Things got pretty heated after last weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kansas Speedway, when Cole Custer and Tyler Reddick got into an intense shoving match on pit road. But, the heat-of-the-moment scuffle will not result in penalties for either driver, according to a NASCAR executive.
During an appearance on The Morning Drive show on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer, did say that NASCAR will be looking into whether or not crew members on either team did anything to provoke the incident at the October 19th Xfinity race.
“In those situations, the key for us is to make sure that the crew members are not coming in and escalating things,” O’Donnell said. “If anything, we’ve just got to go back and look and make sure that’s not the case from our perspective.
“There’s a lot on the line there for the drivers and we certainly don’t want to encourage that but understand that it gets heated at times. Our thing is to make sure crew members are not getting in there and piling on a driver so to speak vs. trying to deescalate the situation.”
As Custer revealed after the Kansas race dust-up, what started as Custer confronting Reddick for making contact with him during the race ended in the pair grappling and eventually having to be separated while on the ground.
“I was just frustrated that he can’t keep his car on the bottom and then runs us up into the wall,” Custer, who drives the No. 00 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing, told NBC Sports. “If he wants to wreck cars and put them in the wall, that’s fine, but when it affects me, I’m not going to be very happy with him.
“I don’t know. I just went over to talk to him and say that and put my hand on him, and he just went berserk. I thought we had a good car and a shot to win.”
While Reddick (who finished second behind Brandon Jones and Custer (who racked up a 10th-place finish) are both in a good position to reach the title race at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the incident shows just how contentious NASCAR playoff races can be, even in the Xfinity Series.
“I understand Cole’s frustration 100 percent,” Reddick, who drives the No. 2 Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing, told NBC Sports. “We’re trying to lock ourselves into Homestead, and he came up to talk after the race. He put a hand on me, I put a hand on him back, and that’s just how it’s going to be if we’re going to have a conversation that way.
“I’m out of breath. Had a fight there with some people, and it was a little bit of fun. I think a lot of Cole and his driving ability.”