Chase Elliott calls out NASCAR for sharing fight video


Chase Elliott, NASCAR’s most popular driver, had pointed criticism for NASCAR after the sanctioning body issued a record fine earlier this week against Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for his role in a fight following last Sunday’s All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro.

Elliott was aware Stenhouse had been fined for throwing a punch at Kyle Busch, but the 2020 Cup Series champion did not know the exact amount before being informed during a press conference Friday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the site of Sunday’s Coca-Cola 600.

Stenhouse was fined $75,000, the largest fine issued in NASCAR history for a driver fighting. Elliott appeared in disbelief upon learning the exact dollar figure.

“Seventy-five thousand? Wow,” Elliott said. “I heard he got fined, but I didn’t know it was $75,000.

“Yeah, that’s a lot. That’s a lot of money. That seems wild to me.”

The stunned reaction by Elliott stems from the fact that NASCAR fined Stenhouse despite actively sharing footage of the fight across its social media channels. What Elliott took exception to is what he sees as a double standard where NASCAR has touted the fight multiple times, yet not only penalized Stenhouse but did so by handing down a record fine.

“That seems like a lot for that situation,” Elliott said. “You’re going to fine him, but you’re going to promote with it? Like what are we doing? That’s a little strange to me.

“That’s a lot of money to fine a guy. It’s not OK, but we’re going to blast it all over everything to get more clicks. I don’t really agree with that.”

Elliott is not the only driver to raise the issue. Daniel Suarez posted a similar sentiment on X.

“If it’s so wrong then why is it all over NASCAR social channels?” Suarez posted. “We should be allowed to show our emotions, I don’t get it.”

Stenhouse confronted Busch following the All-Star Race after Busch appeared to intentionally wreck him on the second lap of the non-points event for what Busch thought was an overly aggressive move on the opening lap.

Upon completion of the race, Stenhouse waited for Busch at Busch’s Richard Childress Racing hauler, a span of 90-plus minutes from the time he crashed until the confrontation. After Stenhouse and Busch had a short, heated exchange of words, Stenhouse punched Busch in the head. That triggered a fight between their respective teams, which included Stenhouse’s dad charging at Busch and starting a physical confrontation between them.

Busch was not suspended for his actions. NASCAR suspended Ricky Stenhouse Sr. indefinitely, while also suspending two members of Stenhouse Jr.’s JTG Daugherty Racing team, mechanic Clint Myrick for eight races and engine tuner Keith Matthews for four races.

Although NASCAR has not always penalized drivers who fight, the difference, NASCAR senior vice president of competition Elton Sawyer explained Wednesday, was that Stenhouse had ample time to cool down before initiating the fight.

“I will say when you wait, you know, 198 laps and you make those decisions that were made, we’re going to react to that,” Sawyer said on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. “There could have been different decisions made.

“We want the two drivers to be able to have their time to express their differences. But again, once it escalates to where there’s been a physical altercation there, again, we’re going to react.”

Busch was not penalized because NASCAR could not determine that he intentionally wrecked Stenhouse.

NASCAR’s decision to suspend Stenhouse Sr. was consistent with NASCAR’s policy that non-competitors are not to involve themselves in confrontations.

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(Photo: Sean Gardner / Getty Images)





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