NASCAR investigating post-race fracas
Jim Utter, Charlotte Observer
FORT WORTH, Texas – NASCAR officials are investigating
a post-race incident in which a member of driver Scott Riggs’ team
allegedly shoved driver Kevin Harvick, knocking Harvick, his
wife DeLana and a NASCAR official to the ground.
The team member shoved Harvick from behind shortly after the
conclusion of Sunday’s Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway
as he and his wife were walking from pit road to the garage
area, witnesses said. NASCAR declined to identify the Riggs
The Harvicks, as well as NASCAR official John Sacco, fell to
the ground in front of the Riggs’ team’s crash
cart, an oversized toolbox on wheels used to carry equipment
needed for quick repairs. Sacco was taken to the infield care
center and diagnosed with a bad sprain.
The Harvicks were unhurt, NASCAR officials said.
On Lap 332 of the race, Harvick and Riggs were racing for position
exiting Turn 4 when Harvick hit Riggs from behind, knocking
him hard into the wall and demolishing his car. Riggs was not
At the time, Riggs was poised to make a late-race charge on
Tony Stewart for the victory.
Riggs has not won in the Nextel Cup Series.
“One of the guys on the No. 10 team came up from behind me and shoved
Harvick, pushed him hard enough to knock him and DeLana in front of one of
the war wagons (crash cart),” said Mike Dillon, director of competition
for Richard Childress Racing, who was walking with the Harvicks.
“A NASCAR (official)
got in the way and tried to stop it. DeLana twisted her leg. You’re
going to have heated moments, but when it turns physical it turns into a different
Dillon’s account of the incident was confirmed by another
witness, Bryan White, the jackman for Ryan Newman’s No.
12 Dodge. He happened to be near the incident at the time and
helped assist DeLana Harvick to her feet.
“This guy from the No. 10 just came up from behind them. He hit Kevin
and they all fell down in front of the cart,” White said.
Officials with Evernham Motorsports, who own Riggs’ No.
10, also declined to identify the crew member.
Asked about the incident, Riggs’ crew chief Rodney Childers
said, “I was in the garage with the car, so I didn’t
see what happened. We’re working with NASCAR right now
to figure out exactly what happened out there.
“There are always different sides to the story, and we’ll work
with them to find out what the truth is.”
NASCAR officials declined to comment until their investigation
They did say there were at least two NASCAR officials on hand
who witnessed the incident, including Sacco. They also said
they were not aware of any video of the incident.