — and Newman is rumored to have punched Montoya.
Neither driver would confirm or deny that a punch was thrown.
Although NASCAR said it was still considering penalizing Newman and/or Montoya, Tharp said it wasn't necessary.
"We believe they received our message loud and clear that enough is enough," Tharp said.
Last updated: 5:15 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012