Richard Childress has sent a warning to Stenhouse and is ready to ‘whip his ass’ if need be

NASCAR Hall of Fame team owner Richard Childress may be 78 years old, but he isn’t too old to defend his drivers if need be.

Sunday night after the All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. came to blows in the garage area. Busch and Stenhouse got together on the track on lap 2. Stenhouse was sent into the wall and out of the race. Busch was able to continue but Stenhouse was trapped inside the track infield at a track with no tunnel. Forced to wait out the race, he did just that but waited for Busch in the garage.

Busch got out of his car and marched to the garage. The two drivers faced off, Stenhouse threw a punch and soon masses of people including Stenhouse’s dad were throwing fists. The melee was over in less than a minute but seen all over the world.

“I felt like Kyle and I have always raced each other really hard back to the Nationwide Series when we were competing for wins week in and week out, never had any issues,” Stenhouse said on Fox after the fight. “I wrecked him one time at Daytona and he’s kind of badmouthed me ever since then. I feel like we get along with each other OK outside the race track, I talk to him quite a bit and I’m not sure why he was so mad that I shoved it three-wide but he hit the fence and kind of came off the wall and ran into me and I don’t know, when I was talking to him he kept saying that I wrecked him.”

“So definitely just built up frustration with how he runs his mouth all the time about myself but I know he’s frustrated because he doesn’t run near as good as he used to and I understand that. We’re a single-car team over here and working really hard to go out and get better each and every weekend.”

All Busch said later was that his race was ‘eventful.’

“The first lap of the race we didn’t even have water temperature in the car yet and we were wrecking each other off Turn 2,” he said. “We were able to continue on, but I’m getting tired of getting run over by everybody. We got into another incident later in the race with the No. 54 car. He got his tires hot and checked up early and I didn’t check up early, so that was my fault.”

Tuesday night during an event at his winery in Lexington, North Carolina, Busch’s team owner spoke about the incident.

“Well, you know, it was bad that he was ambushed by those guys,” Childress said. “If it had just been a straight up fight, but it was an ambush, well-coordinated.”

After the fight Sunday night Stenhouse said he planned to retaliate and wreck Busch at this week’s Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte. Should he decide to do so, Childress said he’s ready to step up and defend his driver, however he needs to.

“I’ve put the word out,” Childress said. “I got it where I hope it gets to him (Stenhouse) that if he does… I’m kind of old for fighting, but I’ll have a different style of fighting and I’ll whip his ass.”

In a somewhat ironic twist, Busch and Childress had their own history.  After a Truck Series race in 2011 at Kansas Busch driving for another team had been racing hard with Joey Coulter, who was driving for Richard Childress Racing at the time. Childress wasn’t too pleased and went to confront Busch. Childress, 65 at the time, removed his watch, handed it off, put Busch in a headlock and begin throwing punches.

Childress was later fined $150,000 by NASCAR and placed on probation for the remainder of the season.

Wednesday NASCAR fined Stenhouse $75,000 and suspended two crewmembers from his team.

Tuesday night at his winery was a bit more pleasant as he and his grandson Austin Dillon unveiled the paint scheme Dillion will race at Darlington later this season. The paint scheme features a new multi-year sponsorship with Marine Toys for Tots. Dillon will be a celebrity ambassador for the charity and help raise awareness of the Toys for Tots mission.

Marine Toys for Tots®, America’s premier children’s Christmastime charity, is partnering with Richard Childress Racing to highlight the charity’s year-round programs to help underprivileged children, both during the Christmas season and beyond. (Photo: Greg Engle)
Greg Engle