Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and their respective crews will not receive any punishment from NASCAR for their actions after the Kobalt 400 on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The ordeal began on the final lap when both drivers made contact with each other on the backstretch. Busch darted left to avoid a slower Brad Keselowski and door-slammed Logano as a result. Logano then drove deep into Turn 3 and washed up the track and into Busch. This spun the 2015 Monster Energy Cup Series champion, who eventually walked over to Logano and threw a punch. The Team Penske crew tackled Busch and it left him with a bloodied forehead.
NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said the initial conflict is just a natural part of stock car racing.
“After a full review of multiple videos and discussions with both competitors and their respective race teams, we felt Sunday’s post-race incident does not warrant any further action,” O’Donnell said in a statement. “NASCAR was built on the racing that took place on the final lap by two drivers battling for position. The emotions of our athletes run high, and Kyle Busch and Joey Logano are two of the most passionate and competitive drivers in the sport. Both competitors are very clear on our expectations going forward and we will be meeting with them in person prior to practice on Friday in Phoenix.”
The two drivers have spoken since the incident with Logano initiated a phone call to explain his side of the conflict.
“I wanted to at least tell him my side of the story,” Logano said Tuesday on FS1’s NASCAR Race Hub. “We’re going to have two sides to the story. Really the bottom line, we’re two passionate race car drivers. We’re two of the best in the sport that are going to go for wins, and we collided. It’s tough. It’s going to happen. You want to get through it as quick as you can and try to talk it out. The bottom line is it wasn’t intentional, and we’re going to have to work through it somehow.
“We’ve been racing against each other for nine years, and we’ve never had a problem. We’ve been teammates, we’ve known each other really well (and) we talk to each other a lot. I consider him a friend of mine. In the heat of the moment when you’re competing, there’s 40 drivers out there with one goal. It’s the same goal for everyone. To go win the race. Eventually, tempers are going to fly, and we’re all the Type-A personalities.”
NASCAR chairman Brian France took to SiriusXM radio on Tuesday and foreshadowed the lack of a penalty by saying there was no reason for NASCAR to react.
“We’re going to have moments,” France said. “We just shouldn’t come out of our chairs over this. It is what it is. The drivers are doing everything they can.
“The pressure on these guys today is so difficult. So it shouldn’t surprise anybody that every once in a while somebody is going to boil over, somebody is going to think that they saw an incident in a different way and, whether it’s true or not true doesn’t matter, emotions are going to get the best of them. That’s just part of it.”
NASCAR did however assess lug nut penalties to two Cup Series teams.
Both the race-winning No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team (for driver Martin Truex Jr.) and the No. 13 Germain Racing team (for driver Ty Dillon) were penalized for lug nuts not properly installed following Sunday’s Kobalt 400. In accordance with the NASCAR Rule Book, the crew chiefs (No. 78: Cole Pearn, No. 13: Robert “Bootie” Barker) for the teams were each fined $10,000.