Below are some Q & A between the media and Mike Helton at Kansas Speedway regarding the incident between Richard Childress and Kyle Busch Friday evening after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Hopefully, this will answer some of your questions you may have as to why NASCAR didn’t do certain things or what they have planning ahead.
Q. What was NASCAR’s perception of what happened on the cooldown lap between Joey Coulter and Kyle?
MIKE HELTON: That kind of falls under the statement that I made that we don’t think Kyle did anything to violate his probation on the racetrack yesterday.
Q: Obviously one of the things in the rule book states that you guys can do an emergency action and can eject an individual. One of the things it says you can eject for is for fighting. Can you explain why you didn’t eject Richard, and does this not fall under fighting with what you’ve been able to uncover?
MIKE HELTON: It does. And we do have that ability, and incidents even beyond fighting, to feel like if we needed to do that, we could, and that was considered in this case.
And what will happen today is that Richard will operate as the owner of Richard Childress Racing with some restrictions attached to it as to where he may go or not go.
But we decided to let Richard stay, because there does need to be leadership of an organization represented, which, you know, historically we rely on crew chiefs. But since both organizations have multiple teams, we decided that it would be better if there was an authority from the team here. And there’s not a second level authority present this weekend from his organization; Joe Gibbs is here from Joe Gibbs Racing, and we chose to allow Richard to participate today.
Q. You said what Kyle did on the track is not a violation of his probation, but what goes on in the garage, does that not have any factor –
MIKE HELTON: Unless you know something we don’t know, I’m not sure what he did in the garage that would have been in question.
Q. What have you been told went on in the it garage?
MIKE HELTON: I’m not to go into all of the details. I’m just saying we have not seen anything that indicated Kyle violated his probation on the racetrack yesterday or even in the garage areas yesterday.
Q. Are we looking at Kyle as Kyle Busch driver, rather than Kyle Busch owner, because Kyle Busch driver does have a history with the RCR company that dates back to Darlington. I think that’s kind of where it hit the crescendo when he was put on probation. So are we looking at Kyle Busch driver, Kyle Busch owner, Kyle Busch competitor in general?
MIKE HELTON: We look at him as a member of NASCAR. Kyle Busch is a member of NASCAR, other drivers, crew members, car owners are members of NASCAR. Our authority is around NASCAR members and that’s the way we look at them as NASCAR members.
Certainly we investigate to get the totality of everything we need to make a decision. The reaction from NASCAR is focused on what happened yesterday.
Q. Has fighting in the garage as something that used to be part of NASCAR, people would scrap it out all the time, has that changed with the current era in sports, that you simply have to look at the bigger picture and can’t allow what you did years ago? Because a lot of that went on.
MIKE HELTON: I think throughout the history of NASCAR, we have gone through cycles of everything, including tempers in the garage and on the racetracks, and I think our responsibility lies in reacting to those trends, and if it is a trend that we feel like escalates, then we have a history of stepping in and turning those trends around.