NASCAR: Kyle Busch-Logano spat tape under review, to meet with drivers

Photo courtesy of NASCAR/Getty Images

By Yvonne Jones, Staff Writer

The postrace incident between Kyle Busch and Joey Logano is still under review and there are plans to meet with both drivers before the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series shifts to Phoenix this weekend, NASCAR executive vice president & chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said on Monday.

O’Donnell, in his usual Monday interview on ‘The Morning Drive’ on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, said the sanctioning body was looking at video of the brawl which took place following the Kobalt 400 on Sunday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Busch’s  No. 18 M&M’s Toyota and Logano’s  No. 22 Pennzoil Ford made contact in Turn 4 as they battled for third place on the last lap. Logano’s car slid up into Busch’s, sending the Toyota sailing toward the entrance of pit road.

OPINION: NASCAR Shouldn’t Take Drastic Action Against Kyle Busch

“It’s certainly under review,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve always said that we’ve got to take everything and make sure we look at all the video. I would say just from our initial assessment last night in looking at what happened, I think, as far as on track, I don’t think we saw anything that was intentional by any means. We’ll continue to review that. We’ve got to have discussions with both drivers. We’ve talked to some folks postrace as well.”

Busch claimed he got “dumped” and confronted Logano on pit road immediately after the race. He threw a punch before being taken down to the ground by crew members from Logano’s No. 22 team. NASCAR officials stepped in to escort Busch away.  Busch, a Las Vegas native, emerged from the scrum with a bloodied forehead.

“I think our intention would be not to react unless we see something that we haven’t seen yet and something that comes up from those discussions. But we’ll certainly bring both drivers together before we go on track in Phoenix and again have some dialogue. But still under review.”

O’Donnell said the sanctioning body wouldn’t rush to action given the nature of the sport.

“It’s an emotional sport, and I think it shows exactly how much every position means on the track,” he said. “These weren’t two guys going for the win, obviously going for top 10s, but it shows how important it is in the sport.”

NASCAR, in the past at least, has preferred the drivers resolve these incidents among themselves. So it’s unsure if there will be any discipline handed down.

“What our position has been, we want to leave it in the drivers’ hands,” O’Donnell said. “What we don’t want to see, and the drivers have asked for this, which is very fair, is a crew member initially approaching a driver or initiating some type of altercation with the driver.

“So just early review of this, this was two drivers with crew members kinda stepping back, and once something happens a crew is taught – which I think is right — that once someone comes up in your pit box and attacks your guy, you have the right to break that up or bring it to a stop, and I think that was the initial review that we saw from the crew members. Again, there is still other video out there that we got to look at but when we had talked postrace to the race team that kinda confirmed what we had seen.”

Will new sponsor Monster Energy’s edginess have any influence on the sanctioning body’s decision to punish or not to punish?

“No,” O’Donnell said. “We love our sponsor for sure, but at the end of the day, we’ve got to make decisions for our sport.

“We’ll continue to do that but again, we want to look at everything and see that we’re not missing anything from video, obviously. There’s a lot of video out there. More importantly, want to talk to the drivers involved and see where we go from there. Would like to just leave it at we’re going to talk to them and see where we end up prior to Phoenix.”

 

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