So it's been a few days since Richard Childress reportedly took Kyle Busch, put him in a headlock and handout a little vigilante justice. I was sitting in the media center at the Kansas Speedway when the reports of the fight first started trickling in. And I've had a lot of time to think about what reportedly went down.
Richard Childress was wrong. He shouldn't have punched Busch. Then again it shouldn't have gotten to this point.
As I have said repeatedly, I like Kyle Busch. I think NASCAR needs a guy who is willing to to be the bad guy. I think he is incredibly talented and some of his antics are entertaining. But I also think that lately his actions have escalated to a level that could be dangerous, and he needs to do a little growing up. That being said, this blog is not about Kyle.
NASCAR has once again missed the boat. You can not have people punching folks in the garage area. Especially if this went down the way it was reported, where Childress had time to take off his watch and hand it to his grandson. This was not a heat of the moment reaction to an on track incident (like say the fight on the backstretch of Daytona in 79). This was premeditated. If this went down the way it was reported, how can you argue that Childress went to the garage area with any other intent than to fight Busch?
But just as they have with Kyle in the past, NASCAR once again decides not to hand down a punishment with any teeth attached. Do you think that Richard Childress doesn't think that fine was worth every bit of the $150,000 fine? Especially since the money goes to charity? And probation. Childress isn't a driver. It's highly unlikely he would be in a position to violate his probation.
So until NASCAR actually starts sitting people down for a race or in Childress' case, expelling him from the track, then people will feel they have to settle scores themselves. If they feel they are getting no justice for NASCAR, then they will look for it themselves. Busch says the issue is over, but when he comes off probation in another week, what's to stop him from turning a Childress car to settle the score. Driver have long memories and then love to keep score.
People have accused me of being anti-Busch and I'm sure that I will be accused of being anti- Childress. That's fine, but I really do like them both. But the truth is, I am pro-NASCAR. I want to see a good show. I like a good on track tempurtantrum, but it should stay on the track. Sucker punching someone like a school house thug is not good for the sport. And it's good for the gossip pages, but it's really not a good show.