Race Weekend Central

Punches Thrown Between Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch & Crews

NORTH WILKESBORO, N.C. — What do you get when you put 20 drivers on a short track, with no points on the line, for a shot at $1 million?

Tempers.

The 2024 NASCAR All-Star Race at North Wilkesboro Speedway provided no shortage of drama from the opening lap on Sunday (May 19). It started on lap 1 when Ricky Stenhouse Jr. split the gap between Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin in turns 1 and 2. The resulting three-wide situation forced Busch into the outside wall heading down the backstretch.

See also
Tempers Flare Between Kyle Busch & Ricky Stenhouse Jr. On Lap 2 of All-Star Race

One lap later, in the same spot. There was contact. This time, it was fully intentional.

Busch sent Stenhouse sliding into the outside wall in turn 2 in retaliation. The front end of the No. 47 was heavily damaged, ending Stenhouse’s race before it could really begin.

Stenhouse was none-too-pleased with the incident, and decided to park his now-destroyed Chevrolet in the pit stall of the No. 8 before he climbed out and left it.

“I parked it there because I figured Kyle would do something similar,” Stenhouse said after being released from the infield care center.

Stenhouse also climbed up Busch’s pit box after getting out of his car and told Randall Burnett, Busch’s crew chief, to tell Busch “I’ll see him afterwards.”

As North Wilkesboro has no way of exiting the track except the backstretch crossover gate, Stenhouse was stuck inside the track until the conclusion of the 200-lap event. Stenhouse said that he would deal with Busch after the race was over.

Just how would he deal with it?

“Just watch afterwards,” Stenhouse said with a coy smile.

So we did.

And boy did he.

Busch exited his car after finishing 10th and began walking immediately to his trailer. When he got there, Stenhouse was already waiting for him, as expected.

Busch argued that Stenhouse squeezed him into the wall, while Stenhouse argued that Busch actually hit the wall first before coming down and making contact with the No. 47.

“Go back and watch [the replay],” Stenhouse told Busch. “I did not touch you. Not once.”

“I don’t believe it, but whatever makes you happy,” Busch retorted.

Stenhouse repeated to go back and watch it.

Then he swung at Busch, and it was on.

Stenhouse punched Busch, and then was pulled away right as he was about to go for Busch again. Both Stenhouse and Busch were dragged to the ground as they were being separated. As Busch got up, he was met by Stenhouse’s father and the two locked together for several seconds before being split up.

Furthermore, several JTG-Daugherty Racing crew members had Busch in a stranglehold before Busch’s crew members came and pulled them off. Crew members from both teams were thrown on and off of Busch’s transporter liftgate, with Richard Childress Racing guys attempting to clear any and all No. 47 guys off of their hauler.

The scene looked similar to the fight between Jeff Gordon and Clint Bowyer’s crews following the fall 2012 race at Phoenix Raceway.

Busch and Stenhouse began shouting at each other after everyone was separated, with Busch saying, “I suck just as bad as you! Let’s go!”

And that was that.

See also
Joey Logano Leads All But 1 Lap in Dominant All-Star Victory

Later, FOX Sports caught up with Stenhouse for his side of the story.

“Definitely built up frustration with how he runs his mouth all the time,” Stenhouse said. “I know he’s frustrated because he doesn’t run near as good as he used to. And I understand that. We’re a single-car team over here. We’re working really hard to go out and get better each and every week.”

Stenhouse went on to suggest a charity match between the two to raise money for the NASCAR Foundation.

Stenhouse and Busch have history, as in the 2018 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway, Stenhouse ignited a big crash after turning Busch. The two had a discussion the next race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after Busch said “apparently he doesn’t care” to reach out to talk.

While Joey Logano went on to lead all but one lap and win the All-Star Race, the storylines this week will revolve around whether or not the Busch-Stenhouse feud continues past this week.

Don’t tell these drivers $1 million means nothing to them.

About the author

Frontstretch.com

Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. Currently, he is an editor and co-authors Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is now a grad student. He is a theatre actor and fight-choreographer-in-training in his free time. 

You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.

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9 Comments
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Bobby DK

I’ve seen purse fights over the last motorized shopping cart at Walmart worse than that.

Carl D.

I enjoyed the fight way more than that turd of a race. Was Joey that much better than the field or was it just too hard to pass? Never mind; it doesn’t matter and I don’t really care.

Stenhouse showed some character. He’ll likely face the wrath of Nascar, and he probably should, but I liked it neverthess.

Bill B

I thought NASCAR should have held Busch for a couple of laps after blatantly wrecking Stenhouse. The fact that they didn’t left it up to Stenhouse to take care of it. NASCAR shouldn’t do anything to Stenhouse.

Drew

I think that Ricky Stenhouse jr should be suspended for the Coca Cola 600 for punching Kyle Busch in the face from last night.

Jeremy

I think he should be awarded a spot in the playoffs! That’s the best thing for NA$CAR’s ratings that’s happened for a while!

DoninAjax

The spirit of Jimmy Spencer is alive and well and took over Ricky. Who’d a thunk it?

Maybe NA$CAR needs to have a penalty for “causing a collision”.

Jeremy

I wonder if Kyle will keep calling him “Wrecky Spinhouse”? LMAO!!

Watching that big dude in green toss people around like ragdolls was priceless!

Steve

HAHA! I was more entertained watching him throw people around than I was the “fight”.

DoninAjax

NA$CAR should PAY Ricky for the publicity!!!!!!

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