Even by the pugnacious standards of stock car racing, the fight at Kansas Speedway last Saturday night was bizarre. On the cooldown lap, after finishing sixth in the Camping World Truck Series race, Kyle Busch bumped his truck into that of Joey Coulter, a driver for Richard Childress Racing whom Busch had battled on the track.
This lit a fuse in Coulter's team owner. Minutes later in the garage, according to reports, Childress, 65, took off his watch as he approached the 26-year-old Busch, punched him, put him in a headlock, then hit him again. Busch, who is on probation with NASCAR for an altercation last month with another RCR driver, Kevin Harvick, declined to fight back—a wise move, given his recent history. Last month Busch was ticketed for doing 128 mph in a 45-mph zone in North Carolina.
"Richard Childress's actions were not appropriate," said NASCAR president Mike Helton on Sunday. "[Busch] did nothing that would have warranted the actions of Richard Childress."
On Monday, NASCAR fined Childress $150,000, but that most likely won't be the end of this feud. After all, Busch, who finished 12th in the Sprint Cup race on Sunday at Kansas, possesses a trait common to elite NASCAR drivers: He has a long memory.