NASCAR suspends, fines two RCR crew members

NASCAR suspended and fined two crew members from Richard Childress Racing on Tuesday for their involvement in a physical altercation that occurred after Friday night's Nationwide Series race at Richmond International Raceway.

Thomas Costello and Michael Scearce from RCR's No. 2 Nationwide team have each been suspended for the next four races and fined $15,000. Costello and Scearce have also been placed on probation until Dec. 31.

According to a release from NASCAR, "Costello and Scearce were found to be in violation of Section 12-1 (Actions detrimental to stock car racing. Involved in an altercation with another competitor after the race had concluded)."

Costello, 35, and Scearce, 50, were both arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault after the altercation happened in the driver/owner motorhome lot at Richmond.

The incident reportedly occurred following a post-race confrontation between Scott, the driver of the No. 2 car, and Nelson Piquet Jr., who drives the No. 30 car for Turner Scott Motorsports. Scott and Piquet made contact with each other while battling for position in the closing laps of the 250-lap event.

When Scott confronted Piquet on pit road after the event had concluded, Piquet kicked him in the groin. A shoving match between both of their teams then ensued before race officials had to separate them.

Scott claimed that Piquet shoved him into the wall while they were battling for position. He also noted there had been an on-going feud between them. Piquet was upset with Scott after he "door-banged" him during the cool-down lap.

Turner Scott Motorsports said in a statement on Saturday that "several members of another race team confronted a group that included Nelson Piquet Jr., resulting in the arrest of two individuals from the other race team."

Henrico County police said one of the two male victims, not Piquet, suffered a shoulder injury.

Scearce is a mechanic and Costello serves as an interior specialist for the No. 2 team.

NASCAR also penalized Scott and Piquet for violating Section 12-1 and their involvement in an on-track altercation with their two cars after the race had concluded. Both drivers have been placed on probation until June 26. Crew chiefs Chris Carrier (No. 30 car) and Phil Gould (No. 2 car) have likewise been placed on NASCAR probation until the same date, as a result of the on- track incident between their two drivers.