May 10, 2011
Harvick, Busch penalized for skirmish
By SPORTS NETWORK
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - NASCAR on Tuesday fined Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick $25,000 each and placed both of them on probation for the next four points races following their post-race altercation at Darlington Raceway.
During the closing laps of Saturday's 500-mile race at Darlington, Busch, Harvick and Clint Bowyer tangled during a three-wide battle for position. Bowyer slammed hard into the inside wall. Then Busch made contact with Harvick and sent him into the outside wall.
While Regan Smith celebrated his first Sprint Cup win, Harvick pulled next to Busch on pit road. Busch attempted to flee Harvick but was unsuccessful in his attempt.
Harvick then hopped out of his Chevrolet, headed toward Busch's Toyota and took a swing at Busch while he was still in his car.
Busch nudged Harvick's car out of the way and into the inside wall on pit road when he was trying to escape Harvick's fury.
"These penalties are a result of what occurred on pit road after the race was over," NASCAR spokesperson Kerry Tharp said in a statement. "They are about maintaining a safe environment on pit road."
Harvick acknowledged his penalty on Twitter.
"4 weeks and $25,000 fine...I understand because of the car on pit road," he tweeted.
When Busch and Harvick made it back to the garage, the crews for both teams engaged in a shouting and shoving match. NASCAR officials met with the two drivers and their team owners in efforts to resolve the conflict.
"I knew it wasn't going to be a good situation when I saw him getting out of his car," Busch said after the altercation.
Neither driver was penalized with any point loss. Their probation period ends June 15.