Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr Brawl After All-Star Race

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. – Early race contact and retaliation between Ricky Stenhouse Jr and Kyle Busch led to an all-out brawl post-race in the NASCAR Cup Series garage.

Kyle busch and ricky stenhouse jr brawled after the nascar all-star race at north wilkesboro speedway.
Photo by Blake Ulino/Kickin’ the Tires.

On the opening lap of the NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway, Stenhouse squeezed Busch’s No. 8 Lenovo Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 into the outside wall. The retaliation from the Richard Childress Racing driver was swift. Busch pushed the No. 47 Kroger Health/Icy Hot Chevy into the next corner, ultimately sending Stenhouse spinning head-on into the outside wall.

“We had a really good start,” Stenhouse said immediately after the wreck. “He left the door wide open. I went through the middle and I almost had him cleared. The No. 34 (Michael McDowell) kind of ran up the track, and we all just kind of touched there, nothing major. And then Kyle (Busch) tried to wreck me in (turns) three and four, and finally did wreck me there in one and two.

“Our No. 47 Kroger Healthy / Icy Hot Chevy was really fast. I felt really good. We were good in practice. We had already passed two or three cars there, so bummed we couldn’t see it through to the end.”

Kyle busch and ricky stenhouse jr brawled after the nascar all-star race at north wilkesboro speedway.
Photo by Blake Ulino/Kickin’ the Tires.

With no crossover bridge or tunnel, Stenhouse was left to plan a confrontation with the two-time Cup champion for the next 198 laps. The first part of that confrontation was parking in Busch’s pit stall on pit road, a move that several other drivers have pulled in the past when wanting to show their displeasure after a race-ending crash. Then Stenhouse climbed onto the pit box to spark to the crew chief before going to the infield medical center. Next, he waited.

After the completion of the 200-lap exhibition race, Busch opted to go straight to his hauler in the ‘garage’ area. Stenhouse was waiting with their haulers having been parked close to one another. He had enough time over the 198 remaining laps to change out of his firesuit and into plain clothes before he confronted his competitor about the on-track incident.

“Coming off (Turn) 2, you wrecked my ass off Turn 2,” Busch said.

Meanwhile, Stenhouse insisted that he never touched Busch.

“You hit the fence yourself, I didn’t touch you,” Stenhouse insisted.

The duo went back and forth on what happened several times. Then, after yelling “go back and watch” for the second time, the JTG Daugherty Racing driver took a swing. The punch connected with Busch and a brawl between several crew members, and Ricky Stenhouse Sr, broke out before NASCAR officials and security personnel eventually broke it up. Even after officials and security personnel had regained control of the situation, the two drivers continued to shout and trade verbal barbs at one another even as they and their crews were separated.

Any possible penalties stemming from the scuffle would be announced in the penalty report by NASCAR later in the week.

Next for both Busch and Stenhouse is the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Busch has one win in the 600-mile race in the 2018 edition with nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in the Memorial Day Weekend race. Stenhouse has one top-five and four top-10 finishes in NASCAR’s marathon race with a best finish of fifth in 2019 running of the event.

The Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte is scheduled for Sunday, May 26, at 6:00 p.m. ET on FOX. The race will also be broadcast on both the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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