CONCORD, N.C. – Saturday night’s Monster Energy NASCAR All-Star Race was rife with action from start to finish, but it featured some extra fireworks on pit road as well after the checkered flag.
Clint Bowyer came at Ryan Newman with a barrage of blows after climbing from his car, the rather one-sided fight coming in the wake of hard racing between the two during the early laps at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Bowyer ultimately finished 12th and Newman crossed the line 13th at the end of the 85-lap event.
After the two crossed paths during race conditions, Newman tagged Bowyer on the cool-down lap and sent the Kansas native’s Ford all the way up to the outside wall.
Bowyer then went to Newman’s Ford on pit road, leaned in the driver’s side window and began swinging before the fight was broken up by crew members from both teams.
“I don’t know what the hell his beef was,” Bowyer said in the garage. “I thought he was a lap down. Our day was over, we lost track position there and I got sideways, crossed up, and was basically just buying time there and seeing if something was going to happen at the end. They got four-wide off (turn) four … hell, I thought he was a lap down. I checked up and he ran into my left rear and that was the last I saw of him.
“Then after the race he comes and runs into my back and turns me all around and I pull up next to him and he dumps me into (turn) four. Where I come from, you get poked in the nose for that. It’s what he got.”
Unsurprisingly, Newman saw things a different way after the race.
“The 14 chopped me on the frontstraightaway earlier in the race and I just about turned him around – if I wouldn’t have hit the brakes I would have turned him around,” said Newman. “And then after, I just went up and tapped him in the back and let him know I didn’t appreciate the way he raced me … and he body slammed me. I hit him back a little bit on the back straightaway and then he just cut across my nose in turn three.
“Doesn’t take much of a man to try to fight somebody with a helmet on; I think he should be embarrassed of himself.”
Both drivers were called to the NASCAR hauler in light of their actions and met with competition officials before departing the race track.
From the sanctioning body’s side, no further issues are anticipated going forward.
“Obviously they had a little difference of opinion out there on the race track and they had a little difference of opinion here in the trailer, but we think we understand what happened out there,” said NASCAR senior vice president of competition Scott Miller. “We think they’re in a pretty good place, but we’re going to keep an eye on it. We think we’re in a good place with them. We’ll have to certainly monitor that next week and moving forward with those two.
“If there starts to be any shenanigans, we will intervene.”