JTG still undecided on appeal for Stenhouse punch penalty

JTG Daugherty Racing is still mulling over whether they will appeal the penalties levied against them by NASCAR for the fight between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Busch at North Wilkesboro Speedway before the Tuesday 5 p.m. ET deadline.

“We’re still undecided,” Stenhouse said Saturday at Charlotte Motor Speedway ahead of the Coca-Cola 600. “I think we spent all week really focused on racing here at Charlotte and what we needed to do to run well. We’ve got until next week to figure that out. Our main focus was just getting back on track and making sure we have a strong run Sunday.”

Stenhouse confronted the Richard Childress Racing driver at his hauler after the NASCAR All-Star Race, unhappy after contact on lap two ended his race. Although the two didn’t appear to agree on what happened on track when Stenhouse made it three-wide, and Busch bounced off the wall, it escalated when Stenhouse punched Busch.


The punch resulted in a brawl between the two organizations, and Stenhouse’s father also got involved. Busch was not penalized for his part in the fight or for purposely wrecking Stenhouse.

“I’ve got a ton of respect for what Kyle has done in a race car – it’s more than most people in this garage area (have done) combined,” Stenhouse said. “But I lost a lot of respect for him crashing us on purpose, especially in that moment. I’m not going to waste my time trying to get him back at Charlotte.

“If we focus on what we’re capable of doing here, I think we’ll be able to accomplish a really good race tomorrow night.”

During the melee, Stenhouse was heard saying he would wreck Busch this weekend. However, a day later, Stenhouse admitted that the comment had been made in the heat of the moment.

Stenhouse was fined $75,000 by NASCAR, which is the largest fine in the sport’s history issued to a driver for fighting. Richard ‘Ricky’ Stenhouse Sr. was suspended indefinitely, and two of JTG Daugherty Racing’s crew members were suspended.

Stenhouse and Busch have not talked since last weekend’s incident. Stenhouse also has not spoken to NASCAR as the sanctioning awaits whether the fine is paid or appealed.

The fine raised eyebrows and confused Stenhouse’s fellow drivers. The reaction was not just to the amount but also to the sport using it as promotional material.

“It’s cool to see,” Stenhouse said. “I’d say 90% of the Cup field kind of think the same way, and it seems to be about 95% of our fanbase think the same way. So that’s nice to have all of them in our corner. I don’t know if that helps or not – it’s still 75 grand that I’ve got to pay. But it does make you feel good that at least most of the people in the industry are feeling the same way.”

Story originally appeared on Racer