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NASCAR's Mike Helton meets the press on the Childress-Busch fight

  NASCAR's Mike Helton, with Richard Childress (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


   By Mike Mulhern


   KANSAS CITY, Kansas
   Richard Childress is in Dutch with NASCAR executives for Saturday's post-race altercation with Kyle Busch, NASCAR's Mike Helton said Sunday morning, just hours before the STP 400 at Kansas Speedway.
   But Helton says he has seen nothing in Busch's actions Saturday, on the track or back in the garage, that would violate Busch's current probation for an incident last month at Darlington.

   Helton hinted strongly at penalties to come on Childress, but indicated Busch had been cleared in the incident, in which Childress reportedly punched Busch several times in the NASCAR garage Saturday after a late-race on-track incident between Busch and Childress driver Joey Coulter in a duel for fifth in the Truck race.
   Helton said he would not go into details of what actually happened in the garage between Childress and Busch.
   "We'll focus on today's race, and come back with our reactions as it relates to NASCAR member Richard Childress -- quickly, perhaps more quickly than normal," Helton said.
  "Once we get today's race concluded, which is the focus of today, we'll have to decide what NASCAR's reaction will be to Richard Childress as a member of NASCAR in an action against another NASCAR member."
   Helton hinted that he had considered suspending Childress from this track for the rest of this weekend but then decided the Childress operation needed someone in charge.
   "That was considered in this case," Helton said.

   Richard Childress: in trouble with NASCAR (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)

   "What will happen today is Richard will operate with some restrictions as to where he may go or not go.
   "But we decided to let Richard stay because there does need to be leadership represented. Historically we rely on crew chiefs, but since both organizations have multiple teams, we decided we would be better if there was an authority from the team here. And there is not a second-level authority here this weekend from his (Childress') organization."
   That normally would be Mike Dillon, manager for the Childress operation; Dillon is on medical restriction that keeps him from flying.
   "So we chose to allow Childress to participate today," Helton said.
  "The biggest topic today, outside of the incident itself, is to be sure that today's event went on correctly and safely for everyone involved. And we've made clear to both the Richard Childress and Joe Gibbs organizations that our expectations are that both make sure than no one in their organizations felt like there was anything that needed to be done from their side.
   "We don't think that Kyle did anything on the race track to violate his probation.
   Helton's comments came in addition to a brief statement issued under the NASCAR logo:
   "NASCAR has reviewed the incident involving Richard Childress and Kyle Busch after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Saturday at Kansas Speedway. We have met with all parties involved and have determined what happened yesterday is unacceptable and will not be tolerated by NASCAR.
   "Richard Childress' actions were not appropriate and fell far short of the standard we expect of owners in this sport. We have met with Childress this morning and made our position very clear to him. Further, we expect he will make it clear to all in his organization to ensure this situation does not escalate any further. We will announce our actions regarding this incident Monday.
   "Kyle Busch remains on probation with NASCAR and we continue to watch his actions carefully. However we have determined that Kyle's involvement in this incident does not violate his probation and no further action is required."
   NASCAR put Busch and Kevin Harvick, Childress' Cup driver, on probation through next week's Pocono race for an incident at Darlington in early May.
   Childress declined to comment Sunday, saying NASCAR told him to keep quiet. But Busch did speak.
   "There was an incident in the Truck garage after the race as I was on my way out to the motorhome lot," Busch said. "Unfortunately there was an altercation between me and Richard. NASCAR is looking into it, to decipher all the facts.
   "I wasn't the aggressor or the instigator. I was just trying to head back to my hauler and deal with my own business.
   "The best thing is to try to put it behind you as best you can. When you get a helmet on and get behind the wheel of a race car, you get down to business, and that's what matters most."
   Busch said the incident would not be that easy to put completely out of mind, but he hinted maybe that part of the game plan, to try to take him off his game, because Busch has been one of the sport's hottest drivers.
   Easy to put it all out of mind? "It is and it isn't," Busch said. "Maybe that's the strategy….
   "I don't know that I did anything out of the ordinary that would provoke something of Mr. Childress.
   "Fortunately NASCAR is taking the situation seriously."
   Robby Gordon, in Baja for the summer 500, tweeted to thank Busch 'for keeping in the garage,' and 'not calling the cops.'
   Busch himself said he would "leave it up to NASCAR and leet them decide what they feel is best."


Kyle Busch: cleared by NASCAR (Photo: Getty Images for NASCAR)


What next? Joe Gibbs

What next? Joe Gibbs retaliating by putting Harvick in a figure-4 leg lock? I used to think that the comparison of NASCAR to professional wrestling was funny, but now I wonder if it is true. The tale of Childress taking off his jewelry when approaching Busch to prepare to hit hit him and then hitting him again while holding him in a head lock brought back memories of when I used to watch professional wrestling as a kid.

It is more interesting reading about the feuds in NASCAR than it is to watch the races. It is kind of like a soap opera/professional wrestling combo.

Kyle Busch can dish it out

Kyle Busch can dish it out but he can't take it. Too bad everyone won't stand up to him like Richard Childress and Kevin Harvick did. Kyle seems to be the "Golden Child". Had that been Harvick, Newman, Stewart or Earnhardt, Jr., that bumped Coulter on the cool down lap, they would have been fined and placed on probation. Just about over Kyle's preferential treatment.

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