Speak Your Mind: The Respected Team Owner vs. The Young Gun

2011 Kansas NCWTS Coulter and Busch battle late
Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR
By now you’ve heard about Saturday’s altercation between long-time NASCAR team owner Richard Childress and driver/owner Kyle Busch. Today the ladies of Skirts and Scuffs share their opinions on the incident and what they feel should be done in the latest Speak Your Mind.

Rebecca Kivak - There's still a lot that we don't know about the altercation between Richard Childress and Kyle Busch following the truck race, so it's hard for me to make a black and white determination here. For one thing, Childress is not a guy who goes around beating up people on a regular basis. Therefore, I find it hard to believe that he punched Busch without warning or without giving him a chance to say something first. Whether he was reacting to Busch's tap of Coulter or in response to a long history of Busch and RCR incidents, though, Childress' reaction was extreme. I can't help but think that something additional must have happened or was said to set him off like that. But the thing is, we don't know what was said in the garage. I hope that these details do eventually come out. So based on what we do know, I would think that Childress will be either fined, docked owner points, suspended from the track for a few weeks, or some combination.

In regards to Busch's tap of Joey Coulter, normally I wouldn't have thought anything of it - except that Busch is on probation. While he didn't wreck Coulter, he did deliberately make contact with him using his racecar in a show of his displeasure, and I have to question Busch's judgment there. Why take that risk when you're on probation? Not a smart move, in my opinion. I honestly don't understand why NASCAR didn't at least give him a stern talking to.

Melissa Wright - I have mixed feelings about the repercussions towards Richard Childress. Should he be fined or suspended, I'm not sure. The moment that it happened was inappropriate no doubt. Given the reasons as to why he did, that's a given. Just like any human being, you mess with them enough, something’s going to have to give.

As for Kyle Busch, a man with that much talent you'd think would have enough common sense to keep some things to himself. The smartest thing I've witness him do this year is back down from one less punch thrown from Richard Childress.

If NASCAR does decide to penalize anyone, it should be Childress. This time, humiliation and embarrassment may be the biggest punishment for Busch. Being "beat up" by a 65-year-old man can be damaging to your pride. Seriously doubt he's worried about his wallet.

Genette Wood - Kyle is a Busch. He has a temper and it'll flare up. The fact of the matter is, Coulter's pass for fifth was clean and Kyle let his irritation get the best of him. That in no way deserved the severe reaction from Richard Childress.

Personally, I want to see Childress suspended for a brief period. It is not acceptable behavior for a team owner. He needs to set a respectable example for his teams. As for Kyle, I do not agree with what he did, but I think being humiliated by a man 39 years his senior is punishment enough.

Amy McHargue - I am on the fence on this topic; I do not believe we have all of the information regarding what went down in the garage area after the CWTS race. I find it hard to believe that Richard Childress walked up to Kyle Busch and, with no warning placed him in a headlock and started beating the crap out of Kyle. Yes, I am sure that Richard Childress was frustrated with Kyle Busch after recent and past incidents involving RCR drivers and equipment but I cannot see Richard Childress taking the disagreement to a physical level without some other catalyst.

No information has been released regarding any conversation that may have taken place prior to the meeting becoming physical. I am still waiting for the rest of the story ... it just feels like we are still missing a big piece of this incident. I feel (and hope) that the coming days may reveal more regarding the 'why' behind this altercation.

Debbie Ross - I have heard from a few different media outlets that Kyle Busch did say something to provoke RC before he took off his watch and "had at it." Something to the effect of sarcastically calling him an "old man." In combination with Kyle wrecking several of his cars, whether on the track or off, I don't blame RC for losing it. However ... RC could have handled it in a much different way ... the way we would all expect an "old man" to handle it ... with dignity and perhaps a much less "rowdy" approach!

Janine Cloud - I'm also of two minds here. One side says that Kyle had it coming for being such a royal brat. He tore up a lot of Childress equipment and it's my understanding that RC isn't one to take that kind of thing lightly. I do recall Jeff Hammond saying that after the Darlington incident that Richard said if Kyle tore up any more of his equipment, he was going to take care of Kyle himself, and he was true to his word. He's old school, when throwing punches was as much a part of the sport as blowing up an engine to keep it from having to go through tech.

I read where Kyle said something to him but never got accurate confirmation of it, so I won't count that in my assessment. The rub on the track wasn't really severe enough to violate his probation, but it should have garnered him a stern warning. He was in a lose-lose situation. Either he gets beaten up by a grandpa or he's the dope who punches a grandpa. For once in his life he did the best thing.

As for what should happen to Childress? Well, let's look at precedent. Drivers and crew members have been fined and docked points. That's perfectly acceptable in this situation. A fine and deduction of owner points.  Crew chiefs have been banned from the track for cheating. So maybe a short ban from the track. But considering that Rick Hendrick pleaded guilty to mail fraud and only had to stay away from the track for a year, I'd say a few punches shouldn't merit more than a couple of weeks away.

Oh yes. To marginalize Richard Childress as an "old man" just because he's 65 is foolish.He's no doddering old man, he's still a big-game hunter.

Lindi Bess – In my opinion I think Richard Childress used this event to take out his frustration on Kyle for issues having nothing to do with Coulter's run-in with Busch on the track. I think owners should be held accountable just as drivers when it comes to physical violence. Childress knew what he was going to do when he removed his watch. It was pre-meditated which in my opinion is different and more serious than it being in the heat of moment.

Katy Lindamood - I became a fan in the “Era of Earnhardt,” a time when the black #3 was the most dominating on the team on the NASCAR circuit. As a kid Richard Childress was larger than life. He was the man who teamed with the Intimidator to tie the number of Cup Series Championships won by a single driver, he was the man who provided guidance to young drivers just hoping to get their foot in the door, and he was the man who held the team and the NASCAR nation together when the sport's most beloved icon lost his life in 2001.

As a fan who has respected Childress as a team owner, innovator and businessman for as long as I can remember, I’ve got to say that I’m shocked by the actions of Childress on Saturday. While I don’t know what was said and can only speculate on what the final straw was that led to the incident, I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined it would be Childress throwing punches in a team hauler and frankly it disappoints me.

Kyle Busch is a snarky guy. He’s quick-witted, sarcastic and plays the role of the bad guy well. Sure, he rubs people the wrong way, does things that aren’t what most of us would call “good choices,” but we’ve learned to expect the unexpected with him. No one would have been surprised to hear that Busch and Kevin Harvick went at it in the hauler trading punches. Two drivers, both owners of their own Truck Series teams, who have a history of on-track incidents and off-track altercations - that’s something you expect to see. Respected team owner, grandfather, mentor and savvy businessman Richard Childress as the aggressor? If you saw that coming, you need to play the lottery.

Everyone has a breaking point, but when it comes down to the heart of the matter acting on that breaking point and choosing to take the higher ground is what separates the men from the boys. On Saturday, Childress crossed the line and needs to be disciplined for his actions. I’d expect disciplinary action to be taken if it were any other team owner and don’t believe that just because Childress may have had just cause, or because he’s been so important in the growth of the sport that he should be given any leniency.
noshaddow_236x115 Speak Your Mind is a regular opinion column that gives Skirts and Scuffs contributors and columnists an opportunity to sound off and share their opinions. The opinions expressed in this column are those of the individual contributor and do not reflect those of others.
Speak Your Mind: The Respected Team Owner vs. The Young Gun Speak Your Mind: The Respected Team Owner vs. The Young Gun Reviewed by Admin on Monday, June 06, 2011 Rating: 5