The National Stock Car Racing Appeals Panel heard the appeal of the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Nationwide Series team on Friday and chose unanimously to uphold the penalties issued by NASCAR. As a result, the $15,000 fines and the four-race suspensions of crew members Thomas Costello and Michael Scearce will stand. Their suspensions will begin with the May 31 Nationwide Series race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
The two men approached Nelson Piquet Jr., driver of the No. 30 Turner Motorsports Chevrolet, near the driver/owner motorcoach lot at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway on April 26, following a race at the track. Both were arrested by local police and charged with misdemeanor assault. They were released the following morning.
Previously the same evening, Piquet and Brian Scott, driver of the No. 2, made had an altercation after the race. Scott approached Piquet, unhappy with contact between himself and Piquet during the race.
"He runs into me every week, and I kind of had it," Scott said.
According to Scott, Piquet then kicked him "below the belt."
"I'm not going to take anymore crap from him," Piquet said.
The two drivers were fined and placed on probation, but not suspended. Crew chiefs Chris Carrier (30) and Phil Gould (2) were also placed on probation until June 26.