Kyle Busch speaks on post-race fight, penalties to Ricky Stenhouse Jr., moving forward

Kyle Busch speaks on post-race fight, penalties to Ricky Stenhouse Jr., moving forward

Richard Childress Racing driver Kyle Busch said his view of the on-track incident that led to a post-race fight with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. hadn’t changed over the course of a week — and was demure when asked if he agreed with the penalties handed down to Stenhouse as result.

Busch spoke briefly at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday following the NASCAR Xfinity Series race, his first public comments since he and Stenhouse tussled near the haulers at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Of the penalty: “It doesn’t matter whether I agree or not, NASCAR makes the penalties.”

Of the post-race fight: “I walked into the situation and … it was calm to start and then escalated from there.”

Of the initial on-track incident: I gave extra room, and when I was dragging the fence he smashed my door.”

Of any potential lingering fallout this weekend for the Coca-Cola 600: “I don’t need a fight with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. I need a fight with the top three guys so I can start winning some races.”

MORE: Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch throw punches post All-Star Race

Busch had not spoken publicly to members of the NASCAR media since the incident at North Wilkesboro.

To recap: The No. 47 JTG Daugherty Chevrolet of Stenhouse Jr. made it just two laps in the event before exiting the race due to damage sustained from a shot against the wall, which was initiated by the bumper of Busch‘s No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

The two cars had been dueling for position the lap prior, with Busch losing a spot to Stenhouse before he initiated contact the next lap.

Stenhouse Jr. parked his damaged vehicle on Busch‘s pit stall, then climbed up the team pit box to share some words with crew chief Randall Burnett.

When the race ended, Stenhouse Jr. was waiting at the No. 8 hauler. Following an intense face-to-face discussion, Stenhouse Jr. threw and connected with a punch before the two were separated.

NASCAR conducted a review of the incident and issued a $75,000 fine to Stenhouse for violating the Code of Conduct policy.

Additionally, team mechanic Clint Myrick was suspended for the next eight Cup Series races (through events at Pocono Raceway on July 14) for his role, and tuner Keith Matthews was suspended for the next four Cup Series events (through Iowa Speedway on June 16).

Neither Busch nor anyone on his team were penalized.