NASCAR fight: What penalties could Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, others face? (2024)

In the aftermath of a heated run-in between Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch and members of their teams (and even a family member), NASCAR now must determine what, if any, sanctions to hand out to those involved in the fight that occurred after Sunday’s All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

On the opening lap of the non-points race, Stenhouse made an aggressive move and Busch ended up in the wall, which led to Busch’s intentionally crashing Stenhouse and eliminating him on Lap 2. After the race, Stenhouse was standing by Busch’s hauler as the driver of the No. 8 car approached. After a short conversation, Stenhouse swung and set off a fight as team members got involved.

Kyle Busch and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. got into an altercation following the NASCAR All-Star Race 😳

🎥 @Jordan_Bianchi

— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) May 20, 2024

Per NASCAR’s rulebook, anyone involved is subject to discipline if the incident gets physical. Based on this wording, Stenhouse, Busch and various members of their teams, JTG Daugherty Racing and Richard Childress Racing, are facing penalties that could include suspension.

Based on past precedent, though, neither Stenhouse nor Busch is likely to be suspended. NASCAR is fairly lenient when it comes to drivers fighting, often usually only issuing a monetary penalty in such cases. And of the two drivers, Stenhouse is the most likely to be fined since he would be considered the instigator, as he waited for Busch at RCR’s hauler and threw the first punch.

Also facing discipline is Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s father. Ricky Stenhouse Sr. accosted Busch after his son punched Busch, with the elder Stenhouse and Busch engaging in a physical confrontation.

Although NASCAR is often tolerant when it comes to drivers squaring off, the same threshold doesn’t always apply to family members who get involved.

Last year, the father of Truck Series driver Nick Sanchez was suspended two races after he inserted himself into a fight between his son and Matt Crafton after a race at Talladega Superspeedway. Crafton was fined $25,000 for throwing a punch that broke Sanchez’s nose. Sanchez was not penalized.

Any penalties issued by NASCAR are likely to be announced midweek.

NASCAR fight: What penalties could Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, others face? (1)

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Busch deemed Stenhouse’s move overly aggressive.

“I’m tired of getting run over by everybody,” Busch said. “But that’s what everybody does. Everybody runs over everybody to pass everybody.”

After Stenhouse was evaluated and released from the infield care center, he said during a television interview with Fox Sports that he would be waiting for Busch once the 200-lap race concluded, suggesting what was to come after the race.

Stenhouse even referenced a prior incident between Busch, who then drove for Joe Gibbs Racing, and team owner Richard Childress when Childress handed his wristwatch to grandson Austin Dillon and said “hold my watch” before punching Busch after an on-track incident between Busch and an RCR driver during a 2011 Truck Series race. (Busch joined RCR in 2023.)

“Maybe Richard would hold my watch after the race,” Stenhouse said.

True to his word, Stenhouse was waiting for Busch after the All-Star Race, leaning against the RCR hauler. And when Busch arrived at the hauler, he stepped to Busch with the two exchanging words. Following a short back-and-forth, Stenhouse threw a punch at Busch, triggering the melee.


“I’m not sure why he was so mad,” Stenhouse told FS1. “I shoved it three-wide, but he hit the fence and kind of came off the wall and ran into me. I don’t know, when I was talking to him, he kept saying that I wrecked him.

“Definitely built up frustration with how he runs his mouth all the time about myself. I know he’s frustrated because he doesn’t run near as good as he used to.”

Both drivers are struggling this season after a successful 2023. Stenhouse was a surprise Daytona 500 winner and playoff participant last year. Busch won three races a year ago and finished fifth in regular-season points. Both are winless so far in 2024.

GO DEEPERWhat we're hearing about the 2025 NASCAR Cup Series schedule: Mexico City, L.A. and more

(Photo of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s wrecked car in Sunday’s All-Star Race: James Gilbert / Getty Images)

NASCAR fight: What penalties could Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, others face? (4)NASCAR fight: What penalties could Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, others face? (5)

Jordan Bianchi is a motorsports reporter for The Athletic. He is a veteran sports reporter, having covered the NBA, NFL, Major League Baseball, college basketball, college football, NASCAR, IndyCar and sports business for several outlets. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jordan_bianchi

NASCAR fight: What penalties could Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, others face? (2024)


Does NASCAR fine drivers for fighting? ›

NASCAR typically doesn't fine drivers for a punch thrown on pit road following a race in the heat of the moment after they get out of their cars. But Stenhouse had been knocked out of the race following contact with Busch on the second lap of the 200-lap race and confronted him at his hauler.

What is Kyle Busch's rule? ›

Kyle Busch Rule or Buschwhacker is the system where a Cup Series driver takes part in Xfinity Series or the Truck Series. This is the term that's used to point out a driver who's driving both in the top tier and the lower tier in a single season. Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch are the two notable Buschwhackers.

How much did Stenhouse get fined? ›

NASCAR officials issued penalties Wednesday morning stemming from an altercation after Sunday's NASCAR All-Star Race, fining Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $75,000 for punching fellow Cup Series driver Kyle Busch and suspending two crew members from the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing team.

Who is Ricky Stenhouse Jr.'s dad? ›

Stenhouse's dad, Ricky Stenhouse Sr., was suspended indefinitely for joining the physical altercation, following past precedent where NASCAR objects to family members injecting themselves in confrontations.

How much does a NASCAR driver lose during a race? ›

From Fluid Logic's helmet hydration system to Pratt Miller's ear thermometer, the advances being made in motor sports technology are making it safer for the world's best drivers—who on average burn 2,000 to 3,000 calories and shed seven pounds of sweat during a two-hour race.

Can NASCAR drivers talk to other drivers? ›

Some drivers limit talk to absolutely necessary comments and questions. Others share their observations and concerns in detail with their spotter. You may be surprised to learn that it is possible for NASCAR drivers to talk to each other -- if their radios are programmed to the same channels, that is.

What is the 100% rule in NASCAR? ›

a NASCAR requires its Competitor(s) to race at 100 percent of their ability with the goal of achieving their best possible finishing position in the Event; .

What is Kyle Busch's annual salary? ›

However, according to reports he earns a salary of $16.9 million. Kyle Busch is among the richest drivers on the current NASCAR grid. He has a legacy of racing and many favorable sponsors which enables him to earn approximately $1.7 million from endorsem*nts.

What is the racing 13 13 rule? ›

The VDCA 13/13 Rule states that if you are involved in an incident that causes damage to your car or that of another competitor, you can be excluded from the remainder of that event.

What did Kyle Busch do to Stenhouse? ›

The two tangled on the first lap and then Busch seemed to deliberately wreck Stenhouse on the second lap. Stenhouse parked his damaged Chevrolet in Busch's pit stall and aggressively climbed the spotter's ladder and exchanged words with members of Busch's crew.

Where does NASCAR penalty money go? ›

Obviously, the sport does not keep it for itself, but it diverts the funds to the NASCAR Foundation. Luckily for the drivers and teams, there is no tax deducted, since the donation is indirect.

Has Ricky Stenhouse Jr ever won a NASCAR race? ›

His biggest victory came in the 2023 Daytona 500, winning the iconic race's 65th running. He previously drove full-time for Roush Fenway Racing from 2013-2019. Stenhouse won the Sunoco Rookie of the Year award in 2013, and earned his first Cup win at Talladega in 2017.

Who does Ricky Stenhouse Jr date? ›

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. is married to Kentucky native Madyson Joye Goodfleisch. As People reported, the couple wed on October 26, 2022, in Charleston, South Carolina. Over 200 friends and family members attended the ceremony at Runnymede, a private property located along the banks of the Ashley River, per the outlet.

Who owns Stenhouse Marshall Racing? ›

Richard and Ricky formed a friendship that led to a business relationship. That one race sponsorship, led to sponsoring drivers and teams, then eventually owning teams. Richard and Jennifer are now the co-owners of not only Stenhouse Jr.

What NASCAR drivers were fined? ›

Stenhouse's $75,000 fine is the largest NASCAR has assessed a driver for hitting someone, while the $150,000 assessed Richard Childress in 2011 is the largest for a team owner for the same offense. Ironically, the driver both men hit was Busch, who now drives for Childress.

What NASCAR driver was suspended for fight? ›

NASCAR has fined Ricky Stenhouse Jr. $75,000 for punching Kyle Busch after Sunday night's NASCAR All-Star Race and suspended three others, including Stenhouse's father, involved in the altercation. Kyle Busch was not penalized.

What if a NASCAR driver has to go to the bathroom? ›

Drivers remain seated for the entirety of the race without any bathroom breaks. So in a worst-case scenario drivers urinate in their fire suits, when there is no other alternative left.

Do you have to be strong to be a NASCAR driver? ›

Race car drivers face unique challenges that require strength, endurance and hand-eye coordination. First, the physical effort of driving a race car is much greater than that of driving your family car. Turning and braking require more force due to the high speeds and the unique engineering of race cars.


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