CONCORD, N.C. — If I see someone push a shopping cart into my 2005 Chevy at the grocery store, there’s no doubt I’m getting in that person’s face. And chances are you would, too.
But apparently, if you pump millions of dollars into stock car racing, you are not allowed to stand up for your investment.
Longtime NASCAR loyalist and team owner Richard Childress put his fists where his money is on Saturday by physically confronting Bad Boy racing driver Kyle Busch, whose disrespect for money, equipment and the work of crew members is legendary.
As a result, NASCAR in the face of its president Mike Helton, acted quickly to vilify Childress while telling the world Busch’s was free and clear of any punishment resulting from the incident which came after Busch rammed Childress’s race truck driven by Joey Coulter following Saturday’s Camping World Truck Series race at Kansas Speedway.
What happened to ‘boys have at it?’
A driver can purposely damage racing equipment, but the man who owns that equipment is not allowed to stand up for his investment. Something is wrong with that logic. If the boys (like 26-year-old Busch) are able to have at it, why not the men (like 65-year-old Childress) who pay the bills?
What’s worse than NASCAR issuing its statement that it will punish Childress for his actions, but they then put a sock in his mouth, mandating that he not explain his actions to the media and the fans. Meanwhile, Busch was accepting every interview request that came his way.
By socking Busch, Childress simply took care of things the way they have always been taken care of in NASCAR racing. Do you think Hall of Famer Junior Johnson would have sat back and let Busch — or any other driver — intentionally beat the heck out of his race cars? I don’t.
Maybe Childress should be fined, but his actions were justified and NASCAR’s argument that Busch did nothing to instigate this confrontation is absurd.
There is a long history run-ins between Busch and RCR drivers. Last year, Childress was quoted as saying that the next time Busch damaged one of his cars, he’d have to answer to the car owner, who employed NASCAR’s most beloved driver, you know the guy, The Intimidator — Dale Earnhardt.
Childress let Busch slide when he pushed his No. 29 into the pit wall following the Southern 500 at Darlington, but Saturday when Busch poked the bear, the bear poked back.
Busch says he’ll let NASCAR decide what is the right punishment for Childress and he’ll respect its decision.
We wonder if he respects the decision Childress made when he decided to stand up for his investment and the people that build his race cars.
Kyle Busch and NASCAR may not think much of Childress’s actions, but we bet his attack on Busch had some pretty good results in Welcome, N.C.